VegChatPosted: October 17, 2011
I recently began to explore my websites more, and one really cool feature of the HappyCow website is a chat board. I had tried to use this a few times before I really had much success, because there isn’t always a ton of people on and I wanted to interact with more than one user.
I finally found a time when a bunch of people were on, and I was immediately welcomed by a few of them. It seemed to be a super friendly place at first glance. When you enter, you can see what was being said previously in the conversation, which is nice if you want to just pick up where they are. I was surprised to find that it was definitely not just talk about vegetarian topics. They discussed everything from work, to family life, if they were chatting on the phone with someone else, recipes, etc. I sort of interrupted this by explaining what I was doing on the website and told them a little bit about the project I’m working on, which they all found really neat and were very open and receptive to talking about it. I asked them questions about how long they’d been vegetarian or vegan, why they chose to do so, what their usual routines and meals consist of, if they find it difficult, how they work that around their families, etc. I was pleasantly surprised by how open they were and very friendly, definitely really enjoyed telling me about their vegetarian/vegan lives. They were really helpful in that I was new to the board and didn’t know how to use everything. I was taught about a cool feature that on anyones name on the sidebar you can click on and see their basic information such as vegstatus, where they live, etc, which was convenient for me. I would say that the vast majority of them were vegetarians due to ethical issues with harming animals and more so that side of the topic than being healthy, etc. I got a ton of good recipes and links to other websites from many of them. We eventually got talking about how I work at a dairy plant as well…onto the topic of pork stabilizers in ice cream. They were really fascinated with that and I actually felt like I had some knowledge to contribute to them too. Overall I was really happy with the time and outcome that I got by spending time on their chatboard, and I definitely plan to go back there again. Within the chat room there is also sub-sections such as Kidz, Politics, Singles, Spiritual, and VegMature, and I think it would be interesting to see what those sort of boards include in the future too.