Creators of BISH, BASH, BOSH, Harry and Ian talk cowspiration
In an age of extraordinary societal division, what’s the one thing we can all agree on? Documentaries! Yay! We flipping love ’em. But imagine if watching a single documentary changed your entire outlook and, in turn, life.
That’s what happened to the BOSH! boys, Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, two pals from Sheffield, now in their mid-30s.
The ex-schoolmates went to see Cowspiracy, the critically acclaimed 2014 film from directors Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, and the seed was planted. If you haven’t seen (it’s on Netflix, guys!), Cowspiracy lifts the lid on the damaging nature of animal agriculture and the impact it has on the planet. Henry explains: “We watched Cowspiracy together on the big screen and I was aghast. As someone who really cares about climate change, I was shocked to know what I ate had such a damaging impact on the planet and decided to join Ian and go vegan overnight. It felt amazing!”
He adds: “Depending on how you count it, at least a third of all greenhouse gas emissions is down to our food. And the majority of the carbon coming out of the agriculture business is coming from animal agriculture; a third of that stuff that’s causing climate change is coming from what we eat and a lot of that is down to meat.”
Ian says: “I can’t think of another film that’s sparked so much of what has become a cultural shift. There’s a swing towards a different way of thinking.”
So the two pals had an idea: to start making plant-based food videos. And so, just three years ago, online recipe channel BOSH! was born. The boys have since amassed well over a billion views, penned BOSH!, the most-successful vegan cookbook of all time, and have now followed it up with BISH BASH BOSH, a vegan spin on Britain’s most-popular dishes. The world is literally their oyster (mushroom).
Unlike some influencers, this wasn’t about the fame; in fact, Ian and Henry didn’t even appear in the initial videos. The plants, rather than the boys, were the star. It made for a truly refreshing approach to the influencer-heavy foodie world.
“It has been an incredible ride,” enthuses Ian. He adds: “It might all sound like, ‘Oh, these guys are in it for themselves.’ It isn’t about that. It’s about the movement.”
Henry adds: “What a privilege. We get to wake up, go downstairs, decide what we want to cook, cook it on camera and share it with the world. And that’s our way to improve the world.”
So next time you hunker down to watch a documentary, keep an open mind. Because – Bosh! – you never know where it might take you.
Bish Bash Bosh! is out now in hardback (HarperCollins, £20)