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NBSV 108


Transcript of the No-Bullsh!t Vegan podcast, episode 108

Shawn Stratton of the International Vegan Film Festival: past, present + future

Karina Inkster: You're listening to the No Bullshit Vegan podcast, episode 108. Shawn Stratton, director of the International Vegan Film Festival and World Tour is on the show to share the festival’s past, present, and future, his vegan story, and discuss life as a plant-based endurance athlete.

Hey, welcome to the show. I'm Karina your go-to, no BS, vegan fitness and nutrition coach. Today I am excited to introduce you to Shawn Stratton, the director of the International Vegan Film Festival and World Tour. Shawn started the festival in 2018 to inspire, educate and entertain audiences with vegan-themed films from around the world. This year, the festival runs from October 30th to November 14th, and you can learn more and get And because you're an awesome listener of this podcast, you can also get 50% off your ticket price by using the discount code NBSV.

Shawn is also an international leadership consultant, professional speaker, best-selling author, iron man, and ultra-marathon competitor. Shawn has a bachelor's degree in experiential education and a master's in leadership. He devoted 15 years to leading teams on wilderness expeditions around the world, into some of the harshest environments, and most recently, eight years consulting with corporations on leadership and team development. His first book, “Teams on the Edge: Stories and Lessons from Wilderness Expeditions,” was an instant bestseller.

Shawn came to veganism for health concerns after watching several influential documentaries. He and his family, including three young daughters, live in Ottawa and have been eating a plant-based diet since 2015. And Shawn's favourite vegan meal is jackfruit tacos.

Hey Shawn, thanks for joining me on the show today. Nice to have you here.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah, it's great to be here. Thanks for having me.

Karina Inkster: Of course. A fellow Canadian finally!

Shawn Stratton: Yeah, that's great. I'm happy to represent on your podcast with you.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. Well thanks for being here. I would love to hear about the International Vegan Film Festival. I want to also get a little bit of background about you and your vegan story, but I think most of our listeners are going to want to jump right into what the heck is the International Vegan Film Festival! So can you tell us a little bit about where it's at currently and then we can talk about its past and where it's going to go as well?

Shawn Stratton: Yeah. The most important information starting right off is that it is coming up very quickly. It's coming up starting October 30th this year. As of a couple of weeks ago, we've canceled the in-person festival in Ottawa, unfortunately, but we're keeping it safe and going online again this year.

Karina Inkster: Good call.

Shawn Stratton: But as of last night we've just extended it. So we're going to have it be two full weeks of online film festival. So it's all going to be online. It's going to be available worldwide. The online virtual International Vegan Film Festival runs from October 30th to November 14th.

Karina Inkster: Wow. I didn't know you extended it by a week. That's exciting.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah, yeah. We just had a board meeting last night and I brought it up and I didn't know if they were going to go for it. And we had a good discussion and they were like, let's do it. You know, we’ve got to cancel the in-person one. We feel really bad about that, especially for all the folks here in Ottawa and people that were going to travel in. And so we said, why not? Let's give them more time and give more chances to see the films. And this year more than ever, we have more films than ever. We have 31 films.

Karina Inkster: Wow!

Shawn Stratton: Over 16 hours of vegan-themed films. We got some complaints last year that we didn't have enough time, being a week. The idea wasn't necessarily that everybody would watch every film, but you know, vegans, they're pretty passionate. And a lot of them really tried to watch every film. So we're like, let's give them a bit more time.

Karina Inkster: Oh, that's amazing. So what sorts of films are you showing? I mean, obviously you guys have a list on the website, which we'll link to, by the way, in our show notes. So our listeners can go there to check it out. But can you give us some examples? Are there some short films? Some features? Like what's the deal?

