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From Pythagoras to the present, tracing the deep roots of today's movement for animals. Free audio download. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on February 17, 2014.

From Pythagoras to the present, tracing the deep roots of today's movement for animals. Free audio download.

About this project

Thank you so much for pledging the goal!

Stretch goal £4200

This will pay to make this a 15-part series, with the resources to get to the hard-to reach people and places where the story begins. Read the update to discover more.

If you have chosen to live your life in mercy and compassion to other animals, then you stand in a long line. 

It stretches back to iron age Greece and India, where voices emerge from prehistory challenging the idea that other animals exist purely for us.

I want to bring these stories of compassion to life vividly, using actors, archive, and location recording, so that people who are curious about our legacy of compassion will still be turning to it in ten or twenty years. 

This is an enormous commitment of time and money. I can't do this by myself.

Examples of the locations I want to take listeners to include:

  • 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

Quality Radio

A BBC-trained radio producer, my documentaries combine journalism with vegan perspectives. Hear comments and clips on my show, The Vegan Option.

The Vegan Option began as a podcast. It is broadcast weekly to a million Londoners on Resonance 104.4FM and featured as part of British Public Radio's showcase of alternatives to BBC Radio. 

Budget

I've set the initial goal at a level that will provide basic travel expenses and some money for content (such as archive and voice actors to portray the range of voices in the story) for a series of ten fifteen minute episodes. 

£3100 is an estimate based on:

  • £350 - Kickstarter rewards 
  • £150 - books and research
  • £400 - small range of voice talent for dramatic readings
  • £200 - token amount of modern audio archive
  • £100 - equipment to improve field recording
  • £900 - travel expenses within India, including wifi for backups
  • £200 - insurance & visa & vaccinations
  • £300 - travel to locations within hours of London (eg Manchester)
  • £200 - two years' web hosting, streaming, &c
  • £300 - Kickstarter and bank fees

I aim to reduce these costs by, for example, using volunteer resources where I can (not least of all, myself).

The goal (largely because I'm unpaid) is a fraction of the going rate for radio documentaries.

Much of the travel is going to be UK. I'm not, for example, flying abroad to gather content for just one episode. I'm going to India because half the story I'm telling happened there.

Rewards

The price conversions to Dollars and Euros are approximate (based on £1=$1.64=€1.20). If you're backing this project but your account isn't in sterling, then how much you will pay depends on your bank/card and the exchange rate at the end of the pledge.

Video Credits

Harish Bhimani (narrator, Mahabharat) features as the voice of Mohandas K Gandhi. Music by Robb Masters

Team Credits

Sean O'Callaghan - blogger Fat Gay Vegan - is advising and assisting with PR. Musican and DJ Robb Masters wrote the theme for The Vegan Option. Demetrius Bagley (Exec Producer, Vegucated) is advising and sharing experience. 

Particular thanks to them for generous support with rewards. Thanks also to London's Gallery Cafe for hosting the première.

Risks and challenges

The risk of loss of data, particularly on the road; mitigated by frequent back-ups to the cloud whenever I have an internet connection.

There are the usual physical risks of travelling; mitigated by sensible precautions, vaccinations, and travel insurance.

As is the nature of radio, some interviewees will change as we go along; and some new exciting interviewees will be discovered.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • I am taking a sabbatical from paid employment to concentrate on this, am paying for my own air fare, and have already spent a four figure sum on equipment for The Vegan Option.

    (Paying for some of my time working at the UK at the modest Living Wage Rate* is a stretch goal. This is a project of several months, so that seems reasonable. *http://www.livingwage.org.uk/)

    Last updated:
  • You'll be able to download it for free from The Vegan Option website.

    (Stretch goals: own website and domain)

    Last updated:
  • If the initial goal is met, it will be ten fifteen minute episodes. This is minimal - 13 or 15 would be better for the story, but that is a stretch goal.

    (Other stretch goal: special interactive features and video content).

    Last updated:
  • Because so many of the pivotal events in vegetarian history happened in India - the final Jain prophet Mahavir, Emperor Ashoka, Gandhi, and western missionaries and colonists who either adopted or rejected Indian customs. Millions of people throughout Asia are vegetarian because of events in the subcontinent.I don’t believe I can bring this to life without interviewing the experts there, and gathering the atmosphere where the events happened. Skype interviews will not stand the test of time.

    Pivotal events also happened in New England USA, Italy, and Paris; but going to any of these locations would be a stretch goal.

    Last updated:
  • Radio is the most accessible medium. It makes the history convenient for everyone - you can download and enjoy whilst commuting or doing housework

    Also, it's much more practical for one person to do by themselves.

    (Stretch goal: slideshow and other video content.)

    Last updated:
  • Because that would be a much shorter series.

