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Episode 562: Are There Really Too Many Animals? ft. Stephanie Boyles Griffin

By Jasmin and Mariann — October 17, 2020

Jasmin and Mariann start off the show with a report from Jasmin on her disturbing discovery from a Facebook group that a local dairy farm is endorsing The Three Percenters, a far right militia group. Yikes! She also tells us about her efforts to educate folks about the enthusiasm of white supremacists for the dairy industry.

In this week’s featured vegan businesses include Maya’s Cookies, a San Diego based vegan cookie company that ships nationwide, and VegeTaryn, a vegan ethically made fair-trade clothing company.

Today’s guest, Stephanie Boyles Griffin, has worked with federal and state agencies, non-governmental agencies, businesses, and communities for over 20 years to develop and implement humane, sustainable wildlife management programs and policies. She currently serves as the Senior Scientist for the Wildlife Protection Department at The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and is the Science & Policy Director of the Botstiber Institute for Wildlife Fertility Control. She is committed to finding workable solutions that allow wildlife and human communities to exist alongside one another.

Stephanie and Mariann discuss what it means when people say a certain species, whether elephants, or kangaroos, or pigeons or wild horses or white tail deer, or whoever, is “overpopulated” and why it is so important, and very often entirely possible, to not only minimize the conflicts between humans and the animals they live alongside but to learn to live in peace with them in a humane, sustainable, effective way. Even when real problems do appear, non-lethal solutions exist and can be used, even for animals often referred to as “pests” or “vermin.” Stephanie shares why it is so important for individuals to learn how to identify the “problems” with wildlife in their community and how to work with wildlife organizations to find the best solutions. Stephanie also discusses the use of contraceptives for controlling populations of wild animals, including the ethical conflicts that arise when those contraceptives are based on animal products.

“Animals are responding to an invitation; they’re responding to landscape changes that make our
communities overwhelmingly wonderful places for them to live. There’s just a little bit of effort needed on our part to want to share the world with them.”
– Stephanie Boyles Griffin

This Week in Our Hen House:

  • An update on whitetail deer fertility control, including where it is being used and how is it working
  • Why it is critical to learn to co-exist with our wild neighbors
  • Open systems vs. closed systems and how they each function in terms of fertility control
  • The steps a community can take to identify and resolve their wildlife problems
  • Why we have to be clear about what constitutes a wild animal ‘problem’ and understand that human behavior may be the real problem
  • The risks to wild animals presented by fertility control and how wildlife organizations ensure they maintain a viable breeding pool
  • Attitudes to brumbies and other non-native animals in Australia
  • The attitude shift from utilitarianism to mutualism and how the America Wildlife Values Project has mapped it
  • Strategies for feral non-surgical sterilization and disease prevention
  • The best ways to manage the urban rat population

Connect with Stephanie Boyles Griffin:

Connect with Our Hen House:

This episode is sponsored by Forager Project, an organic, plant-based family-owned and operated food company creating innovative, delicious tasting products sourced from nature’s finest ingredients – nuts, seeds, ancient grains, fruits and vegetables. Crafted in its own unique purpose-built creamery – the only 100% organic, plant-based facility of its kind – Forager Project’s family of foods includes 100% vegan yogurts, nut milks, sour cream, kefirs, shakes and butter.

About Forager Project’s Vote Campaign: Forager ​is committed to helping cultivate democracy. During the next month, Forager Project​ will be shifting packaging on its yogurts, kefirs, and milks to encourage consumers nationwide to get involved and vote this November and launching a broader effort to encourage everyone to vote this November 3rd. Visit to check on your voting status and/or register!


This episode is also 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 Apple Podcasts or your favorite podcatcher! Also, if you like what you hear, please rate it and leave us a comment on Apple Podcasts! 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!

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 Michael Harren.

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