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Episode 583: Half-Earth Socialism ft. Troy Vettese

By Jasmin and Mariann — March 13, 2021

Troy Vettese joins us on the podcast this week for an insightful, and sometimes provocative, conversation about the intersections of animal rights and Marxism. Troy shares why he believes all vegans need a Marxist worldview, and you may be surprised by exactly what he means by this assertion. He also discusses how various political and economic systems can help, or deter, the furthering of animal equality, and, in particular, how capitalism has been and will continue to be a disaster for animals in its relentless, and inevitable, prioritization of profit. Given that we are on the cusp of a global crisis, there is no time to waste in reforming the way we treat animals, and the earth.

Troy Vettese is an environmental historian and a William Lyon Mackenzie King research fellow at Harvard University’s Weatherhead Center. His academic focus is the study of energy, animals, and neoliberal environmental thought. His writing has also appeared in n+1, Jacobin, New Left Review, and In These Times. Troy’s book Half-Earth Socialism: A Manifesto to Save the Future, co-authored with Drew Pendergrass, will be published by Verso in 2022.

“It should be easy to see the personhood and the suffering of other creatures. If you’re a socialist and you’re motivated by the outrage of injustice, then that should extend to other creatures as well.” – Troy Vettese

This Week in Our Hen House:

  • What will happen to the world if we continue to find domesticated roles for all animals
  • Why the capitalism requires growth, and why that is such a disaster for animals
  • The link between domestication of animals and disease
  • What we mean by the humanization of nature theory and where it comes from
  • The moving story of an act of human kindness on a factory farm and how presence of compassion amongst so much cruelty can help us think about a new way to exist
  • Troy’s upcoming book, Half-Earth Socialism: A Manifesto to Save the Future, written with Drew
    Prendergast, and why they felt compelled to write it
  • The link between the theories explained in Half-Earth Socialism: A Manifesto to Save the Future
    and Frankenstein’s monster


Connect with Troy Vettesse:

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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


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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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