    This is the story of the idea of sparing animals from the dinner table; the forms that idea took, and the people who passed it on. Through the vast majority of history, that idea went as far as lacto-vegetarianism. So titling the full story "Vegetarianism" rather than "Veganism" is simply historically accurate.

    Donald Watson, who founded The Vegan Society in 1944, called veganism "the beginning and the end of vegetarianism"; even as he was making history, he put veganism in the historical context of vegetarianism.

    You can read more about how "The Vegan Option" combines animal ethics with journalism at:
    http://theveganoption.org/2011/09/18/values/

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge £2 or more

    19 backers

    (Approx $3 or €2-€3) My and listeners' sincere thanks, carved in light on the website, and an email reminder when the episodes are available.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £8 or more

    19 backers

    (Approx $13 or €10) Get to hear the episodes a week earlier than everyone else with a preview link! Plus web thanks.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge £15 or more

    42 backers

    (Approx $25 or €18) I'll personally send you a thank you postcard from somewhere the world changed for animals, and an invitation to the launch party at London's Gallery Cafe (max capacity 100*). Plus web thanks and preview.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £30 or more

    8 backers

    (Approx $49 or €36) I'll thank you with a "The Vegan Option" sticker sheet, and ask you to get involved with a VIP invite to one of the post-show Hangouts with myself and, if they accept, other guests.* Plus web thanks, preview, postcard, and launch invite. (*Will organise at least one hangout per 10 backers using this reward; VIP invitees may ask a question; other listeners may join to watch, but are not guaranteed a question).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £50 or more

    11 backers

    (Approx $82 or €60) The complete history series sent to you on a branded thumb drive branded with "The Vegan Option" logo and the message "I made history". Plus above rewards (web credit, preview link, launch invite, VIP chat invite, and sticker).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £89 or more

    0 backers

    (NEW, included in £90 reward) PLUS a signed DVD of Vegucated

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £90 or more

    2 backers Limited (16 left of 18)

    (Approx $148 or €108) As above, PLUS A standup card timeline of vegetarian history (on trifold A4, 22cm high), extra content (including picture gallery) on the USB stick, and, for those who would like one, a copy of a script for an episode of "The Vegan Option", signed by Ian and co-host (Diana, Cathy, or Erin).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £150 or more

    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    (Approx $246 or €180) SPONSOR You're mentioned as SPONSOR on one episode on all platforms we control for as long as the shows are available*. Reach out to vegetarians and vegans! Your choice of episode where slot available. Contact ian@theVeganOption.org to discuss. Plus all £90 level benefits. (*Syndicatees, such as resonance, may have their own editorial rules about sponsor credits. As you would expect, The Vegan Option doesn't accept sponsorship that exploits animals.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £200 or more

    0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)

    (Approx $330 or €240) Join Ian and food blogger Fat Gay Vegan for a DAY TOUR as Ian shows you the veggie history, and FGV shows you the vegan food, of London. Travelcard included. (Scheduled 21 Sep 2014 - Sun before VegFestUK. May be rearranged by mutual consent). PLUS £90 level rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom
  • You selected
    Pledge £250 or more

    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    (Approx $410 or €300) As the £90 reward level, PLUS two hours of podcast coaching or other help (email ian@theVeganOption.org to check) from Ian.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £350 or more

    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    (Approx $656 or €480) Place on a one-day podcast workshop with Ian in London. Learn how to use the tools you have available to make radio that sounds as good as possible.* Plus all £90 benefits (*Will try to arrange for a day all can make, but will call a vote if necessary. If you cannot make the day, will give you four hours of one to one coaching, online if necessary, instead.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United Kingdom
  • You selected
    Pledge £400 or more

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    (Approx $656 or €480) You're mentioned as SPONSOR on three episodes on all platforms we control for as long as the shows are available; see above for details. Plus all £90 level benefits.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £400 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    (Approx $738 or €540) Get your digital audio project off the ground with its own sonic identity and a year of coaching! Ian will give you eight hours of one to one coaching (over the internet if necessary), and electronic musician Robb Masters - composer of the The Vegan Option theme - will create a sonic identity (eg stings) that fits your show (max four hours) PLUS all £90 reward benefits.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £1,300 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    (Approx $2460 or €1800) You're mentioned as SPONSOR on all episodes on all platforms we control; see above for details. Plus something extra - something equivalent to half a working day of Ian's time (perhaps a visit to your business if practical). Email Ian to discuss. Plus all £90 level benefits (with extra merchandise).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge £3,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    (Approx $4920 or €3600) Your name, business, product or service is mentioned, with (subject to editorial approval) a short "tagline" description as having MADE POSSIBLE the series on all episodes on all platforms we control; see above for details. Plus something extra - something equivalent to a working day of Ian's time (perhaps a workshop at your business). Email Ian to discuss. Plus all £90 level benefits.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (22 days)