I think socializing is more of a challenge for me than it is for most people. I assume this is mostly due to the fact that there are two distinct sides to my personality that often seem to conflict with one another. Because veganism and animal rights are the most important things to me, I'm always trying to connect with other vegans. I just feel like I can't be totally comfortable with non-vegans. It seems like having a shared belief system should automatically gives us a deeper connection.
The problem with this is that, to some extent, some of the stereotypes about vegans tend to hold true. Vegans in general do tend to be rather emotionally sensitive, peaceful, and loving people. This makes perfect sense; obviously those who are more empathetic would be more likely to care about the lives of others, both human and non-human. The thing is though, I'm not like that. I'm not a particularly sensitive person. In fact, I sort of pride myself on being completely unsentimental and unflappable. This makes it very hard for me to communicate with people who I should, logically, have every reason to get along with perfectly.
On the other hand, the people who I have a somewhat easier time talking to are often those who I ultimately have nothing in common with, other than a basic communication style. I like talking to people with dark or twisted senses of humor and a fondness for sarcasm. Unfortunately for me, it seems that there are very few vegans who fit this description.
It's also a problem for me to find other vegans who share any of my interests outside of animal rights. I have a propensity for things that are exciting, dangerous, violent (martial arts and the like), painful, etc. Most vegans don't seem to be interested in those sorts of things. I can totally understand that, it does appear to be a bit of a contradiction. However, I don't see why it has to be. Why do people have to be emotionally sensitive to see the inherent injustice of the way animals are treated in our society? Is there some rule that says that you can't be "tough" and still compassionate? I don't think so. I mean, when you think about it, what's more tough than protecting the innocent? Isn't that pretty much the strongest thing one can do?
It seems to me that even those who are totally okay with other types of violence should still be bothered by violence toward those who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. Even those who have little tolerance for overly emotional people should have sympathy for the pain of those who are genuinely suffering. I guess I just don't understand why there aren't more angry, sarcastic, thrill-seeking vegans out there.