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Empowering Men Through Plant-Based Living: Jim O’Quinn's Journey with Bro Pro Vegans

Welcome to Plant Based on Fire, where we delve into the stories of plant-based entrepreneurs. In our latest episode, Bryan sits down with Jim O’Quinn, founder of Bro Pro Vegans. Jim shares his inspiring journey of creating a brotherhood for men who embrace a plant-based lifestyle.

Jim O’Quinn’s Plant-Based Journey

Jim O’Quinn has been a dedicated vegan for 27 years. As a man passionate about health, fitness, and self-improvement, Jim found connecting with others who shared his beliefs challenging.

"If you even have the support of just one like-minded guy, it will keep the flame going,"

Jim says. This sense of isolation inspired him to create Bro Pro Vegans, a community for like-minded men to support and inspire each other.

The Mission and Vision of Bro Pro Vegans

Bro Pro Vegans is more than just a community; it's an alliance dedicated to vibrant health, diverse wealth, lasting bonds, and taking action. These principles guide the content and activities offered, ensuring members have access to resources supporting their personal growth and well-being. Jim emphasizes the importance of making the vegan lifestyle accessible and appealing to all men.

Insights You'll Gain From This Episode

  • Overcoming Social Isolation: Jim discusses the challenges of being a vegan man in a non-vegan world.

  • Building a Brotherhood: Learn about the mission of Bro Pro Vegans and how it creates lasting bonds.

  • Promoting Health and Wellness: Discover the core principles that guide Bro Pro Vegans.

  • Creating Inclusive Spaces: Jim shares his approach to making the vegan lifestyle accessible to all men.

  • Future Vision: Get a glimpse into Jim's plans for expanding Bro Pro Vegans.

Jim’s Advice for Aspiring Plant-Based Entrepreneurs

Jim offers valuable advice for those looking to start their own plant-based ventures. He highlights the importance of finding the right support and not being afraid to ask for help.

"Hire the people who are the experts in those fields and know how to help you,"

he advises. Jim also underscores the significance of having a clear vision and ensuring you have as many things in place as possible before launching.

Jim O’Quinn's story is a testament to the power of community and shared values. Through Bro Pro Vegans, Jim is creating a space where men can connect, grow, and thrive on their plant-based journeys. Join us on this episode of Plant Based on Fire to learn more about Jim O’Quinn and the incredible work he's doing with Bro Pro Vegans.

Subscribe to the Plant-Based On Fire podcast on your favorite streaming platform today and stay connected with our ongoing exploration of the complex plant-based business world.


>Episode’s Transcript

Please understand that a transcription service provided the transcript below. It undoubtedly contains errors that invariably take place in voice transcriptions.

Bryan (00:01.488)

Welcome everybody to Plant Based on Fire, where we talk about plant -based businesses and their inspiring stories to thrive in our industry. I am your host Bryan, and joining us today is Jim O 'Quinn. He is the founder of Bro Pro Vegans, an alliance where members come together in person and online to socialize, learn, and share, and help one another grow. So we are kindred spirits here, Jim, as I am the founder of Real Men Eat Plants, and I look forward to talking with you today. Welcome to the show.

Jim O'Quinn (00:26.638)

You got it. Thank you very much, Bryan, for having me here. I was super excited to get onto the show and just to chat with you and to hear what you have to say and any questions you have and just to spread the word, right? That's what we're all here for. Yeah.

Bryan (00:44.624)

Absolutely. Yes. Awesome. Well, let's, let's dive straight into it a little bit. Like what is sort of that origin story for you? What experiences led you to start a grow pro vegans and what gaps did you see in the vegan community for men?

Jim O'Quinn (01:01.296)

Yep, for sure. So I always like to start with why, and my reason why was I've been in the advertising agency industry for many, many years and I was in Toronto, big city, lots of people and everything. And I was always the oddball in regards to my values, my beliefs, the way I did things. And I didn't fit in a lot of the time with the guys who were around me and I was working with.

you know, going out for steak and beers and wanting to go play video games afterwards. And it was completely polar opposite to who I am and what I've always been about. I've been vegan now for 27 years and yeah, so that it's been an amazing journey like throughout my entire being on this lifestyle. It's been exciting, frustrating, interesting.

