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Episode 137: “No one has ever become poor by giving.”

By Jasmin and Mariann — August 25, 2012

Welcome to the 137th episode of Our Hen House, featuring Jonathan Lovvorn, the senior vice president for Animal Protection Litigation & Investigations at the Humane Society of the United States.

In today’s episode, we discuss the horrendous backlash caused by Alicia Silverstone’s letter to Putin demanding that the vegan member of “PussyRiot” be given vegan food in prison. We also talk about our tour of Bob’s Red Mill, our visit to the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (and the unexpected wiggly visitors who said hello), the Portland Shanghai Tunnel tour, Jasmin’s exciting galavant to Ground Kontrol, an old-fashioned arcade where Jasmin got to play Centipede and Paper Boy (plus, their cafe will veganize anything!), and we’ll give you the nutshell version of our vegan eating adventures this past week. (By the way, one such vegan restaurant was in a hospital! Can you imagine?!)

Joining us today is Jonathan Lovvorn, the senior vice president for Animal Protection Litigation & Investigations at the Humane Society of the United States. Jon will talk to us about everything from the litigation department at HSUS — including some of the pending cases — to misconceptions about what the laws are that govern animals, to advice for non-lawyers who care about animals, as well as for lawyers and law students who want to help them. Don’t miss this informative and insightful interview with one of the true luminaries in animal law.

Then, we hens will talk about what we call “juice smoothies.” We’ll tell you about the evolution of our consistent and rigorous juice fast regime, and we’ll tell you how to make the perfect green juice smoothie!

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

This week’s news items include:

“No one has ever become poor by giving.” -Anne Frank

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(5) Readers Comments

  1. August 26, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Some burning questions for me to Lovvorn would have been these: Even though HSUS is not an abolitionist group, if he had to look into the crystal ball does he foresee a shift in the legal status of animals away from property status sometime in the near future? Why is there never any discussion and advocacy by HSUS on the actual legal status of animals and instead only on welfare reforms such as the egg bill that are arguably of little benefit to the animals they seek to protect? And what is the end goal for HSUS? Is their end goal simply to improve the welfare of farmed animals or seek to end their exploitation through a variety of incremental welfare reforms? While HSUS seeks bans on other forms of animal exploitation, they do no appear to apply the golden rule or the rule of equal consideration to farmed animals. Why is this? Why should HSUS be promoting happy meat at all when in fact their are plenty of good plant based meats to promote and when in fact the meat industry does a great job at promoting and marketing its product on its own? The last one certainly not a legal or legislative question but one that nonetheless nags at me often.

  2. August 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Here would've been my question(s) for Mr. Lovvorn: Are you vegan? If so, why? If not, why not?I noticed this question was missing...Question of OHH listeners: Can a person be an animal rights "activist" and NOT be vegan?

    • August 30, 2012 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Dan, Jon is most certainly vegan! :-) As for our opinion on the question you are posing to us, it is our opinion that someone who is not vegan is inherently not an animal rights activist. It's so funny you should ask this b/c we had this huge discussion with my brother about this. He's not vegan and was deeply offended that we held this position. Though we certainly understand that many people who are not vegan do wonderful things for animals, for us it is an oxymoron to define yourself as an animal rights activist if you continue to consume them. Some of the folks we feature on our blog do amazing work for animals and aren't vegan, and loads of vegans do nothing for animals (aside from not eating them). So it's a deeper conversation than this comment section allows me to explain/explore. Perhaps we'll ramble about it at some point... Thanks for listening! -Jasmin

  3. September 24, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Hi, I was so excited to hear you mention snakes on the podcast and have largely positive things to say about the encounter! Most snakes are harmless, although there are plenty of harmless patterned snakes and some potentially dangerous un-patterned snakes. I would imagine the staff at the wildlife refuge would know if there are venomous snakes and there are usually signs, at least in CA and AZ.Snakes (like our beloved pit-bulls) are unfairly maligned in the media and I thank you for not contributing to that. Snakes do not have many advocates, despite being subjected to some of the worse abuse imaginable (google rattlesnake roundup or search for it on youtube). If you'd like to read some stories about snakes that will totally change how you think about them, you should check out our blog: (especially posts labeled "Cap Mama" and "Priscilla")Love the podcast! You guys have taught me so much about being a better snake advocate!

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