How has western vegetarianism risen, within living memory, from fringe to mainstream choice? And how has veganism gone from nowhere to everywhere? Episode 15: Liberation This final episode recounts the growth of veganism, vegetarianism, and the modern animal advocacy movement. Ian treads in the footsteps of the handful of pioneers who set up the vegan movement in the 1940s, and meets a life vegan born in 1951. He investigates the sixties counterculture that combined the philosophy of ethics, activism, and new ways of living and working, visiting one of Britain’s first vegetarian wholefood co-operatives. And as vegetarian and vegan movements increasingly link up around the world, he looks at developments in China and India. In New Delhi, he meets the vegan politician who is also the most prominent animal advocate in the world’s largest democracy.… more
In the late nineteenth century, the new vegetarian movement is intertwined with other struggles – including Victorian reformers, the Indian reaction to British colonialism, and most importantly, slavery. Episode 13: The Vegetarians After their foundation in 1847 and 1850, the vegetarian societies in Britain and America rose swiftly faced new challenges. Dr Adam Shprintzen, author of the history of US vegetarianism “Vegetarian Crusade, tells Ian how the American Vegetarian Society poured its energies into an anti-slavery vegetarian settlement in the Wild West. And how its founder, Englishman Henry Clubb, ultimately took a bullet for the union in the Civil War. Under British rule, Hindu vegetarianism faced a mix of threat and opportunity. In India, Ian meets historians DN Jha, Burton Cleetus, and Bhaskar Chakraborty, who explain how, faced with rule by distant Christians, vegetarianism became more important as a marker of caste and identity. Ian also sets off on a cycle tour of vegetarian Victorian London, and talks to the first modern academic to study vegetarian history – Dr Julia Twigg. Play or download (58MB MP3 41min) (via iTunes) or read transcript… more
When printing lets ordinary people access a world of ideas, including Indian vegetarianism, some European radicals and diet gurus begin to oppose meat-eating. Episode 10: Revolution In England, the 1600s are a century of revolution. The artisans and yeomanry are picking up books – and the New Model Army is picking up pikes and muskets to turn the world upside down. Ian meets Dr Ariel Hessayon, a lecturer in the radicals of the English Civil War at a Thameside pub that was there during the 1600s, to discover tabloid scares and firebrand sermons about people who ate only bread, and water and fruit. In Ahmedabad, India, he visits the kind of animal hospital that astounded European travellers. And he hears from author Tristram Stuart about the impact stories of India had on Europeans, and how they shook Christendom’s moral certainty. Dr Anita Guerrini researches the first vegetarian diet gurus, whose books about food and medicine interpreted the intellectuals of the Republic of Letters for everyone else. And she tells Ian about the secret religion of Sir Isaac Newton. Play or download (62MB MP3 44min) (via iTunes) or read transcript… more
I’m excited to blog that prestigious London radio art station Resonance FM has commissioned a season of The Vegan Option. Starting on this Tuesday January 14th, it will broadcast thirteen weekly half-hour episodes to a million Londoners.… more
The panel at VegFestUK was really funny, but …
Annoyingly, both the main and backup recordings failed. So if you managed to catch the episode live in London, your memory is the only place it lives. (That, and a recording of my chat with Kerry McCarthy that her friend Richard recorded.) more
Listener Helen Louise is going to the Paralympics – which take place two weeks after the Olympics – and wants to know what the vegan options have been at the games.
Vegan spectators have shared their successes and failures at finding vegan food with the world on social media – and with us directly.
So here is the story of vegan food at the Olympics, as heard in our third and final Olympics show, told via Twitter. more
London Olympics: Closing Update As the athletes celebrate their victories and defeats, and the Spice Girls rock the closing ceremony, we look back over the Olympics and update you on the vegan stories behind the games. This show: We catch up with the vegan stories behind the Olympics, like Sandra Hood, Pogocafe, and Frys Ian updates you on the use of animals in the Opening Ceremony Rudy tells us who’s been coming to Vx, the little vegan shop that was braced for a difficult Olympics We sum up the experience of vegans looking for food at the Olympic Venues (15 min) Play or download (14MB MP3) (other formats) (via iTunes)… more
Kara Lang holds the record as the youngest woman ever to score a goal in international soccer – but her passions also include vegan cupcakes.
Now retired from football, she took time out from her busy schedule as part of Canadian station CTV’s Olympic team to talk to me about her story, touring, and the vegan mentor she improbably found in her own national squad. more
Athletes from across the world are coming to East London – where we produce the show – but what are the vegan perspectives on the Olympic games?
We talk to Sandra Hood, the Olympic torch bearer who wrote the book on raising vegan children; Ian visits the father and daughter who are supplying the Olympic games with the vegan option; find out what the staff in the nearest vegan cafe to the games think of it; and update you on the stories with a vegan perspective – Venus Williams, the Chinese volleyball team, and the Opening Ceremony. more