But fun, nonetheless, it's always been fun because I love to learn and that's what this is all about. I'm learning every second of every day, basically. So when I was in the agency world, the problem was they didn't jive with my personality, what I liked and didn't like. And when they know I'm not a part of the going out and having barbecues and steak and things like that, it doesn't work so well.

Bryan (02:07.312)

Me too, yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (02:28.369)

on a work level even because, you know, they favor the people who are in line with your beliefs. So at that point, I started brewing the idea. What if I can connect with other guys who are on the same page, same likes, dislikes, all that type of thing. But there was very, very few at the time, 27 years ago, there was very, very few. And as time went by and I started my own business, my wife and I have a graphic design studio and you know,

Bryan (02:30.288)

Mm -hmm.

Jim O'Quinn (02:56.465)

Then I didn't have to worry about the camaraderie with other guys in the group and that. So, but still you go to client meetings, same situation would happen. So networking kicked in and I'm trying to find new business in that. And then you go to these networking groups and again, you know, buffet of bacon and eggs and everything. And I'm like, my, my, my way out was always, I'm fasting today. okay. That sounds good. No questions asked after that. But if I say I'm vegan,

Bryan (03:12.78)


Bryan (03:19.568)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (03:23.698)

You get that look, you know, it's like, what the hell? So from that point on, I said, I've definitely got to create a group where guys just like myself can come together on business level, on a social level to grow in every aspect of life. Right. And I started the groundwork for Bro Pro Vegans a year ago and chunk by chunk, piece by piece, I've been putting it together, talking to all sorts of amazing people.

Bryan (03:23.856)

I know. Yeah.

Bryan (03:40.144)

Mm -hmm. Yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (03:53.17)

And getting that dialogue back, getting that feedback to see, is this a viable thing? Am I the only one or maybe one other person? But no, it's been phenomenal because the more I open up doors, the more I'm finding other guys just like us. And it's so exciting. And the biggest group, I like calling this an alliance because that's truly what it is. You know, us coming together and supporting and helping one another. And so Bro Pro Vegans was born.

Bryan (04:07.504)


Bryan (04:15.024)



I love it. That is awesome. I have so many questions because I think we're kindred spirits on that. So I will try, let's try and stick to the ones I have outlined, but we may spend a few minutes at the end if you have the time. so talk to us a little bit more, like what is the bro pro vegans mission, vision, and how do you articulate that at the core of what your organization's trying to do?

Jim O'Quinn (04:24.818)


Jim O'Quinn (04:32.753)


Jim O'Quinn (04:43.603)

So it's a dual purpose entity. If, if for lack of a better word, the word entity is a group, it's not a company right now because what it is, it's a knowledge resource and it's a social alliance, a social network for the actual camaraderie that I've been trying to develop over the years. So with regards to the knowledge center that lives on primarily the website, that is a hub of free knowledge.

for people to tap into and it covers the core principles that we build everything on, vibrant health, diverse wealth, lasting bonds and taking action. All of those are our core principles within BroPro and they're so, they're very all encompassing is what they are. And there's something in there for everybody at every stage of life.

any journey, whether they're on a vegan lifestyle journey or not, it doesn't matter because we talk about relationships, we talk about business, we talk about all different types of things and that's the main hub. There's also the social media channels that are out there. So you got your little tidbits that pop up there and in the works, we've got a YouTube channel starting, going to happen soon enough, but

That's an exciting one. That one I've been thinking about for a very, very long time and it's gonna happen very soon. But what I wanted to do was offer as many people out there as possible information to help them with real life things because there's so much clutter, there's so much controversy with things. I wanted to extract the real truth and answers behind things.

and to simplify things because the way people do things right now is just way too complicated. It doesn't need to be that complicated. And then as I mentioned, the social aspect, that is the bare bones basics. It's guys coming together to help one another, to hang out with one another and to talk. So whether it's online through Zoom, or if it's going out for a coffee, for dinner, or doing a polar plunge, all sorts of great things, that's what it's all about.

