8. eating animals

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a turkey about to be killed

In this episode we consider the ethics of eating animals with help from a chef, a slaughterer, a hunter, a scientist working on lab-grown meat, a vegan advocate, an undercover slaughterhouse investigator, a Humane Society VP, an animal behaviorist, ranchers, a doctor, an ecologist, three comedians, and a Buddhist!


Theme includes sample of Run to You by Buke & Gass. Check them out! Intro background music is a song by Múm.

good people

Why veganism is dismissed even by people who agree with it. Dr. Melanie Joy starts things off with a thought experiment. Note: two brief comedy clips here are from Jim Gaffigan and then a longer one from Louis CK. Though we don't see eye to eye on this issue, you probably already know that both are amazing talents. If you don't, you'd do well to find out.

the reluctant cannibal

Flanders & Swann dig into the ethics of a particular subset of meat-eating. Richard Dawkins made this connection.


Christo Peskias tells about the time he tried to slaughter a lamb and couldn't.


(Slaughterer) Rabbi Andy Kastner tells about his first time.


Chris Nowak paints a non-caricature of a hunter.

test tube meat

Dr. Mirko Betti tells us where the research is headed. Brief Steve Martin bit follows.


Melanie Joy asks: If farmed animals outnumber us thirty-two to one, why do we never see them?


Paul Shapiro on laws that protect the meat industry rather than the animals.


Do animals have feelings? Prof. Gisela Kaplan answers.

the little farm

How we're raised to think about farming. A children's book by Lois Lenski, read by G. Larry Butler


Josh Balk tells us about going undercover to show animal abuse at a Perdue Farms slaughter plant. You can watch a sample of the video he got here.


A little taste of what goes on. If you want to see, it's here.


Uncle Marty and Isaac Bashevis Singer on the oft-used Nazi analogy.

what separates us

We say we're not like animals, until we need justifications.


(excerpt) by Consolidated


Paul Shapiro tells about the few animal welfare laws that exist.


Dan and Melanie Joy struggle with whether moderation in the defense of justice can be a virtue.


Kathy and Ken Lindner of Lindner Bison talk ranching.


Dr. Joy tells how vegans and carnists can better connect.


We better stick to ethics, because Dr. Albert Fuchs says neither side has a monopoly on healthfulness.

debunking vegan myths

(excerpt) By Jonathan Mann (with Ivory King)

fake issues

Let's not get bogged down in, um, bullshit.


Mirko Betti on pink slime and the environmental impact of veggie burgers. Simon Fairlie fact-checks vegans and carnists alike. The Lindners explain how E-Coli got to be a problem.

we care

Killing is hard. Killing the part of us that cares is harder. Dan tells about the biggest animal he ever killed. Then, more from Simon Fairlie, Andy Kastner, and Melanie Joy.


Buddhist Gil Fronsdal offers one last story to chew on.


Original scoring for "good people" by Neal Wright. Production assistance by Mark Hutchison and Bryan Lotz. Thanks to Andrew Gunther and Greg Nauta for background information.

more resources

If you want to watch the entire Melanie Joy presentation (there were brief excerpts in the podcast) it's here. Recommended.

Colleen Goudreau, the compassionate cook, has a lovely podcast of her own.

While the podcast has no affiliation with the book, Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer, is a deep, thoughtful, moving work.

Animal Welfare Approved is the toughest humane practices certifier there is. Find approved suppliers near you.


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