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Podfather Reviews: Podcasts, vegan style

Flashback to Pickerington North High School. It was my junior year, and the theater kids desperately needed something to do to entertain ourselves.

Enter the two, fearless warriors in this anecdote: my brother, Johan, and our friend Campbell. Who could go longer on a vegan diet and not give into their animal-eating ways?

The winner got sweet, sweet bragging rights. The loser would take part in an inaugural, sacred ritual blessed by soda companies everywhere: be baptized in liters of Sprite and forced to have the sticky, dried soda on their body for the rest of the day. The contest was plant-based; the punishment was cruel, crisp lemon-lime flavor.

Seeing my brother voluntarily give up animal products in his diet not only was entertaining to watch, but it also made me realize how challenging the vegan diet was for someone completely new to the lifestyle.

There are plenty of vegan YouTubers and bloggers that help vegan newbies find their way with without the usual burgers and steaks that mainstream America consumes daily. That includes vegan podcasters, who talk about everything from new animal-product-free recipes to how to get into bodybuilding consuming only plants.

I took a look at few of those podcasts, and I honestly might try to incorporate more plant-based meals into my diet after listening.

Also, Johan totally lost. He accidentally ate a Goldfish cracker, which is not vegan, apparently. He hasn’t been baptized, but one day, he will. I give my promise on that, readers.

"Vegan Warrior Princesses Attack!"

The show, hosted by enthusiastic vegans Nichole Dinato and Callie Coker, has listeners know right away what it’s about with a scripted monologue at the beginning of each episode: “(this is) a podcast that attacks a wide range of topics from an anti-capitalist, feminist, anarchist, pro-intersection and, of course, vegan perspective.”

One can see Dinato and Coker are good friends based on their constant teasing about various things happening in their lives. But the light-heartedness of their friendship doesn’t get in the way of the tough topics they talk about.

Not only is this podcast about veganism, but the two often talk about recent news and how it relates to capitalism, feminism and the other topics they care about.

While some of their conversation can be charming, the podcast was a bit boring. There seemed to be little editing involved throughout, and it was a long listen. Some of their episodes go over two hours. 

If the two could condense their episodes down to an hour, then they could retain a lot more listeners in the future. 

Rating: 2 out of 5 earbuds

"The Plantriotic Podcast"

What caught my attention with this show is how compelling of an interviewer the host, Jackson Foster, is when he’s talking about topics surrounding veganism and overall health with various people.

Foster hosts this podcast alongside a YouTube vlog about his vegan lifestyle, and his conversation comes across as authentic, first and foremost.

Not only does Foster ask vegan bodybuilder Brian Turner about how his vegan diet has changed over time, but he also dives into the bullying Turner endured as a kid because of the acne sometimes triggered by Turner’s former diet.

There isn’t much noticeable production or editing with this podcast, but it isn’t necessarily a turn-off for me. His personality shines through, and it’s compelling.

Rating: 4 out of 5 earbuds

"Our Hen House"

Imagine if the interview style of public radio show host Terry Gross collided with vegan culture, and you might come up with this podcast as a result.

Hosted by Mariann Sullivan and Jasmin Singer, this show is dedicated to “end the exploitation of animals,” and the two do that by interviewing a people from all sorts of backgrounds animal rights and otherwise about the work they do.

If anyone has listened to Terry Gross’ show, Fresh Air, one might know Gross’ questions to be drawn-out and — according to some people — excessively lengthy. Singer and Sullivan seem to have Gross’ interview style down like it was memorized out of a textbook, yet the answers given by interviewees on the show make up for the slightly annoying line-of-questioning.

Along with the folksy intro music, this show is a decent crash course into the vegan universe. I definitely will try to listen to a few more episodes.

Rating: 4 out of 5 earbuds

Liam Niemeyer is a senior studying journalism in Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Will you give these a listen? Let Liam know by tweeting him @liamniemeyer.

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