Jasmin Singer is the author of “The VegNews Guide to Being a Fabulous Vegan” and the memoir “Always Too Much and Never Enough“. She’s the co-founder & co-host of the award-winning Our Hen House podcast & nonprofit (now in its eleventh year), the Director of Editorial for Kinder Beauty, & the editor of the Encompass Essays: “Pursuing Racial Equity in Animal Advocacy”. Jasmin was named a “40 Under 40” by The Advocate Magazine, a top “Eco-Preneur” by Go Magazine & can be seen in documentaries including “Vegucated” & “The Ghosts In Our Machine”.
In these Sentientist Conversations (subscribe!), we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?”. Sentientism is “evidence, commitment & compassion for all sentient beings.”
- Jasmin’s activist journey & roles (and books)
- The gaslighting re: animal agriculture
- 1980’s milk and meat marketing
- Atheism, naturalism, comparative religion
- Compassion in religion, but also serious ethical problems
- Growing up as a reform Jew, celebrating Christmas and Hannukah
- The mental gymnastics more “moderate” religions (like reform Judaism) have to do to move away from the harmful ethics at the core of many religions
- Humanism’s focus on the human species
- Do kids start out naturalistic and then get taught fabrications?
- Do kids start out compassionate towards non-human animals then get taught it’s “normal” to kill them for pleasure?
- The parallels between the indoctrination of religion and animal product consumption
- The “kryptonite” effect of animal ethics on otherwise careful, compassionate Humanist thinkers (whereas it’s more understandable for busy people with challenging lives)
- Luna the puppy makes a cameo appearance
- Taking the perspective of the sentient being that is being harmed
- Do all human-caused problems come back to believing without evidence and/or a too small moral circle?
- Compassion doesn’t mean weakness or appeasement
- Humility & learning
- The insularity of academia and philosophy vs. activism. “We have to act!”
- Is most of philosophy focused on the least important problems? Is the most important, urgent philosophy the simplest and the most obvious?
- Activist philosophers and why Peter Singer and Mariann went vegan
- Going veggie at 19 because it fit Jasmin’s “image” and thinking meat was “icky”
- Starting out not being a “mean” vegetarian & then becoming a “mean” vegan 🙂
- The excitement of finding a veggieburger in the late ’90s
- AIDS, domestic violence, safer sex campaigning
- Meeting a vegan, watching an animal farming documentary, being shocked about the sexual & physical exploitation
- The psychological link between human and non-human sexual assault
- Going vegan & instantly becoming a vegan activist
- Trumpism and the undermining of broad compassion
- Hope as a strategy
- Healing from generations of normalising cruelty
- Individualism, interdependency & relationships
- Anti-racism, veganism & anti-oppression advocacy
- White supremacist & carnist cultures
- We can help non-humans while we’re fighting human discrimination. “Just don’t eat animals while you’re doing it!”
- Ending animal farming as a win-win-win
- A compassionate transition for farmers (e.g. RAP)
- Having moral arguments and having an audience are privileges
- The pressures of life mean non-human animal ethics aren’t a priority for most people. Avoiding patronising/condescention in advocacy
- Amplifying the voices and power of those who are marginalised
- Individuals making personal change and driving institutional change
- The ancient, global roots of non-human animal ethics and naturalism
- Making it easier for people to do the right ethical thing
- Every person going vegan makes a difference and spreads the change wider
- Waiting for institutional change is not an excuse for not making the personal change (like litter or voting!)
- A Fabulous Vegan future.
Everyone interested, Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our groups. Our main one is here on FaceBook.
Thanks to Graham Bessellieu for his post-prod work on this video. Follow him at @cgbessellieu.