Ⓥ The Vegan Forum - a message board for vegans FAQ
Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.
A general note about our rules
Since this forum was started in August 2003, we've had the same policy regarding moderating, but we always try to make our guidelines easier to understand. This has been necessary, especially since an extremely small, but active group of Animal Rights activists repeatedly have broken the rules and used this site to promote/defend illegal AR activism (or organizations supporting such activities), and also because a few members haven't understood our policy about respecting other members/not posting personal attacks/insults etc.
The Vegan Forum - Guidelines for our message board
First: It may take some days to get your account approved. If you post before this happens, your posts will need a manual approval before it shows up, which may take some time.
The short version of our rules: This forum a reserved for friendly communication between vegans; a 'sanctuary' for vegans who basic
agree in how this site is run. Don't be nasty. Avoid spam. Make sense. Do not post anything which might be interpreted as if you support/justify/are involved in breaking laws for any reason, and avoid posting links to sites which directly or indirectly contain such material.
Please go to Settings>Permission Groups for more info about access to all areas. You need to join Permission Groups to get access to some of our subforums.
An extremely small amount of vegans seems to think that ethics, respect for other living beings, not wanting to hurt or harm others etc. only applies to non-human animals. This site is reserved for the 99(+)% vegans which do *not* belong to this group.
Democracy and freedom of speech on internet is a lot about finding a forum you are compatible with, and the number of members which has broken our simple rules is *extremely* low. Please don't think of our rules as a list of dos and don'ts, but as a description of our profile. If our guidelines make sense to you, you'll probably never need to think about them again!
1) All regular members here are vegans: against killing, harming, hurting and exploiting animals and humans. Vegans avoid use of animal products as much as possible and practical.
2) Others may register in order to subscribe to threads they are interested in. Non-vegans (eg. members who eat vegan food, but who are not vegans) may post questions in the Going Vegan subforum. If they go vegan, they will get normal access by sending us a note via the Contact Us-link on our front page. If they don't go vegan, or keep promoting/justifying use of animal products, or seem to just want to have an argument for the sake of it, we'll close their accounts. On topic per thread, please, in this section, and back up any claims you have against vegan viewpoints with references to real sources
3) Don't share links to anti-vegan articles/sites unless you also contribute to kill the myths they are creating. Don't use links to other sites or names of organizations or companies as user names - if you do, your user name will be changed or the account will be deleted. This forum is about two-way communication; we expect people to participate and respond in the discussions. No Hit-And-Run attacks please! We may disable accounts belonging to members who seem to have registered only to promote their own sites/companies/ideologies.
4) Don't share private information about about anyone but yourself, or ask for such info. Don't share emails/messages from others..
5) Consider VF a dinner party where vegans are invited to friendly communication.
6) Always treat others - including non-vegans who post in the Going Vegan area - with respect. If you disagree with someone, discuss their viewpoints, not their personalities. Don't trigger/nourish personal conflicts or meaningless friction. Report posts if you feel that you/someone aren't treated with respect. Don't respond to trolls (but pleas report them!). No human-hating posts, please, and no personal attacks on, or private info about celebrities, ex-wives, forum members, co-workers or anyone else that can be identified! Don't discuss specific members of other forums, and don't discuss any of our members on other forums.
7) Don't post anything that - directly or indirectly - might be interpreted as supporting (being involved in, defending, justifying/glorifying) anything illegal. Don't promote sites which support/promote illegal activities - or link to sites, books or other media that do.
8) If you criticize, quoting what it is you refer to. If you refer to an earlier post, please quote (only!) the part you want to comment.
9) Links to relevant sites are welcome. Please post your link only once - as a message in a relevant thread: No product/opinion/company/organization/spam or religious (/atheist) preaching in user names/signatures/avatars/messages.
10) Full members may go to Settings to add a signature, avatar etc. Being a VF member doesn't automatically mean access to all areas, the Private Message feature etc.
11) The vegan movement doesn't need a 'war' between various vegan sites. To be critical to the way others inform about ie. veganism or nutrition is of course welcome, but no name calling please.
12) Don't use our forum to try to change veganism to something else than it is.
13) You need to be 13 years old or above to be a member here.
