Today is a HUGE day for vegans around the online universe. In the last days we have been reading about this BLEAT “thing”. There is such a buzz around it and their website and video look very exciting and professional.
All About Vegan Food contacted the the people behind ble.at and talked to Matthew Glover to get to know a little bit more about this project that is being launched today! And we are already in there (all-about-vegan-food)!
When and how was the idea of Bleat born?
It all started a couple of years ago when Mike Dean came up with the idea when he was frustrated trying to find information about vegan places to visit in Scandinavia. I met Mike in September through an introduction through a mutual contact and we discussed the project. I liked the idea so much and after undertaking some market research we shook hands on a deal and began work on the website in October last year.
Who are the people behind Bleat?
I’m a businessman, having grown numerous businesses from the ground up. I wanted to put my business skills to best use after finding out the reality of factory farming and then researching speciesism. I was looking for a vegan/animal rights venture to get involved in and by coincidence ended up meeting Mike via a mutual contact. Mike’s background is that he is a digital designer/developer/animator, having worked with a number of really big global clients, Xbox, Disney etc he also wanted to put his skills to good use. About 18 months prior to meeting me, Mike had started the groundwork for Bleat but he didn’t really have the funds or time to make it happen.
So, our roles are that I am funding the project, the business brains, salesman, chief-promoter and everything else on the business side and Mike is the Creative Director, currently leading a team of freelance developers that are building the site. Mike also designed the whole site and lead the branding design, with the help from a few contacts in the design industry.
Matthew has been vegan for 2 years after being vegetarian for 10 years and Mike is celebrating his 5 year veganniversary shortly after we launch.
What will users find on Bleat that they can’t find anywhere else?
The idea behind the site is to bring together lots of information on the internet into one place. The site is a sophisticated social media network where vegans can share recipes, pictures, articles and so on, and find animal rights news, health and dietary information. There’ll also be a product search facility so we hope that in the future Bleat will be a single point resource for everything vegan.
Bleat pointed out that veganism is growing day by day, what is true and in your launching video you said something about going mainstream. Veganism is already going more and more mainstream, do you see this as a positive aspect?
Yes, we need veganism to go more mainstream if we are to reduce the amount of animal suffering. I believe that we’ll reach a tipping point soon where more and more people will convert to veganism. People tend to be very influenced by friends and family and those around them. My hope is that Bleat will help build a community spirit, help people maintain their vegan lifestyle and spread the positive message to others.
Bleat proposes to cover everything from food to animal rights. Usually food gets a lot of attention online while animal rights seems to be kept in small circles. How do you see this difference in the approaches toward reasons and motivations to go vegan?
People choose to go vegan for different reasons. For me it was for ethical reasons, and then I found out how great the food was! For others they have chosen veganism for health / food reasons, and then engaged with the animal rights messages. Others are more interested in the environmental argument. For me, I’m not worried how people find their way to a vegan lifestyle, as long as they make that choice and stick to it
Can we expect any big surprises at Bleat? Any tease for our readers?
Well, the site goes live today so go check it to see I expect the next few weeks / months to be a roller coaster with plenty of surprises. I hope people enjoy using the platform we’ve created, and are patient with us if they find the odd little bug. Bleat will be an ongoing project and we already have big ideas to make the site better.