Christopher Sebastian has a lot to say about what animals need from us and how we could all do better in working to change the world, and we are pretty sure you will want to listen. One of the most thoughtful contemporary commentators on how our relationship with animals has gone so far astray, he joins the podcast this week for a discussion about the intersections of racism and speciesism, and so much more. We delve into some of the shortcomings of the animal rights “movement,” and the crucial work of recognizing the work and leadership of people of the global majority in changing the world for animals. Christopher also shares overlaps between the movements for LBGTQ rights and animal rights, and we reflect on whether queer folk should be more sensitive toward animal protection.
*We are thrilled to expand the accessibility of our podcast by offering written transcripts of the interviews! Click here to read Jasmin’s interview with Christopher Sebastian.*
Christopher Sebastian is a technical writer, journalist, and digital media researcher. He is the director of social media for Peace Advocacy Network, a senior fellow at Sentient Media, and former guest lecturer at both Columbia University and Cornell. Using a multidisciplinary approach that includes media theory, political science, sociology, and mass communications, he writes about how our attitudes about racial, sexual, and political identity shape our relationships with other animals.
“We’re very aware of what we do to animals. It’s not that we don’t know . . . it’s not that we don’t care—it’s that we don’t care enough.” – Christopher Sebastian
Highlights for Episode 648:
- Christopher discusses why he believes speciesism is situated inside a racist and classist system
- Why many animal activists don’t think about how they engage with one another in their advocacy, and why it’s a problem within the current institutional animal protection movement in North America and Europe
- The shortcomings of the animal rights movement that lead to the marginalization of animal rights organizations in the Global South and how we can address this in a meaningful way
- Christopher’s thoughts on where leadership should come from in the animal protection movement
- Organizations and individuals that Christopher finds inspiring in the animal rights arena
- The problem with sidelining animals when we talk about changing people’s eating habits
- The importance of confronting the realities of speciesism and the parts we often play as individuals
- Christopher explores how the animal rights movement should be using social media most effectively, at both an institutional and individual level
- Whether mainstream media will ever be able to cover animal issues comprehensively and even-handedly
- How to address the perspective that animal rights come at the expense of black liberation
- Why people who care about animals continue to eat them
- Compassionate Book Talk featuring Jasmin Singer
- I moved from L.A. to Western New York because of climate change and spent $82,000 making my new home eco-friendly. Here’s how and why.
- Adoption Day show
- Evolution’s Rainbow book
- The Sexual Politics of Meat
- Abbot’s Butcher
- Vegan Life Magazine Podcast
Connect with Christopher Sebastian:
- Christopher Sebastian’s Website
- Christopher Sebastian on Facebook
- Christopher Sebastian on Instagram
- Christopher Sebastian on Twitter
Connect with Our Hen House:
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Don’t forget to check out Our Hen House’s other podcasts: The Animal Law Podcast, The Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan Podcast, and the Antiracism in Animal Advocacy Audio Series.
The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.
This episode is brought to you in part by Abbot’s Butcher. Abbot’s Butcher is leading the next generation of plant-based meat. The products are crafted in the kitchen—not a lab—and provide bold flavors and a hearty bite by using real food ingredients. Free of soy, gluten, preservatives, and natural/artificial flavors, Abbot’s Butcher’s plant-based proteins are the cleanest (and most delicious) meat alternatives you can buy. Find Abbot’s Butcher “Chorizo,” Ground “Beef,” or Chopped Chick’n at Target or your nearest retailer.
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.