Shawn Stratton: Yeah, it's quite a range of films each year, which is awesome. Some of the great feedback we get is that the diversity of our films is really outstanding. You know, veganism is a niche, but it is a very broad topic as we know. And so we cover a lot of topics. Our categories range from lifestyle, to health and nutrition, to environmental protection, to animal welfare. And so all of them come under those themes. We have some really short ones. We actually added a new category last year called Public Service Announcement because we found we were getting a lot of really good quality films that were, you know, 30 seconds to four minutes long that it's not really fair to put them into a category with a feature in terms of awards and things like that.

And so we created a new PSA category and some of those are the most outstanding films. Saving Ralph is a really popular film that came out this year by the Humane Society. That's about the cosmetic industry and testing on animals and it's a fantastic film. Some of the features we have in the animal welfare, we have Dark Hobby, which came out a couple of years ago now, but didn't receive too much press, and it's fantastic. It's about the kind of the undercover world of aquarium fish, saltwater aquarium fish, and the destruction that's happening in Hawaii off the coasts. Not just obviously with the loss of fish, but then the loss of fish brings in the damage to the coral reef, what the divers do, and things like that. That was a fantastic film.

Long Gone Wild is another feature that we're going to show. And that is about whales and more focused on orcas in captivity, orca whales in captivity. And it's almost like a preclude, it's not officially a preclude, to Blackfish. Is that what it was? I believe Blackish came out in I think 2013 or so, about SeaWorld and all those issues with captive mammals and so Long Gone Wild actually takes a deep dive and focuses on the orcas worldwide and marine parks worldwide that are still, you know, catching wild orcas - Can you believe it?

Karina Inkster: Nope! Absolutely unbelievable.

Shawn Stratton: It’s incredible. And this guy does amazing journalism, goes behind the scenes. He's in China, running through fences and avoiding security to try to film some of the wild marine parks over there and what they’re doing, and it gives a good backstory history of that. Those are just a few of them. There's just a couple of other ones on farm sanctuaries. Every year, we get a couple on farm sanctuaries that have different kind of angles to their stories. This is a really neat one out of Israel and it kind of covers a lot of the animals on this farm sanctuary that have different adaptions. Like a lot of them have either lost limbs or lost the use of limbs. And it shows some new prosthetics that they're using and different ways to allow these animals you know, to still get around and have amazing lives. They use all kinds of different techniques and yeah, so it really covers the gamut.

Karina Inkster: Absolutely. So what's the overall mission with the festival? I mean, I'm sure that it's very wide-ranging. But if you could condense it, what's the main goal with this whole project?

Shawn Stratton: Yeah. You know, like a lot of vegan things, our number one goal is to educate people about veganism and ideally have more people become vegan. Like that’s the bottom line. Within that, like you say, there are a lot of goals within that, in terms of our mission. You know, I look at it as we want to educate non-vegans and vegan-curious, we want to inspire vegans to remain vegan, and we want to entertain everybody.

Karina Inkster: Ooh, I like that.

Shawn Stratton: So that's how I look at it. And the education creeps into veganism as well, because I'm amazed how many vegans come to our festival each year. And then I hear comments of like, I had no idea.

Karina Inkster: Oh yeah, absolutely.

Shawn Stratton: We just think because people are vegan, they understand the whole concept of veganism and all the aspects and facets of it. And you know, I think I was talking to someone about how baby cows were taken away from their milk, and she had no idea. She's probably been vegan for maybe a year or two. And she had no idea about that. And so it's not just educating non-vegans. We're educating vegans as well because you know, we're a mighty small group and we need to keep each other here and we need to keep inspiring each other to remain vegan. So I think a lot of these films do that as well.

Karina Inkster: That's a really good point. I always say I've been vegan for almost two decades and I'm learning new stuff every single day. So I think that's amazing. Yeah it'll be 19 years in January. So pretty close. My 20th year will be next year. Let's talk about your vegan story. So how did you come to veganism? Has it been a long time? Was there a catalyst? Was it a slow kind of buildup? What's the story?

