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The Boulder (and Beyond!) Vegan Meetup Group Message Board The Boulder Vegan Meetup General Group Discussion Forum › Leaving the group over emails..? What do you think?

Leaving the group over emails..? What do you think?

A former member
Post #: 31
(EDIT) DISCLAIMER!! NOBODY ACCUSED ME OF BEING THE REASON FOR MEMBERS LEAVING THE GROUP. I blame myself. I accused myself below because I received emails regarding people complaining and leaving the group, because of emails, which was at the same time my email thread was currently being discussed. (EDIT)

I did it again! It seems... Accused of 11 people leaving the group because of my "girl scout cookie" email thread.
Do you think I went to far when I responded to the negative feedback about my email thread?

(These comments do not reflect the organizer's opinions. ONLY JVOND!)
I think it's good for the group because it weeds out the phony vegans. If you can't handle reading information referring to animal cruelty then get the hell out of here! I stand by my comments and if people leave because of my aggressive replies then screw them. If your not part of the solution then your part of the problem. If anybody is on-board with our environment and the animals then they should be proud of my stance regardless of my attitude.

I'm not afraid of internet threads. A lot of web newbies will be commenting and then deleting them after they they realize how stupid they look. You won't see me deleting my comments or trying to back off and if I see a stupid reply to one of my posts then it only feeds the fire. I let the first comment slide but after getting 2 more I had to stick up for myself and tell these people what I was thinking. Those 11 people were probably the people who got frustrated because I didn't agree with them and changed my attitude.

Honestly I think you should charge more for the meetups and keep the phonies and cheapsters from taking advantage of the group.
If you did not see the email thread I'd be happy to send it to you or post it here.
(I still want to do the fundraiser if any of the phonies want to get involved.) Have a great day! ~J
Laura K
user 10862267
Boulder, CO
Post #: 37
Jon, I respect your right to your opinions and I think it's great that you're so comfortable with conflict. It's up to you whether you feel you do more harm vs. good by being confrontational. Clearly you think being confrontational with folks, including your fellow vegans, is a positive thing. It probably is, for some. Some people appreciate being shaken up and challenged.

However, we live in a diverse world. Just because people don't want to be part of a group that carries on flame wars via email does not mean they are phony vegans. Some people just don't like the negative energy. Some folks prefer to be around a group that makes them feel positive and supported rather than uncomfortable and attacked. They have that right too. No one should feel they have to prove that they're hardcore enough by anyone else's standards to be part of this group.

I think that moving the intense / passionate / uncomfortable-to-some discussions to this message board is the right decision. We need to have a place here for everyone. I don't want to be part of a group that insists newbies endure "trial by fire" in order to be part of the group. If they think like you do, they'll find you here on the message board.

My two cents.

Boulder, CO
Post #: 9
maybe im on drugs or something, but i didnt see anything wrong with the original post you wrote, JVon. All you're saying is that you should ask the kids if their cookies are vegan... and maybe they'd start thinking about what vegan is. Plus, if you never show that there is an interest in vegan cookies, then they will never make any vegan cookies.. I mean, today some guy from Longmont Dairy came to my work trying to sell milk.. He was talking to my boss about it, but I asked him if he gets a lot of veal out of the cows and what happens to the males, etc.. I wasn't rude, I was just asking. I guess I could have said nothing, but saying nothing is what gets us nowhere. If something is wrong, it's good to try to get people to think about it or at least show that its something you dont believe in. But anywho........ for someone to act as if you were going to be a "smart ass" to the girls is crazy. Asking if something is vegan is not being a smart ass.. getting people to think about things ON THEIR OWN is not bad or mean or rude. The way you replied on the list might not have been the most .. polite... but i dont think there was anything wrong with your original post and am surprised it received so many negative comments.
A former member
Post #: 478
Thank you, Kellie! For the record, I agree with Kellie 100%! And thank you for asking questions of the fellow at your work as well, Kellie! The animals are waiting in agony for our help, and you helped them when you did that.

Some quotes about doing the right thing for those who are at our mercy:

~ Animals have their own voices, but few listen.  
   Those of us who hear them, must help them to be heard. ~

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." –Elie Wiesel­
Get involved!  The World is run by people who show up.  ~Unknown
Laura K
user 10862267
Boulder, CO
Post #: 39
I don't know any of you folks personally, but here's how the conflict escalated from the point of view of someone just reading the emails (hitting the highlights):

JVonD said to ask Girl Scouts if their cookies are vegan and, if not, to tell the girls you're passing because the cookies are not "animal friendly". He was supported by several posters.

Jim said he found the "tone" "a bit harsh" and advised to "think twice before making some smart-ass comment".

Jerry said comments like Jon's "make him cringe" and asked "Why can't we just try to live our own lives without passing judgements and educate with compassion and empathy?"

JVonD responded, "Whats your fricken problems? Are you even vegans? .... You want to know what harsh is..? It's telling them to F-Off like I was thinking of telling you!...Leave the group if your going to be a hypocrite.
You complaining about my comment are probably the cheapsters that go to the meetups just to get free food.
Sorry Lisa. These dudes are really pissing me off!"

Ann said, "Oh dear, mild mannered until accused of something. First melt down I have seen from JVon since I have known him, by the way! Chilling, my friends!!"

