What is the guide ?
The Skeptical Guide to Veganism is a skeptical initiative that strives to answer the very complex question of exploiting – or not – animals.
Skepticism (or scepticism) is a philosophy that aims to keep a questioning attitude toward any knowledge or belief, in order to always strive for the truth. It has been embraced by many scientists and personalities of our human history, and is one of the fundamental pillars of the scientific method.
As it is, someone who considers itself a skeptic tries not to have a preference for a particular answer to a question : a skeptic will try to see things as they are, and to question those who claim to know the truth about a certain subject.
Of course, being a skeptic isn’t a “black or white” attitude : one cannot question every single piece of knowledge he comes in contact with. We can however do our best, and especially to try to be as skeptical as possible concerning issues of life and death.
That is why the Skeptical Guide to Veganism came to be. As the question of exploiting – or not exploiting animals is indeed a matter of life and death for many, we thought that a skeptical approach to the question would be extremely important to help the public debate be rational and fact-based, in this period where the vegan movement is rising more than ever.
It works as a series of articles, all related to different aspects of this question, and adapted to any type of reader
Going into the redaction of the guide, we know that there is a tremendous amount of information that will have to be taken into account in order to make it. Yet, we also know that some readers will not have the time nor the patience to read it all, while others will want to dig into every little details to see if it holds up to a good skeptical approach.
That is why we thought about using a template already used on other websites, which cuts the big question into smaller, more digestible pieces for the reader. Plus, our articles propose a scientific format which contains all of its highlights at the beginning of the text, and a short summary containing the essential information of the article.
This scientific format has a double importance : because we know that our emotions often twist the way that we perceive things, we believe that it is important not to try to provoke the reader, as other sites do, in order to attract his or her gaze. Thus, you will not find any insulting, cynical or condescending words in the guide : you will not find any sensational and exaggerated titles either.
Finally, the guide will be organized into three chapters : one concerning ethics, one concerning the environment, and one concerning health. These three chapters represent the three big types of arguments used by both the fervent advocates of veganism, or its opponents. Because of this, we thought that this plan would mirror the current debates happening on the subject. However, we’ll also try to provide a way to unite those three aspects of the question so that readers can have, as much at is possible, an idea of what could constitute an answer.
The guide is not just made by vegans for vegans :
it is made by people with varying points of view, for everybody.
It would be very easy to cherry-pick information in order to construct the answer we would like you to accept. We know it, because many others already do it on the internet or in other media. Such a behavior might come from good intentions; but even if that is the case, we believe that it will have a very detrimental effect to everybody, including the animals.
That is why we chose to make the team behind the guide as diverse as possible in terms of points of view on the question. The only ideology to which everybody abides in the team is that the guide should be as honest, complex, subtle and complete as can be. This is not a war on animals, on vegans, or on meat-eaters: we are all in this together, wherever we like it or not. And so shall the guide be an exercise to unite, and not to divide .
We thus hope that the guide will not be destined only to vegans or anti-vegans looking for a scientific source to link in an internet debate in order to “win” it. In fact, we truly hope that you will not use it this way. The guide is not supposed to be an armoury of various weapons for any rhetorical battle. It is rather supposed to be a bridge to people that think differently than you – whether your point of view is closer to what the guide provides in term of facts and information, or not. Remember to be excellent to each other !