About Skeptical Vegan

Skeptical Vegan was raised in the American South on a steady diet of colloidal silver, cryptozoology, and conspiracy theories. His contrarian curiosity and early passion for science eventually led him to skepticism and rationalism. He now makes his home in Oakland, California as he works on furthering his education and pursuing his interest in biotechnology and genetic engineering. A vegan for a decade, Skeptical Vegan enjoys exploring the intersections between science, animal rights, and social justice.

30 Responses to “About Skeptical Vegan”

  1. Jeremy Says:

    Hey, how have I never found your blog before? As a fellow vegan skeptic, It seems we travel in the same blogs and podcasts. Anyway, I found you from a comment on a forum where you called eric weisman an unethical quack. I couldnt agree more.

    are you interested in writing a story about him? through a series of unfortunate events, I worked for him for about a month. I spent that time compiling information to help put a stop to his dangerous onsense.

    Im trying toget as much info spread around on him as possible.

    You interested?

  2. Jeremy Says:

    Feel free to email me directly and ill give you my phone number.

  3. Clo Clark Says:

    This video is making the rounds:
    How GMO foods alter organ function and pose a very real health threat to humans:

    http://tv.naturalnews.com/v.asp?v=44B01FC78CDD4BA22DDADAB2E6965711

    I can find nothing on this one way or the other– just repeats of this on many blogs and websites. Have you any information?

  4. Carrie Poppy Says:

    Hi! Who exactly are you? I love your site, and love that there are other skeptical vegans. We are a rare breed.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      My names is James, don’t think we’ve meet but I saw you at TAM I’m pretty sure. Ive also listened to your podcast (& I recommend my readers do as well, in fact Im gonna add you to my podcast/blog roll now). I follow you on twitter now under my blog name. If you will be going to TAM this year I would love to meet. We had a vegetarian & vegan meet-up last year at TAM9 and I wanna do it again.

  5. Shane Greenup Says:

    Hey,
    Just following up on my tweet here, since there is so little room to expand in twitter!

    Could I interest you in adding your posts to rbutr? We’re a brand new startup still in beta phase, and we are building an army of skpetical bloggers such as yourself to get the ball rolling on connecting debunking articles (yours) to the disinforming articles they are debunking so that when people read the disinformation sites, they can be alerted to the fact that there is a counter-argument against them.

    Tim Farley has written about us pretty well on his blog at Skep Tools, and will be talking about our efforts at the next TAM.

    Anyway, we are about to start promoting our application and community to a wider audience, and the more people we have adding rebuttal links, the better our chances of success (and with that, comes an internet where disinformation is immediately connected to corrections of that information!)

    Anyway, that’s all I will say for now. I would love to hear back from you to talk more about our objectives and how it will hopefully help get your debunkings in front of the people who need it most, rather than just in front of your subscribers….

    Shane

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      This sounds like great project, I would love to participate! I will also be at TAM 2012 maybe we can meet as well.

      • Shane Greenup Says:

        Sadly I am not in the USA, so TAM seems unlikely at this stage (although, maybe it is worth considering a business trip…? LOL). But I have spoken to Tim a bit on Skype, and know that he will be doing some workshops on online skeptic activism, including rbutr within the tools he will discuss.

        Have a look at it (chrome only for the moment) and if you like what you see, then every blog post about us helps too! 🙂

      • Shane Greenup Says:

        Thanks for adding them all! Really appreciate it. You got your homepage on this one: http://rbutr.com/rbutr/WebsiteServlet?requestType=showLink&linkId=2377 What article was it meant to point at? We will fix it up for you (there is no way for you to fix it yet…something we will need to fix I guess…)

  6. vegansrus Says:

    Your blog can be time consuming, I know. And I appreciate your efforts. Do you accept donations? I don’t have alot of money, but I would like to help.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      Thank you very much for your kind offer! I currently don’t accept monetary donations given the potential tax issues right now. This may change in the future however.

  7. Marilee Welch Says:

    Wow! I can’t believe I only found out about this site yesterday (a friend, who also found out about your site yesterday, told me about it).