14) We encourage constructive, concrete ideas re. how we can improve the forum. If your intension seems to be to provoke, stir up trouble, patronize others, or just spread negativity or post attacks on others - don't! This site is for people who like it here, and who trust and basically agree in how the site is run.
15) We reserve the right to delete/moderate new and existing accounts - and disable features - for any reason, without further explanation. We may also delete, shorten or merge posts without any notification. By posting messages on this forum, you accept that your writing now is public domain.
16) Be honest, make sense, and don't play games with the rules.
17) Avoid taking threads too far off topic, and please search for existing threads before you start new ones.
18) Don't post questions to moderators or admins in regular threads. Use PMs or email instead.
19) If you refer to being a nutritionalist, medical doctor or similar in the forum posts, please use your full name.
20) Don't forget the initiation ritual for newcomers. To participate, you need a stick of celery, a small scooter and a large elderly gentleman.
The board rules may be adjusted/changed at any time, but will always be based on the same basic principles that we always have had.
It is impossible for us to review all messages/respond to all emails. All forum messages express the views of the author. Neither the owners or admin/moderators of our site, the developers of vBulletin or server owners will be held responsible for the content of any public or private message.
Where are my posts? How do I get access to all areas?
Have you posted a message, but can't find it? This may be due to one of the following reasons...
In order to get access to all the areas you are interested in, you need to go here and join so called 'user groups':
Your post may have been moved to a different subforum (example: all posts from non-vegans are moved to the Not A Vegan-section).
Before an account is fully approved, you need to confirm that you used a real email address when you registered. ('Spammers' often register using fake email addresses...)
Your account also needs to be manually approved by a moderator, which may take up to 12-48 hours.
Messages from not-yet-approved accounts are moderated, so if you post something before your account is activated, there will be a delay before your message(s) become visible.
Members who are not vegans yet, will get a 'Not A Vegan Yet'-account. This is also a 'moderated' account type.
Almost all other accounts are non-moderated. If you have any questions, click on 'Contact Us' at the bottom of the main page, and send us your question.
The vBulletin CMS allows you and your users to create, edit and publish articles directly to your site. It combines a simple to use content manager with a unique organizational system that lets you control the smallest detail of the site from the number of sections, to the overall layout, to the placement of widgets and displays on each page.
We have a large subforum called 'Turbochatters', which is for chat-like threads and posts that aren't meant to remain on the forum. Posts/threads in this area may be deleted daily.
To see the these subforums, you need to go to Settings>Permission Groups and join the 'Groups' with names similar to the subforums you want access to.
Want to help us keeping the site alive? About donations/subscriptions...
Using the forum is 100% free of charge, but if you want to help us keeping the site alive, we have a donation/subscription system:
You can also donate directly to webmaster at veganforum dot com (remove spaces, replace at with @ and dot with . ) using PayPal.
Their URL is http://www.paypal.com.
Donations are non-refundable.
Definition of vegan
Vegans are against killing/harming/exploiting animals (and humans, of course!). Therefore, vegans do not use/buy/cook/eat meat, eggs, honey or dairy products. Vegans seek to exclude - as far as is possible and practical - all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
The word 'veganism' denotes a philosophy and way of living which promotes use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment.
Medical/health advice: disclaimer
Certain sections of our web site deal with health and nutrition. If you want to start a thread about a personal health issue you have, please do it in the subforum called 'Personal Health Issues' in the Member section.
Even if there are lots of reports about improved health from people who eat vegan, the vegan diet isn't a magical cure that will ensure that you'll never get sick. Don't be shocked if you get eg. a flu, headache or gain/lose weight as a vegan. Please don't use the information on our site as anything else than what it is: general info. Personal, professional diagnosis and treatment from someone you trust is often necessary - and strongly adviced - if you have a severe health problem.
Both vegans and non-vegans should ensure that they get the nutrients the need. People on different diets need to pay attention to nutrients, and while there may be no reason to believe that vegans should be generally more nutrient-deficient than non-vegans, there's no reason whatsoever to falsely believe that once we go vegan, we can blindly trust that whatever we eat, we'll always have a good balance of all the nutrients we need. Vegan or not - if you consume anything known to block absorption of certain nutrients, 'eating varied' may not be enough: people may miss or be low in certain nutrients. A little info about nutrition is useful for everybody - including people who live on a varied, vegan diet.
