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Episode 167: “There is no such thing as ‘humane’ meat. There’s marginally less cruel meat. Let’s call it what it is.”

By Jasmin and Mariann — March 23, 2013

Jack Norris, RD

Welcome to the 167th episode of Our Hen House, featuring Jack Norris, RD, with a special appearance by Katrina Donovan Fleming.

On today’s episode, we discuss the idea that silence equals death – a slogan made popular by the AIDS activism movement, but we’re going to discuss it today as it pertains to animal activism. We’ll also chat about what happens when animal advocates and vegans are misunderstood, and we’ll ruminate on how to articulate – in a rational way – what we humans are taking from an animal when we take away their life, as opposed to what we take from them when we make them suffer.

Joining us today is registered dietician Jack Norris, who is also the co-author (with Virgina Messina) of Vegan For Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet. In light of all of the talk lately about “lapsed vegans,” Jack is going to get down and dirty with us regarding the subject of “failure to thrive.” He’ll talk, in-depth, about the ins and outs of veganism, and what specifically vegans should be mindful of when it comes to living with optimal health.

For our review, we welcome special guest Katrina Donovan Fleming, who will give us her take on the 1995 movie Powder, from a unique animal rights perspective.

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

Two things of note:

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!

“There is no such thing as ‘humane’ meat. There’s marginally less cruel meat. Let’s call it what it is.” -Ingrid Newkirk

Featured photo on previous page (of red tail hawk) by Chris Taylor of Wild Love Photography.

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(7) Readers Comments

  1. March 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

    The photo is a red-tailed hawk. :) Chris

    • Jasmin Singer
      March 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Ack! Okay, fixed -- thanks, Chris!! Beautiful image, as always. xo j

  2. March 23, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    I'm only partway through this podcast, but wanted to thank you for addressing vegan privilege and the notion of respecting the many faces of activism (save violent activism, of course). As a fairly new vegan of under a year, I can say that there was a time not too long ago when I would have viewed the actions of some of the more radical activists as extreme and may have/probably did use my desire not to be associated with such individuals as an excuse, of sorts, not to further my own journey toward veganism.Becoming vegan has truly extended my circle of compassion not only to non-human animals, but deepened my compassion for human animals as well. By seeking the common threads of passionate protection of all animals, your ramblings section of today's podcast will help me address those who point to more "extreme" activists (to which they cannot relate and use such individual examples to label all vegans as crazy and therefore not like them) as a way of keeping veganism conveniently at arms length. As you said, the movement is made up of individuals and we can each find/make our place within it and demonstrate a greater measure of respect and support for one another by recognizing shared core values within different methods of expression.P.S. I laughed out loud when Jasmin said, "Some of you may be listening to this podcast while driving - BE CAREFUL!"

  3. March 28, 2013 at 10:59 am

    As always, the podcast was great. I was particularly struck by the review. It's funny -- to be moved to comment by a review of a movie I never saw. First, one of the things that makes the podcast and the magazine and the whole vibe of Our Hen House so powerful is your honesty -- you and Mariann always come from the heart and that made your recollection of your 16 year old self that much more touching. I try to cast my mind back and I think I would have reacted as you did to the deer scene -- "that poor man is suffering." And I think (for me) it's because everything I'd been taught about how to react to art was about the human journey. Animals were quite literally the props that helped tell the story of a human's journey from one emotional place to another.I was also struck by two things Katrina said. First, how the information she received about veganism and animal rights felt cumulative. It's exactly how I approach my job in sales (to bring it to the mundane). We plant seeds -- but we call them "touches" and you sometimes have to touch a prospective client a dozen or more times before they will say "OK, let's talk." It's no different than a friend finally saying "What was that podcast you told me about?" Second, I am fascinated by the mechanism that we who are former meat eaters used to bury the information we received before we woke up to the truth. I'd see a photo of slaughter and have that gut reaction and then I could feel it ... slide away -- that's the best way to describe it. And it felt so good to let it go and everything around me told me to let it go and it was so easy. And maybe that's also what Katrina meant by the cumulative effect -- at some point your conscience just can't let it slide any more and you finally, consciously make the choice to live in alignment with your values.

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