PJ Nyman joins the podcast this week to discuss how understanding animal exploitation on a global landscape creates bridges to other movements which, in turn, help us address the exploitation of animals in a more multifaceted way. PJ, a contributing author featured in Antiracism in Animal Advocacy: Igniting Cultural Transformation, shares what prompted them to investigate the overlap between the history of human control over nature and eating animals. They also touch on their experience coming out as LGBTQ and as an animal advocate and how the two experiences intersected. And, as an added bonus, PJ shares the books—written by a diverse array of authors—they would recommend to new vegans for varied perspectives on the importance of animal advocacy and how it overlaps with other social justice issues.
PJ Nyman earned their Master’s degree in Social and Political Thought from York University and is currently pursuing a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Simon Fraser University. Formerly a program manager for Animal Place, a sanctuary for farmed animals in Northern California, PJ now works as a Corporate Relations Specialist for Mercy For Animals in Toronto, Canada, and sits on the Board of Encompass, a capacity-building organization that helps animal protection organizations and advocates advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“Animal advocates who are experienced in marginalization and oppression approach animal advocacy with added depth.”
– PJ Nyman
Highlights for Episode 628:
- The work PJ does for Mercy for Animals in corporate relations and how they work with food companies to improve animal welfare policies
- PJ’s involvement with Encompass, their role there, and their essay for Antiracism in Animal Advocacy: Igniting Cultural Transformation
- Why PJ turned their back on an academic career in favor of animal advocacy
- Tendencies that disappointed PJ when they became active within the mainstream animal rights movement
- Why we need to expand how we do advocacy in order to encompass a broader message as a movement so that we’re meeting people where they are and speaking to a wide range of people in many different ways
- Understanding animal exploitation as a tool of oppression and a system of domination and why that approach makes our movement more powerful
- Whether PJ believes that there are different levels to the advocacy movement to change the world for animals and how they would characterize those levels
- How the reformation and improvement of animal welfare standards can impact workers in the industry
- How working on welfare reforms rather than liberation works for PJ philosophically
- Tangible ways forward in achieving equity for people working in the animal protection movement
- Why PJ feels it’s necessary to promote veganism in a way that challenges us rather than allows us to be complacent
- What PJ is hopeful about in animal advocacy moving into 2022
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The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.
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 awfw.org.