    I’ve been vegetarian for most of my life, and I was vegan for almost a decade… but, as I turned away from the woo-community, I found that I lost more and more vegan friends. Eventually, none of my close friends or even anyone I just came into contact with regularly was vegan… and that’s when it became harder and harder to stay vegan. Although, I often regret that I stopped being vegan – and no amount of inconvenience (except in a life-or-death situation) or peer-pressure would ever stop me from being a vegetarian.

    One of the things I find really frustrating is that the misinformation about vegetarian/veganism that many vegetarians and vegans promote is that it undermines vegetarianism and veganism on a whole… when, in fact, vegetarian/veganism actually holds up on its own perfectly well!

    When I stopped being a woo-proponent, in addition to realizing that my arguments for homeopathy, TCM, banning GMOs, etc. were total lies, I also realized that many of my arguments for vegetarianism and veganism were lies too… but, even though I stopped going to my homeopath and TCM-“doctor,” I didn’t stop being vegetarian; although I did carefully, and skeptically, review and analyze my vegetarianism (coming to the conclusion that it still made perfect sense to be vegetarian, even after throwing out all of the total bogus reasons that I had once fallen for).

    Now when I hear vegetarians and vegans quoting “facts” that appear to have been completely made up and totally false, it makes me so angry because I think “nooooo. Do you have any idea how much harder you’re making it for me?! Do you have any idea of the reputation you’re giving us in the eyes of critical thinkers, skeptics, academics and scientists?” I don’t want to always have to explain to my fellow skeptics that, actually, no, I don’t believe in some totally incorrect bit of trivia they heard from another vegetarian/vegan… and that, actually, just because that bit of trivia is wrong doesn’t automatically mean that every reason to be vegetarian/vegan will also be wrong too. Yet, I find that I do have to explain these things to fellow skeptics, constantly; and I blame the woo-inclined vegetarians and vegans for this.

    So, your blog is a breath of fresh air. If only there were more vegans like you!! And if only the skeptical vegetarians/vegans were the ones with the loudest voices… maybe one day…

  8. Norm Says:

    Hi James,

    I forgot you were in Oakland. I’m in that neck of the woods so seldom, I should have seen if you wanted to meet at Triple Rock for a cold one. I’ve been researching at the Bancroft for the last three days…heading back tomorrow. Maybe next time?

    Now for the critique (feel free to disregard/remove this comment since it’s about the new bio): it may be because I’m not used to BA traffic and my nerves are not yet settled (Rx: Sierra Nevada Torpedo), but the first sentence struck me as cute but abstruse, e.g., “colloidal silver.” And, I think the last sentence, which is your mission statement, “Skeptical Vegan enjoys exploring the intersections between science, animal rights, and social justice.” needs expansion because you often write about science and little about animal rights or social justice (then again I may simply be ignoring the latter two topics when you focus on them) e.g., your latest (worthwhile) tangent into fluoridation.

    All the above notwithstanding, your bio is quirky and engaging.

    Feel free to email me for more discussion.

    Cheers,
    Norm

  9. Norm Says:

    “If only there were more vegans like you!!” As an omnivore (without a dilemma) let me second that.

  10. David Carmack Lewis Says:

    Hey you’ve got terrific stuff on fluoride. Thank you!
    I’ve been digging around a bit about fluoride myself and am a little disturbed about the journal “fluoride”. Don’t know if you are aware of this but it was the most frequently cited journal in the 2006 NRC review of EPAs standards on fluoridation, though it is not listed in the search engine Medline/PubMed. The reason becomes clear looking at it’s editorial board. It was founded in 1968 by George Waldbott, an active anti-fluoridationist. His first co-editor A W Burgstahler, is still at the journal as well as being on the advisory board for Paul Connett’s Fluoride Action Network (FAN). The kooky Dr. Yiamouyiannis was an editor for a while. John Colquhoun, the famous New Zealand antifluoridationist was managing editor until his death in 1999. A protegé of his, Dr. Bruce Spittle is the current managing editor and is also on FAN’s advisory board. Another current editor, Chirstopher Neurath is actually on FAN staff, as their “chief science researcher”. And the hits keep coming. Hardy Limeback, one of the co-authors of the 2006 NRC review was anti-fluoridation before being invited to participate on the panel. He is also an editor on the journal and he is also on the advisory board at FAN. I understand that the journal does participate in peer review or they’d never get it cited. But that doesn’t prevent the editorial staff from cherry picking the papers that best further their political aims. The legitimizing of anti-fluoridation science has been cooking away at this journal for 45 years and FAN is serving it up for breakfast lunch and dinner.
    I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      I knew that the journal Fluoride was an production of anti-fluoridation advocates (much like homeopaths who set up their own journals). However I didn’t know as many of the detail of the people involved, so thank you.

