Ever had someone ask you something about veganism, and wished you had had a great response on hand? Have some questions yourself about the vegan lifestyle that you would like reliably answered? Want somewhere to direct others when they overwhelm you with questions about the lifestyle? Well, now you can! The Vegan Junction recently got the chance to interview the creators of Your Vegan Fallacy Is in order to find out a bit more about it.
Who are the people behind Your Vegan Fallacy Is (YVFI)?
There are actually quite a few people involved, and there are always new people coming on board. Ceallaigh is the chief editor, caring for much of the research and writing for the site, while Sean is the primary technologist and social media coordinator. We also have writers who sometimes draft fallacies, translators who provide the material in other languages, and graphic artists who replace the text on the memes we use once they’re translated.
What is the project about? And how and when did the idea for YVFI begin?
Not surprisingly, the idea first germinated while we were engaged in online advocacy. In the course of discussing and dispelling people’s vegan fallacies, it was often useful to refer them to the Your Logical Fallacy Is site (at yourlogicalfallacyis.com). At the same time, Sean was producing a series of “SPOMM Vegan Chats” articles on Google+ based on the advocacy conversations he was having there. In time, we realized that we needed a “Your Logical Fallacy Is” sort of site for vegan issues, and over the course of the next year or so, we made that happen.
If people would like to contribute to the project, how can they go about doing so?
We love bringing new people on board, and we have a range of ways they can help, but we need writers and translators most. That said, we do have special requirements for translators. First, we ask that they be native speakers of the language they’re translating into, and we also ask that they have either completed a college degree or have engaged in translation work professionally. This helps to ensure that the verbiage on the YVFI site remains correct and clear across languages. Finally, we also ask that all our volunteers presently self-identify as vegan (or as animal-rights abolitionists); we like to be able to brag that everything on YVFI is vegan-made!
For anyone interested in joining the team, the first step is to create an account on the YVFI site by following the directions and links at yvfi.ca/join-us. From there, we’ll exchange emails and set up a video chat in order to discuss the project. We have an easy to use shared workspace online where people from all over the world are presently working on the site verbiage. The writers work on individual fallacies, and once each of those is approved by Ceallaigh, it’s made available to the translators. From there, it goes live on the site itself. So the workflow is fairly smooth, and the work is expandable to include many volunteers.
How else can people support the Your Vegan Fallacy Is project?
We’re always keen to collaborate with others in support of animal rights advocacy. In fact, we’re presently chatting with a professional animator who is interested in creating videos for each of the fallacies. There are also the overall site graphics; we’re very happy with what we have, but if other vegan artists are interested in volunteering their time to overhaul the graphics and showcase their talent, then that’s also the sort of activity we’d love to engage. Of course, we have a PayPal button on the site as well, and donations help us cover our technical expenses (domain registration, web space, etc.).
Where do you see YVFI going in the future?
One of the ideas we’ve had from the start of the project is to create an interactive “pre-vegan bingo” game. The idea behind this is that people could create a randomized “bingo” board each month and would win by using the fallacy entries listed on their cards in the course of their online advocacy, possibly also winning YVFI-branded prizes by doing so. There are some interesting technical hurdles to overcome there, and we’ll need to wait until we have at least 24 fallacies up before we can fill a bingo card, but it will be fun if we pull it off!
Are there any other topics in particular you would like to cover, or address in more detail?
One of the more subtle features of the site is that every fallacy has a short URL built in, so instead of typing something like “yourveganfallacyis.com/en/vegans-cannot-get-enough-protein/resources”, the URL “yvfi.ca/protein/r” works just the same (or “yvfi.ca/eiweiss/r” in German, or “yvfi.ca/proteina/f” in Spanish, etc.). Our hope is that the shorter versions will make it easier to tuck links into online conversations or even to tell someone what link to type in verbally.
The site seems to be available in an increasing number of languages. Are there more to come? And are there any other ways you would like to continue to expand YVFI?
Indeed – we presently have German and Spanish up and running, and we’re just about done with Portuguese. We also have French and Swedish slowly in the works, so watch for those soon!
Part of the challenge with translating the site is that in addition to translating all the existing content, there’s a brand new fallacy to deal with every other week. This means we try hard to get long-term commitments from folks who are doing translation work. At the same time, it is an all volunteer effort, so we’re glad to accept whatever help we’re given.
As we load more fallacies onto the site, we’ll be looking at improving the navigation as well. This will include an easier mechanism for locating specific fallacies from the front page as well as features like links to related fallacies.
What would you most like the site to provide and for people to take away with them after visiting the site?
The YVFI project has been created with the needs of vegans and pre-vegans in mind. For new or established animal rights advocates, the site provides easy answers to common fallacies they might use and pass along as appropriate. For these people, we want the site to be a place they come to again and again to review responses and be prepared for the conversations they’re having. For the sake of the vegan-curious, the site content has been designed with their emotional comfort in mind, and special care has been taken not to be condescending or derisive. For these people, we want the site to be a place where their preconceptions are kindly (but firmly) challenged and where they can find additional topical material to consider.
In all cases, we hope that people come away from the site feeling empowered and motivated to help other animals in whatever way they can.
Are there any favourite articles or topics covered on the site that you would like to share and think are especially important? And Is there anything else you would like to share about the project?
Oh gosh, it’s hard to pick a favorite fallacy! For Sean, if he had to choose, it would probably be the “Animals Eat Animals, So I Will Too” fallacy (ref: yvfi.ca/carnivores/r) because it’s one that’s so often repeated, and because it seems so enticingly logical on first blush even though it falls apart even after the lightest scrutiny. For Ceallaigh the choice would be equally difficult, but she’s partial to the “Using Wool Is Not Unethical” fallacy (ref: yvfi.ca/wool/r), since so many people believe the shearing of sheep is a painless and even necessary activity, when of course, the truth is just the opposite for these gentle and sensitive animals.
Where else can people find or contact YVFI on social media, etc?
We’re available on all the major social media venues. In no particular order, you can connect with us at:
- Twitter: twitter.com/VeganFallacy
- Facebook: facebook.com/YourVeganFallacyIs
- Reddit: reddit.com/user/YourVeganFallacyIs
Are we missing out on an audience that we should be connecting with? If so, then please do let us know!
Of note, Sean and Ceallaigh are also the moderators of the Vegan community on Google+, and we’re always happy to chat about animal rights issues in that venue as well.
The site is ever growing and becoming more diverse in the topics it covers from animals, to health, to the environment, and more, making it quite a resource. So, thank you for organising and providing such valuable information in one place! And thank you to all those who contribute to the site as well!
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to chat with you about it!
Meet other vegans and learn about their experiences with the vegan lifestyle.
Also, check out the vegan and plant-based resources here on TheVeganJunction!