No trolling please (and a few definitions of 'troll')!
No trolling please!
Here are some definitions of the word 'troll':
'Internet troll, a person who is deliberately inflammatory on the Internet in order to provoke a vehement response from other users.'
'An Internet "troll" is a person who delights in sowing discord on the Internet. He (and it is usually he) tries to start arguments and upset people.'
'As a verb, the practice of trying to lure other Internet users into sending responses to carefully-designed incorrect statements or similar "bait."'
'An "Internet troll" or "Forum Troll" is a person who posts outrageous message to bait people to answer. Forum Troll delights in sowing discord on the forums. A troll is someone who inspires flaming rhetoric, someone who is purposely provoking and pulling people into flaming discussion. Flaming discussions usually end with name calling and a flame war.'
Some people have small invisible trolls living inside them without noticing it... :)
Q: Why can't I register?
A: Registering is sometimes disabled, but will usually be re-enabled again within not too long.
Q: Why didn't I get an activation mail?
A: Are you using AOL? If yes, you may need to try with another email account. Please send us an email using the Contact Us-link of the main forum page if your activation mail is missing.
Q: I can't find my thread!
A: If we move or merge threads, we try to always add redirects, or send PMs to the posters. Please try the search-function. Also: your newly created thread will not show up in the New Posts list - unless someone replies to it. Since you have already seen it when you created it, it is not a New Post to you, and the same goes for others threads that you have responded to: they'll pop up in the New Posts list when someone posts something in them after your last post.
Q: Why doesn't the search function always work?
A: It has a silly limit, and ignores words that have only three characters or less. In those cases, try Google, and as an example, if you search for the word 'art', type: site:veganforum.com art
Q What do I do if I forget my password?
A: Send us an email using the Contact Us-link, or click on the link you'll see if you try to enter a wrong password.
Q: I'm new, and I can't post anything yet!
A: You both need to confirm your email address and wait for membership approval before your posting abilities are fully enabled.
Q: Why can I post only in the Short Newbie Questions-area?
A: This happens if you click on the option that says that you are not a vegan when you register.
Q: I have posted my first messages, but can't see them!
A: You may actually write a post before your membership is approved, but the post won't be visible before they are approved.
Q: Why can't I access all threads or areas (anymore)?
A: Please have a look at your Settings area. You may need to join one or more so called 'Permission Groups' to get access to the threads/subforums you are interested in. Occasionally this may be the case even if you have had access to these areas earlier.
Q: Why was my post first visible, and now gone?
A:Please read our FAQ/Guidelines. This normally happens only if you have posting anything that's in conflict with the board rules.
Q: Can I change my username?
Q: Why am I banned or on moderated posts
A: First, read the board guidelines/FAQ, and check if you have broken our rules. It helps a lot if you understand that you have broken them (if you actually have). Some times people are on moderated/delayed posts from their first day here, for various reasons - eg. if we have reasons to believe that they are trolls, spammers, people using false identities or - robots(!). Sometimes members have been reported for posting spam, rude posts or similar, and then we may put them on moderated/delayed posts to see what's going on for a while. It doesn't have to be dramatic. Other times, we consider banning a member, but put them on moderated post first, to see if they understand that they have broken the board rules or our moderation at least makes them read our simple board rules.
Short signatures without advertisements, please!
When you enter the User CP, you can add an avatar (the picture that appears next to your posts), a picture of yourself (visible in your 'Profile') - and add a signature, which will appear at the bottom of each and every message you post.
Your signature should not contain more than two (2) lines (and contain no ad's): shorter signatures will make our board easier to read. Thanks!
If you get banned (which is very unlikely to happen)...
In very rare cases, we ban members.
We don't want to - or enjoy - banning members. We use that option in cases where members are not willing to follow our simple rules.
It's important for a forum like this to have a clear profile. Part of our profile is that we expect people to treat each other with respect, and to avoid personal attacks and insults. Another important part of our profile is that we don't want this site to become a forum for discussions about any kind of criminal activity - including various kinds of civil disobedience. You won't see threads about when it is right and when it is wrong to throw a firebomb or to burn down a test lab here, and the site is reserved for people who are OK with this policy.
