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Episode 453: Rachel Atcheson, Daniel Staackmann and Nicole Sopko

By Jasmin and Mariann — September 15, 2018

First, Mariann talks to Rachel Atcheson about the incredible work she is helping Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams do to promote plant-based diets, her “meatless Mondays” pilot project, her work as Animal Welfare Liason under Mayor DiBlasio, and how to be more active for animals in your local politics. Rachel Atcheson worked in animal protection for five years, most recently in a political capacity. She is now Deputy Strategist for Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, where she is working on plant-based nutrition initiatives. Rachel started as an intern with The Humane League as their Boston Coordinator. She then moved on to work in the New York City Mayor’s Office as the Animal Welfare Liaison, the only position of its kind in the country. At the Mayor’s Office Rachel worked on numerous initiatives, including the banning of wild animals in the circus and a Meatless Monday pilot for Brooklyn public schools. In Rachel’s current position she is working on nutrition initiatives, healthy eating resources for individuals, and municipal support for urban agriculture.

Then, Jasmin visits Upton’s Breakroom in Chicago to chat with Daniel Staackmann and Nicole Sopko from Upton’s Naturals about the expanding popularity of Upton’s products, what it’s like running a vegan business in 2018, and the work they are doing to create a positive impact for people around them.

Also, Jasmin and Mariann continue their ongoing discussion about the connotations of the word “vegan,” and discovering fellow vegans in the wild. We’ve also got News and Rising Anxieties.

This week’s episode is brought to you in part by V-Dog, VeganWear, and the Animal Law Conference.

As always, the award-winning weekly Our Hen House podcast is hosted by Mariann Sullivan and Jasmin Singer.


This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at

You can listen to our podcast directly on our website, or subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcatcher! Also, if you like what you hear, please rate it and leave us a comment on iTunes! 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! Thank you for helping us create quality content, and for helping us bring you a new podcast episode each week!

The Our Hen House theme song is written and sung by the incredible Michael Harren, who is also OHH’s Director of Communications! Don’t forget to tune into Our Hen House’s other two podcasts: The Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan Podcast, and The Animal Law Podcast.

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