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Episode 578: Justice for All, Including Animals, ft Senator Jabari Brisport

By Jasmin and Mariann — February 06, 2021

This week, we have such a powerhouse interview! Newly elected New York State Senator Jabari Brisport joins us to explain how he successfully showcased his strong support for animal rights and veganism (yup!) while running for election. In fact, he points out, it actually created a platform for discussing all of the social justice issues he is passionate about. He shares his thoughts on why people want to pit human rights against animal rights, and how and why they so often fail to realize that animal agriculture deeply harms marginalized communities. Perhaps best of all, Senator Brisport tells us why he believes we are at a watershed moment — older mindsets are shifting fast, and we are on the cusp of making real progress for both human and non-human animals.

Senator Brisport is a third-generation Caribbean-American Brooklynite who represents New York’s District 25 in the state senate. His experiences as a Black LGBTQ+ man, socialist, union member, child of an immigrant father, and a former public school teacher have shaped his drive to make his community more just and equitable. As a newly elected state senator and passionate vegan, he intends to use his platform to advocate for rights, dignity, and protection by the law for all living beings and create a state where humans and animals can safely coexist without exploitation and abuse.

Whenever we don’t fight for the most marginalized, we end up harming ourselves.”
Senator Jabari Brisport

This Week in Our Hen House:

  • Why Senator Brisport ran for the New York State Senate
  • How he first became involved with animal activism, why he became a vegan, and the moment he decided to make a stand against cruelty
  • Why Senator Brisport is so proud to support Black Vegfest, to center Black voices, and why he jumped at the chance to discuss the intersectionality of animal rights and human rights
  • Whether Senator Brisport expects the Democratic Socialist Party to expand their thinking regarding justice for animals, why the Left—in general—has been rather slow to champion the cause of animals, and whether the tide is turning
  • How his fight for same-sex marriage in New York and his ongoing efforts to defend the LGBTQ+ community and, particularly, queer people of color, relate to his fighting for animal equality
  • Why he feels he is the right person to tackle issues of over-policing that emerged from the housing crisis and a lack of well-funded education
  • Senator Brisport’s legislative priorities regarding animals, both short and near term, including current proposed legislation that would encourage people to adopt, not shop
  • How he managed to become part of the State Senate Agriculture Committee and what he expects to accomplish there
  • Why there is now a real possibility of ending the dairy industry while still providing a safe landing for dairy farmers
  • How Senator Brisport, a former public school teacher, frames his strong support of humane education in schools and his thoughts on the best ways to introduce children to the reality of how we treat animals

Connect with Senator Brisport:

Connect with Our Hen House:


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.

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

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