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Animal Voices is a radio show and podcast that maps out the animal advocacy scene around the globe and provides a platform to showcase the work of animal advocates. The show explores how various human social dynamics such as race, gender, and class, intersect with animals.
Animal Voices broadcasts worldwide at www.ciut.fm/ every Tuesday at 11am EST.
Click here to subscribe to the podcast.

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Rescue, Shelter, and Education: The Ferret Aid Society Speaks

When people think of vivisection, ferrets aren’t usually the first animals who spring to mind. Or, similarly, mention animal cruelty investigations, and people tend to imagine cats and dogs.

While ferrets are plagued by cultural stereotypes that they stink and love to bite, The Ferret Aid Society offers a very different interpretation of these inquisitive animals. Started in 1994, president and founder of the organization, Randy Belair, tells a heart-wrenching story of the first ferret who inspired her and her mother to launch the FAS. Thirteen years later, Randy has rescued many ferrets, nursed them to health, turned her home into a shelter, educated the public, and side-stepped imminent burn-out. (Needless to say, it’s been a lot work!)

Tune in as Randy shares personal stories about the ferrets she and the FAS volunteers have known and loved. Hear about Randy’s experiences doing investigations, and find out what ferrets need to thrive. Keep the dial locked to find out more about ferrets not only in Ontario, but also around the world. Additionally, we’ll talk about the economic connections among backyard breeders, farmers, and hunters.

Still under the radar of many animal advocates, this show promises to pay homage to the struggles and joys of these underrated animals.

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One Huge Veg Food Fair & Vegan Porn’s Successor

Tune in for an aural guide to the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s 23rd Annual Food Fair (September 7, 8, and 9), the largest event of its kind in North America. With 100+ exhibitors, cooking demonstrations, a well-stocked food tent, and samples a plenty, the TVA Food Fair provides an ample opportunity to acquaint the new, veteran, and veg-curious with a diversity of foods, products, and perspectives. This year’s special guests include José Etcheverry (research and policy analyst for the David Suzuki Foundation), Beverley Edwards-Miller (Ontario Regional Coordinator for the Coronary Health Improvement Project), Brendan Brazier (2003 and 2006 Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion, and author of Thrive), Sarah Kramer (co-/author of How it All Vegan, The Garden of Vegan, and La Dolce Vegan), Jackie Liew (host of The Cooking Rendezvous, which features easy Asian veggie meals), Jennifer Cornbleet (raw food chef and instructor), Harold Brown (ex-”beef” farmer and Outreach Coordinator for Farm Sanctuary), among others.

Then, we connect with Taste Better’s Jason Doucette. We’ll hear why Vegan Porn (Jason’s very popular, long-standing veg news and satire site) made its quiet exit a while ago, and the inspiration behind the new site and vision. Still relishing absurdity, Taste Better combines humorous news commentary with some very creative outreach efforts. In addition to Jason’s unique take on veg and animal-related news, the site features such perennial favourites as the Vegan Booze list, a new “The Colour of Money” column, The Eazy Vegan (a cooking program, with AngelA), and “Taste This”, a newsletter for those interested in further Taste Better goodies.

We’ll also pick Jason’s brain about Internet activism, community-building, and ways to meet challenges with a grin. He’ll also share some of the funniest stories, and how he’s somehow conquered the need for sleep. Rather than an idle “joke-of-the-day” site, Taste Better offers a thoughtful and witty take on some troubling issues, while refreshing its readers and providing an antidote to regular news sites.


Animal Voices airs every Tuesday at 11am EST in Toronto on CIUT 89.5FM or online here and 3pm EST in St. Catharines on CFBU 103.7FM or online here. All of our shows can be found on our website. You can contact us on tumblrfacebook, or twitter.

Happy Tuesday! 

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The Secret Lives of Sloths – Part II

We’re delighted that Judy Avey-Arroyo, co-founder of the Aviarios del Caribe Wildlife Centre and the Buttercup Centre Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica, will join us again to talk about sloths. We’ll hear more about sloths’ habitat and history, the sloth pet trade, the Sanctuary’s “Adopt A Sloth” program, additional stories about the individual animals at the sanctuary, and so much more…

After struggling with a poor phone connection last week, eventually we could hear Judy clearly, but we lost about fifteen minutes of our potential interview time. (Did we mention it’s live radio?) We wanted to have her back on the program soon. Over the past week, so much positive listener feedback has just confirmed this! We also hope you enjoy Part II.

For folks who missed Part I, the show is now archived here. During the program, Judy talks about banana plantations and wildlife reserves, sloth injuries, the Sanctuary’s education efforts, “sloth moss”, and how sloth poop helps make the world go round. In the midst of all that, Judy reminds us that sloths aren’t slothful at all… they’re slowthful.

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The Secret Lives of Sloths

Definition of “Sloth”: “Apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue (personified as one of the deadly sins)”, and, “Any of several slow-moving arboreal mammals of South America and Central America; they hang from branches back downward and feed on leaves and fruits.”

Sloths are one of those maligned animals whose very existence is associated with negative traits. These amazing and complex beings have really gotten a bad rap. Yet, for many people who take the time to get to know them, and their worlds, sloths don’t seem lazy or apathetic at all. Their slow movements are revealed as highly adaptive behaviour and their unique, individual personalities quickly become apparent.

