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Emy Will

Emy Will

Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa. Although I have a doctorate in psychotherapy, my main passion is advocating for nonhuman animal rights. I condemn all cruelty to nonhuman animals and therefore follow a vegan lifestyle. I would like to connect with other animal activists from all over the world. The fur trade is one of the most abhorrent practices on this planet. Innocent animals are subjected to prolonged suffering for a trivial fashion item. As the chairperson of Fur Free SA. we campaign towards ending the global fur industry. This might not happen in my lifetime, but even if I leave one footprint behind, that is one step closer to the goal. This blog is a forum to discuss all aspects of the fur industry. It also raises issues around animal activism in general. Johannesburg is a crazy city and I need to escape from time to time. This photo was taken next to the magnificent Zambezi river.

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For my 100th post I thought it appropriate to discuss the importance of preventing burnout. Anyone can burn out but it often occurs among animal rights activists.

The concept of burnout is not new to me, as for many years I practiced as a psychotherapist. In my doctorate, I examined the long-term psychological effects of trauma, specifically incest. Incest occurs within a power relationship when a family member treats a child as property to be exploited.

Listening to or seeing horrendous images of relentless traumatic events can cause “secondary trauma”. Simply put, the individual goes into “bad story overload”.  

Animal rights activists are exposed to endless stories of suffering and the abuse of helpless creatures. Burnout occurs when you are under prolonged stress. With burnout you lose the strength and motivation to fight for others. You lose perspective and feel disillusioned, helpless and drained of emotional energy. Everything looks bleak and pointless. You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated. Your own worth feels doubtful, which can impact on relationships and your health.

How does one prevent burnout?

~ Accept that we all have limitations and that self-preservation is more helpful than self-sacrifice.

~ Keep the balance in your life and don’t feel bad to do things you enjoy on a weekly or daily basis. This can be walking, reading, gardening, watching a movie, listening to music  – whatever replenishes you.

~ Appreciate the simple things in life, like a sunset, cute kitty pics and so on.

~ Connecting with Nature can be very healing.

~ I like the principle of rest and recuperation (R&R), as implemented by the United Nations.

Essentially this is time out, but away from the stressful situation. Having time out at home is not always restful.

So once a year I try to get out of Johannesburg.

Last year we went to Zambia to see the magnificent Victoria Falls and Zambezi river.

I know this is not a pretty photo blog but here are some happy snaps from that time.

This photo does not even begin to capture Victoria Falls, which is breathtaking.

2012-10-02 06.58.48

Absorbing the tranquility of the sun setting on the Zambezi was food for the soul.

2012-10-03 08.06.22

While watching a group of hippos swim past me I reaffirmed my life philosophy. rIVER OF LIFE

This week I am off to see the great lake of Malawi ❤

Here’s to R&R!

2012-10-04 07.47.34





  1. Danusia bourdon says:

    Dear Emy, I always follow your blogs and I found this last one both reassuring and inspiring, thank you and enjoy your break.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on your 100th post!!! I had no idea about the term ‘burnout’, but I completely understand it. A few years back I refused to watch any video involving animal abuse. Now I do – for many reasons and they always get me …ALWAYS. But somehow our minds need to see to believe. I doubt if I would have ever become a vegan if I hadn’t watched how milk is made, but they still get me. SO that’s some great advice you are sharing [instinctively I do most].
    Here’s to many more anniversaries! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emy Will says:

      Thank you for those kind words, Marina ❤

      Videos and pictures of animal abuse are always distressing. I feel sick when I look at these images and try and avoid if I can.
      I too gave up all dairy after seeing how dreadful the dairy industry is. So, It is a way of people confronting the truth.
      Thank you for caring and take care.


  3. ravenskeeper says:

    Reblogged this on Ravens-Tree.com and commented:
    So true. Have just taken time off myself for just this reason. Endless cruelty and horror…like a never ending nightmare. A person can only take so much of the dark and the evil. It makes your heart wither.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ravenskeeper says:

    On a happier note – lovely picture of the falls & Zambezi, I know them well. 🙂
    Have a great time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Life was much easier before awareness. And once aware–there’s no going back.

    As too the philosophy of passing through life once . . . I’ll only say, I’ll be back. Each time stronger than the last.

    Beautiful waterfall, beautiful pictures.

    Peace, strength, courage.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Emy Will says:

    Thanks, Peter.
    It is like Frodo, in The Lord of The Rings, whose experience so changed him, he could not fit into his community anymore. Awareness can make one feel alienated from the masses.
    I really like your conviction that you will be back. I have no such certainty but will try leave a footprint for others to follow in.
    Peace and courage to you too ❤


  7. Kev says:

    Congratulations! 🙂


  8. Good post!! I know how you feel,it’s just heartbreaking knowing all that goes on. All you wish you could change.You can’t go back,you can’t not know,and it changes you forever.You just have to find ways to keep going,keep inspired,however hard it is,it’s too important!!! All the best,take care!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Emy Will says:

    Thank you for those encouraging words ❤

    What you say is so true. Once a person is aware one can never see the world the same again. There is no going back to that ignorant state!
    It is imporatnta that we support each other in this fight for the rights of nonhuman animals.


  10. carmen says:

    Congratulations on 100 posts! Keep up the good work and take time to refresh!!

    Thanks for the beautiful photos! What a wonderful world it would be if everyone had compassion!

    ❤ carmen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emy Will says:

      Thank you, Carmen. It is good to connect with others who care about the well being of other species.
      Together we can make a difference.
      Best wishes,
      Emy ❤


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