146 episodes

Stories that change the way the world treats animals.

Species Unite Elizabeth Novogratz

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 825 Ratings

Stories that change the way the world treats animals.

    Devan Schowe: Captivity Sucks

    Devan Schowe: Captivity Sucks

    “The pets tend to be the most behaviorally disturbed, I would say. They have the hardest transition most of the time into kind of sanctuary life, because with the pet trade, infants are usually taken from their mothers within a few days or a few weeks after they're born. And most primate species in the wild will stay with their mothers for at least a couple of years, if not for most of their life. So that's incredibly damaging right off the bat, because that separation is very traumatizing.” – Devan Schowe
     
    Devan Schowe is the Campaigns Associate for Born Free USA, a nonprofit wildlife organization with the largest primate sanctuary in the country. Born Free recently release and report on the extensive suffering of giraffe in zoos. I read the report and wanted to talk to Devan about giraffes but also to get her expert perspective on captivity and why it’s so harmful to all animals, particularly in zoos.
     
    It completely baffles me that in 2022, most people have no issue with zoos. Maybe they don’t know that no matter how “nice” the zoo is, it’s still a prison for animals.
     
    Born Free USA https://www.bornfreeusa.org/

    • 36 min
    Lori Gruen and Alice Crary: Animal Crisis

    Lori Gruen and Alice Crary: Animal Crisis

    “We have to look at those structures. If we don't look at those structures, if we don't look at the economic structures and we don't look at the instrumentalization of animals, the use of animals, the devaluation, the lack of dignity that's given to animals, we're just going to perpetuate our sort of grotesque use of these creatures.” – Lori Gruen
     
     
    Philosophers, Alice Crary and Laurie Gruen co-wrote the recently released book, Animal Crisis: A New Critical Theory. The book is a deep dive into the many systems that are failing both animals and humans and makes the case that there can be no animal liberation without human emancipation.
     
     
    “What we're doing is bringing out the possibility, making it possible to recognize that some of the structures that harm human beings also harm animals… and to show that that these ties aren't accidental.” – Alice Crary
     
     
    Alice Crary is University Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the New School, where she's a co-founder and steering committee member of the Collaborative for Climate Futures.
     
    Laurie Gruen is the William Griffin professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan University, where she coordinates Wesleyan Animal Studies. Lori has been on the podcast before, and I am very happy and honored to have her back.
     
    Links:
    Animal Crisis: https://www.amazon.com/Animal-Crisis-New-Critical-Theory/dp/1509549684
     
     Lori Gruen: https://www.lorigruen.com/
     
    Alice Crary https://alicecrary.com/

    • 45 min
    Dr. Hope Ferdowsian and Dr. Syd Johnson: Primates and Medical Research A Matter of Convenience, Not Sound Science

    Dr. Hope Ferdowsian and Dr. Syd Johnson: Primates and Medical Research A Matter of Convenience, Not Sound Science

    “We have this this sort of human exceptionalism or human supremacy that that is used as the kind of baseline foundational justification for exploiting animals, that humans are just more important and we're more special in some way.” – Dr. Syd Johnson
     
     
    Dr. Hope Ferdowsian and Dr. Syd Johnson  recently published an essay in the Hastings Center Bioethics Forum called, Primates and Medical Research A Matter of Convenience, Not Sound Science. I read the essay and quickly realized how much there was that I didn’t know about animal testing and research (and I thought I knew a lot).
     
    The essay begins with one rhesus macaque who will spend her life in a cage as part of an Alzheimer's disease experiment. They tell the story not only of this individual primate, but of animal research as whole, how and when it started all the way up to where we are now, and also what an enormous failure most of it has been.
     
    Around 90 percent of drugs that pass in animal testing fail on humans. With numbers like that, in any other industry I’m pretty sure that we’d have given up by now. Not only is animal testing insanely cruel, but it's incredibly ineffective.  So, why are we still testing on tens of millions of animals and spending billions of dollars on mostly bad research year after year? Money and because we’ve “always done it this way,” (and we have, since 6 BCE).
     
    All systems that exploit, torture and abuse animals desperately need to change and the thing is, all of these systems can change. We have solutions. They exist and are getting bigger and better by the day. There are solutions to replace animals in the food system, in fashion, in entertainment and in medical research.
     
    But the money train that goes into using animals in research isn’t slowing down, and not enough of us are demanding otherwise (and we are who is paying for it). I think in part, because not enough of us are aware of the cruelty and the inefficiency that is animal testing. We are paying the bill simply because this is how it’s always been done.
     
    But it’s not how it should be done.

