Throwing oneself headfirst into a radical new lifestyle experience and documenting it every step of the way has become the modern day equivalent of saying buh-bye to your anonymity and hello to a viable income stream. It certainly worked for Julie Powell when she cooked her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Similarly, when Colin Beavan (otherwise known as ‘No Impact Man’) decided to live off of the grid with his family for 365 days in New York City, both his film and companion book received accolades and boosted his literary career.
Indie filmmaker and confessed barbeque-holic Shane Close is no stranger to making waves, having been a surfer for the better part of his life. Following the completion of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his wife asked him if he could embrace vegetarianism and he decided to rise to the challenge, on film of course. The result of his experiment is called Meatless: The Movie (a work in progress that will be released via Big Happy Films) which covers his first 30 days living meat free and another 60 days consuming an entirely vegan diet.
Close has noted that the drop in his LDL cholesterol has been a definite plus, not to mention a noticeable boost in his energy, and though his grocery bill was more affordable when he cut meat from his diet, he ended up shelling out more money once he sought out specialty vegan foods. Eschewing meat, he discovered, is not just an animal rights issue but also an eco-concern since “28 percent of global methane emissions [come from meat production]”. In his adventure, he also learned that mainstream beer is not vegan since it’s created with dried fish bladders as well as grain that is eventually transported to factory farms.