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Episode 147: “When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade without further introduction.”

By Jasmin and Mariann — November 03, 2012

Welcome to the 147th episode of Our Hen House, featuring James McWilliams.

In today’s episode, we give you our thoughts, and some updates, on the horrific aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. These include everything from thoughts on forgotten animals, to updates on how this hit close to home for us – quite literally – to the glaringly obvious, yet still unspoken reality, that this kind of storm will soon be commonplace.

We’ll also tell you about the vegan vittles at Jasmin’s birthday party, including a recap of everything from henna, to upcycling, to the gluten-free cake that was forced upon us. We’ll chat about musicals, Brussels Sprouts, and the delightful items one podcast listener named after us.

Hold onto your rescued horses, folks, because today we’ll also ruminate about the dire importance of independent media, and we’ll let you in on a very prominent lefty journalist who – according to the word on the street – recently went vegan. Moving on, we’ll ask you to help someone in our community to get her stellar vegan cooking show on a PBS station near you; we’ll discuss zoos; and we’ll vent about people eating corpses right next to us on our fancy night out. Mariann will also get us up to speed on the happenings in her animal law class in a segment we like to call “The Professor and Mariann.”

Joining us today is the one and only James McWilliams, historian, scholar, and author. James will give us the inside scoop on his new book, his prolific work surrounding the Bill and Lou saga, his feelings about Jonathan Safran Foer, and why and how he ties his personal activism to his long-distance running. Don’t miss this interview with one of our favorite activists and people.

For our review, we’ll talk about a recent episode of the TV show, Bones, starring vegan activist Emily Deschanel. The new episode, entitled “The Tiger in the Tale,” brings to light important issues involving wild animals held in captivity, as well as several other through-lines that will likely prompt you to write a big fat thank you note to Fox (I’ll bet you never thought that would happen!). We’ll tell you all about it.

All that, vegan banter, and of course, current events from the world of animal rights.

This week’s news items include:

“When a man loves cats, I am his friend and comrade without further introduction.” –Mark Twain

The Our Hen House podcast is sponsored by The Seed: A Vegan Experience, which is currently gearing up for a Yoga Week – 5 days of urban zen and plant-based empowerment. The Seed brings you events, conferences, and happenings that raise awareness about the many delicious, cruelty-free alternatives to animal products.

You can listen to our podcast directly on our blog (below!) or you can listen and subscribe on iTunes. Also, if you like what you hear, please rate it on iTunes, and don’t forget to leave us a friendly comment! Of course, we would be thrilled if you would also consider making a donation. If you’re a weekly listener, you might consider making a recurring monthly donation. Any amount is hugely appreciated, and Our Hen House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so it’s tax-deductible! Don’t forget — we’re reader and listener supported. Plus, we offer some fantastic thank you gifts for your donations. Thank you for helping us to create quality content, and for helping us bring you a new, hour-long podcast each week!






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(4) Readers Comments

  1. Genevieve
    November 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    First, love your show and generally agree with what you all have to say but a few things came up in this episode that struck me as odd and would love for you to address them. I understand your frustration when SO many people still refuse to acknowledge that climate change is, at least in part, human induced. However, one of the most environmentally destructive activities one can engage in (in addition to animal consumption) is flying. You all fly quite often for various events and lectures and I wonder how you can complain about people who are ignorant while you yourselves are not ignorant about this matter, but choose to engage in climate change inducing behaviors rather frequently...I am sure you justify it because you feel it is so important for people to meet you in the flesh for your message to be effective, but I question if this is true. Everyone has their justifications for why we engage in the behaviors we do, but yours aren't objectively any better than the excuses of anyone else. However, this excusing of behavior is exactly the problem and will not do anything to combat human induced climate change. Until we change our behavior to be in line with our value system, we cannot complain about the behaviors of others. Second, you briefly touched on the fact that floods and other natural disasters are occurring worldwide. I appreciate this acknowledgment- I have less of a complaint against Our Hen House as i do the common mentality and sentiments of the mass media and individuals with whom I speak regarding the fact that those on the east coast are temporarily without electricity. This is true and inconvenient, however rather than lamenting that wealthy (compared to the rest of the world) Americans are without power maybe we can step back for one moment and contemplate the fact that billions of people around the world in the 21st century have NEVER had power. Never in their entire lives. We really need to put American problems into perspective here. The east coasters will be find and back to their lives as normal soon enough, for so many this will never be the case.

  2. jessika
    November 4, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Joan Dunayer's book, Animal Equality, has an excellent chapter discussing zoos. If anyone out there reads one thing about zoos-make this be it!

  3. November 7, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Another excellent episode. Thank you! @Genevieve, I read your comment and feel compelled to say that while I know that what you say about climate change and American privilege is accurate and heartfelt, I can't help but feel you are making the wrong assumptions here. After 147 episodes, it is abundantly clear just how much Jasmin and Mariann care about these issues and about changing the world for animals and the planet we all inhabit. Most of the work they do occurs digitally, from this website to their weekly podcast, from daily Facebook and Twitter updates to articles for journals and magazines. However, I'm sure they are also aware of the power of face-to-face communication, and I believe that by accepting speaking and teaching engagements away from their home base, they are reaching many, many more people than they would otherwise. I have the impression that of all people, these two women never stop working for the sake of the animals and the planet, never compromise their values for the sake of convenience or comfort. Human beings, like all living creatures, cannot help making an impact on the earth in the course of daily living. I've never heard anything on the podcast that gave me the impression that they were taking frivolous plane rides or not living in a manner consistent with concern for the environment. I'm not sure how you know their mode of travel, but I have mostly heard them speak of taking public transit, riding trains, and driving grandma's car across the country (instead of flying.) I suppose they could have walked or ridden their bikes from New York to Oregon. Given what I've witnessed from OHH, I wouldn't count that out.



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