A podcast about animal liberation
1:03:09In this episode, we hear from Just Wondering, a collective of three individuals based in Eastern Europe. M, Mina and Aron. They make animated videos which they describe as “inescapably political and speculative”. I picked some of the video that had really piqued my interest - an impossible choice really, as the topics covered by Just Wondering cover so much ground, from Tim Morton’s hyperobjects to Sunaura Taylor’s disability liberation approach. A liberation movement must change the narrative and storytelling is Just Wondering’s strength. We hear about their learning journey through the theory and how the collective came to make videos, as well as details about the illustration and animation process. We also hear briefly about some of the collectives plans for the future. Just Wondering on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/justwondering/featured Just Wondering website: https://www.justwondering.io
Radical Animism, Language and Agency
55:12Episode 34. In this episode, we hear from Jemma, about her concept of radical animism and book of the same name. We begin with Jemma’s current studies of fungi and what we humans can learn from it. Jemma then expands on some of the themes of Radical Animism – including the 4 blows to human narcissism, the agency of the anthropocene, the evolution of language, and the animism of literature, including how texts like Alice in Wonderland can challenge and bring fresh light to our expectations of nonhuman animal agency.
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The Psychology of the Meat Paradox
1:08:10Episode 33. In this episode, we hear from Rebecca, whose research at Lancaster University takes a closer look at the meat paradox. Rebecca explains some of the psychological mechanisms people use to justify their meat eating. Rebecca’s research investigates meat reduction strategies and highlights the importance of social support for people going vegan, as well as digging deeper into anti-vegan attitudes.
Activism in Colombia
1:08:00Episode 32. In this episode, we hear from Fernando. Fernando explains some of the difficulties of pushing animal rights activism forward in Colombia. Issues around land ownership, a history of colonialism, war, poverty and trauma interconnect to create a challenging landscape. In a country where cattle ranchers, politicians and paramilitaries often work together to protect their interests, animal rights activism can be a dangerous calling. Fernando also explains some of the complications around bullfighting in Colombia.
Neurodiversity, Unlearning & Liberation
1:45:21Episode 31. In this episode, we hear from Marc. Marc explains how the animal liberation movement can become more accessible to and benefit from neurodiversity. He expands on some of the obstacles neurodivergent people are presented with by our ableist society and how activists can support and learn from each other in organising spaces. We also discuss some of the issues around white saviourism, burnout culture, graphic slaughter footage and publicity stunts. Marc also encourages men to take action to unlearn patriarchal behaviour patterns, and shares some thoughts on self-care.
Second Wave Animal Ethics
1:11:33Episode 30. In this episode, we hear from Dr. Iyan Offor. Iyan’s article “Second Wave Animal Ethics” proposes a move away from the rights-based liberal tradition of animal ethics that focuses heavily on nonhuman sentience and similarity. Iyan thinks the animal liberation movement is at a stage where, looking inwards, we can reflect, explore and experiment with theories from the margins. An intersectional, posthumanist approach which builds stronger links with the environmental movement has much to offer both activists and those working and studying animal law.
Imagining Multispecies Worlds
1:08:48Episode 29. In this episode, we hear from Dr. Michelle Westerlaken. Michelle explains her concept of multispecies-isms or multispecies worlding – a response to speciesism that looks for traces of how we humans interact with other species in our everyday lives, so as to imagine how relationships might take place in a non-speciesist future. Michelle’s work draws in strands from a range of disciplines, including interaction design, posthumanism and indigenous ways of knowing. Michelle finds the ethic of care a challenging but generative concept worth exploring. She also discusses the concept of the Bestiary in her thesis, which opens up spaces for nonhumans to “tell” stories, as well as to push our questions around speciesism into controversial territory. Gaming can also provide imaginative spaces for vegans to explore their ethics and enact non-speciesist worlding.
Multispecies Kinship, Dogs & Racism
50:08Episode 28. In this episode, we hear from Maythe, whose studies in multispecies kinship focus on the relationships humans have with dogs. Maythe shares information about an ethnographic study of dog lovers who perpetuate racism, particularly with regard to events around 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests in the UK. This leads to questions about the links between white supremacy and human supremacy. Maythe also considers the ethic of care to be a compelling avenue worth exploring. While studying, she shakes up the university system and field of anthropology through her decolonial praxis.
Growing Through Activism
1:48:58Episode 27. In this episode, we hear from Vallary. Vallary shares her experiences of mainstream vegan activism - both how she came into the movement and how she broke away from it. Vallary challenged the dominant narrative within the movement, sometimes directly with the organisations she saw as problematic. She calls instead for an anti-colonial approach which focuses on grassroots, local activism. Vallary’s personal journey has led her to a place where self-care and empathy are prioritised, as is allowing space for growth and learning – not just for herself, but for others too.
Together Against Interconnected Oppression
45:52Episode 26. In this episode, we hear from India, who explains some of the ideas and aims behind the Vegan Rainbow Project. We hear about the importance of building an inclusive vegan movement which explores the interconnections of oppression and builds alliances with other social justice movements. India also shares her thoughts on feminist theory within anti-speciesist discourse and some of the benefits and challenges of grassroots community building.