Ideas and Plans for 2013

Thank you for your tweets and comments about recent changes and the latest show.

In January 2012, I blogged about plans, and asked what you thought.

Let’s look at how those plans have gone, mention some ideas and plans for upcoming shows, and find out what resonates.

What happened in 2012

Last January, I blogged about four ideas for shows:

  • Veganism in the Information Age – which became Digital Vegans
  • Making the Pledge – was dropped, because we didn’t think it would be interesting to non-activists
  • So you want to run a vegan restaurant – I’d still like to make, but haven’t found the right contributors
  • The Vegan Tax – I’d also still like to make, but the research will take time.

We did not manage to put out a show a month. But some really popular shows covered other really interesting topics – like Born Vegan, Olympics, and – with over 1100 downloads not including Stitcher – “Judgemental”.

Life outside the show got particularly busy towards the end of the year. The last quarter of 2012 saw only one episode, and even that was a recut of my previous Verdant Reports.

I think it would have been better to admit we were too busy and take a break. Which brings me to …

Monthly shows are a goal, but not a priority

To quote the show’s first value:

Your time is precious, and I’d rather miss a month than put out something that has you say “well, that’s twenty minutes I won’t get back”.

This goes beyond simply saving time. Interesting topics – like The Vegan Tax – get pushed back in favour of ones that aren’t as time-consuming (or as motivating). And having chalked up a bit of broadcast radio experience (e.g. this radio talk), I’m keen to produce things that could be good enough to show to potential employers.

The received wisdom is that listeners prefer regular shows. But there are some exceptions to the rule – such as the Tiny Spark reports on the non-profit sector.

So monthly will still be a goal, but it won’t be a priority.

Ideas for 2013

So these are the topics I’d be interested to cover:

  • Subsidy – how your taxes end up paying for animal agriculture
  • Tigers and other animals – Changing attitudes to animals in developing Asia
  • Animal Minds (2-4 episodes)
  • History of Vegetarianism (3+ episodes)
  • What’s it like to be a right-wing vegan?
  • How has science fiction considered animal issues?

I’ve also been considering meeting different vegan subcultures – from anarchism to Seventh Day Adventists.

I’d be interested to hear what you think.

Particular thanks to Daisy on UK iTunes for the review and the suggestion – of  interviews with vegan activists in the UK. Have you heard Our Hen House and Animal Voices, who focus on activist interviews as their core topics? They’re based in the USA and Canada, but do also interview UK activists. I’d like to complement shows like that by doing something different.

Please spread the word

I know I’m a bit of a stuck record on this but …

Please do let folk know about The Vegan Option. This is a high quality show that I’d like to think anyone who listens to vegan podcasts (and quite a few who don’t) would enjoy. It also asks for less of listeners time, so it’s not as if you need to drop another show to make room for tVO.

Positive reviews on iTunes and other providers really do keep me motivated and help more people to find the show and – I’d like to think – associate veganism with interesting speech radio.

Alas, I’ll only see the reviews on the UK & US iTunes; if it’s a different country, or a different podcast provider, it would be nice to know. (Many folk listen to this show in Canada and Australia, but there are no reviews on those iTunes stores: if you listen there, why not be the first?).

Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear back in the comments below :).

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About Ian McDonald

I'm a British new media person with a passion for radio, and interested in the kind of stories best told when we see humans as part of the world of animal minds. I blogged about why I'm producing The Vegan Option.

8 responses to “Ideas and Plans for 2013”

  1. Tanya Sitton says :

    Hi Ian! I would be so excited for a brain-pickin’ convo about podcast joys, trials, technology, and tribulations… hope it’s ok to get in touch via comments here! Love the show, thanks for doing it — and thanks for donating your podcaster-brain, for the picking. 🙂 Looking forward to visiting with you!

    Cheers,
    Tanya

  2. Pierce says :

    I think some things you’ve said in previous shows have been annoying, but I’d listen to more none the less

    If I recall correctly, it might have been something in relation to animal minds that I was annoyed by, but i cannot quite recall. Look forward to more shows about nonhuman sentience

    I know you also aren’t a particular fan of The Abolitionist Approach, or Francione in general, and I would be interested in any quantitative research on what kind of advocacy is the most effective or if there’s any other movements with research that we could draw from

    • Ian McDonald says :

      Glad you’ll keep listening! Thanks for your comment.

      I’m very interested to know what you found annoying – please do comment on the show page if you’re annoyed again (or remember what annoyed you in the first place).

      The full range of beliefs in the vegan movement should get a fair crack on this show – I’d like to think that whether I’m a particular fan or not shouldn’t be the issue. I’m very grateful to Prof Francione for taking part in the December 2012 show about whether we animals would ever get Peace on Earth. I also got the chance – when I interviewed him – to have a nice chat about his time in the UK.

      The evidence for/against different strategies is a really interesting topic (eg: are welfare reforms a distraction at best? does promoting baby steps help?) and it’s been bounced around here before. I know that Matt Ball and Bruce Friedrich have published an Animal Activists Handbook which they say tries to martial evidence around that; as does Nick Cooney’s book Change of Heart. From memory of interviews alone (ie: without checking) they tend to support promoting “baby steps” and “leaning into” veganism, which makes me ask whether the Abolitionist Approach movement has published a critique or martialled other data. What have you found interesting on that topic?

      I can tell that when the second cats episode is out – hopefully this week – I’m going to have a lot of reading to do :).

  3. Pierce says :

    It was something Diana said, FWIW, but I cannot quite remember what it was 😛

    Perhaps I’ll re-listen to the episode to figure what is was, but I’m also not sure if it was said on Vegan Option or on Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals

    • Pierce says :

      As far as The Abolitionist Approach goes, I like Francione’s idea of suggesting people go vegan for breakfast, then try going vegan for lunch and eventually going vegan for dinner and everywhere else.

      So it sets the moral stage for veganism from the beginning, but allows the habit to form into something healthy and helpful over a longer period of time

    • Ian McDonald says :

      Diana (and, after her, special guests like Erin Red) do offer comment & opinions – and listeners do sometimes disagree with them! For her day job, Diana lectures on the evolution of animal minds (humans included), so she has lots of opinions on that.

      Diana did say that she found part of Prof Francione’s case unconvincing in the Dec 2012 show (but Erin, on the other hand, is a big fan).

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