The Other Animals
By Laurent Levy
Learning about how we interact with any kind of "Others," human or not, may be the great quest of our times.
The Other AnimalsApr 30, 2021
The hidden power of local laws for animal advocacy / The crazy politics of Covid vaccines for animals
Jo Anderson from Faunalytics joins us to explore the curious effectiveness of local and municipal legislation for animal advocacy. Even more important than at the state and federal levels? Plus veterinarian Dr. Tom Pickard reveals the staggering reality of why thousands of zoo, aquarium, and even companion animals cannot receive Covid vaccines even though they are readily available.
Google translate for Fido? / The Catskill Animal Sanctuary
Author and New York Times columnist Emily Anthes returns for a fascinating look into animal "translation" -- can eavesdropping with machine learning technology help us to communicate with the animals? Plus visionary Kathy Stevens shares her story in creating the one-of-its-kind Catskill Animal Sanctuary.
A conversation with PETA's Ingrid Newkirk
Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the groundbreaking work "Free the Animals," PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk offers her unique perspective in a wide ranging and compelling look at the long history of the Animal Rights movement - its triumphs, setbacks, and hope for the future.
Gun control and animals
Whenever gun rights in America are debated, there is an accepted exception for self-defense and hunting. What does our gun-obsession say about us, and does the impact on nonhuman animals extend beyond the practice of hunting? Noted professor, author, and political commentator Allan J. Lichtman joins us to explore what guns, or rather, our love of guns say about us and what it means for our fellow travelers. Also, veterinarian Dr. Tom Pickard provides tips to help dogs and cats cope with fireworks.
A conversation with Elliot Connor / Antibiotic Resistance
Join us for a conversation with Australian activist, author, filmmaker, and speaker Elliot Connor as he describes his lifelong goal to reframe our human relationship with the natural world. Plus, veterinarian and author Ingrid Taylor joins our Dr. Tom Pickard to grapple with the issue of antibiotic resistance in nonhuman animals, what it means for us and them, and what the veterinarian establishment can do.
A bonobo, beluga, and bumblebee walk into a bar...
Do non-human animals really laugh? Listen to some samples collected by researchers Greg Bryant and Sasha Winkler from UCLA and decide for yourself. A delightful and insightful conversation about the nuances of play vocalization (and other sounds) that challenges the notion that laughter is a gift exclusive to humans. Plus, veterinarian Dr. Tom Pickard looks at that most overlooked part of our pets' anatomy -- the tail!
"Pretend to be more optimistic"
“Every single objection to the experimental use of animals ... has been ignored and overridden by the scientific industry, and this is not going to change no matter how morally obnoxious, heartless and cruel to the members of other species," Karen Davis wrote after the transplant of a pig heart into a human. In response, Professor Stevan Harnad penned a response urging her to "pretend to be more optimistic." In this episode, we bring them both together for a compelling look at the role attitude and reality play in the Animal Rights movement.
The promise of biological machines, "..designed from the ground up, built by combining together different biological tissues." What does the future of this hybrid research hold and what are the ethical and scientific considerations? A fascinating conversation with pioneer researchers Drs. Michael Levin and Josh Bongard. Plus, thoughts on the 'other' xeno - xenotransplantation and the first "successful" transplant of a pig heart into a human.
Animals on trial -- for real??
Not that long ago, rats, pigs, weevils, eels, grasshoppers, locusts, and even werewolves were put on trial, literally for their lives. Author Steven Spotte describes the real-life shenanigans and spectacle behind these judicial proceedings and what they meant for the Church, the Crown, and especially, the animals themselves. Where does superstition end and heresy begin? His historical fiction, Animal Wrongs, uses three actual cases to try to understand this truly bizarre period of the human/animal mystery.
The Animals' Christmas: Jimmy Webb
A tour-de-force composition, Grammy-winning musician Jimmy Webb describes his collaboration with Art Garfunkel, Amy Grant, The London Symphony, the Wimbledon King's College Choir, and a host of other notable musicians. It's a remarkable piece of music that tells the Christmas nativity story from the perspective of the various animals. The episode includes complete excerpts and Jimmy's insights. Don't miss Incredible Phat, the Innkeeper's Cat!
The Vegan Land Movement - "The Earth is the designated beneficiary"
Sentient Media's Claire Hamlett discusses the nascent but growing phenomenon of crowdfunding to acquire land formerly used for grazing and animal agriculture. What happens to this land once acquired and what are the economic and environmental impacts? Do individual animals and species actually benefit? Plus, what's in a tennis ball? Veterinarian Dr. Tom Pickard has some timely warnings for toys to watch out for this time of year. And, some thoughts on the latest rat control gimmick getting attention in New York City.
The Miraculous Hummingbird!
Renowned author Sy Montgomery joins us for a fascinating look at one of Nature's miracles and her own transformative first-hand experience rescuing and rehabilitating two. Plus, Matt Zampa from Sentient Media gives us the lowdown on the less-than-thrilling results from the recently concluded COP26 conference.
Personhood for Hippos: Just the beginning?
This week Christopher Berry and Ariel Flint from the Animal Legal Defense Fund join us to discuss the historic ruling granting "interested person" status to former drug lord Pablo Escobar's hippos. How did they achieve this breakthrough, and what does it mean for the hippos... and for us? Plus, Sentient Media's Matt Zampa discusses the UK's "butcher shortage" and the COP26 Summit, and veterinarian Dr. Tom Pickard has a warning for the latest food marketing scheme that could poison your dog.
