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Episode 495: Melanie Joy on Powerarchy

By Jasmin and Mariann — July 06, 2019

This week, Jasmin talks to Melanie Joy about her upcoming book, Powerarchy: Understanding the Psychology of Oppression for Social Transformation. They talk about what powerarchy is and why it’s an important concept for vegans and non-vegans; how powerarchy relates to intersectionality; how powerarchy is at work in social justice movements as well as in our relationships to ourselves; and practical, mindful ways that we can transform powerarchy within our circles.

Dr. Melanie Joy is a Harvard-educated psychologist, international speaker, strategic vegan advocacy trainer, and relationship coach. She is the author of five books, including the award-winning Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows as well Powerarchy: Understanding the Psychology of Oppression for Social Transformation. Dr. Joy was a lecturer at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, for 11 years, where she taught courses on privilege and oppression, feminist psychology, and animal rights. She has given talks and trainings on six continents and in over 45 countries, and her work has been featured in major media outlets around the world. She is the eighth recipient of the Ahimsa Award – previously given to the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela – for her work on global nonviolence. Dr. Joy is also the founding president of the charitable organization Beyond Carnism, co-director of the Center for Effective Vegan Advocacy, and co-founder of ProVeg International. You can learn more about her work at

In the intro to this episode an incident in the middle of the Broadway show What The Constitution Means To Me inspires Jasmin to send a note to the artist, foie gras, and the difference between being righteous and being self-righteous. After the interview, Mariann brings us some Rising Anxieties. More info in the show notes!

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

This week’s episode is brought to you in part through a generous donation from BetterHelp. Use the promo code “henhouse” for a listener discount on BetterHelp’s services.


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

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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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