Power of the Pod
Image courtesy of Fanboy30on Flickr.
No, I’m not referring to people who don’t quite seem human, like they hatched from a pod yesterday (although pod people can have some extraordinary powers). I’m referring to podcasts.
I only recently started downloading these I-Tunes-based radio shows. And this week, the show that has been accompanying me to the local YMCA on my mp3 (that’s right, no I-Pod is really required) is Colleen from Compassionate Cooks‘s podcast, Vegetarian Food for Thought. I chose this one because it is actually about veganism, and while I am not a vegan, my health may be pushing me in that direction, and I wanted to learn some more first.
My first thoughts, before I had even started listening involved a lot of doubt. I have always been skeptical of vegans. Things ran through my head like, “I bet this is going to be really preachy,” and, “Can this person really spread vegan-ism through a podcast, if the people who download it are likely going to adhere to the idea in the first place?”
I listened to a few, and while sometimes conclusions were jumped to a little hurriedly, the majority of the points Colleen makes are really well researched and thought out, and not preachy at all. Sometimes, you could say that “scare tactics” are used, but when those scary things are the reality, should we really be turning our backs on them?
However, more importantly, I would like to look at the second statement that I said ran through my head, about how her podcast likely wouldn’t affect anyone who wasn’t already vegan. I listened to the 2nd year anniversary show, where Colleen read out letters of people who felt touched by her show. They weren’t all vegans; they weren’t even all vegetarians, or at least several of them weren’t until they listened to her show. I realized just how powerful and widespread a podcast’s influence can be. It takes the freedom of speech to the next level- you can throw your voice out there internationally, and actually have people listen.
I suppose I am also evidence of the power of this podcast. I’m not vegan, but I tuned in, didn’t I? I haven’t decided if I want to make the switch yet, however, I have changed some of my ways of thinking about the whole issue. After listening to an episode on eggs, I immediately asked my dad if we could start looking for a local egg supplier instead of buying from the grocery store, so that it would be possible to actually see the environment the chickens were living in.
I’m not trying to force anyone to change how they eat with this blog; I am simply showing you how much of an outreach a single podcast can have. If you are in fact interested in learning more about vegan-ism and vegetarianism from a source that will provide lots of well-supported facts, check out Colleen’s podcast here.