Jason Schramm–a web developer and founder of Veg Groups, where he creates websites intended to help people go vegan, stay vegan, or become informed on vegan-oriented events, or films, on his VegMovies site—notes that he got deeply into computers as a seventh grader. While he was drawn as a youngster to exploring some aspects of technology—foreshadowing his professional path–Schramm says animals did not play a role in his formative years—his family didn’t have any pets to speak of. Schramm recounts cultivating a career building and developing websites, explaining that as he became a vegetarian—chiefly prompted by seeing “Vegucated,” the 2011 documentary tracking three devoted meat and cheese eaters who agree to follow a vegan diet for six weeks—and subsequently went vegan, it felt natural to draw on his web-building expertise. He describes the way he identified under-served areas in the vegan realm, and created websites to help fill those needs. For example, he launched VegEvents, “the largest vegan event calendar,” which collects a vast array of in-person and virtual events, focusing on those where people can receive support for going and staying vegan. And Veg Meal Delivery, which as the name may suggest–given Schramm’s propensity for helping people by creating directories—functions as a detailed listing of companies that offer delivery of plant-based and vegan meal (information which, as he points out, can be skewed elsewhere by fees paid to do so). Along with the focus of today’s conversation: VegMovies, home to “the largest collection of vegan-friendly movies.” More specifically, the films are curated by virtue of the flicks addressing animals and/or animal rights, an array of vegan themes, and environmental/climate-change motifs. One singular trait of the site is listing films in production that need additional funds to reach completion, and be released. Schramm recalls how the idea for VegMovies occurred, the work involved in developing the site, and discusses his thinking behind performing all the work on VegMovie and his other sites without charging any kind of membership payment or subscription feel. He names some his favorite films on the site, including “Vegucated” (clearly a pivotal movie for him), “Cowspiracy,” “Forks Over Knives,” and ‘Peaceable Kingdom.” (https://www.veggroups.org/, https://www.vegevents.com/, https://www.vegmealdelivery.com/, https://www.vegmovies.com/)
ALSO: I spoke briefly with Scott Trebatoski, the Director of Hillsborough County’s Pet Resources Center, primarily to discuss the shelter’s “Happy Howl-idays” event slated to happen on Saturday, Dec 16, from 10am to 5pm. “Happy Howl-idays” appears intended to function partly as a holiday open house, but, mostly, as a huge adoption extravaganza…. where the adoption fees are waived. And, as Trebatoski explains, they could really use some serious adoption action, noting the shelter isn’t just full, but is currently running at about 150%. He adds that, whatever number of animals end up adopted at “Happy Howl-idays,” he hopes many folks will consider fostering—even for just a few days—the remaining animals, a practice that yields important virtues, including providing the shelter with important specifics about how that cat or dog functions in a home setting. (https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/animals-and-pets)
COMEDY CORNER: Jeremy Hotz’s “Bronx Zoo” (https://jeremyhotz.com//)
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals
NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.