Award-winning journalist Marina Bolotnikova is writing the story to change the way mainstream media covers farmed animals. We’re thrilled to welcome her to the podcast this week for a conversation about her eye-opening work to alert people to the horrifying reality of animal agriculture. Marina discusses her thoughts on objectivity and integrity within journalism and why she chooses to free-lance with a focus on the animal ethics beat, despite the occasional struggle with the differing viewpoints of commissioning editors and mainstream publications. She dives into how investigative journalism can play a large part in uncovering essential animal rights issues that are in danger of being swept under the rug. We also highlight some of the stories she has recently covered, including the use of ventilation shutdown as the primary method used to mass murder chickens during the current avian flu outbreak, as well as to exterminate pigs en masse at the height of the COVID pandemic.
*We are thrilled to expand the accessibility of our podcast by offering written transcripts of the interviews! Click here to read Mariann’s interview with Marina Bolotnikova.*
Marina Bolotnikova is a journalist focusing on factory farming, animal ethics, and the criminalization of activism targeting the meat industry. She’s written for publications including The Guardian, The Intercept, Vox, The New York Times, and many others. She’s covered many different subjects over the years, and her work has been taught in university curricula.
Earlier this year, she was awarded an animal law media fellowship at Vermont Law School, where she got to think deeply about the legal implications of undercover investigations and present her work on how ventilation shutdown, a gruesome method used to mass exterminate animals via heatstroke, became meat industry standard. She’s obsessed with Bollywood films and long-distance running.
“The vast majority of reporting on animal agriculture takes for granted that farmed animals are food, and it’s uncomfortable thinking about what it means for sentient creatures to live in this system.” – Marina Bolotnikova
Highlights for Episode 664:
- How Marina successfully pitches stories she believes in as a freelance reporter with a very specific beat
- Key stories in animal agriculture and animal exploitation right now
- The spread of avian flu and the normalization of ventilation shutdown to deal with it, including through the cooperation of the American Veterinary Medical Association
- The importance of quality investigative journalism in bringing attention to animal cruelty issues
- How Marina came to be involved in the first major story about ventilation shutdown in the meat industry and the impact it had
- Why Marina feels that things in the animal rights world are shifting in a more positive direction
- Why Direct Action Everywhere has attracted the attention of national security agencies and why the prosecutions against its members have garnered such widespread interest
- What makes animal rights stories gain mainstream traction
- Federación Protectora de Animales Paypal: FEPA@fepapr.org & Banking Info: Routing – 021502011 Account # – 246-32-3839
- Miyoko’s Creamery is offering our listeners 15% off!
- Animal & Vegan Advocacy Summit
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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 awfw.org.