By Sara Andrews
Those who already listen to podcasts probably already know that they are a great way to read a favorite book while doing the dishes, keep up on important news while driving or busing to work, or just relaxing on a free night while listening to your favorite radio show on your own time – all for free. (Though there are some podcasts that charge, the ones listed here do not – though they do take donations to cover production costs if you so desire.)
I do all these things but one of my favorite things to use podcasts for is learning more about animals and to gain information on current topics and news in animal rights – and even to enjoy some entertainment with a vegan flare.
There are lots of ways to listen to podcasts: you can download or stream them through free phone apps or listen to them on your computer. Some sites allow you to listen by simply clicking a button on that episode, whereas some require iTunes or another service to listen. I use an android app called BeyondPod – but there are many others to chose from.
These are my four top picks (two related) – if you love other podcasts not listed here, please add them in the comments.
This podcast is how I keep on top of all the happenings. New cookbooks, legal developments, recent protests, and what is happening around the world in animal news. It’s also very fun to listen to, and while the co-hosts talk about some really serious topics, they break it down into manageable pieces and include humor as well. The hosts are Jasmin and Mariann. Not to downplay Jasmin, but Mariann is a lawyer and an adjunct professor of animal law at Columbia Law School – we’ll get back to that in a minute.
This podcast holds a special place in my heart. As I was in the process of switching from vegetarian to vegan (actually right after I transitioned to vegan) I started listening to this podcast to give me resolve – and it did!
The host, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, (with whom many of you are already familiar) is definitely one of the most knowledgeable and best advocates for animals due to her passion, compassion, long-term activism in the movement, and pure knowledge of information. She has several cookbooks out as well as many video resources – and some other helpful books (30 Day Vegan Challenge is just one).
The strength of this podcast is that it has been being produced for a long time and covers such an amazing breadth and depth of topics. If you need more information on specific subject – communicating with friends and family, being burnt out, inspiration, well-researched health information, and many others – this is your place to look and listen.
Most of her episodes are also available through youtube.
This is one of my absolute favs because it’s a lot lighter in tone than the other ones I listen to. While it talks about important animal issues, it’s more geared towards community, interviews, humor and entertainment than the others listed here (though many incorporate these qualities as well).
And a bonus – one of the hosts (Ben/Honey) is from Wisconsin. Full disclosure: I’ve known Ben (Honey) since we were in high school, but we became involved in animal rights separately.
Ben(Honey) from Big Fat Vegan Radio at Heartland Farm Sanctuary
This is a new podcast that meets a very specific need. This is animal news and discussion in the realm of law, something I’m particularly interested in. Mariann from Our Hen House is the host. They talk about animal litigation, care standards, animals in research, and this is just the beginning.
Bonus Podcast: The Alternative Vegan
First, a slight warning that this podcast can include “adult” language. This podcast is not currently active, but the blog is. As for the podcast, it’s worth going back and accessing the old episodes.
This is a cooking podcast and the reason I love it so much is it talks about HOW to cook: techniques, what herbs and spices are good for, baking tips, all about oil, etc. I also really like the fact that Dino doesn’t use a lot of the “reproduction” products: non-dairy milk/butter, vegan meats, etc. Although I enjoy these products, they factor too heavily into some cookbooks for my taste.
I hope you check some of these out – especially look through the back episodes. There are some GREAT ones in there and you are sure to find many episodes you want to listen to for hours of fun and learning. Happy listening!