I think you have a lot to learn, texnix. When I first discovered Tibetan Buddhist via the book The Joy of Living by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, I thought I didn't need teachers when I could just have books. That I didn't need a sangha, that I only needed myself. But since then I have seen lots of studies that show how your social environment, those around you effect you. Also you cannot convince people to take steps toward enlightenment or self-improvement that they are not receptive toward. It does not matter what you do, something has to happen in their lives to make them receptive to outside change. In Buddhism they explain this in terms of past karma. In the example of my going vegan, in the back of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair there were lots of articles of the past and modern meat-packing industry that I read. I thought it was so messed up, what happened to fodder animals, that I wished I had the strength or discipline to at least go vegetarian. But nothing happened until I saw my cat die in 2009, which I had with me for 14 years. When I saw how she just wanted to avoid suffering, the pathetic look in her eyes, when I saw her convulsing out of breath like a fish on the floor, it made me realize I could not do that other animals, by eating them. People don't just change because you are so awesome or enlightened, and it is not your personal failure if they don't.
I have come to believe that somehow through mental intuition the Buddhist canon is really the world vanguard, that they have discovered what some of the best and most uplifting discoveries of Western science(which is overall non-virtuous) are just beginning to scratch. When they advise to seek sanctuary from mundane concerns in a retreat, to find a teacher/root guru, to join a sangha, it is not just something they say to say it or for no reason. These are things that are really beneficial.
Ah well, whatever happens next along my path only adds to what is already known, nothing of the known ever becomes unknown, only elaborated upon. Such is the luxury of truth.