I have been a regular poster on many online vegan/animal rights forums and I have yet to find one where I would like to stay there.
After thinking about it, I've come to the conclusion that what they all have in common is the people on these forums have a huge chip on their shoulder, eagerly looking to be defensive and ready to attack you if you say just one thing they don't like, and less likely to be politely informative and cordial.
I believe the reason is based on the much egotism and jealously within the vegan/animal rights community/forums, and this really brings out the worst in people. I can even "feel" the negative energy if I stay their long enough--and a few hours is long enough!
There's nothing wrong with disagreeing with others, stating why and encouraging others to see your side if it helps the animals in a positive way, but it should be done in a mature, polite manner instead of putting people down, hurling insults to the point where the moderators (sometimes) have to delete comments because they are so vile. This does not make for a friendly, healthy place to fellowship with others!
I will not name names of these vegan/animal rights forums but chances are, all the ones you know about are like this. I have a feeling if there is a website filled with mature animal rights people in the forum, such a site is probably small and difficult to find online. Why? Because I think many people enjoy the meanness, rudeness, and bloodthirsty arguments in forums; I guess to them it makes for good entertainment. But whether the reason for such horrible forums is because of egotism, jealously or looking for some bloodthirsty entertainment, we need to stop this ridiculousness as an animal rights movement and instead discuss, educate, and encourage people in a mature, kind, responsible manner. Non-vegans are watching and it's no wonder many refuse to be a part of the animal rights cause.
While I think vegans definitely need to talk more to non-vegans instead of wasting much time discussing veganism with other vegans (aka preaching to the choir), we do need some time to discuss with other vegans on how to approach non-vegans in an effective way so they become vegan/animal rights activists, and well, sometimes animal activism can be very emotionally draining and it's sometimes good and healthy to be with fellow vegans for encouragement and to regroup.
Also, I've noticed most vegan/animal rights people aren't that spiritual. I think lack of a spiritual foundation causes mean-spiritedness, negative energy and anger. Vegans should take time out to deal with that side of them. It's imperative to be healthy in all parts of one's life: Body, Mind and Spirit. This makes for a better, more mature person.
We vegans/animal rights people must be a good representative of the movement. The animals depend on it.