Vegan Social Software Sites…

I am very surprised by the number of Vegan social software sites there are on the Internet. There is even a Vegan DATING network!!! Here are some of the best platforms around:

Vegan Force

This site offers it’s members’ profiles, forums, blogs, chat, bookmarks, bulletin boards, search tools, and it even has VeganTube! This site would be an ideal platform for my documentary.  

http://veganforce.com/

Vegan Green Network

This site helps connect vegan-green activists. However, the interface is outdated and not very appealing.

http://www.greenpeople.org/listing/Vegan_Green_Network_17999.cfm

The Vegan Society on Facebook and Myspace

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Birmingham/The-Vegan-Society/9999613645

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=113544459

Vegan World

This site offers much of the same applications as Vegan Force, but it just isn’t as sleek.

http://www.veganworld.com/unlog.php

House of Vegans

This site looks flashy, but lacks applications, like video, that other sites offer.

http://www.houseofvegans.com/

Vegan Passions

Online Vegan dating  (How specific! Unfortunately it doesn’t have much to do with the aim of my documentary)

http://www.veganpassions.com/

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Community ideas…

Inspired by Delanty’s notion of community as radical, symbolic and existing within modernity, I am considering researching the Vegan community for my documentary. In particular, I would like to focus on a collection of Vegan Shops and their owners, in the Brunswick/ Fitzroy area.

Veganism is a lifestyle, religious, or moral choice, which excludes the use or consumption of animal products. It is radical in it’s ethical stance on animal rights, the environment, and human health. Ultimately, striving for transformation within society. Veganism is symbolic in that it has very clear boundaries; to be a part of this community you can not eat, wear or use any form of animal products. Finally, vegan awareness and popularity is continuing to grow within Australia,  and can therefore be seen to exist within modernity.  

A friend of mine just opened a vegan grocery store on Sydney Rd in Brunswick called, “Radical Grocery”. There are other vegan stores in the area also; a few restraunts, healthfood stores, and other grocerers too. However, even though they claim to be vegan, in fact “Radical Grocery” is the only store that stocks and uses 100% vegan, animal free, products. Here in lies the problem with this community; how can you be apart of a community when you are existing outside it’s (very clear) boundaries?

Some problems I have been having with this community…

– Is this actually a community? Or have I just called it a community for the purposes of this project?

– How important is the idea of participation and location? (do these vegan shop owners come together for any reason?)

 Furthermore, it would be interesting to look the link between identity and community from a vegan perspective.

Thinking about week 1…

I think a good way to start the reflective blog is to explain my  idea of community (pre-reasearch or theoretical influence).

To me community is; local, social, someting shared, supportive, a group, something you can be apart of or belong to, a part of your identiy (it says something about you), something that involves participation and acknowledgement, …

In the lecture Jenny Weight suggested that we often take communities for granted. This got me thinking about the communities I am, or might be, apart of. The first thing that came to mind was that I don’t necessarily think I ‘belong’ or are ‘a part’ of any communities. On closer observation, I can see that I am linked to many communities that are very important to me, like; my family, friends, RMIT. I am also a part of communities that aren’t very important to me, such as; Mentone, Village Cinemas. Also, there are ‘communities’ that I’m not sure are actually ‘communities’, which I am a part of; facebook, myspace, public transpot, Meredith Music Festival and Golden Plains. There are probably many more also, which, I guess, validates Jenny’s claim that on some level we do take our communities for granted. 

Weight suggested that the idea of ‘community’ and ‘identity’ are intrinsically linked. She noted, “a lot of media trades upon the notion of community… I would go so far as to argue that without a strong sense of what community was, a local radio station would have a great deal of difficulty understanding their own identity”. This could mean that the media obtains it’s identity from the community it represents. Or, that they are reflections of one another. Or, the media is a representation of community. Using the Victorian Bushfires as an example, Weight argued that part of the role of the media is to represent communities back to themselves. In my opinion,  this idea works on a ‘local’ or ‘small town’ level, where the identity of the community is more easily represntable, and understood. Whereas, I feel in an urban or non-small town community, it is harder for the media to represent the community back to themselves as there is greater diversity and the media itself is less local and works more on a mass model. For example, as a Melbournian I don’t feel like any of the TV networks represent me or my community back to ourselves. However, I could make a connection between 3RRR FM and my identity. Would 3RRR FM then be considered a community (yes, I think so) and the television networks more like a society (possibly)?

Defining community, with consideration to the lecture, Delanty, and communities I am a part of:

– Community is traditional (and tradition comes from modernity, therefore community exists within a modern context); e.g family

– Community is nostalgic; e.g friends 

– Community is opposed to society; e.g Mentone

– Community is anti-structure; e.g facebook

– Community can be transient and momentary; e.g Meredith Music Festival and Golden Plains

– Community is where the individual is nurtured; e.g 3RRR FM

– Community subsumes the individual; e.g Village Cinema 

– Community is symbolic; e.g RMIT