123 episodes

Want a philosophy or worldview that's grounded in reality and has compassion for all sentient beings (mostly humans and other animals)?
Then you might find Sentientism interesting. It's "evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings."
In this podcast, you'll hear about "what's real" and "what matters" from a wide range of celebrities, academics, activists, writers - and interested lay people like me.
Find out more at https://sentientism.info/ or join one of our open-to-all, global community groups, like: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism

Sentientism Jamie Woodhouse

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 14 Ratings

Want a philosophy or worldview that's grounded in reality and has compassion for all sentient beings (mostly humans and other animals)?
Then you might find Sentientism interesting. It's "evidence, reason and compassion for all sentient beings."
In this podcast, you'll hear about "what's real" and "what matters" from a wide range of celebrities, academics, activists, writers - and interested lay people like me.
Find out more at https://sentientism.info/ or join one of our open-to-all, global community groups, like: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sentientism

    123: "Let's make a world with less suffering today!" Ingrid Newkirk - PETA founder and president - Sentientism

    123: "Let's make a world with less suffering today!" Ingrid Newkirk - PETA founder and president - Sentientism

    Ingrid is an animal activist and the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the world’s largest animal rights organization. She is the author of several books, including "The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights", "Animalkind" and the 30th anniversary new edition of "Freeing The Animals". Ingrid has worked for the animal-protection movement since 1972. She has been given the following awards: Washingtonian of the Year, 1980; Courage of Conscience Award, 1995; Shining World Compassion Award, 2007; Ahimsa Award, 2014 and the Peter Singer Prize for Strategies to Reduce the Suffering of Animals, 2016.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    00:00 Welcome

    01:24 Ingrid's Intro

    - Building PETA, the world's largest animal advocacy organisation

    - Writing 14 books including "Free The Animals" about the Animal Liberation Front

    03:39 What's Real?

    - "We are all creatures of our upbringing"

    - A strict, "victorian" father & a very kind mother

    - "I was shipped out to boarding school & raised by some disciplinarian nuns"

    - Nuns took out their bitterness on the "little rich girls" in their care

    - Rejecting the nuns' oppression helped motivate Ingrid to be rebellious, to fight for the powerless & seek justice

    - Earliest memory: Family dog "was like my brother"

    - Church on Sunday, but "it never really stuck with me"

    - Being lured into religiosity, but "it was a passing phase"

    - "I rejected what the nuns said because they were so ghastly"

    - Roman Catholicism. Praying at 6am every morning, "a lot of silence"

    - "We didn't respect the nuns... they were barbaric... even of the little kids... 5 & 6 year olds who would cry themselves to sleep"

    - A visiting Jesuit priest got one of the school-girls pregnant

    - "For a while I would cross the road if I saw a nun coming the other direction"

    - Later re-engaging with Christianity (bible, church)... "ultimately I completely rejected it... it made no sense at all... if there is a god it's... a cruel god or a powerless god"

    - Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

    - "I'm not afraid to say I'm an atheist"

    - "Ricky Gervais & Bill Maher... are not kowtowing... are not intimidated"

    - The imperative to speak out (where others can't)

    - Being told to accept "mystery" on face value, "absurd" stories & blind faith

    - Lisa Kemmerer's views on religious compassion for non-human animals 



    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 57 min
    122: From dairy farmer to animal activist - Vegan FTA's Jackie Norman - Sentientism

    122: From dairy farmer to animal activist - Vegan FTA's Jackie Norman - Sentientism

    Jackie is a former dairy & beef farmer turned full-time animal rights advocate. She is head of communications and a founding board member for the global non-profit, Vegan FTA (For The Animals). She also co-hosts their podcast and live shows. Jackie is also an author and public speaker.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    00:00 Welcome

    - Jordi Casamitjana (https://youtu.be/vtCwoq1XnUg) as a "vegan godfather" :)

    02:28 Jackie's Intro

    - From beef & dairy farming to animal advocacy & veganism

    - Erin Wing (https://youtu.be/NAh1kLrp99Y)

    04:20 What's Real?

