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Episode 199: “Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.”

By Jasmin and Mariann — November 02, 2013

Bear2Welcome to the 199th episode of Our Hen House, featuring Jill Robinson [transcript].

In today’s episode, we ruminate on faux fur and faux leather, Asbury Park, hostile reactions to vegan requests, and why we should speak up despite the hostility. We also discuss why the sudden interest in cannibalism by the media pertains directly to eating animals, and we chat about so-called “ethically-sourced” taxidermy, and why that’s bullshit.

Joining us today is Jill Robinson, the founder of Animals Asia. Jill, who is joining us today from rural China, will talk to us about the bear bile trade and her organization’s efforts to end it. She’ll enlighten us about bears and the sanctuary work she does, and she’ll share with us a few unforgettable animal stories. Jill will also give us the skinny on other exploitative animal industries in China, and – refreshingly – she’ll speak of why she has hope.

For our review, Our Hen House’s Associate Producer Liz Dee will share her thoughts on Pipernilli Cookies, a Brooklyn-based vegan company which, lucky for you, ships!

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’s episode, and then some, take a look at the breaking news ticker at the top of the page, and also check out our list of archived news items.

micYou can listen to our podcast directly on our website (beneath this paragraph!) or you can listen and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher! 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). And here’s an extra, exciting incentive — ALL donations, including flock memberships, between now and December 31 will be matched by our Barnyard Benefactors! Any amount is hugely appreciated, and Our Hen House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, so it’s tax-deductible! You can also dedicate a podcast episode! Don’t forget – we’re reader and listener supported. Plus, we offer some fantastic thank you gifts for your donations. Lastly, we are excited to be able to offer you written transcriptions of our podcast interviews (beginning with Episode 188). Thank you for helping us create quality content, and for helping us bring you a new podcast episode each week!

“Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.” -Edmund Burke






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(3) Readers Comments

  1. November 6, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Thanks for this podcast. Very interesting stuff. I find myself wishing, though, that there is more of an anti-racist lens when you all are discussing some of these issues. For instance, I wonder how Jill Robinson has addressed the issue of being a foreigner with white/Western privilege working to make cultural changes in China. This work can come off as deeply imperialistic, especially because it is part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which has been practiced for hundreds of years.

    • February 7, 2014 at 12:55 am

      Dear Cori, I hope this finds you well. Customs wedded to history do no lend themselves a default privilege by virtue of their vintage nature. Human slavery too is centuries old, as is female genital circumcision in Africa, food binding in East Asia and female child brides in the middle east as well as parts of India; the list is long and substantive. We remain shocked by these practices, yet there are humans everywhere (in the past) as well as today working tirelessly to end these cruel customs which are violent, myopic, cause great suffering and whose shelf life is long past due. I come from Sri-Lanka, a south Asian country; a country that has used, abused and exploited elephants in the form of captive aka "domesticated" elephants for centuries. I encourage all humans - anywhere- and everywhere to speak out against these practices in Sri-Lanka. I find the abuse of animals in any nation abhorrent, yes, the need for an intelligent response requires of advocates a strategic approach - when educating and raising awareness about animals, still, I found nothing (at all) imperialistic about the approach adopted by Ms. Robinson. Animals Asia has almost singlehandedly raised awareness about the unmitigated, relentless cruelty inflicted upon these splendid animals, the last of the moon bears... If we feel that we can (legitimately) advocate against anachronistic practices that bring great harm to humans - despite how "old" these customs are, but feel we must shy away (or use unusual caution) when approaching issues that inflict great suffering upon animals we must ask ourselves - why? Suffering is the great equalizer. It normalizes all life as deserving of compassion and justice. Be well, rosemary. (Neytiri on FB)



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