Bryan (06:37.712)


Bryan (07:01.328)

Right. I love it. Very, very well said. So I'm curious, cause I try to unpack this problem a lot on the Real Many Plants podcast. And it's that question of like in your perspective, what are those big challenges that men face when they're trying to transition to the plant -based or vegan lifestyle?

Jim O'Quinn (07:23.124)

It's a multi -level issue, but the basics is other guys doing the same thing you are. So, you know, to be liked by the tribe, you need to be like the tribe. I don't know if I said that correctly, but okay. Yeah. That's right. That's right. And...

Bryan (07:40.08)

No, you nailed it, right? We have that peer pressure in every tribe we go into as a guy, I think.

Jim O'Quinn (07:47.797)

In private, in the home setting, guys will dabble with the idea, I'll try that Beyond Meat burger, see what it tastes like. And they'll be like, actually, this is pretty good. And they're excited about it. And that flame that gets ignited at that point is doused pretty quickly the minute they sit in front of a bunch of guys who are all eating the typical sad diet. And it doesn't stay lingering very long until it gets reignited.

Bryan (07:56.496)

Yeah, yeah.

Bryan (08:03.984)


Jim O'Quinn (08:15.925)

And if you even have the support of just one like -minded guy, one like -minded person, it will keep the flame going. And the more they learn and they experience the benefits that that's, that's the key to once you start to experience those benefits, you kind of can stand up tall, stand on your own and say, guys, no, no, these burgers are way better than that. Like, I don't have sleep apnea anymore. I got rid of my meds. It's like,

Bryan (08:22.416)

Mm -hmm.


Bryan (08:42.384)

Yeah. Right. Yeah. That's right. That's right. Yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (08:45.972)

I'm not going back there. And that's the key. Yeah. So it's giving them the knowledge, giving them the experience and helping coax them along.

Bryan (08:56.528)

So what do you think are some of your keys to how you're supporting members on that transition?

Jim O'Quinn (09:04.406)

So with the transition, it's giving people a taste of what this lifestyle is all about. So I'm not strict in regards to how we have other guys joining the group. They don't have to be vegans. They can be experimenting. They can be just here to listen and everything like that. I want to shine the light on this lifestyle and the beauty of it and the positivity of it. And by...

helping them see a little bit of it, they can grow and learn on their own. But knowing that this, your channel is out there, my network is out there, and there's hundreds more starting to pop up everywhere. The support is there, the fun is there, the excitement is there, and it makes it just so much easier for people to experiment, transition, and stay on this lifestyle.

Bryan (10:01.968)

I love it. What, what is, what sort of, do you have figured out a vision for a business model and the structure for it yet?

Jim O'Quinn (10:11.542)

I have, and you know, everything is incremental. And if I were to, I'll just unveil the big ideas behind everything here with regards to the website, I want that to have a heavy volume, like hundreds of people visiting every day, extracting the information, doing with it, doing with it as they please. And then when it comes to the social side of things.

Bryan (10:15.824)

Mm -hmm.

Bryan (10:22.448)


Bryan (10:33.744)

Mm -hmm.

Jim O'Quinn (10:39.575)

small get togethers is what it's going to start out as, and then it's going to get bigger because this is not just local. This is international that I'm working with here. The logistics behind it is challenging because we've got members who are in the UK, in BC, in Florida, Miami. We're not going out for a coffee next week, that type of thing, but we can hop on a call. But with regards to the big picture, this is kind of like an introduction on a social level.

Bryan (10:42.704)


Bryan (10:58.672)

Right. Yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (11:09.495)

to one another. So being part of Bro Pro Vegans, you are on a roster of like -minded individuals. We all become these brotherhood of great guys and you can contact each one individually. So you can find out that down the street, there's three other guys. I had no idea. And they're just there. And then you go out for coffee, go out for dinner and you grow that relationship that way. Monthly, there'll be bigger events where we have...

Bryan (11:27.312)

Yep, that's right.

