By Katharine Creagh
ANIMALISTICApr 25, 2021
Are Feminists required to be Vegan?
The inspiration from today's episode came from the 2019 paper: The Milkmaid’s Tale: Veganism, Feminism, and Dystopian Food Futures, by Dr Angela Lee. I was lucky enough to have Dr Lee join me to discuss her work on the systemic nature of food, and how our dietary choices are intrinsically linked to social justice issues. I ponder the questions: is it morally admissible for vegetarians and vegans to eat fake meat products? And if you consider yourself a feminist, does this mean that you are morally required to be vegan?
What can our kinship with animals tell us about our relationships with other humans?
I speak with Maythe Han, a PhD anthropology researcher who has been investigating kinship between humans and their dogs. Despite the project being "a love letter" to her own dog, she has uncovered a dark side to our love for our closest canine companions...
Just how close are we to our Chimpanzee cousins?
As humans, we love to categorize. But what if these categorizations don't really reflect biological relaity? Professor Volker Sommer joins me this week to give us some insight into the history, and the problems with, the taxonomic system, inlcuding whether some non-human primates should actually be included in our "human" genus Homo.
A special message for my listeners
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Can an elephant be legally recognised as a person?
Happy, a captive elephant, currently has a petition filed on her behalf for a common law writ of habeas corpus (that is, against unlawful and indefinite imprisonment) in the New York Supreme Court. Those who filed the petition are demanding recognition of Happy’s legal personhood and fundamental right to bodily liberty. But what is legal personhood? What does it mean to be a "person"? To answer these questions I'm joined by Dr Joe Wills of the University of Leicester, expert in human rights, animal rights and legal, political and moral theory.
Why do we use Primates in research?
A "behind the scenes" look at the history, and current practices of using primates in laboratory research. Why do we use these animals? What are the problems associated with their use? To help answer these questions I am joined by Janire Castellano Bueno, PhD student at Newcastle University, who works on improving welfare for laboratory rhesus macaques.
Do animals play?
Dr Raoul Schwing of the Kea Lab in Austria joins me to talk about one of his favourite topics, play. Do animals play? Why? And what special purpose does play serve in Kea parrots, one of the smartest and most mischievous birds on the planet?
What does a vet and an environmentalist have in common?
My guest today is Dr Simon Doherty of Queens University, Belfast. He talks to me about risks of zoonotic diseases, and how the best way to tackle these, and other public health problems is through communication and collaboration across scientific fields.
What is sentience anyway?
This month, the UK government introduced a Bill to formally recognise animals as sentient beings. But what does this mean? And why is it important? What animals are sentient, and how do we know? To answer (some) of these questions I am joined by Dr Janet Pauketat, research fellow at the Sentience Institute.
Do fish feel pain?
I am joined by Dr Lynne Sneddon, a fish pain and welfare expert, who explains the research she does on fish pain, her incredible discoveries, and how she is using this research to drive welfare changes for fish everywhere
Is the media brainwashing us?
Dr. Judith Benz-Schwarzburg, a scholar of human-animal studies at the Messerli Institute, Vienna, joins me to discuss how the media diverts scruitiny from the meat industry, and how advertisers use clever tricks to sooth our conscience and keep us spending our money on their products, guilt-free. This conversation left me wondering... is the media brainwashing us?