    • 43 min
    Keith Cooper: The Stingray Whisperer

    Keith Cooper: The Stingray Whisperer

    “The number one thing is to respect us as a country and a lot of people are not - people who feel privileged in their life, they own a very nice yacht, they have money, they're wealthy, they live in Florida, they live the golden life, they live a grand life. I'm not saying there's anything bad about that, I want to be that way too. But at the same time they have a responsibility to be respectful of our laws and they have to respect our marine life. They should follow [the law] and not try to hurt things that are native to our country and just do whatever they think is arbitrarily good for their own spirit and their own soul, which is damaging our livelihood. And they should learn and work with the Bahamian people. Let us teach you.” - Keith Cooper 
     
     
    Keith Cooper is the founder of the Bahamian based West End Ecology Tours on Grand Bahama Island. Over the past 16 years, Keith has formed a bond with many of the stingrays in the Bahamian waters, earning him the name, The Stingray Whisperer throughout the island.
     
    I went down to Grand Bahama to a couple of weeks ago to meet Keith and some of his stingray friends and to learn more about the horrible situation that many of these stingrays and lemon sharks (that live in the same waters) are in.  
     
    An enormous amount of them have been getting hooked, meaning that people are fishing them, the lines break and the sharks and rays are left with enormous metal hooks in their mouths. I learned from Keith that much of this cruelty is being caused by boaters that are coming to the Bahamas from Florida and are doing it “because it’s fun.”
     
    I spent a couple of days with Keith and we swam with the stingrays and the lemon sharks and swam very close to them so that we could easily see the gigantic metal hooks in many of their mouths. Something that should have been absolutely magical was instead, devastating.

    • 34 min
    Roy Afflerbach, Jo-Anne Basile, Roland Halpern and Allie Taylor: A Better Future for Animals

    Roy Afflerbach, Jo-Anne Basile, Roland Halpern and Allie Taylor: A Better Future for Animals

    “If a bill has been passed in another state, then you know who the opposition was, you know who the supporters were. And it really helps grease the skids for another state to get something through. It builds and then eventually you get a critical mass. And then hopefully at that point, Congress takes a look at it and passes something nationwide.” – Roland Halpern
     
     
     
    Last week, Allie Taylor was on the podcast. She runs New York Voters for Animal Rights. Allie and I spoke about how real change happens for animals in the US and that much of it happens at the local level.
     
    The problem is that many people just don't know where to start or how to get involved so that they can actually affect said change. So, Allie and I agreed that it’d be a good idea to bring on some other people running organizations that are similar to hers from other states.
     
    So that is what we did. This conversation is again with Allie Taylor from Voters for Animal Rights of New York, Roy Afflerbach of Pennsylvania, Roland Halpern from Colorado, and Jo-Anne Basile of Connecticut.
     
    It's a conversation about how and where change happens.
     
    LINKS: 
    New York: https://vfar.org/
    Colorado: https://covotersforanimals.org/
    Connecticut: https://www.ctvotesforanimals.org/
    Pennsylvania: https://humane-pa.org/about-us/about/senator-roy-afflerbach-ret/

    • 44 min
    Allie Feldman Taylor: Voters for Animal Rights

    Allie Feldman Taylor: Voters for Animal Rights

    “We didn't do any type of advertising. We didn't do any press around it. We just did what we do well, we quietly lobbied the city council and worked until we had a majority of the council co-sponsoring the bill. And then we said, okay, now it's time to actually move this, we need a hearing, we need to bring this up for a vote. So by the time the foie gras industry realized what we had done, it was too late.” Allie Feldman Taylor
     
    Allie Feldman Taylor is the founder and president of Voters for Animal Rights in New York, also known as VFAR. Allie founded VFAR in 2016, and in 2020 she ran VFAR candidate endorsement process for more than 50 animal rights candidates for the New York State Senate and Assembly. In 2019, she led the campaign to ban foie gras in New York City. She's also helped pass New York City laws making it a crime to steal wild birds and to ban wild animals in the circus.
     
    I asked Allie to come on the podcast because I really wanted her to explain how everyday citizens can influence and change laws to help create a better country for animals.
     
    Even though it feels like a hopeless time and like a lot of our political actions are meaningless, the local level is where they can be super meaningful.
     
    LINKS:
     
    VFAR https://vfar.org/
     
    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/votersforanimalrights/
     
    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/votersforanimalrights/
     
    Twitter https://twitter.com/theanimalvoters

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
825 Ratings

825 Ratings

Mgr BB ,

Wonderful new food industry ideas

Species United presents these interesting podcasts that give us new takes on delicious food that is healthy and has good environmental aspects.

justhumbs ,

Species Unite, w/ Elizabeth Novogratz

Species Unite, w/ Elizabeth Novogratz,
These Topics Play Out, On Our Ship of Somewhere …

AvidLearner ,

So powerful. So important.

This is really an incredible podcast. There's a strong argument that the single biggest evil being perpetuated today (& that most people are just ignoring) is the terrible way that millions of animals are treated by humans. This podcast shines a light on the issue in an a unique way. Yes, we discover the horror. But we also discover the heroric individuals who are trying to do something about it. Elizabeth Novogratz is the perfect host. Connected, honest, fearless. She makes it possible to go on a journey with her into some really dark places... and emerge with a lot of new knowledge - and maybe even just a little hope.

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