I have not kept it a secret that I’m a big fan of VINE Sanctuary (brilliantly, VINE stands for Veganism is the Next Evolution), which I blogged about recently, also posting the interview I did with co-founder Miriam Jones. Well, last week, the folks at VINE came out with the very first episode of their new web-based vegan cooking series, “Cooking With Real Vegans.” This video is charming, endearing, fun, and, most of all, accessible. VINE’s Aram Polster, along with Miriam, presented a clear and concise episode documenting the steps involved in cooking a delicious vegan meal — the ‘real person’ way.
This got me to thinking about cooking videos. Television is obsessed with all things culinary, whether it be the Food Network, or reality shows centering around cooking, or chat shows featuring favorite chefs, etc., etc. Happily, vegans have come up on top in at least a few instances (winning Cupcake Wars not once, but twice!). But frequently, these shows are geared more toward food voyeurism than actual skill-building. If you’re like me, you don’t have a whole lot of fancy kitchen devices, even though you may love to cook. If you’re relying on reality shows to give you a 101, you’re probably screwed.
What VINE did — creating an online cooking class in an unpretentious and relatable way — is not only genius, but it’s inspiring. I rarely ever shut up when it comes to the power of a Flipcam and a Dream, and VINE is a perfect example of that. Of the three people responsible for creating their short masterpiece (Miriam, Aram, and their buddy Ed, who assisted with filming and some simple editing), none were “professional” filmmakers.
I’m telling you, as someone who taught herself how to edit in iMovie (and who is now learning Final Cut Pro), basic editing is really very simple, and is essential to propelling forward our movement’s online presence. Self-made, DIY media — like cooking classes — have enormous potential, especially when marketed correctly. And don’t get scared by the word “marketed.” I am referring to very basic things, like posting on your social networks, asking others to help cross-promote, and perhaps emailing a few vegan or animal rights blogs with a “press release” of sorts, alerting them to your new project. At the end of the day, we are a supportive community, wanting very much to do our parts in helping to spread the word and spread compassion.
You can also step outside the vegan box here. While sending around the new video you create, be sure to reach out to specialty blogs too. For example, if your cooking class will center around easy vegan chocolate concoctions (and please oh please will someone make that video?), be sure to send it to the oodles of chocolate-centric websites out there! That’s how you extend beyond the bubble.
So check out VINE’s video below (and, while you’re at it, do them a solid and “like” them on Facebook), and then, get yourself a Flipcam or something else like that, and do something with it that might — just might — advance the greater good. I cannot wait to see what you come up with. I can already taste the success.