Unfortunately, sloths are threatened with more than just disparaging stereotypes. In Central America, deforestation, expanding land development, and the black market pet trade regularly endanger their lives. Luckily, sloths in Costa Rica are not alone in their struggle against such human-made hazards. We connect with Luis Arroyo and Judy Avey-Arroyo, founders of the Aviarios del Caribe Wildlife Centre and the Buttercup Centre Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. Beginning their work with sloths in 1991, Aviarios del Caribe and the Buttercup Centre are committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of sloths who have been endangered or hurt by human activity. Join us to find out more about sloths, their Costa Rican sanctuary, and how you can help!

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Sharkwater: An Interview With Rob Stewart

We speak with Rob Stewart, director of the award-winning film Sharkwater, about his compelling case for the global protection of sharks. Busting the myth that sharks are unstoppable killing machines, Stewart portrays them as complex and evolved beings, beings whose survival is threatened by the lucrative shark-fin industry. “A dangerous shark makes money and sells papers,” he says, “If they tell you a shark is beautiful and perfect and wonderful and won’t attack you, that’s only going to make the news once.”

Stewart’s love of sharks has taken him as far as the Galapagos Islands, Guatemala and Costa Rica, where he has worked alongside Sea Shepherd to expose and stop shark poachers, at times under harrowing conditions. He joins us to talk about his film, his travels, and why sharks matter.

Sharkwater is Rob Stewart’s first film, and was Winner of Canada’s Top Ten at the Toronto International Film Festival, People’s Choice Winner at the Atlantic International Film Festival, Winner for International Documentary at the Beverly Hills International Film Festival. In addition to visiting schools across Canada to promote his message, Stewart has also appeared on The Today Show and Larry King Live.

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Your Mommy Kills Animals!: Curt Johnson Walks the Line

You might not know it by looking at mainstream media, but the animal movements are full of a diversity of perspectives and strategies. Curt Johnson, Academy-award winner, and director of Your Mommy Kills Animals speaks with us live about his journey into the animal movements and the making of the film. Spurred by a curiosity about the issues and the organizations that call this movement home, Johnson set out to learn more about what makes animal activists tick… and what ticks them off.

Your Mommy Kills Animals concentrates on a melange of groups and group leaders, including folks such as Kevin Kjonaas from SHAC, and their critics, perhaps most notably David Martosko from the Center for Consumer Freedom. The documentary, while described as “a film, not an opinion”, in part provides an unequivocal critique of PETA and HSUS (neither group agreed to be interviewed), and ponders the fact that animal rights activists are currently considered the number one domestic terrorist threat in the United States. Your Mommy Kills Animals addresses themes of animal abuse, radicalism, hypocrisy, welfare, abolitionism, and violence, as Johnson talks with fur farmers, celebrities, activists and dissidents to initiate a conversation about the state of the movement today, while shining a few floodlights on the simmering, behind-the-scenes debates.

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Meatonomics Author Dave Simon on the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy

If you’re an average-earning American, Dave Simon calculates that you give a $1500 gift to the meat and dairy industries every year, as part of your taxes. How do you feel about that?

Simon, a lawyer, vegan, and author of Meatonomics, joins us to talk about the economics behind meat and dairy. Over the last 75 years, these industries have worked hard to keep demand for their products high by aggressively marketing to kids and adults, and influencing government-issued food guides. At the same time, they have kept prices low by vigorously lobbying politicians for generous subsidies and industry-friendly laws.

With a knack for explaining things like “externalized costs” and “checkoff programs” in plain language, Simon will show us what he sees as the consequences of an out-of-control system, and share with us his top 3 recommendations for starting to put things right. (And although Simon’s book focuses on the U.S., he will give us some Canadian context too.)


Animal Voices airs every Tuesday at 11am EST in Toronto on CIUT 89.5FM or online here and 3pm EST in St. Catharines on CFBU 103.7FM or online here. All of our shows can be found on our website. You can contact us on tumblrfacebook, or twitter.

Happy Tuesday! 

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Hearth to Home: Elegant and Hearty Cuisine with Raisa Jari & Mitchell Cutler

Get ready to salivate! On this program we connect with the folks from Hearth to Home, Raisa Jari and Mitchell Cutler. This culinary duo “prepares fresh organic vegan meals that feature elegant contemporary flavours as well as traditional favourites adapted to healthier plant-based versions. The meals are then delivered to Toronto homes each week.” In 2005, Raisa and Mitch abandoned their former career paths to dedicate themselves full-time to their dream, and Hearth to Home is a testament to their success.

In our interview, we talk about the food that inspires Mitch and Raisa, how to make your own vegan yogurt, getting the grill on vegan-style, and the sauces that make Raisa’s French cuisine pop. On a loftier note, they share their passion for organics and the technical side of preparing vegan food that will satisfy an omnivore’s (and vegan’s!) palate. Karol and Lauren enjoy some of their wares in studio, including pesto stuffed tofu with tomato coulis and roasted red peppers, green bean toss, and barley and chives, all perfectly prepared. Reasonably-priced and nutritionally-balanced, Raisa and Mitch marry hearty and elegant food with the health benefits of a plant-based diet.