Zoe and Sherstin Rosenberg are an unstoppable mother-daughter activist duo, and we’re thrilled they’re joining us on the podcast this week. You may remember Zoe as the brave activist who chained herself to the goalpost during a Memphis Grizzlies NBA game earlier this year in protest of the cruel use of ventilation shutdown on the team owner’s factory egg farm. Zoe joins us to discuss her headline-making demonstration and how she came to establish the Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary at just 11 years old. Sherstin, Happy Hen’s Executive Director and around-the-clock veterinarian, also fills us in on why the animal sanctuary is one of the few sanctuaries in the country that is able to welcome animals in need of urgent procedures and long-term rehabilitation. Plus, the mother-daughter duo shares how they’re highlighting animal cruelty and calling for urgent policy change through their various advocacy activities.
*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 Zoe & Sherstin Rosenberg.*
Zoe Rosenberg is the founder of Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary, a sprawling farm animal rescue on the Central Coast of California that has saved over 1,000 lives. Additionally, she is an organizer and the social media coordinator for the grassroots animal rights network, Direct Action Everywhere. In recent years, Zoe has been awarded the Youth Activist of the Year Award from the National Animal Rights Conference and the Paul McCartney Veg Advocate Award. She has also delivered a popular TEDx talk about her ongoing activism. Zoe is currently a student at UC Berkeley, where she is leading a campaign calling on the school’s dining halls to stop buying from factory farms and to transition to a more sustainable and humane plant-based food system.
Dr. Sherstin Rosenberg is the Executive Director of Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary, a licensed veterinarian for 24 years, and has been an expert witness in a number of legislative, civil, and criminal cases involving animal welfare. She received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, her doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of California at Davis, and has served on the board of directors of several animal advocacy organizations, including Humane Society Silicon Valley. As Executive Director at Happy Hen since 2014, Dr. Rosenberg has overseen the care of more than a thousand abused and abandoned farmed animals rescued from the animal agriculture industry.
“Regardless of what anyone thinks about tactics, the most important thing, in my opinion, is that you’re doing something to help animals.” — Zoe Rosenberg
“I view my commitment to animals as more like a human physician’s commitment to their patients.”
— Dr. Sherstin Rosenberg
Highlights for Episode 665:
- Zoe’s demonstration at the Timberwolves game, why she chose to target the game, and the events that transpired after her arrest
- What happened when police tried to remove Zoe’s essential medical device, the distress it caused, and how it made Sherstin feel as a parent
- Zoe’s desire to start a hen sanctuary, Sherstin’s reaction, and what made her understand how important it was to Zoe
- Sherstin’s experience as a sanctuary veterinarian and how her skill set enables the Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary to care for animals with complex needs, such as Hope the hen and the late Edna the pig
- Some of Zoe’s most meaningful moments fighting for animals, including participating in the first broad daylight open rescue in US history in San Francisco and carrying Lero the chicken to freedom
- What happened the first time Zoe got arrested and how that experience developed into a TEDx Talk
- Zoe and Sherstin’s roles with Direct Action Everywhere as the organization’s social media coordinator and expert veterinarian witness, respectively
- How Sherstin accounts for the fact that there are so few veterinarians who embrace animal rights
- How Sherstin’s activism manifested when she was in vet school
- What Zoe has done to impact the food served at UC Berkeley
- Zoe’s attitude toward people who say she’s too flamboyant in her activism
- What’s next for Zoe and Sherstin
- Zoe’s TEDx Talk
- US Supreme Court to hear case on California’s ban on extreme confinement crates
- Journalists Are Making The Same Mistake With Dietary Change They Made With Climate Change: Study
- Jasmin Singer, the Podcaster Who Interviewed More than 1000 Vegans
Connect with Zoe and Sherstin:
- Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary
- Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary on Facebook
- Happy Hen Animal Sanctuary on Instagram
- Zoe on Facebook
- Zoe on Instagram
Connect with Our Hen House:
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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 by Faunalytics. Faunalytics’ mission is to empower animal advocates with access to research, analysis, strategies, and messages that maximize their effectiveness to reduce animal suffering. Animals need you, and you need data. We conduct essential research, maintain an online research library, and directly support advocates and organizations in their work to save lives. The range of data we offer helps our movement understand how people think about and respond to advocacy, providing advocates with the best strategies to inspire change for animals.
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.