    - Growing up in a UK village in the 1970's

    - Naturalist Gilbert White "England's first ecologist?" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilbert_White

    - Christian community & school "If you're good to go to heaven & if you're bad Satan's going to get you"... "Nobody ever questioned it"

    - Fitting in & FOMO "everybody went to church on Sunday"

    - Joining the church choir, but not being religious

    - Losing son Luke at 2 days old

    - "If god loves us all... how come there are all these bad things happening?"

    - "Any shred of belief I ever had... just went straight out the window"

    - Spirituality? Unexplained things... a clock starting without batteries... "things happening for a reason?"

    - "Maybe there's something greater out there... not god"

    - Exploring Buddhism after going vegan "All you have to do is just be kind"

    - Meditation & Yoga

    - "There is such synergy between veganism & Buddhism"

    30:38 What Matters?

    - Good: "Not being mean... not killing" vs. god compliance

    - "I don't think there is a hell..." except for what we do to non-human animals

    - Sons coming home from Xtian school saying "god's going to strike me down!"

    - Being most authentic & open at times when "I had nothing"

    - Buddhism "has taught me not to judge other people... I get a lot of peace from it... being kind."

    - "Being compassionate towards yourself is the hardest thing to do"

    - Dairy farming: "What they are doing is evil... but you can't write them off as being inherently evil"

    - "Everyone's got a reason for being the way that they are"

    41:50 Who Matters?

    - Killing a spider, terrified, at 8 yrs old, then feeling "mortified that I had ended that life... that's never left me"

    - Husband Gareth carries a card to rescue bees with

    - Reading an IWAF leaflet about seal culling

    - Going vegetarian in 1987 after a Viva campaign on factory farming

    - "I couldn't believe that humans could be so cruel"

    - Father going shooting, being attacked by animal activists



    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 1 hr 42 min
    121: "Compassion is a boundless capacity" - Lisa Kemmerer - Sentientism

    121: "Compassion is a boundless capacity" - Lisa Kemmerer - Sentientism

    Lisa is an activist and academic who specialises in anymal and environmental ethics. She was an associate professor of philosophy and religion at Montana State University Billings until she retired in 2020 to found and lead the educational, vegan umbrella organization, Tapestry. Lisa is the author or editor of ten books including Animals and World Religions. She has also written over 100 articles and book chapters. Lisa coined the term anymal as a “correct” term for non-human animals.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    00:00 Welcome

    01:28 Lisa's Intro

    01:58 What's Real?

    - Linking epistemology & ethics

    - "My mind sees a continuum"

    - Being born with "a more eastern way of thinking"

    - Metaphysical & practical concerns

    - "I don't tend to use philosophy in an abstract way"

    - "I have very little faith in human reasoning... we are not rational beings."

    - Descartes reasoning that anymals aren't sentient

    - "We cannot trust our reason... that doesn't mean reason's out... we need to do it with humility"

    - "It's the extent of our power that makes our arrogance dangerous"

    - "Roe vs Wade was just overturned... don't tell me humans are rational."

    - "Trump's reality... I don't want to know about that"

    - The USA: "Democracy requires education & we're not an educated public"

    - "Our reason is flawed... we need to use it... we have to be sceptical"

    11:53 What Matters?

    - "Cultures & people - that's where you have to work"

    - "To try to bring change I need to work with humans where they're at"

    - "I can see the beauty in it... and I can see the problems in it"

    - "Cruelty is not a good thing... compassion is a good thing... fairly universal"

    - "I love religions... they have a committed strong belief... I can get a hold of it"

    - "I have never, never talked to a serious Christian, & had them, after a serious conversation, say 'it's OK, what we're doing with anymals'... an atheist? - whole different picture."

    - Fowler's stages of religion "I was there (stage 6) in my teens"

    - "These religions are rock solid in teaching the core ethic... of compassion"

    - Wild animal suffering & hell as challenges to a benevolent god

    - "Western faiths tend to be very rigid..." Eastern faiths are more pluralistic/flexible?

