Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan co-host the dynamic weekly Our Hen House Podcast, which highlights movement leaders and grassroots changemakers, artists, writers, chefs, entrepreneurs, politicians, business folk, and more—and provides inspiration and hope for anyone and everyone who cares about animals. The podcast has been honored several times as a “Webby Award Honoree.”
Speaking with the Fishes w/ Gwendolyn Church
The remarkable Gwendolyn Church joins the podcast this week for an awe-inspiring conversation about Friends of Philip Fish Sanctuary, the aquatic animal sanctuary she founded, based in Reno, NV. Gwendolyn tells the tale of Philip, the betta fish that changed the trajectory of her life and inspired the sanctuary. This passionate animal activist also discusses the misconceptions around fish sentience and explains why humans must reframe their thinking when it comes to caring for aquatic animals. Shining a light on the horrors that farmed and wild-caught fishes destined for the pet trade face, she tells us why she is so committed to rescuing all types of fish. We also discuss how Friends of Philip is navigating, and funding, the process of becoming a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing, and caring for, aquatic animals.
Gwendolyn Church runs Friends of Philip Fish Sanctuary, an aquatic animal sanctuary, and rescue in Reno, Nevada. Friends of Philip aims to expand the rescue conversation to include fishes and other aquatic animals and foster the connection between humans and aquatic life by sharing their rescued animals' stories and vibrant personalities. The organization provides sanctuary and rescue for animals in need, and advocates for ending the consumption and commodification of fishes and other aquatic species.
Thanks for tuning in! If you enjoy the Our Hen House podcast, please leave us a positive review! To view the show notes with resources, visit the website at https://www.ourhenhouse.org/ep644/
Jainism, Feminism and Veganism w/ Mamta Valderrama
Mamta Jain Valderrama joins the podcast for an insightful discussion about Jainism and the many ways in which its beliefs intersect with veganism. Jainism is one of the oldest religions in existence, having taken form in ancient India some time between the 7th and 5th centuries BCE. In our conversation, Mamta explains the philosophy of ahimsa, or non-violence, that practitioners of Jainism follow. She shares the Jain belief that all living beings have souls and discusses how this belief drives Jains’ eating habits and way of life, both of which often align with a vegan lifestyle. Mamta also digs into feminism and why she believes it’s vital for the animal protection movement to not only focus on hiring women but also to create a culture that uplifts their voices.
Mamta Jain Valderrama is the Senior Vice President of Operations at Mercy For Animals. Prior to working in animal rights, Mamta led operations for various healthcare companies and start-ups. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism from George Washington University and an MBA from the University of Southern California. She took time off from the corporate world to write A Girl In Traffick, a thriller novel about human kidney trafficking. Her book is self-published and made it to the Amazon bestseller list in the thriller category. Mamta comes from the Jainism culture, which teaches nonviolence toward all beings. She has been vegetarian for 38 years, and on-and-off vegan and raw almost her entire life. She is now fully vegan for three years and is never going back. Originally from Los Angeles, Mamta lives in Scottsdale, AZ, with her husband and daughter.
Thanks for tuning in! If you enjoy the Our Hen House podcast, please leave us a positive review! To view the show notes with resources, visit the website at https://www.ourhenhouse.org/ep643/
LEAP into Saving Animals w/ Danielle Hanosh
The remarkable Danielle Hanosh joins us on the podcast for a conversation about a revolutionary new program that you will definitely want to hear about. LEAP—short for Leaders for Ethics, Animals, and the Planet—offers high school students humane education, hands-on experience caring for rescued farmed animals, volunteer experience at animal sanctuaries, and scholarship opportunities. Teaching compassion instead of slaughter, LEAP, teaches students to be thoughtful and deliberate about their choices and encourages them to question the current societal constructs around using animals for food. She also tells us about her life at Blackberry Creek Sanctuary, the animal rescue she co-founded, and how a pig named Sebastian inspired LEAP.
Danielle is the Executive Director of Blackberry Creek Farm Animal Sanctuary in Colfax, CA, which she founded with her husband, Joshua Hanosh, in 2014. She leads Blackberry Creek's rescue, education and advocacy programs, event planning, fundraising, and community partnerships. Her work includes public education and advocacy for practical solutions to the complex problems arising from animal agriculture, human-caused climate change, overpopulation, animal abuse and neglect, and the current system's impact on mental and physical human health. Her current projects include advocating for more aggressive, inventive veterinary care for traditionally farmed animals who end up in sanctuaries, building the LEAP pilot program, and conducting research for a future non-fiction book focused on anti-speciesism.
