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Episode 544: Kristina Mering on International Animal Rights Movements

By Jasmin and Mariann — June 13, 2020

This week Mariann speaks with Kristina Mering, founder and president of the Estonian branch of Anima International, Nähtamatud Loomad. She discusses the work that she and her organization have done towards building an animal rights movement in Estonia and how the history of political and social change in the region has affected this movement, the ways that reform campaigns can and should co-exist with abolitionist veganism, and how vital her academic development has been to her activism.

Kristina Mering is the founder and president of the Estonian branch of Anima International, Nähtamatud Loomad. She is also a sociologist with the focus on human-animal relations. She has been involved in the animal rights movement for almost 15 years starting as a teenager and helping to build up the animal rights movement in Estonia. Her organization was elected as the best NGO of 2019 in the country and she received the best volunteer coordinator award from the president of Estonia the year before that. She has conducted sociological research among slaughterhouse workers and fur industry representatives and her latest project is about the social norms regarding meat eating. She enjoys long-distance running and reads at least one book per week.

In the intro to the show, Jasmin and Mariann discuss the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests and the challenge of how to talk to vegans who don’t recognize the importance of social justice movements. Then we present a reading by Z. Zane McNeill from Queer and Trans Voices: Achieving Liberation Through Consistent Anti-Oppression, the new anthology they co-edited with Julia Feliz Brueck and which includes a contribution from Jasmin! We also continue our Supporting Vegan Businesses program by shouting out VeeCoco, 24 Karrots Cafe, and Slutty Vegan in Atlanta. Later in the episode, Mariann brings us Rising Anxieties!

This episode is brought to you in part by the Barnard Medical Center. To set up a telehealth appointment today call 202-527-7500 or create an account on

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

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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.

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