Shawn Stratton: Yeah, it was I guess 2015 or so. So going on six years now. We were living in Calgary at the time and it was really my wife's doing. It's funny because I've always kind of been maybe the bit of a healthier eater. I was more of the cook in the family. You know, I ate meat, but didn't really think a lot of it.

My background career is in outdoor education and leading expeditions around the world. So I would regularly go on month-long trips without eating meat and wouldn't think anything of it. And so I wasn't a big foodie anyway. I think we were training for a marathon at that time. It was like the spring of 2015 and training I think it was for Boston actually. And my wife had had some injuries, nagging injuries, and she'd heard, I think on a podcast, that you know, anti-inflammatory effects of veganism and eating a plant-based diet can really help with running injuries and injuries in general.

And so she was kind of willing to try anything at this point.

Karina Inkster: Yeah I bet!

Shawn Stratton: And then it was around that time that we'd watch Vegucated which was a great film out of New York following kind of everyday people that decided to become vegan. And that made you realize like, wow, you know, everyday people can do this. It's not the hippie that, you know, is fringe of the lifestyle that has to do this. And so all those things planted the seed in her head. And one day she came on, I was like, all right, I'm going to try this. I found Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. She has a 30-day challenge.

Karina Inkster: Oh she’s amazing!

Shawn Stratton: Yeah! And so she signed up for her 30-day challenge and went vegan overnight and hasn't looked back. And I was like, okay, well, I'm not sure if I'm ready for that, but I'm willing to support you.

And so at home we ate vegan, I cooked vegan. And then if I was out, I kind of did my own thing. And you know, it’s like, everybody's got to come to it at their own pace. It's not something someone can tell somebody to do. And she brought it on pretty quick. So I was like, huh, let me think about this. And I think I was going to a wedding in Brazil like the next week. And I was like, I can't do this before I go. So I took a couple of months over the summer and, you know, educated myself some more and watch some more documentaries and read some more books. And I think probably by September or so I'd kind of fully committed.

For me, it was Forks Over Knives, like so many in that time period. It was so influential and it was the health and wellness side of it that piqued our interest. It was like, wow, if this is so good at preventing heart disease and cancer, and so many other diseases, like why not? Like what is there to lose? So that was kinda my attitude at that point. And then once you, you know, you learn about it and read about it you're like, wow, there's so much to this. And I love the phrase that people say, you know, come for your health state for the animals.

Karina Inkster: Oh, that's good. I was just going to try to, well, I mean, that's the best way to put it really, but I was going to try to describe that whole thing where yeah, usually nowadays, but I think it was different a long time ago. Like when I first went vegetarian, I don't even know how long ago that was 24 years. My math is off, but anyway, a long time. I think back then folks were going vegetarian/vegan, mostly for ethical reasons because all of this health research wasn't out yet.

Shawn Stratton: True.

Karina Inkster: But nowadays, yeah, you're right. Absolutely. So many people are going vegan entirely for health. And then all the other things, not just the ethics, but also environment and how the animal agriculture industry affects climate change. These pieces kind of come into it. And I think you know, stay for the animals, that's really like, it's kind of unfortunate to us ethical vegans that that comes in later, but when it comes down to it, we don't really care as long as people go vegan.

Shawn Stratton: Exactly. We don't care how you get here.

Karina Inkster: Yeah, right?

Shawn Stratton: Yeah, as long as you're jumping on the train.

Karina Inkster: Exactly. Yeah. So how did the Vegan Film Festival come out of your own vegan journey then? So how did it start?

Shawn Stratton: So it was several years later, probably three years later, we were actually living in England, Oxford England at this time for a year as my wife was doing some more training and education, and went to a few veg fests over in England and took my kids to them and was just kind of like really getting into it. I've always kind of been an entrepreneur at heart and kind of an event organizer, you know, taught leadership for a long time. And so my kind of wheels got spinning in my head of like, how can I get involved? How can I serve the vegan community? What would I like to do? And I thought, you know, maybe a veg fest could work. And we moved to Ottawa in 2017. And around that time I was like, maybe I can start a veggie fest here or take over the veg fest here. After doing a bit of research on that and realized that there's way too much involved with that for my lifestyle right now. We just had our third baby, a third child and had just moved here.

