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

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William's vegan shoes
William's vegan shoes

I just got back from a personal trip to New England, and I'm really glad it gave me a chance to include American sounds and voices. I paid a visit to the site of a communal living experiment by William Alcott (father of Louisa May "Little Women" Alcott), who inspired organised vegetarianism on both sides of the Atlantic.

Several political and spiritual movements founded communities in the Americas - it was a place to start again. One really interesting corner of history was the post-revolutionary free-love atheist vegetarian cult of William Dorrell, and I'm looking forward to including the fascinating chat with museum curator Tim Neumann. You can see his two-hundred-year-old vegan shoes above.

I was going to wait until launch to tell backers about one extra bonus for them, but I can't resist linking from William's vegan shoes two centuries ago to a very different Will's vegan shoes today. Will Green, of "Wills London" is generously giving backers a £10 gift voucher for his range of vegan shoes. Because every backer is getting their own individual gift code, I shall send out emails with the code today & tomorrow.

Dashboard Status 2015 end Q3
Dashboard Status 2015 end Q3

As you can see from the dashboard, the early episodes are coming together. I also managed to grab a chat with Ramachandra Guha, the biographer of Mohandas K Gandhi, on his visit to London. There are now 5-9 interviews remaining. I've nearly tied down the dramatic readings that originate from India, so it's time to start casting voice actors and actually recording those parts.

I'm also making regular visits to the British Library to find readings and sift between translations. Finalising those voice readings means checking the precise meanings of words of Persian in the biographies of Akbar, or a Tamil diary. And I'm still finding new things. Last week I read a respected historian reference to an early Islamic saying about our stomachs not being the graveyard of animals - but was it authentic? The professor who wrote the book on Islam and animals tells me he's never heard of it before, which suggests not. I'm going to be looking in the indices of some books of Hadiths to check. 

As I prepare to ask around and put up adverts on voice acting sites, I wanted to end with a little more info about voice casting, in case you happen to know anyone who might be interested.

Casting Call

I shall send out casting calls in stages, starting with the Indian-accented parts. In most cases this means actors with their own recording facilities. Though I do plan to book a studio in London to dramatise some relevant moments from Jain, Buddhist and Hindu texts. 

Voices should sound 30+, with flexibility on age.

The accent wishists, are: 

  • Male: Indian, English (RP), English (north west), UK (Scottish), US (eastern seaboard), French, Italian, Eastern Europe 
  • Female: Indian, English (RP), Italian 

Payment will be modest non-commercial rates. (It's very kind and welcome when skilled folk donate their time, but the support of backers means the series isn't dependent on that.) If anyone is interested in auditioning, please ask them to email me (ian@theveganoption.org) with CV and showreel. 

PS: Obviously, that's a much longer list of male voices. As a history of the people who influenced society away from eating animals, its a history of folk who had influence. And most of those, through most of history, were male.

Liz Sanders, Cyndi Rook, and 2 more people like this update.

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    1. Ian McDonald, The Vegan Option Creator on October 9, 2015

      Correction: Bronson Alcott was the father of Louisa May, and lived at Fruitlands. William Alcott was his cousin, a physician, and also heavily involved in the vegetarian movement.