Having this policy means that we occasionally have to remove posts from animal rights activists who don't like our rules, are not aware of them, or refuse to follow them. A few of these people seem to want our forum - and all other message boards, actually - to be run according to their own guidelines, which includes allowing such discussions.
Why don't we even allow discussions about mild forms of criminality or civil disobedience'? We tried that in the early days, but these threads were used by others as a reference for discussing more serious law-breaking: 'Why can't I write about ***** when ***** can write about ******????'
What about evaluating each case individually, and allow some threads about criminal activities, but remove others? This forum isn't run by a lawyer company, we can't look at individual cases and discuss these (or that we occasionally remove some posts) with people who don't accept our rules. Plus, if we did, the reference would be OUR interpretation of right/wrong, or our interpretation of certain laws, which easily would end up in a major power trip.
Allowing posts that encourage/support breaking laws may cause problems for the site as such, for the admin, and also for the members who post these messages. On several occasions, allowing such content has resulted in legal trouble for the admins and/or the server host company.
We don't expect banned members to send us flowers or to log into other boards and tell them how great we are. We have seen several cases of banned people who start to attack us elsewhere, and who make up stories like 'I was banned for no reason at all' etc.. We have to live both with being unpopular with members who are banned - and with their buddies, who have not heard our version of why this person is banned.
The only way you can help a banned friend is to look at the rules, and help him or her understand that like everyone else - and like the 99% of our members that are not banned - he or she has to respect and follow these rules. It won't help to back this person up with attacks, sarcasm or negativity, and unfortunately we can't discuss each case of moderation with everybody who wants us to.
All forums pretty much have the same rules. The bigger a forum is, the more it will have of everything: messages, helpful people and useful information, but also more troublemakers. This forum has 10 times as much of almost everything compared when we only had 10% of the members we have now - we are very happy that we don't have 10 times as many conflicts or 10 times as many cases of banning.
Nobody wants to get banned or moderated, and we can see that moderation/banning may look like a power trip from the outside, a control thing. It isn't. To force or expect someone to administrate this site according to their own rules and visions instead of following the intentions and premises the site is built upon would be more of a 'control thing' than banning people (or send them a warning/'infraction') for breaking rules they claimed that they agreed in when they registered.
Instead of banning people whenever they seem to stir up conflict or break rules, it's normal at most reasonable forums to give warnings (or 'infractions)' - or put members on so called 'Moderated Posts' first. 'Moderated posts' work as a kind of warning, but also ensures that people who are in the middle of a conflict don't go bananas in public and attack other members or continue to break the rules on purpose.
We don't like the word 'moderated', because we actually don't moderate posts or members. We call it 'Delayed Posts' instead of 'Moderated Posts', because we don't change these posts in any ways. We just approve them (or delete them, if the member continues to break the forum rules).
We don't put 'banned' next to the name of a banned member. This person may have revealed her identity here, and may have friends or relatives visiting the site. It wouldn't make sense to tell everybody that he or she has been banned - we believe that most people who in any way are being punished (or similar) for their behavior don't want a lot of attention around their conflict with laws or rules.
This forum has a 'profile', like any other forum, and we'll stick to that. We are fully aware that we can't please everybody. We don't even run this site to please anyone, but if we should choose one group to 'please', it would be the group of people who generally like the site, and not those who create trouble or would like the site to be something very different from what it is. >
We have on several occasions unbanned people who agree that they have been breaking the rules - members who want to be unbanned, and tell us that they won't break them again. If you ever should get banned, and want the ban lifted, here are three useful things to consider:
1) If you can't see that you have broken the rules, you'll probably break them again. It won't make sense to unban members who don't understand the rules or that they have broken them.
2) The rule about treating each other with respect includes admins and moderators too! Insulting and attacking us won't help you having the ban lifted.
3) We understand that it is frustrating to become banned, but ask yourself if it actually makes sense to present explanations about why you are banned that almost nobody will believe in, like 'I just asked a question', 'I disagreed with the admin' or 'I was just giving someone useful advice'...
If you are a newly banned member and want us to lift the ban... please take a deep breath and read the FAQ/guidelines again before you do anything else. We are only humans, and it's easy to say or write stupid things when/if we are being rejected. Wait a day or two, and contact us if you want us to look at the situation again.