Jim O'Quinn (11:36.6)

speakers coming up online or in person, depending on the logistics again. And the big, big goal is an epic adventure that's going to happen yearly. So we would find a central location that's not too far from everybody. But if we're going to Antarctica to go do a polar plunge there, God, yeah. Like the options are endless and it would be incredible just that bonding experience to have and

Bryan (11:55.6)

I love it. I'm in. Let's go. Yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (12:06.583)

That, that, that right there, that cast in stone lifelong friendships for sure.

Bryan (12:11.536)

1000%. Yeah, I agree completely. So I'm curious, like what kind of, have you been experimenting with the different kinds of content? Cause I find what we do in the plant based vegan space, and this is probably for any entrepreneur that's listening to this show is it's, it's controversial. And I'm curious, like, have you triggered and figured out some of the ways that you have some effective content? And I just throw out, for example, we just did like a grocery store comparison episode.

Jim O'Quinn (12:12.991)


Bryan (12:41.488)

And we're getting a lot of comments on that particular post right now saying that, no, it's, you know, the meat eaters are coming out of the woodwork and they're putting out their comments that no, I'll stick to my meat. and I'm trying to find the right discourse to have with them and just say, I agree to disagree on that front or, you know, hit them with a couple of facts. And, but I'm curious, they've spent the time to leave the comment and stuff, but it's either, I love it or I hate it. There's no happy medium in what we're doing in this space. Right.

Jim O'Quinn (12:51.031)

Yeah. Yeah.

Bryan (13:10.928)

So what do you think are some of the keys to the right kind of content for businesses to create?

Jim O'Quinn (13:10.967)

And it's so true.

Jim O'Quinn (13:17.3)

Well, part of that, you got your clickbait, you've got your controversial content, you've got the hot topics of the day and where you step in and your point of view. So those are all things that everybody's playing and experimenting with, right? Some of the influencers out there that we see right now, you can see their content is evolving and stuff and they're jumping on the bandwagon because, I'm going to do my description of what's happening in this event. What?

you know, there's a video that went viral and their take on it, you know, that's starting to pop up more and more. But when I evaluated how I've always wanted to get this message out there for pro -pro vegans, I wanted to stay true to my values and my way of doing things, whether that's going to work out or not in the long run, I don't know. But my point to that was I don't want to follow what everybody else is doing. What's getting all the clicks.

You know, you have AI that can generate all sorts of stuff and clicks for you and that, but I'm trying to do natural, you know, honest to goodness content right now that I feel has true value because they're answers to questions I've had in the past from other people asking, you know, how do you do this? What's the best way of doing this, this and that. And by doing those types of answers, that was my content.

Bryan (14:27.759)

Mm -hmm.

Jim O'Quinn (14:42.872)

I'm doing, so phase one is all about this. And what I'm hoping to do is evaluate after I see it's working or not working and then start altering the content. But again, I do like the idea of finding out what people really want to hear and what they have to say.

Bryan (15:03.856)

Yeah, I love it. That is very, very true. Some good, good little tips there. What do you see as the future trends? Like what was emerging in this plant based space? Especially a guy guess regarding the men's side of it.

Jim O'Quinn (15:15.993)

That I'm.

Right. I do see for a fact that more and more men are open to this lifestyle. 80 % of, I don't know if that number is correct, but 80 % of vegans are usually women because they are, you know, that's just always the way it's been, but more. Exactly. So.

Bryan (15:33.136)

I agree.

Bryan (15:37.968)

So if you're a single guy listening to this right now, come vegan just because.

Jim O'Quinn (15:45.146)

It's becoming more masculine. It's become being vegan is shown is being portrayed in documentaries and movies and it's everywhere that you're not a hippie You're not some scrawny weak guy and I think the stereotype that's been set on the vegan lifestyle even the plant label plant -based lifestyle has been Uprooted and it's being broken and I think more and more people guys in particular

are getting the idea that this is working out. I'm going to try it. Let's experiment. But yeah.