  11. herbivorousgeek Says:

    Hi there. Visiting my fellow vegan bloggers.
    ❤ from HerbivorousGeek 🙂

  12. Laurie Says:

    I want to eat your blog. I’m a vegan but I’m soooo tired of being associated with woo and psychics and alternative medicine. I’m a huge Michael Shermer fan, I’m an Atheist, and I go to the damned doctor. I hate being lumped in with the freaks! Thanks so much for this fabulous blog, so happy to have found it!

  13. Shannon Alberta Says:

    hi, vegan skeptic! i’m about to launch a new site/project (the informal slogan is “vegan, without the bullshit”). do you ever do guest features? if so, i’d love to discuss the possibility of you doing a piece, as i’d really, really love to feature you/your brain on the site. if this is something you’d be into discussing more, please email/facebook me!

  14. Ari Says:

    So happy I found this website. I’ve been so tired of the bullshit cherry-picking of data and outright misinformation that go along with the cause I believe in, and it’s so refreshing to find this blog and all of the commenters who I see have felt similarly frustrated. Keep up the great work!

  15. therrymonk13 Says:

    Thank you so much for collecting all of this information. Like a lot of others who posted above, I’ve felt sometimes alienated by the vegan community because I don’t agree with some of the methods used to convince others (data cherry-picking, sensationalism, etc). I never really looked around to see if others were as frustrated as me, though, so finding this blog and all the commenters is very comforting! Keep up the great work!

  16. John Doe Says:

    This has got to be the most fraudulent propaganda website I ever saw. How gullible can your readers get? Making people believe that repeat offense criminal corporations found guilty of mass murder over and over again is more credible than independent information is about as criminal as what those corporations are doing in the first place.

  17. John Doe Says:

    Not to mention you yourself admit you work for biotech, openly admitting you’re in direct conflict of interest with what you say and you expect to have any credibility? Supporting and working for corporations causing the worst crimes against humanity and mass murders is criminal and there’s no way you’re going to get away with it, people are waking up en mass about these companies’ crimes.

    • skepticalvegan Says:

      I don’t “work” for biotech, I’m going to school to pursue a degree in biotech. But thanks for reading.

      • B Hulbert Says:

        Hi, are you still active in the this sphere? I noticed you are a strong proponent of the peer review process. Are you satisfied that peer review is successfull in its purpose or do you have doubts about it’s balance in application and motive or any concerns as to it’s impartiality in light of the reliance on funding? You also seem to call independent scientist that have a conflicting opinion to other scientists quacks which is not very scientific and smacks of a personnel grievance rather than scientific opinion which is the basis of your criticism and so a bit hypocritical. You also list research from large biotech s that clearly have been caught distorting results and cherry picking studies to meet their own agenda, do you think their peer reviewed studies are water toght and beyond critical/skeptical thinking? I believe there is a huge amount of misinformation on both sides and hope you can clarify your stance, in the interests of truth as opposed to personnel gain. Many thanks.

  18. stas Says:

    Hi man, just googled some fluoride bull and found your site, and it’s been very informative regarding the usual appeal to authority.
    I haven’t read anything else yet, but I’m definitely planning to.
    I’ve been vegan for ten years and am an M.D. and I’m so sick and tired of the pseudosciencentific beliefs many vegans hold. So I really hope I’ve found an awesome skeptical resource that’s also animal friendly. Keep up the good work

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