Welcome to the Grass Roots Veganism Discussion Board!

Before posting, you may want to look at our policies below. All are designed to help make your visits here more comfortable.

Also, be sure to check out the links to the Ask Jo! Archives to get answers to commonly asked questions (your concerns may already be addressed there!).

And please check out the main Grassroots Veganism site for lots more helpful information. There are essays about vegan living that may help you understand more about the history of veganism and how to put its tenets into practice. Each week we publish a recipe from one of my books, so be sure to stop by and see what's cooking. (Out of fairness to those who have purchased my books, and in keeping with international copyright laws, I ask you do not post my recipes on the discussion board.) Along with recipes, we also post an uplifting or thought-provoking "quip or quote" every week to inspire you on your vegan journey. In addition, the first week of each month, we publish a new Ask Jo! column, essay, or guest essay.

Also, please know that the banner ads (top and bottom of your screen) and the rectangular ads (to the right) help to keep VegSource and this board going strong. Please click on our advertisers to see what they are offering. The more you click, the more it helps to support our efforts.

Thank you, and welcome aboard!

All best,

Discussion Board Policies

As far as etiquette goes, there are general VegSource Policies, but because this board is specifically about compassionate vegan living, there are a few additional standards that apply.

Here's the short version:

1) Respect each other.

If we cannot respect other vegans, then it is fairly hopeless that we will respect nonvegans and nonhuman animals.

2) Stay on topic.

This board is about compassionate vegan living, and its purpose is to provide support, encouragement, and information for people who are interested in, transitioning to, or practicing a vegan lifestyle.

3) Express your opinions without putting down those who disagree with you.

Stimulating and thought-provoking conversation is encouraged, but not when it is at the expense or dignity of anyone else.

4) Maintain the compassionate tone and positive spirit of the board.

Offer others the same consideration, understanding, tolerance, and kindness you would like to receive. Anyone who would like to post on this board and is willing to honor the standards of our on-line vegan community is invited to join us and will always be welcome with open arms.

How To Communicate Respectfully

This forum is a great place to practice how to be diplomatic, tolerant, sympathetic, and kind. Because it is the written word and we can take our time with it and change it, we don't need to stamp out a retort the moment we read something upsetting. We can be patient, think it through, and step away from it knowing it will still be here when we return. If a subject upsets you terribly, try to be aware of this and know that it may be best if you don't respond at all. Just let it go. Try not to be so attached to your opinion or subjects that rile you.

Acknowledge that there is a real live person at the other end of a post -- someone who can be hurt as easily as you, someone who is as passionate about her or his choices as you, and someone who brings a complex history of experiences to the board that may be totally unlike your own. We can't make decisions for others or know what is right for them because we haven't been in their shoes, aren't living their lives, and may not know the full story behind their choices or what they are saying.

Be aware of being judgmental. Notice when you are being biased and looking down on someone. Realize that the more we endorse or ignore arrogance the more likely it is someone is going to treat us the very same way.

Think before you speak. Think about how you are going to appear to others and whether your words will hurt or help. Think about the purpose of your post -- are you just trying to get the last word in, act superior, belittle somebody, or do you have something genuinely worthwhile and supportive to say.

Listen to what somebody is saying. Try to hear it from their point of view. You may not approve of what they say or what they are doing, but know that their beliefs and preferences are real and valid to them, just as yours are to you. None of us "knows it all" -- even though we might think or act like we do.

As the saying goes: "If you can't say something kind don't say anything at all." Use this as your barometer. If your post is unkind, don't submit it.

Don't respond to people who are being rude. Some newcomers stop by with an agenda of their own. They want to spout their own rhetoric and do so with an aggressive rage. DON'T RESPOND TO THEM. You will only start a war. Let me know and I'll take it from there.

Avoid posts that state or imply "I am right; therefore, you are wrong." We all think we're right, for goodness sakes. Maybe we are, and maybe we're not.

Don't gang up on someone. This is not a contest to see how many posters oppose or object to another's perspective.

Allow people to disagree with you. Try to learn from what they have to say instead of dismissing it automatically.

Let people keep their dignity. Don't try to tear people apart just because you don't like their post, their choices, or how they live.

We have an opportunity to practice our communication skills here so we can be kinder people -- to other vegans and to nonvegans -- on or off the board. It's a rare chance. If you want to know how you might have been able to say something in a more respectful manner, just ask. There are many great people here -- tactful and talented communicators -- who are willing to help out in this way.

"Off Topic" Posts

Over time we've seen that a number of topics come up again and again -- and usually generate more heat than light.

Because we've seen these topics too often degenerate into flaming, we ask that you discuss these topics on one of the other boards at VegSource, which would be more appropriate, and which will help maintain the positive, supportive atmosphere on the Veganism Board.

Here is a list of topics considered "off topic" on Veganism, with a suggested board you can use if you'd like to discuss these topics with others:

  • putting cats on a vegan diet
  • putting dogs on a veg diet
  • abortion
  • zoos
  • religion
  • immunizations/vaccinations
  • eating disorders

We also ask that topics like animal racing, animal care, and horse riding be
discussed on our
animal boards.

In addition, the following are not appropriate on any boards on VegSource:

  • racism
  • sexism
  • homophobia
  • firearms
  • pro-hunting

Also, VegSource does not ask its guests for money in order to operate. The site was created and operated for over two years at the expense of Jeff and Sabrina Nelson. In 1998 we began taking paid advertisements in order to afford to stay online and support the many sites we provide free services to. The advertising supports the site and thus we include in the list of "off-topic posts" any spamvertising, advertising, and personal site promotion. If you wish to advertise your site or product on the Veganism Board or anywhere else, you may contact adveg@vegsource.com to make inquiries.

Thanks for your understanding.


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