Last autumn, the Alaska Department of Fish & Game canceled the crabbing season for the Alaskan snow crab for the first time in history after the crustaceans’ population dropped an astonishing 87 percent. This is only one of the stories recently covered in depth by ecologist and journalist Spencer Roberts, who joins us on the podcast for an overarching conversation about animals and conservation, including the story behind the crabs’ devastating dwindling numbers and how the industry uses climate change as a cover for the damage caused by overfishing. Spencer also shares his thoughts on bridging the gap between the conservation and animal rights movements through his work and why folks continue funding the industries they oppose through their lifestyle choices.
*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 Spencer Roberts*
Spencer Roberts is a Colorado-based science writer, musician, ecologist, and engineer. As a science writer, he particularly focuses on animal agriculture, marine life, and the climate crisis. Find his work in Jacobin, The Intercept, Wired, and more.
“The conservation movement and the animal rights movement are natural allies; if we build that coalition, we can have a lot more of an impact.” – Spencer Roberts
Highlights for Episode 695:
- Spencer shares why marine life is currently his biggest passion and gives us an overview of what’s happening in the oceans right now
- Spencer’s thoughts on the High Seas Treaty recently agreed upon at the UN and why he’s cautiously optimistic
- Why aquaculture is not a solution to the damage marine ecosystems are enduring, including the issues of bycatch and disease spreading
- The impact one person can make by refusing to consume animal products
- Why people ethically oppose factory farms but continue funding such operations through their lifestyle choices
- Why the animal rights movement should also address the violence against humans taking place in exploitative industries, including the abuse of workers on fishing vessels
- How broadening the approach and argument of the animal rights movement may help activists gain ground in progressive circles
- What Spencer is working on right now and where you can read more of his work
- The Campaign to Greenwash Factory Farming in the Amazon
- More on the Greenwashing Campaign on Spencer’s Twitter
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The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.
This episode of the Our Hen House podcast is sponsored in part by the Vermont Law & Graduate School’s Animal Law and Policy Institute.
Vermont Law and Graduate School’s Animal Law and Policy Institute trains tomorrow’s animal advocacy leaders to advance animals’ legal status through education, scholarship, policy development, community engagement, and litigation. Engaging with advocacy organizations, communities, journalists, and policymakers, the Institute serves as a resource hub for animal law and policy issues.
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.