Bryan (16:18.52)

I love it. That's, that's, that's where, that's where we have to get it to go. Like that's what I, I try to say, like, I make a pretty mean loaf of banana bread. That's a hundred percent vegan. And I tell it to people and they're like, you're cooking. I'm like, yeah, baking bread. You know, like that's the manly thing to do. And I didn't use any eggs with that banana bread. So, I want to see more of that for my skies.

Jim O'Quinn (16:31.097)

Yeah. Yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (16:37.145)

Yeah. Yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (16:46.106)

Well, two points to that, right? When people, like in my family, I've been the one who's always done the grocery shopping and cooking. I love doing it. And anybody who's ever had an issue with you do the cooking, why doesn't your wife do it? Right away, you're not in the same mindset as me, so let's not talk too much anymore. But Gordon Ramsay, did anybody give him a hard time? And Jamie Oliver and all of these incredible men.

Bryan (16:55.792)


Bryan (17:05.136)

Yeah, that's right.

Bryan (17:12.624)

Right. Yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (17:16.059)

who have been cooking since forever, that's not an issue. You know what I mean? But yeah, I see what you're saying with regards to getting more people to understand that this is no longer a lifestyle that's set for women or feminine guys or guys who aren't masculine. It's everybody, yeah.

Bryan (17:17.584)

Yeah. That's right. Yep.

Bryan (17:34.544)

That's right.

That's right. That's right. So what, you know, you're, you're just getting started with your journey to a degree, but, tell us some of the successes and challenges that you've faced as you've gotten started. These tips and tricks, I think help other plant -based entrepreneurs, you know, avoid them or make sure they get through them quickly.

Jim O'Quinn (17:55.74)

Yeah. Yeah. so with me, I'm still learning. Like I said, I'm always learning and everything like that. And I believe that working with the right people is a key. for example, things that I'm not strong suited in with regards to SEO, for example, all that fun stuff. That's, that's it. That's a business on its own. And I decided.

Bryan (18:19.824)


Jim O'Quinn (18:21.244)

hire the people who are the experts in those fields and know how to help you. And that will give you the freed up time to focus on what your strengths are. Mine's creativity. I've always been a creative guy. So coming up with the content, the design, the look, the feel for things, that gives me the opportunity. I'm not spending a month in class learning how to do SEO. I don't want to do that. So that's a big piece of advice to do that.

Bryan (18:45.872)

That's right.

Jim O'Quinn (18:49.147)

I also like to have as many ducks in a row as possible before I launch anything. So I don't like to half ass anything. So with regards to BroPro, I made sure the website was up, filled with as much content as I could to start. I know you could waste so much time waiting to have every little thing done, right? That's not where I was at with that. And I don't recommend holding off and waiting because the longer you wait, the less success you're going to have.

Bryan (19:12.496)


Jim O'Quinn (19:18.781)

But I like the idea of having as many things in place and thought out in advance too, because that's also very important.

Bryan (19:26.832)

I love it. That's very, very true. I, it's a funny joke. I actually tell my teams that I work with quite a bit weeks and weeks of doing will save hours of planning. So, something like that, you know, it just gets you, gets you thinking for sure. so how, how do you see bro pro growing in the next five to 10 years? What's your, what's your 10 year goal for it?

Jim O'Quinn (19:33.372)

Mm -hmm.

Jim O'Quinn (19:38.364)


Jim O'Quinn (19:54.685)

The 10 year goal is to definitely have as many people back to the website as possible. It won't be just contributions of mine, of my content, but the goal is to have the other brothers in the group, their stories, their content, their information, because this has always been designed to extract information from everybody. We all have a story. We all have expertise. We all have something to say.

And I want to keep recording those. I want to keep showing those to the world that it's not just me, it's not just that guy. It's these 500 ,000 other guys who are all saying their own little tweak on this lifestyle and life in general. As I mentioned before, this isn't just about being a vegan. This is about being a healthy, strong, empowered, exciting, awesome man, right? A family man, a guy who can...

Bryan (20:31.344)

That's right.

Bryan (20:46.608)

I love it.

