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Episode 541: Merissa Underwood, the Vegan Miss Montana

By Jasmin and Mariann — May 23, 2020

This week Jasmin interviews Merissa Underwood, who was named Miss Montana 2020 and caused a stir in that state when she used her platform to talk about veganism, environmentalism and animal rights issues. Merissa tells the story of how she introduced these topics into the Miss Montana competition, the campaign of social media harrassment waged against her because of her outspoken veganism, and how her views about animals were shaped in part by her experience in the Future Farmers of America.

Merissa Underwood is a Political Science major and Miss Montana USA 2020, she will be competing at Miss USA this coming fall. She has spent her entire life horseback riding competitively in 3-Day Eventing which led her to become an Animal Rights Activist & Environmentalist, volunteering with various animal rights & environmental organizations. She is passionate about raising awareness about the correlation between Factory Farming and Climate Change. Music has long been a love in her life; she is a poet, songwriter, and DJ in her spare time.

In the intro to the show, Mariann examines the animal rights themes in Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and Jasmin tries to get a question about veganism answered by Tara Brach. We also continue our Supporting Vegan Businesses program by shouting out The Striped Cat Metalworks, All Y’alls Foods, and Bitchin’ Sauce. Later in the episode, Mariann brings us Rising Anxieties!

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

Our Hen House is now part of the iROAR podcast network.

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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.

The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by the incredible Michael Harren.

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