It was too much going on. And so I was like, no, I don't think I can commit to that right now, but what else is there? And then I thought about there's gotta be a film festival around. I’ve been always passionate and really loved watching the Banff Mountain Film Festival out of Banff Alberta. They've been around for 35, 40 years and they have a world tour that's gone around the world many times and I've seen it all over, wherever I've been living over the last 20 years. And so I thought maybe there's a vegan film festival out there that I can bring a screening to Ottawa. I did a bunch of research and I was like, well, doesn't look like there are any vegan film festivals in the world, let alone one that travels. And so I was like, why not? Let's see if we can figure this out! And jumped into it and talked to some kind of influencers in the space and just bounced the idea off to see if I wasn't totally crazy and got lots of positive support.

Karina Inkster: Just slightly crazy.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah, exactly. A lot of positive support. Kind of, you know, you do it. Yeah, that'd be great. That's a great idea as long as you do it. We're too busy over here, but we would come out. So I started learning about film festivals and the whole film industry and that side of it. In 2018 we had our first event here in Ottawa. It was a small event, but it went off really well and was really well received. I think we had films from eight different countries and it was amazing. That kind of kicked it off and it's been going ever since and evolving.

Karina Inkster: Yeah. Well, and you know, I mean, as a project, it's still relatively new compared to some other film fests, like the Banff one. So the pandemic must've thrown a major wrench in here. So did you do the 2019 one in person and then 2020 online?

Shawn Stratton: Yeah, so we did 2019 in person. And then we started planning the world tour, which we have every year. And I can speak on that in a minute. The world tour screening starting in kind of January of 2020, and we’d actually had a couple of screenings. We had one screening in Hilton Head, South Carolina in January 2020, and then February 2020, we had a screening in Toronto, in downtown Toronto in the Hot Docs Theatre. And this was like my holy grail moment. It was like the moment I'd been waiting for this festival. It was the Ted Rogers Hot Docs Theatre downtown Toronto is a beautiful, like 600 seat, beautiful theatre that they'd donated to us for the night. The Toronto Vegetarian Association was hosting it that night. And they did a great job getting people out. Like I'd heard before, like in Ottawa we'd been having like 120, 130 people come out to the festival each year.

And I feel like I'd been like working hard to get those out. And then I was like, you know, this deserves so much more. Like people need to know about this. We don't have a big marketing budget and we're not getting the word out as much as we could. Anyway, I show up in Toronto and I hear that they've got 200 tickets, and I’m like fantastic! It's going to be great. And I show up to the event and they're like, guess what? We got 400 tickets sold.

Karina Inkster: Oh, wow!

Shawn Stratton: And so we had a packed theatre that night. Joann MacArthur and I did a Q&A after the event. And it was a magical night. And then I came home and the pandemic shut down all the rest of the screenings. We probably had another 15 screenings booked around the world from Berlin to Australia, to Vancouver, all over. So in 2020, we did go online, and we kind of canceled the world tour last year. We learned a lot by going online and it made it a lot easier for this year to go online. I think we'll always do an online event now. It's kind of hard to go back. We'll want to get back to our in person, but we'll do kind of a hybrid in the future.

Karina Inkster: I think hybrid is the way to go. A lot of large-scale events have figured out like, oh, wait a sec, we can reach so many more people this way.

Shawn Stratton: Absolutely.