    - Compassion / empathy as central to Lisa's family's ethics

    - "When you live in a community you can't tolerate cruelty"



    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 1 hr 17 min
    120: "The Politics of Love" - Writer Philip McKibbin - Sentientism

    120: "The Politics of Love" - Writer Philip McKibbin - Sentientism

    Philip is a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand, of Pākehā (NZ European) & Māori (Ngāi Tahu) descent. He is a PhD candidate at the Uni of Sydney, affiliated with the Sydney Environment Institute. He holds a Master of Arts in Philosophy from The Uni of Auckland & diplomas in te reo Māori (the Māori language) from Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. Philip has written for publications such as the Guardian, Newsroom, & Takahē. His book, Love Notes: for a Politics of Love, is published by Lantern Books. In 2018, he co-organised 'The Politics of Love: A Conference' at All Souls College, Oxford. Philip was also kaiwhakatipu (editor) of He Ika Haehae Kupenga.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    00:00 Welcome

    01:54 Philip's Intro

    - Writing on animals, Maori issues & "The Politics of Love"

    03:10 What's Real?

    - Neither parent very religious so grew up agnostic?

    - Anglican Christian high school

    - Sermons talked more about love than god

    - Confirmed at 14 yrs... "ridiculous... what do 14 yr olds know?"

    - "A lot of the metaphysical background was smuggled in"

    - Anglicanism to comparative religion to philosophy

    - Turning from metaphysical to normative/ethics/politics

    -  "The final nature of reality is unknowable to us & we just have to proceed on our senses"

    - Albert Camus

    - The risk of being distracted by esoteric philosophical questions... instead "We need to be engaged in work that tried to bring about a better world in the light of obvious suffering"

    - "I do believe there is something transcendent that is true... spiritual... love"

    - "Communing with the spiritual... but through a critical filter"

    - "Prophets of love... Martin Luther King Jr & Te Whiti O Rongomai"

    - God, purpose, meaning, spirit, love... "Our attempts to name it... project our own interpretations on to it... prevent us from fully understanding..."

    - Ethical risks from religious or spiritual epistemologies (unchallengeable, unknowable, incommunicable, obedience, higher purposes, constrained/conditional compassion)

    - Old, new testaments, "what would the next step be?... Something like love?... a more mature ethical outlook."

    - Is something missing from a purely naturalistic ethics? "Not necessarily... we should & can find reasons for acting in a loving way independently from this spirituality I have described."

    26:30 What Matters?

    - "I understand ethics in relation to love & relationship"

    - Constructing & affirming the morality we want to see in the world

    - "We are living in an absurd world... we need to determine & assert our own values... try to act lovingly"



    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    119: "I have this instinct to go to the underdog" - Ana Bradley - Sentient Media ED - Sentientism

    119: "I have this instinct to go to the underdog" - Ana Bradley - Sentient Media ED - Sentientism

    Ana Bradley is Executive Director of Sentient Media. Sentient Media is a non-profit journalism outlet aimed at making transparent the suffering that goes on in our food systems and inspiring readers to think more about the implications of what we eat. Ana also hosts the Sentient Media podcast.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    00:00 Welcome

    01:38 Ana's Intro

    - Animals in the media (largely ignoring their perspectives)

    06:17 What's Real?

    - "I never had a conversation with my parents about god"

    - Church of England school but "I never believed in... a man sitting in the clouds"

    - Linking Christian & pagan festivals

    - Celebrating equinox & solstice. Sunrise to sunset walks with dad

    - Wikka, paganism, nature

    - "Beliefs of respecting nature & respecting animals"

    - Not practicing any religion but rituals of respecting the solstice & natural transitions

    - Building an elements altar as a child

    - "I don't believe in magic... but I do believe that nature & animals have incredible power & roles to play in the existence of our planet... it's weighted in science & reason & logic"

    - David Attenborough's "Life of Plants"

    15:15 What Matters?

    - Looking to nature & our relationship with the planet

    - The power and aura of natural cycles

    - "The circle of life" (sorry for my singing) argument for animal product consumption

    - The naturalistic fallacy

    - JW: "Nature is awesome but it is not ethically good or bad"

    - Wild animal suffering

    22:07 Who Matters?