Jim O'Quinn (20:48.542)

that's the other part to this with helping men become the best they can be that trickles down. It has a ripple effect because then they become better husbands, better brothers, better sons and, colleagues and everything. So when you make the man a better person in the family, the whole family becomes better. And so with the growth of BroProVegans for the 10 year growth, in the distance,

Bryan (21:09.52)


Jim O'Quinn (21:16.094)

It's not just a big group of just men. It would be families. It will be kids. It will be everybody all together in different pubs, you might say. Men would still be men because men still need that one -on -one conversations. They still need to be guys in front of guys and not have to put up a front in front of other people that are like what women and colleagues and stuff. So that's that part.

Bryan (21:37.84)


Jim O'Quinn (21:44.67)

with regards to the camaraderie component, I really want to have this network of guys networking as friends. Business, if there's business in there, fantastic, because when you need a garage door, do you just go through search ads online and get a door? No, you don't. You go to your neighbor and say, who did your door? I really like it. And there's your referral. And that's what the basis of this is.

Bryan (22:09.616)

Yeah. Yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (22:14.463)

If you have brothers that you really love and care for, and you believe in them and you respect them, they're the ones you're going to refer for new business. So everybody wins on all levels. The trust is there, the friendships there. And so in 10 years time, I anticipate that businesses are going to explode because you have the right support helping you at the right time, because you're all on the same page. It's going to be a place where people have changed the lives.

of thousands and thousands of other people within or around them. And at the same time, saving millions of creatures and helping to heal the planet. So there's going to be hundreds of different amazing things like that. You know, people are planting trees on your behalf, taking plastic out of the ocean. I want to affiliate with other people who are doing crazy, amazing things like that and helping them grow, getting their word out there.

Bryan (23:08.688)


Jim O'Quinn (23:12.383)

and all circling back to being a part of this alliance.

Bryan (23:16.368)

I love it. Very well said. I am so glad we were able to connect and be together here and hang out and get to know each other a little bit more. I was, I went to, where did I hear that? It was probably at church and sometime in the past week or two. and they were talking about friendships and how, he pulled out the statistics on the men and, and I can't sit here and say that I don't disagree with them. And it was something along the lines of.

Jim O'Quinn (23:18.398)

Thank you.

Bryan (23:45.008)

In 1990, your average guy had six close friends. That was about 55%, I think, of guys had six close friends. And in 2024, when they did the poll again, they came back and they say it dropped down to 27 % of men have six close friends.

Jim O'Quinn (23:58.43)

Mm -hmm.

Bryan (24:09.552)

And I know I do not probably have those six close friends on that. I have a lot of business acquaintances, I'd say, but, you know, having moved a bunch and all that stuff. So I totally agree with your mission and vision and, hope that we do get to take a polar flunch in Antarctica sometime in the next 10 years together. That would be awesome. So, so what can we do as a community to help? And, how do we get in touch? Where do we find you?

Jim O'Quinn (24:26.751)


It would be for sure.

Jim O'Quinn (24:38.817)

Well, so definitely I would love to have as many people join BroProVegans as possible. At this point, when it comes to the joining component, it's for men, right? But I want to share the knowledge that us as a collective group of men have with everybody out there. So if you can go to the website, I don't know if you have a link available, but I'll do. Yeah, so it's real simple. I made it simple, broprovegans .com. Simple as that.

Bryan (25:00.688)

We can put that up there, yeah.

Jim O'Quinn (25:07.872)

And from there you can connect with us. That's our social channels are on there Email if you want to contact us directly through email it's there and There's also the opportunity for guys to join the group right there so and Yeah The next step is up to them. But as far as getting people to know about Bro -Bo Vegans Watching your podcast your videos everything like that. I'm hoping it's going to

get to some guys out there who are keen on joining and we would love to have you and it's just exciting to hear everybody's stories to get to talk and everything. So it's all great.

Bryan (25:40.816)


Bryan (25:48.656)

I love it. Well, thank you so much for being on the show with us today, Jim. We really appreciate you sharing your insights and experiences with us in the community. That is all the time we have for this episode of Plant Based on Fire. Until next time, everybody, keep that fire burning.

Jim O'Quinn (26:07.872)

Thanks, Bryan.


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