Originally Posted by borealis
Here's the thing -- it would be great if we all learned acceptance and tolerance. It would be awesome if we never took offense. But how do we, as a board, learn this? What practical, workable solutions do you suggest for this problem? How about taking up the challenge, rather than slinging weak attempts at non-constructive humor around?
I honestly don't know what THE
answer is, but I truly don't believe separate forums, regardless of whether either group is free to post there, is the way. You don't resolve tension by trying to avoid it. I think that an argument could definitely be made for having a forum for just transitioning vegetarians. It would make it a lot easier to get their FAQs and general newness on the boards dealt with while they're still new to the message board and to vegetarianism in general, just to get their feet wet before jumping into the pool. However, the rest of us non-meat eaters are supposed to be on the same team and in the same pool together already. And let's not forget the people who are neither, but still enjoy frequenting this board. I don't see how splitting everyone up is going to make this situation better. In my mind it's analogous to splitting up a group of people, because there is some racial tension present within the group. Not everyone in the group has a problem mind you, but there are a select few who just can't seem to take the stick out of their butt.
The scenario goes something like this:So we're going to split up into one section for black people and one section for white people so that everyone feels more comfortable. This doesn't mean that the black people can't go visit the white people and talk to people in that group, or that the white people can't go talk to black people in the other group. It would just reduce tension if everyone were to have a core group to be in where he or she feels more welcome and comfortable.
Do you honestly think in that kind of scenario that anyone from one group would feel welcome crossing the line to go socialize with someone in the other group? The tension won't have actually gone anywhere. People with bad attitudes would still be hanging around, but now they would feel justified in maintaining those attitudes, because 'hey we're in a separate group with our own kind now. We don't need to care about "those people" over there.' And before anyone starts pointing out the vegans, let me just say there has been venom on both sides of this issue. On the one hand you have some holier than thou types who don't think that anyone outside of themselves is doing enough to help "the cause", but on the other hand you have some vegetarians (L/O, O, whatever) in their defensiveness accusing all vegans of being in that category. I'm not pointing any fingers. Everyone here knows what he or she has or hasn't said.
One of the reasons that I think this board works, despite the rudeness and intolerance on the part of a small handful of people, is because anyone who has even lurked on this board for any length of time knows that while there may be some underlying tension, the attitudes of a few do not reflect on the ideals of the majority of people who are here. If you split things up, people might not be inclined to even go look at postings from a group that they don't consider themselves to be a part of, and they will be missing out on the big picture.
Again, I don't have THE answer, but I think that the idea already put on the table at least gets us talking along the lines of how to resolve the overall issue. I do believe, however, that the best way for us to deal with this to confront it head on. If you give people a convenient way to not deal with this issue, they will probably take it. People don't generally deal with things unless they have to. Perhaps we should have a forum just to discuss how to deal with this one issue. It may actually be warranted. This goes far beyond the attitudes present on this board alone and gets into attitudes present within the larger veg*n community.
Sorry for the long post, but I had to get that off my chest.