Karina Inkster: So what's the world tour? Tell us a little bit more about how that works.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah. So the world tour shows the best of the best of the short films. And sometimes we sneak in a section of a feature film. It's about two hours of running time. Most events are about two and a half to three hours, depending on how the host wants to run it. And we sell a license to the hosts. Anybody in any community around the world can purchase a license. And then I like to think of it as giving them a festival in a box. So we provide all the films. We provide templates for sponsorship, templates for press releases, templates for the MC, a script to run the evening. We provide, you know, all the materials, all the marketing materials, kind of a whole media kit, and then the local host, they pay their fee.

The fee is based on the amount of capacity of the theatre. I didn't want to just have one fee to exclude a lot of kind of smaller places. I want to have it accessible to as many people as possible. And so it's kind of seating numbers 50 and up to a thousand seat theatre. And it goes from I think, $300 to a thousand dollars for the licensing fee. So they pay the licensing fee, we give them all the material, and then they run the event. They find the venue, they organize the tickets, they do the marketing. And then the local host keeps all the revenue, all the profit they get. And some people do it as a kind of a side business. Some people do it as a club activity to raise money for their nonprofit or for their club.

Some stores would host it, you know, bring a little publicity into their store or things like that. And so it covers the gamut. And then they run the event. I give them a suggested script, but a lot of people, I really suggest that they bring their own flair to the event. Some people will add food tables, they'll bring in merchandise. Some people bring in a Q&A, some people will bring a speaker, maybe even if they're in a town where one of the filmmakers are from they’ll bring them in.

It's a real way to obviously grow the festival, but like just grow the community. And we all can't wait to get back to in-person events and I can't wait either. And there's nothing better than coming to an event with a bunch of like-minded people, kind of your tribe, you know? And the idea is, once people do it once every year, they start hosting it at the same place at the same time of year. And so the community just starts knowing like, oh, every January, oh yeah, the film festival, the vegan film festival is coming to town, like I better look out for my tickets. And you know, the marketing gets easier and you show up and you see your buddy hadn't seen since last year and you chat in the aisles. And yeah, so that what we're looking forward to.

Karina Inkster: Oh, that's amazing. Hey, my wheels are turning. I was on the board for the Powell River Veg Fest. So we helped to organize that. It didn't happen last year, unfortunately. We didn’t put it online. But we actually have Canada's oldest, continuously running theatre in this town. It's so random, but it's over a hundred years old and it would be so cool to have something like this there. It was actually closed for a long time throughout the pandemic, but then also it changed hands and the theatre itself is now owned by a nonprofit film society, which is super cool. So yeah, it just recently changed hands and I feel like this would be very in line with, you know, being owned by a film society and a nonprofit. And maybe like having an event around that slash Veg Fest, maybe it could be kind of cool. So yeah, I'm kinda thinking about options.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah. Even like a night before or the night of. We've actually had it as part of Veg Fest as well. I think in the Phoenix Veg Fest a couple of years ago, they did it. They had like a speakers tent and instead of that speaker slotted for that hour or two hours, I think they showed half of the film festival.

Karina Inkster: Wow, that’s a cool idea.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah we work with all kinds of - it's very adaptable.

Karina Inkster: That's awesome. So where do you see the festival going? Like what's the plan moving forward? I mean, especially with the hybrid approach now, what are you thinking?

Shawn Stratton: You know, in the next few years I would love to see hundreds of screenings around the world. I definitely see the potential. Every community around the world has a vegan club or a vegan connection community now. And there's no reason why we can't get it. I want to get more of the films translated so that we're available, you know, in more worldwide countries, more languages. So that's the world tour. The festival, you know, I want to grow the festival. In-person festival in Ottawa, for sure to make it a full weekend, maybe even a full week going forward. I would love to make it kind of the hub of vegan-themed films and bring in filmmakers and bring in investors and have sessions where, you know, filmmakers and investors can meet. Maybe even some chances to network and do some classes on filmmaking, things like that.

Like, there’s so much we can do to a film festival. We can add. Obviously, we don't want to grow beyond our means. We took a big step this year in January of 2021 and became an incorporated nonprofit in Canada.

Karina Inkster: Oh wow! Awesome!

