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Episode 163: “Animals can communicate quite well. And they do. And generally speaking, they are ignored.”

By Jasmin and Mariann — February 23, 2013

Welcome to the 163rd episode of Our Hen House, featuring Dr. Melanie Joy.

In today’s episode, we talk about the recent movie we saw that moved us to copious tears, over and over, and how and why it touched our activist spirit. We’ll tell you about our Valentine’s Day, and why Mariann is the Grinch who tried to steal it. On the upside, there’s a new lesbian bar in our neighborhood, and we’ll tell you about the delicious vegan meal we had there. (DEAR THE DALLOWAY, PLEASE MAKE VEGAN OPTIONS A PERMANENT ADDITION TO YOUR MENU! THANKS! LOVE, THE HENS.)

Then we’ll talk about the popularity of fur, and the articles coming out left and right talking about how it’s the “in thing.” We’ll discuss the frightening inaccuracies of industry PR people who make very inaccurate statements about fur and, for that matter, faux fur, and we’ll chat about one designer’s quest to set them straight.

We’ll also give you an update about the Oregon Zoo’s latest stunt, and we’ll remember Pat Derby.

Joining us today is, once again, the fabulous Dr. Melanie Joy, in her most eye-opening, dare I say life-altering interview yet with us. She’ll talk about how stories feminists tell serve as a model for animal activists. She’ll enlighten us about how this relates to carnism, and she’ll also offer a “101” on what carnism is. She’ll tell us about dominant narratives about veganism that vegans sometimes buy into, and how that can harm the ability to be effective. She’ll confront the question of “personal choice” and offer us vegans some very useful new ways of seeing advocacy. She’ll talk about so much more, too, so don’t miss this – truly. (And don’t miss Melanie’s recent article on One Green Planet.)

For our review, Mariann will tell us about her newest read, Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery, by Spencer Quinn, and she’ll chat about why it’s so enjoyable to read a book narrated by a dog.

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

For a list of the news items we discuss in today episode, and then some, take a look at the breaking news ticker at the top of, and also check out our list of archived news items.

iStock_000008519763_ExtraSmallYou 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, or becoming a member of our flock (especially if you’re a regular listener). Any amount is hugely appreciated, and Our Hen House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, 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 to bring you a new, hour-long (and then some) podcast episode each week!

“Animals can communicate quite well. And they do. And generally speaking, they are ignored.” -Alice Walker

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