Thanks for tuning in! If you enjoy the Our Hen House podcast, please leave us a positive review! To view the show notes with resources, visit the website at https://www.ourhenhouse.org/ep642/
The Spirit of Soul Food w/ Dr Christopher Carter
Dr. Christopher Carter joins us on the podcast this week to discuss his new book The Spirit of Soul Food: Race, Faith, and Food Justice. This groundbreaking work covers everything from the history of soul food to choosing how to eat in a way that helps us “live into our fullest sense of self.”
Dr. Carter shares why he centers the discussion on three fundamental principles for eating practices—seeking justice for food workers, caring for the earth, and soul-full eating—and describes how soul-full eating helps us understand the impacts of our diets on not just our bodies, but on the bodies of animals. He also dives into a deep discussion of the meaning and practices of Black veganism and why it is a movement that can and should be embraced by all.
Dr. Christopher Carter is an assistant professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego and a pastor in the United Methodist Church. While working on his doctorate, his dissertation—Eating Oppression: Food, Faith, and Liberation—would be the foundation for his recent book, The Spirit of Soul Food: Race, Faith, and Food Justice. He is on the board of directors of Farm Forward, an anti-factory farming nonprofit.
Thanks for tuning in! If you enjoy the Our Hen House podcast, please leave us a positive review! To view the show notes with resources, visit the website at https://www.ourhenhouse.org/ep641/
Love Activism w/ Stacy Russo
She’s an activist, artist, librarian, professor, and more. The multi-hyphenate Stacy Russo joins us on the podcast for a deep dive into Love Activism. Created by Stacy in 2013, Love Activism is a daily, holistic, and radical activism rooted in kindness. In our conversation, Stacy outlines the eight elements of this activist approach and describes how they can empower us every day. She explains why she firmly believes creativity is an element of Love Activism and how people can practice creativity by making their own or supporting others’ art. For those not drawn to traditional art forms, Stacy also shares how to find your own creative outlet. Empathy, another element of Love Activism, is also up for discussion. Stacy details how empathy can sometimes act as a barrier and prevent people from seeing, understanding, and fighting for the rights animals should have in this world. Plus, we discuss the author’s own journey toward animal rights activism, beginning with her introduction to the punk scene of the 1980s.
Stacy Russo, librarian and Associate Professor at Santa Ana College, is committed to creating books and art for a more peaceful world. She is the author of several nonfiction books, the editor of two essay collections, a published poet, a collage artist, a DIY oral historian, and the author/illustrator of children’s picture books. Stacy's books have been featured on National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting System, Sirius XM Radio, KCET Artbound, LA Weekly, and various other media channels. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in transformative studies at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Stacy is a longtime vegan.
Thanks for tuning in! If you enjoy the Our Hen House podcast, please leave us a positive review! To view the show notes with resources, visit the website at https://www.ourhenhouse.org/ep640/
Undercover Investigations Have Changed Everything w/ Gemunu De Silva
The trailblazing Gemunu De Silva, a United Kingdom-based undercover investigator of animal exploitation, joins us this week on Our Hen House. Gem, one of the first and longest-serving investigators of the worldwide hidden mistreatment of animals, tell us about his path into the world of animal activism and the animal rights movement. It was his very first factory farm investigation in the 1980s that not only horrified him but, fortunately, inspired him to devote his life to helping to amplify unheard voices. After years of international investigations, he founded Tracks Investigations, an investigation agency working to support the important work of animal protection organizations around the globe. Plus, Gem highlights the impact and influence of investigative filmmaking on legislation.
Gemunu De Silva is a filmmaker and activist who has been investigating and documenting animal rights abuses since the 1980s. He was the first person in the UK to film inside industrial farms and expose the atrocities within. In the early 1990s, he went on to direct and produce a number of documentaries for UK national television relating to animal issues. Gemunu’s path led him to establish and operate the Investigations Unit at Compassion in World Farming. In the early 2000s, he went to work as the Director of Research and Investigations at Cruelty Free International, where he specialized in exposing the vile international trade in primates for research. In 2006, Gemunu co-founded Tracks Investigations, an ethical investigation agency undertaking projects for animal protection groups around the globe. To date, Tracks have completed over 260 investigative film projects for 38 animal rights and protection organizations in 58 countries.
Thanks for tuning in! If you enjoy the Our Hen House podcast, please leave us a positive review! To view the show notes with resources, visit the website at https://www.ourhenhouse.org/ep639/
Thank you both for all you and share!
LEAP is such an amazing creation….Danielle is an angel!
This is the best vegan podcast EVER!
Never mind the title of this review…Our Hen House is the BEST PODCAST (not just vegan) ever. Engaging. Educated. Fun. Important. Everything that is good in the world…giving voice to all of the changes that need to occur. Bravo!
This is my favorite vegan podcast and I never miss an episode since I found it! They always have great discussions about current vegan-related events, and I’ve found that listening to the guests gives me inspiration for actions I can take in my own life to get active for helping animals.