Shawn Stratton: So that was a big step. So we've got a board of directors now. We have the bylaws, the whole governance in place. And I've really stepped up our fundraising and our sponsorship. We had Wicked Foods come on as a major title sponsor this year and they've signed a two-year contract. So that was a huge vote of confidence from them and obviously investment. And it's great to be working with them. They're really active sponsors.

And this year we added the cookbook contest, which going forward, I think will just grow and grow and grow. I was shocked this year. We had 20 vegan cookbooks that were submitted that had been published in the last two years.

Karina Inkster: Oh cool!

Shawn Stratton: A lot of really, really good books. It was very hard to judge these books. We had books from Paul McCartney and had Linda McCartney's book. We had Jane Goodall submit her book. Hot for Food from Lauren Toyota, like a lot of really really big names. And so yeah, we're looking forward to grow in that more.

Karina Inkster: That’s awesome! I think someone from your team contacted me about that several months ago. I do have a book that came out recently, but it was a second edition of a book that originally came out in 2014. So I don't think it made the cut, but it was cool to kind of be on the radar.

Shawn Stratton: Absolutely. The next one.

Karina Inkster: But that's a really cool idea. Next one. Yeah. There's always the next one.

Shawn Stratton: Exactly. Yeah. We're really happy with them. We're just jumping into kind of our massive promotion phases right now. And we're really looking forward to getting the word out about these cookbooks because so many people come to veganism and they're just like, where do I start? I don't even know what to do. I don't know what to make. It's like, well get a cookbook and they go on Amazon and there's 500 vegan cookbooks. Come to the festival, check out what we've done. We've done the vetting for you. We'll tell you some of the top ones or why these ones are good and why these ones, you know, are good for this and good for that. And yeah, so I'm excited to see where that goes.

Karina Inkster: That's excellent. So is there anything else in the vegan film festival world that you wanted to mention? Before I let you go I want to talk to you about endurance athletics and kind of general bad-assery, but is there anything else? We're going to have links to the actual festival. But was there kind of any points that we've missed around the festival itself?

Shawn Stratton: Just to get your tickets head to our website, It's and if you just Google international vegan film festival, you'll find us. But tickets are available on our website and you can buy a pass for the whole festival or you can buy a block and a block is about 90 minutes of film and sometimes that'll be one feature or it could be several short films and that's what information's there.

Karina Inkster: That’s a cool way of doing it.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah. I'm happy to chat with anybody if you needed to contact us through our social media or through our website if you have any questions, but yeah. Looking forward to getting lots of people out and entertaining them with some new and exciting films in the vegan world.

Karina Inkster: Right, and it's October 30th to November 14th, right?

Shawn Stratton: Yep. You got it.

Karina Inkster: Excellent. So what is the deal with your training? You mentioned your wife was doing a marathon a couple of years back. Do you guys both do endurance training? What's your experience? You mentioned your treks that you do, you know, up to a month, maybe even longer. I'd love to hear about those kinds of awesome activities.

Shawn Stratton: Well, I guess I've been doing triathlons since high school, so probably 20 odd years now with breaks in between based on career and what was going on. But my wife is a former Olympic swimmer. So we're both into that lifestyle. We both are into triathlons. We actually met in an Ironman training group back in 2008. It was a group training. We were living in Newfoundland at the time where I'm actually from, and we were training for the 2008 Ironman Canada, and that's where we met. And we've kept that up. So yeah, endurance sports has kind of been a lifestyle for us. We've both done a bunch of different marathons and a couple of different Ironmans. In the last couple of years, I've gotten into more ultra trail running and in 2019, I guess my last race was before the pandemic, was the hundred-mile ultra, the Sinister Seven in Alberta.

Karina Inkster: Crazy!

