Vegetarian Action

Go Vegan with Bob Linden
A Vegan-Themed Commercial Radio Show

Flipping through the radio stations on a California commute, one might find something surprising. Amongst the fast food advertising and right-wing politics, a lone voice is heard saying, "Go vegan!"

That voice belongs to Bob Linden, the producer, writer, and host of Go Vegan with Bob Linden a veganthemed commercial radio show. Go Vegan has been playing in California for almost 10 years. While the show's primary theme is animal rights, Go Vegan also discusses nutrition, politics, and the news with a vegan twist. Topics have included the carcinogens in barbecued meat, the relationship between cattle and global warming, and the fate of rabbits on Easter (along with a discussion on what Jesus would think of modern diets). Linden's show has attracted many notable guests from the vegetarian community, including PETA's president Ingrid Newkirk, former game show host Bob Barker, and EarthSave founder and Diet for a New America author John Robbins.

The seeds of Go Vegan were planted at the Los Angeles World Festival, where a radio producer suggested that Linden, who had worked in broadcasting for many years, start an animal rights show. Linden liked the idea and aired his first episode in January 2001. He didn't expect to be allowed to do another show after that one-after all, his vegan and animal rights messages contradicted many of the popular radio sponsors: fast food and pharmaceuticals. However, the show is still going strong. What's Linden's conclusion? "Apparently, radio show producers and managers aren't listening to their shows."

Unwilling to accept advertising money from nonvegan corporations, Linden seeks out vegan and crueltyfree companies, many of whom have never done any advertising before. In addition, Go Vegan relies on donations from listeners to keep the show going. Funding the show can sometimes be difficult, but Linden is not giving up. He wants Go Vegan to go on not for his own livelihood, but also for the animals. "How many people who have gone vegan from the show is basically what keeps me going," he said. "I start counting the number of animals saved in my head."

Linden has been vegan for 25 years, and vegetarian for much longer. He does activism outside of the radio but has found that his show gives him credibility and an audience that he can't get as an activist with a megaphone. He said, "It pops out of the blue on progressive talk stations," bringing the information to people who would never have clicked on a website link or opened a brochure on the same topic. His goal is to "infiltrate the mass meat-ia" and to bring the message of veganism to as many people as possible.

In a nutshell, what is Go Vegan? According to Linden, "It's just a little radio program trying to save the world."

Go Vegan airs live in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and archived shows are available on the program's website, Visit the website for up-to-date information on stations and air times.