History & Reach – Plans for 2014

At the start of 2012 and 2013, I wrote reviewing the year and asking about your ideas for the next. I’m doing this again.

Thanks to listeners like you spreading the word, more people have heard about The Vegan Option and are enjoying its unique combination of animal ethics and quality radio.

I now have one main objective for 2014. I’m going to make an audio history of the idea that it’s wrong to use animals as food. I’m taking a sabbatical to do so. I’m going to run a fundraising campaign. And I’m going to make the radio series so good that people will go back to it for decades.

2013: Reaching More People

I only put out four shows in 2013.

The decision to concentrate on fewer better shows seems to work – the Palm Oil show has registered 1600 plays on SoundCloud alone (compared to 1100 combined from all sources on previous leader Judgemental!). The less regular output has meant fewer listeners on iTunes and Stitcher; but it looks like direct listens have more than made up for it.

I would have liked to do more shows, obviously. There are two or three shows where I haven’t quite got the right contributors just yet. I also produced a show with a live audience, but despite ensuring I had backup systems in place, the technology let us down. The chance – to do a funny and interesting panel about the questions people keep asking vegans – will definitely come again.

Instead of blogging about show ideas as before, I’ve asked you to pick them on a site called All Our Ideas. Thank you for voting in your hundreds. You told me that a science fiction show was by far the most popular idea, so I went ahead and made it; also writing an article about it for the Our Hen House online magazine.

Articles elsewhere and festival appearances help take the show to where the audience is, and get it featured in grassroots blogs such as Lovely Vegan Ladies. The groundwork is laid for a big step forward, which I’ll announce in the next few days.

With Ian McDonald and …

I think the show is stronger with a co-host who offers a contrast to me as well as their own expertise and opinions. I’ve had three fantastic special guests, but there may be other vegans with an interest in factual radio who would like to get involved. I still think (as I said a year ago) that it’s best not to have a single co-host – that’s too much to inflict on any one person.

But because I’m going to be very busy for a couple of months, I’m going wait until later in the spring before posting anythig more about this.

2014: Let’s Make History!

The more I read about the history of opposition to the idea of eating animals, the more interesting the story gets. We can follow the threads of the idea back to the iron age; not just to the itinerant teachers of ancient India such as Gautama Siddharta Buddha, but to Pythagoras in iron age Greece.

So this year I will follow the threads of our movement from the iron age to the present day. I want to return to shorter episodes – 15 minutes each – that can deliver the individual parts of the story.

I want this to be a documentary that stays relevant for many years. This means finding voice actors, and it means taking you the listener to some of the places where the history happened. And it’s going to take a lot of work. So for the first time, I’m asking you to back the show. In a few weeks, I’ll find out if we can raise the money to do this subject justice.

What should I call the history of vegetarianism?

At the moment, I have been using “Vegetarianism: an audio history” as a working title. Ideas that have been mulled include:

  • Nothing that puns on “roots”
  • The Predator’s Conscience: a history of vegetarianism (not very friendly, or obvious)
  • Vegetarianism: our Legacy of Compassion (too cloying)
  • The Idea of Mercy: an Audio History of Vegetarianism from Antiquity to the present (too virtuous)
  • Vegetarianism: from the age of Buddha and Pythagoras to the present
  • Pythagoreans: the many ages of vegetarianism
  • Vegetarianism: the story so far
  • Not Just A Fad:  A History of Vegetarianism (ht Jyoti M)
  • Pythagoras to Vegan Cheese: a history of vegetarianism

So if you have any ideas or preferences, please say. I’m looking forward to hearing from you in the comments.

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About Ian McDonald

I'm a British new media person with a passion for radio, and interested in the kind of stories best told when we see humans as part of the world of animal minds. I blogged about why I'm producing The Vegan Option.

3 responses to “History & Reach – Plans for 2014”

  1. ruthhawe says :

    Reblogged this on Ruth Hawe and commented:
    A sterling bloke doing more than most for our beloved fellow Earthlings <3

  2. Kate says :

    This is great, I have only just found the site. I am keen to get listening. I love your enthusiasm.

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