About this project
Thank you so much for pledging the goal!
Stretch goal £4200
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
A BBC-trained radio producer, my documentaries combine journalism with vegan perspectives. Hear comments and clips on my show, The Vegan Option.
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.
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.
Harish Bhimani (narrator, Mahabharat) features as the voice of Mohandas K Gandhi. Music by Robb Masters
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
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/)
You'll be able to download it for free from The Vegan Option website.
(Stretch goals: own website and domain)
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).
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.
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.)
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:
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