    - At 6yrs old seeing a picture of a kitten being vivisected

    - Family dog & fishes

    - "I have this instinct to go to the underdog... the group or the being that is least respected or protected"

    - Learning about exploitation of non-human & human animals around the world

    - Children's natural empathy for non-humans... "we kind of beat it out of them"

    - Making the connection between animals on the plate and animals suffering at 6 yrs old

    - Asking about animal derived food "my parents told me the truth"... I said: "I don't want to eat animals"

    - Supportive parents re: going vegetarian then vegan

    - Social, psychological, practical, information impediments to veganism

    - "One piece of the puzzle is knowing how to eat"

    - "It took me a few years to realise what the dairy industry is"

    - At 10yrs seeing a Viva poster of a dairy cow



    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 1 hr 15 min
    118: "You can definitely be a victim & a perpetrator" - Erin Wing - Animal Outlook Deputy Director of Investigations - Sentientism

    118: "You can definitely be a victim & a perpetrator" - Erin Wing - Animal Outlook Deputy Director of Investigations - Sentientism

    Erin is the Deputy Director of Investigations at Animal Outlook, a national animal-advocacy nonprofit organisation. Erin was an undercover investigator for two years. She left the field after her last investigation at the Dick Van Dam Dairy in California, where she saw cruelty, abuse & suffering every day. Through her new position with Animal Outlook, Erin works closely with investigators, providing support & resources.

    In Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”

    Sentientism is "evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings." The video of our conversation is here on YouTube.

    We discuss:

    00:00 Welcome

    01:38 Erin's Intro

    - Undercover farm & fishery investigations & Animal Outlook

    02:46 What's Real?

    - Growing up very religious... 

    - Church every Sunday, Biblical moral standards

    - The Golden Rule "Do unto others..."

    - "There was a point in my life where I started to question... there always seemed to be some exclusions... some conditions"

    - "'Others' encompassed everyone... human, animals, children, everyone regardless of sexuality, background, identification..."

    - No longer Christian, now non-religious... "someone who just wants to make the world a better place for everyone in it"

    - "As I got older I started questioning things more"

    - Very religious mother "faith based" who still encouraged questions

    - Religious belief: "That's great for them... as long as no one is being hurt"

    - Questioning both the facts & ethics of Christianity

    - "It really came to a head for me... [I] managed to fall into almost every marginalised community" LGBTQ+, race...

    - "I fell into so many of those categories that potentially might be excluded from salvation"

    - The supernatural, luck, agnosticism?

    - "I never rule anything out" humility

    18:25 What Matters?

    - [Golden Rule] "the way I would like the world to function"

    - "...my own trauma & hardship & suffering"

    - Compassion for it's own sake or because god commands?

    23:30 Who Matters?

    - "I've always had this connection with animals"

    - As a child "I did not see a lot of kindness", often conditional compassion

    - With non-human animals: "There are no conditions to receive affection from them"... "Those were the purest connections I could make"

    - Making friends with a scary-sounding neighbourhood dog "I just felt a wet nose & breathing"

    - Saving a stray dog & drowning kittens

    - Watching an animal farming documentary at ~13-14 yrs old "I immediately felt horrified"

    - "I could feel that contradiction... why am I eating this?"



    ...and much more. Full show notes at Sentientism.info.

    Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at Sentientism.info. Join our "I'm a Sentientist" wall via this simple form.

    Everyone, Sentientist or not, is welcome in our groups. The biggest so far is here on FaceBook. Come join us there!

    Thanks Graham.

    • 1 hr 20 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

just looking for a good pod ,

Great listen!

A podcast about what really matters. Super engaging discussions about what drives the moral and epistemological approaches of some super interesting and impressive people.

AN321651 ,

Fascinating conversations

This podcast is such a valuable resource for those interested in the philosophical underpinnings of veganism. It’s become my go-to podcast recommendation for people interested in thoughtful conversations related to ethics and animal rights that isn’t dumbed-down for the broadest possible audience. The production quality is still a little rough around the edges, but I’m sure as time goes on that will only get better. I’ll take good ideas over flashy soundbites any day. My only other minor complaint would be the lack of episode numbers which makes sharing specific episodes a little harder. But overall, this really is a great podcast.

ChristinaH83 ,

Excellent Discussions

I really enjoy listening to Jamie and his guests. He's very skilled in connecting with a whole variety of people, and knows how to get them to address the important issues and questions. The conversations seem informal and friendly but are really informative. Strong recommend.

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