Shawn Stratton: And yeah, now it's trying to fit it in around the kids and what we can do. I'd love to get back to triathlons, but I think running right now is the thing I can quickly slip out and bang out some workouts, but yeah, it's been neat. And veganism, like we haven't missed a step. And in fact, I think I probably got faster. I think at 43 or so a year or two after going vegan, I hit my best 10K times that I've had, and I've been running 10Ks since I was sixteen, and I was running 36 minute 10Ks. So it certainly didn't hinder our progress in our fitness whatsoever. I'm getting ready to get back into racing. In two weeks is my next race. So it's the first race I've done in two years. It's a 50k trail race.

Karina Inkster: Oh wow, that’s going to be so great to get back into that. 50K! Dear Lord. Anything more than 10 reps is endurance training for me. I'm like, nah, I'm good. Nah, it's more than 10 reps I'll pass.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah. Well, it's amazing what it does when you get a goal on the calendar though. Like we only got in off this race off a waitlist a couple of months ago and you know, the last year and a half, I've just been lagging in my train and just getting by. Doing the maintenance level bare minimum. And once I got this goal like there was just an extra spring in my step every morning. It was like, now I've got a purpose. Like, let's do it.

Karina Inkster: That makes sense.

Shawn Stratton: And it's the same way for your strength training goals. I'm sure when you get a big goal or you've got an event you want to go to or whatever, it's like, you need that goal out there and it's been lacking. So I encourage everybody to set some big goals and enjoy that extra spring in their step.

Karina Inkster: Yeah, I see exactly what you mean. That's very cool. So are your kids also vegan? Completely vegan family? Did they have to transition or are they all really young and were kind of born into it?

Shawn Stratton: More and more the latter part. Yeah. So the kids are now ten, eight, and four. And so the ten-year-old and the eight-year-old were kind of four and two at the time. So that was an easier, yeah, I'm very thankful for that, that they weren't teenagers and I'm like, all right, guys, this is what we're doing.

Karina Inkster: And they're like, okay then, end of story.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah. So they're totally into it. The four-year-old has been since birth and they're like little animal activists. They're totally into it. They don't question us at all. Not that they don’t question us, they give us a hard time, but in terms of veganism, like they ask questions, but they're totally into it. And it's, you know, it's unfortunate that like of their elementary school of 300 kids, they're probably the only vegans in there. And they get lots of questions and they have like the power and the strength and the knowledge to answer them, you know? We give them age-appropriate information and I don't show them all the films that come to the festival, but I definitely show them a bunch that are age-appropriate and just kind of educating them as they go along.

And, you know, I expect someday they'll probably rebel or, you know, want to try meat and things like that. And for us, I think it'll probably be when you're in our home, you have to eat what we're serving, do what we're doing. You can do what you want when you get outside and you know, you can make your own decisions, but it's been great. And they're really fit. Both the older girls are on the swim team and the eight-year-old loves chin-ups. I know you're a big fan of chin-ups. She can bang out almost three or four chin-ups. For an eight-year old that’s pretty well. She loves it.

Karina Inkster: That's excellent. She just has to keep it up. She'll never lose it if she keeps it up.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah. What’s your trick to chin-ups?

Karina Inkster: A shitload of practice.

Shawn Stratton: Yeah? Just do it?

Karina Inkster: Yeah. You know what, actually do you know the term grease the groove? It's from the kettlebell world.

Shawn Stratton: Huh. No.

Karina Inkster: Grease the groove is a lot of strength athletes like Olympic lifters, powerlifters, kettlebell competitors, use this thing. It's basically doing a move that you want to get better at in a sub-max capacity. So you're not maxing out, but you're doing it every hour on the hour for a full day. So maybe you have a chin-up bar in your doorway and the rule is okay, I'm going to practice a hang or a negative chin-up, where you start at the top and work your way down, every time I walk through the door, like maybe every time you go to the bathroom or the kitchen since everyone's working at home now.

Shawn Stratton: Right, right.