From the Warsaw Ghetto to international animal rights pioneer: a conversation with Dr. Alex Hershaft
Listen to the insights of a former child survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto and Holocaust. Why has the promise of "Never Again!" been so difficult to honor? Can we respectfully apply the lessons of the Holocaust and genocide to other-than-human victims without somehow diminishing the horror of that event? Alex Hershaft, founder of the Farm Animal Rights Movement, provides truly unique perspective on why we must.
Thoughts on the Spotted Lanternfly, Abortion Rights and Animal Rights
With the swirling controversy surrounding the Texas abortion law, we offer a conversation with Sherry Colb and Michael Dorf, authors of "Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights" (recorded in 2019). You'd think the Animal Rights and Pro-Life movements might be allies.. or not? Plus, some musings on what happens if individuals from an invasive species are cute! And veterinarian Tom Pickard looks at the bizarre historical intersection between human and nonhuman medical training.
They may gross us out, but we'd be screwed without them!
If there is any insect in the world we feel justified in squashing, it'd have to be flies and their kin, mosquitos. Author and ethologist Dr. Jonathan Balcombe argues that as occasionally annoying and repulsive as they are, they have a vital role to play in our very survival. In this wide-ranging discussion we look at the possibility of their sentience, their role both beneficial and harmful to us, and even their modern healing properties. Medical maggots, anyone? Plus, Dena Blumenthal from The Humane League updates us on cultured (lab-grown) "meat" for our dogs and cats.
Animals and Journalists: What's in a Word?
In this our 100th episode we launch an exciting collaboration with Sentient Media, a non-profit journalism organization which tackles the complex issue of transparency in media. How do we get past the comfortable expressions and euphemisms that dominate animal coverage in the media and frame some of our most outrageous practices as normal and acceptable? Managing Editor Matt Zampa joins us to break down the issues. Plus, veterinarian Dr. Tom Pickard looks at tail docking and declawing - practices still being performed on our companion animals.
Historic developments with animals and personhood
We welcome back Kevin Schneider of the Nonhuman Rights Project to give us the breaking developments in the case of Happy the Elephant and the complex ramifications, both for her, zoos, and perhaps countless other nonhumans. Plus Dena Blumenthal on the first scalable cultured meat venture and Dr. Tom Pickard on calming dogs and cats during thunderstorms.
Getting kids ready for their first pet
"I promise I'll walk him every day!" What parent hasn't heard that promise before, only to have the reminders start a week later? Author Margrit Strohmaier tackles this problem in her her delightful children's book, "What to Know Before You Get Your Dog." We also look at the curious connection between Dostoevsky and Ingrid Newkirk, and veterinarian Dr. Tom Pickard explores the mangy problem of mange.
Fish on treadmills: You paid for it
In honor of Tax Day, we thought you might find it enlightening to know just what the government is getting for your hard-earned buck. From mudskippers and bears on treadmills to torturing beagle puppies, federally funded animal experimentation is a treadmill unto itself that is almost self-perpetuating. Justin Goodman from the White Coat Waste Project looks at the dark side of government spending, and what you can do about it.
Vegan psychologist Clare Mann explores how to handle being the only sane person in the room!
From conspiracy theorists to extreme polarization to dealing with Crazy Uncle Dave, sit back and enjoy a far-ranging conversation with the world's foremost authority on living with and among those who haven't yet come to terms with their own cognitive dissonance! Dr. Clare Mann offers brilliant and insightful tips that you'll be able to use as soon as Covid lets us get back together again..
"Aloha Rodeo" - Disney, what are you thinking??
Will Disney's forthcoming film adaptation of "Aloha Rodeo" end up glorifying the undeniable misery that goes along with rodeo, or will the film attempt to simply skirt that reality in favor of the feel-good underdog story? An all-star panel of Eric Mills, Steve Hindi, Rebecca Rose Stanton, and Josh Steinhouse look at the project and come up with original suggestions. Disney, are you listening?
Crocodile skins and kangaroo shoes: Animals and the Fashion Industry
While the animal rights movement tends to focus on animal exploitation for food, the garment and fashion industries impose a misery of their own. Emma Håkansson, founder of Collective Fashion Justice and successful model, discusses this overlooked problem and what can be done about it. Also veterinarian Dr. Tom Pickard looks at vaccinations for our pets.
Can one person's buying decisions really have a meaningful impact?
When someone concerned with animal welfare enters the supermarket, do their choices really make a difference in the lives of the animals they'll never see? We're told they do, but just what is the impact and is it necessarily positive? F. Bailey Norwood, who literally co-authored the book on this issue, Compassion by the Pound, joins us to discuss. Plus, veterinarian Tom Pickard takes us into the world of reptile husbandry!
Should the animal rights movement really support "Clean Meat?"
Cultured, clean, cell-based, lab-grown, whatever you'd like to call it -- the production of "real meat" without the "real animal" on the surface seems to be a promising technology offering abundant food on a global level, repair of the environment, and oh yes, reduction of animal suffering. The largest meat corporations in the world are investing heavily in it -- should we be suspicious? Dr. John Sanbonmatsu explores the issues in a candid and revealing interview. Plus, veterinarian Dr. Tom Pickard helps pet owners understand bloodwork lab results.
What's in a word? The curious problem with "meat!"
Love is in the Air!
Can vegans and meat eaters truly find love? Hal Herzog, author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat considers the perils and rewards of romance, dating, and even friendship between partners with conflicting moral convictions. Plus, if you're really committed to your partner, you'll let them dine on your wings... and vice versa. And veterinarian Dr. Tom Pickard looks at unexpected Valentine's Day hazards confronting your pets.