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Episode 571: Life After Labs ft Gina Lynn

By Jasmin and Mariann — December 19, 2020

This week’s guest is Gina Lynn, founder of New Life Animal Sanctuary, and we couldn’t be more excited. Gina has dedicated her entire life to animal advocacy and activism. After years of organizing protests, conferences, marches, etc., co-producing an internationally distributed grassroots animal rights magazine, and enduring the stress of government harassment, Gina sought a gentler approach to getting the message out. She founded New Life Animal Sanctuary in 2008 to rescue and rehabilitate animals no longer used in laboratories.

Gina joins us on the podcast today to tell us how the sanctuary finds and obtains possession of these animals and how she and her fellow caretakers heal them, rehabilitate them, and enrich the remainder of their lives. She explains her strategies in persuading labs to surrender animals rather than killing them and how she conducts her own independent research to see if labs are interested in rehoming their animals to a sanctuary. Gina also shares how she navigates the delicate balance between staying true to her animal advocacy work while maintaining a productive relationship with the research community.

In this week’s “Our Hen House Supports Vegan Businesses” program, we’re showing some love to Zoe’s Vegan Delight and Rebel Cheese. Zoe’s Vegan Delight is a Black women-owned, vegan catering business in Greenbelt, MD. Rebel Cheese is a vegan deli, located in Austin, TX known for their vegan cheese baskets. Do you have a vegan business that you want us to shout out? Click here to let us know!

We’re able to save lives, and that’s all that matters to me.”
– Gina Lynn

This Week in Our Hen House:

  • The low-down on who currently lives at the sanctuary, the lives of their newest residents, and what it’s like caring for rescued animals
  • The complexities of the relationship between the animal rights community and the research community and how relations are thawing little by little
  • How the movement to rescue laboratory animals can grow and how rescue organizations are coming together to rehome animals in need
  • How the animals can sometimes be challenging and need extra special care to thrive in sanctuaries, plus why Gina is absolutely OK with her gorgeous dogs releasing their anxiety at home with her
  • Gina’s hopes about future federal funding for the sanctuary and others like it
  • Some of the projects the sanctuary is working toward, including the possibility of taking care of primates and the barriers they have to overcome
  • Whether sanctuaries are papering over the cracks of animal abuse in labs and the reality of how many animals are still suffering for each animal saved
  • The debate around vivisection, why animals deserve a great life post-research, and why Gina tries to meet people where they are by finding common ground
  • Poor conditions that animals endure in labs and Gina’s opinion on why more money and care is not put into enriching animals’ lives
  • The behavioral and physical changes rescued animals face, and why it can take a long time for them to recover from their previous experiences
  • Gina’s new project helping wild animals who have ended up at laboratories and why it’s a race against time to rehabilitate them
  • The critical things that people can do to help animals in laboratories and support animal sanctuaries

Connect with Gina Lynn:

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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 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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