Karina Inkster: Yeah but I mean the same could be said for any strength goal. Pushups, if you wanna increase your squats, you gotta do something that's easy to recover from, but multiple times during the day.

Shawn Stratton: So five chin-ups every three days, is not cutting it. I can get to seven and on some days I can get to 10, but I seem to be stuck at seven, but maybe I could just got to do it more.

Karina Inkster: Hey but that’s still pretty damn awesome. Seven like strict form. Not the bro chin-ups where you're doing like, you know, a 90-degree arm bend and you're like one… two…

Shawn Stratton: No no. Knees hanging, knees are scraping at the bottom.

Karina Inkster: Excellent.

Shawn Stratton: Well maybe you can tell me the difference this, cause I haven't found a good answer to this between chin-ups and pull-ups and the grip and what you're supposed to be doing, or does it matter?

Karina Inkster: Okay. So it's extra confusing because -

Shawn Stratton: Sorry, I’m taking over your show. I hope you don’t mind.

Karina Inkster: Nope, it’s all good. In the UK, they have different terms compared to Canada and the states. So for us here in Canada and also in the US, a chin-up is when your palms are facing your face, your palms are facing you, and a pull-up is when your palms are facing away.

Shawn Stratton: Alright.

Karina Inkster: And I believe in the UK, it doesn't matter which group you have. It's always a pull-up and then what we call a push-up is a press-up. So there's certain, you know, regional differences. But yeah, pretty much if your palms are facing you, it's a chin up. If they're facing away to pull up and pull-ups are more difficult. So if you can do seven chin-ups or is it seven pull-ups? Which grip are you doing?

Shawn Stratton: It’s Chin-ups.

Karina Inkster: Chin-Ups yeah, then probably like five pull-ups, something like that. So it's usually just a little bit less because it's more challenging.

Shawn Stratton: And do you work out doing both? Or do you like one of the other?

Karina Inkster: My thing is chin-ups. Cause I really like them just how they feel and, and pull-ups are fricking challenging. There's like an extra level of challenge. But yeah I mean, technically you should be rotating between them. You don't have to do them both every workout.

Shawn Stratton: I guess they work a little different muscle groups.

Karina Inkster: Yep. Definitely.

Shawn Stratton: Well, I'm not going to be Dave Goggins any day.

Karina Inkster: Oh, that guy is nuts! For swimming though, pull-ups train your lats more. So they might be kind of like a swimmer’s best friend.

Shawn Stratton: I’ll have to get the eight-year-old on the pull-ups now.

Karina Inkster: Definitely. Yep.

Shawn Stratton: Awesome. That’s great.

Karina Inkster: Awesome. So Shawn, thank you so much for coming on the show. It was great speaking with you. As mentioned, we're going to have links to our show notes. Well links in our show notes where we will have info on getting tickets and finding out more about the film festival. Is there any other kind of social media that you want to link to or websites other than the film festival?

Shawn Stratton: Sure. We’re all at @veganfilmfest and #veganfilmfest on Instagram and Twitter. And I'd love to provide a discount code for your listeners.

Karina Inkster: Ooh, Ooh! Much appreciated.

Shawn Stratton: If we can put that in the show notes, that'd be awesome. I don't have it right now, but I can get that in the next day. And if you want to pop that in the show notes that'd be awesome.

Karina Inkster: Oh well, much appreciated. That's exciting. Yeah. We'll definitely put that in there. I'm sure we'll get some new folks interested.

Shawn Stratton: Cool.

Karina Inkster: Awesome. Well, thanks again for coming on the show. Great to learn about the festival and your background. And we look forward to checking out the film festival starting October 30th.

Shawn Stratton: Outstanding. Thanks so much for having me on. It's been great chatting.

Karina Inkster: Shawn, thank you again for speaking with me today, and thank you for providing our listeners with a discount code for the film festival. You can use code NBSV to get 50% off your ticket price. We'll have the discount code and relevant links listed at our show notes Thank you so much for tuning into the podcast.

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