Last month we told you about Ian McDonald’s grand vision: a popular history of vegetarianism through the ages, told through a free and easily accessible BBC-quality radio program. The only catch? Big plans need big funding. But in breaking news, this detail is no longer problematic: as of yesterday, crowd-funding for Vegetarianism: The Story So Far – A Radio History achieved success! So if you’re vegan, vegetarian, or veg-curious — or just a fan of both history and food — watch this space. The world’s first comprehensive vegetarian history radio project is officially underway!
To bring you up to speed in case you missed the written or audio version of our interview with project mastermind Ian McDonald, the plan is to create 15-minute freely-downloadable episodes tracking vegetarianism through the eons. BBC-trained McDonald plans to travel to some of the early vegetarian hot spots to tell the story of how food-related nonviolence emerged throughout history, including:
- Manchester’s Victorian vegetarian church
- The London street where the word ‘vegan’ was coined
- The Indian countryside where iron age philosophers developed Ahimsa
- Mysore, India, where western missionaries adopted vegetarianism to fit in and preach
In an interview with Progressive Kitch, Ian summarized the project like this:
…what I want to do is to do a popular history, that is really brought to life by interviewing the experts, by interviewing the authentic voices, by bringing them to life in dramatic readings. And this means that it’s something that gets the knowledge out there, that people can go, ‘Well I’d like to know where the movement comes from, and I’ve heard this is good, and so I’ll just download this and listen to it while I’m doing the washing-up.’
Because 15 minutes, it’s an easy commitment to make: it’s accessible, it’ll be popular, it’ll be interesting, it’ll be well produced. And [it will] get the story out there, and help cohere this community and this movement.
For more on the hows-whys-and-wherefores of this ambitious radio project, and an exciting walk through some of the stories from the history of our philosophical tribe, listen to the full interview with podcaster, radio guy, and vegetarian historian Ian McDonald here:
I’m excited that this project is officially underway: there’s nothing like it in the world so far, and I can’t wait to listen. If you feel the same way, keep an eye on The Vegan Option Radio Show & Blog and follow Ian McDonald on Twitter to stay up-to-date as the project comes to life!