Jim agreed, asked JVonD to "chill", said what JVonD was doing was wrong and offensive and compared it to telling non-Christians that they'll rot in hell.

Phil said, "JVonD, the problem was that you imposed a perspective on the girls, and then made them "bad" about it. ... If you being "right" makes them wrong, you're blowing it."

JVonD then invited "Jim and his buddies" to a mixed martial arts match-up where they'd try to beat each other "into a pulp". He said Jim et al represent people who don't give a crap about animals, and that "If I get to kick you in the nuts" it would release his pent-up frustration about mainstream society.

Several other people tried to calm things down along the way by offering alternate approaches and/or not choosing sides.

I can't find any instance of anyone calling JVonD a child abuser or comparing him to one, though several said that they thought it was not right to confront kids about selling Girl Scout cookies.

As I see it, there was a lot of criticism of JVonD's approach and actions (as well as a lot of support from others), but his reaction was off the charts inappropriate. I understand that JVonD is exceptionally passionate about veganism, but how is it ever okay to take a discussion about vegan activism and tell your fellow meetup members to f-off and that you want to beat them up? (That's a paraphrase). Threats of violence and intimidation toward your fellow group members are not cool, even if you're just blowing off steam. I'd think twice about coming to meet-ups if someone, even sarcastically, offered to kick my ass because they didn't like what I said. I don't blame newbies for not wanting to deal with that.

Also, Lisa has created a group where all vegans and those who are interested in veganism are welcome. If you don't like having people in the group who have different opinions than you do, maybe you should start your own group instead of asking Lisa to kick everyone else out.


A former member
Post #: 479
Hi Laura, thank you for responding and for your perspective.  Thank you for sticking with the group and trying to help with this situation as well.

The child abuser comment was made in an exit email, not the list email list.
Boulder, CO
Post #: 3
to everyone,

thank you for speaking your minds, & exchanging in the free flow of information & opinion. we all have different triggers, experiences, circumstances, reactions, reasons, & thought processes, but we are all 'here' voluntarily because we want to be part of the burgeoning vegan community, & believe, as our friends at might say, that it's for the animals, for the people, & for the planet.

fwiw, though i have absolutely not agreed with everything i've read or heard, i have never felt offended, outraged, targeted, discouraged, disappointed, threatened, angered, judged, or any other negative emotion, by anything i've read in any email, in any discussion, by any writer, on any subject, with any point of view, or in any conversation with anyone in this group.

tolerance, forgiveness, patience, consideration, & understanding will go a long way, especially when bolstered by a cavernous open mind, & balanced with a devilish sense of humor!
A former member
Post #: 32
Thanks for chiming in guys. I've since relaxed a little bit. Yes, I easily flip out when it comes to the subject. I often speak in a general context and I tend to think with common sense. I hope I didn't mislead anybody. I wish I wasn't always on the edge of flipping out. Fellow so-called vegans who question my intentions really start a fire under my ass and will upset me way more than the main stream society that bothers me on a daily basis.

DISCLAIMER!! NOBODY ACCUSED ME OF BEING THE REASON FOR MEMBERS LEAVING THE GROUP. I blame myself. I accused myself because I received emails regarding people complaining and leaving the group, because of emails, at the same time my email thread was currently being discussed.

I'll shut up now. sad
Love you guys! ~J
A former member
Post #: 31
thanks for everyone taking the time to write your thoughts and feelings and perspectives.

honestly, i have been very hesitant to chime in bc i would never want to be the reason that someone leaves a vegan organization like this meetup. and that could easily happen with me at the organizer. people will assume that what i feel about something will be carried to all vegans- which is ridiculous, but it happens often. anyone who knows me at all would know that i has a LOT of feelings and thoughts about what happened. i feel i must say for the record that when i read the initial email that jvon sent, that was the trigger for this ongoing discussion, i thought "what a wonderful way to plant seeds for the group to think about and perhaps act upon". i could have easily wrote that email and even added it to lisa's">lisa's top ten easy breezy ways to plant seeds of veganism. i saw absolutely nothing wrong in jvon's initial email. the responses it solicited were shocking to me. but as a vegan and animal advocate for almost three decades, i suppose i really should not have been shocked at all. as i said in my email to the group- discussion of veganism and carnism in a very pro carnistic culture and society, triggers all sorts of buttons and emotions for all of us. that is what this thread taught me and i see over and over again play out in society. this "vegan meetup" is really no different. actually, things get played out even more so in this little community of almost 600 ar vegans, plant eaters, pre vegans, flexitairans, full blown carnists, ect bc the purpose(or a major one of many) of this group is to push the Vegan ball forward.

i really appreciated hearing from so many of you, even the not kind emails directed at me, i use all of it as learning how to navigate as a vegan in a non vegan world. i especially appreciate the courage of some of you on this thread, to express yourself fearlessly and courageously is the foundation of veganism. so i see this as good practice for all of us.
vegan love,
A former member
Post #: 33
Now that I calmed down I realize that I was way out of line. I flipped out! I have some major issues and I want to apologize to everyone for my ridiculousness rampage.
I see that this is an ongoing problem that I have so I will avoid future discussions. I obviously can't control myself when it comes to my vegan views and talking about it.

Sorry Lisa, Ann, and all who I upset. I feel like crud. It won't happen again. ~J

"To hide in the shadows of suffering only darkens one's soul." —JVonD
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