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At Animalia we aim to share important stories and information related to protecting this planet and positively impacting the public discussion around climate, biodiversity, and the natural world.
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S3:E7 - 53 Miles of Maine, Ep 4 of 5
Today in Episode 4 of 53 Miles of Maine, we dive into the role competitive energy companies, such as NextEra, played in supporting the opposition efforts to the New England Clean Energy Connect. In doing so we’ll breakdown the playbook pioneered by fossil fuel giant Koch Industries that is being used by big energy companies all over the country to stall or support opposition to projects that are not their own. Whether or not that applied here in Maine and if so, how influential it was in the ultimate outcome is a subject for much debate and discussion. Supporters of the NECEC believe it played a significant role, while the frontline of the opposition cite that they only needed the funding from competitive energy companies in order to keep up with the marketing spend of Hydro Quebec and the NECEC. All that and more today in Episode 4. As a recap for the series so far: Episode 1: Overview and timeline for the NECEC and how and why it got shut down in Maine Episode 2: The growing conflict between renewable energy advocates and environmental conservationists Episode 3: How and why our renewable energy transition will be decided at the Local level Episode 4: The tools big energy companies use to shut down competitive renewable projects and if that applied in Maine Episode 5: Final Recap, Coming Soon
August 02, 2022
S3:E6 - 53 MILES IN MAINE, Part 3 of 5
Welcome back to 53 Miles in Maine, our 5-part series covering a controversial clean energy project that got shut down by a pubic referendum in Maine in November 2021 and is now being decided in the courts. In this series, we are looking into what happened in Maine as a lens into 3 broader themes impacting our much needed transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy when it comes to our electricity grid. In Episode 1, we provided a detailed timeline of what took place in Maine In Episode 2, we discussed why Environmental Activists & Clean Energy Advocates are increasingly at odds with these projects And now here, in Episode 3, we are discussing why and how these big Clean Energy Projects are shifting from a solely Regulatory review process to a hybrid of a Regulatory + Public Review and how that played out here in Maine In Episode 4, coming next, we will tackle our 3rd and final theme, the playbook big energy companies are using to stall and block clean energy projects that are not their own The regulator system designed to govern these types of projects was not really built for the variety and volume we are seeing now as we shift of fossil fuels, let alone the new world order we are in where everything also needs to go through the court of public opinion. In the case of the New England Clean Energy Connect in Maine, they checked all of the regulatory boxes but were unable to convince the public. This is especially important for renewable energy and the infrastructure needed to support it because so many of these projects will live and die at the hands of local support. There are a lot of lessons learned here and we aim to bring this out to the forefront. Here are a few documents and studies that are referenced or in support of the conversations in this episode: Nationwide Local Infrastructure Study
June 30, 2022
S3:E5 - 53 MILES IN MAINE, Part 2 of 5
Welcome to the 2nd episode in our 5-part series covering a controversial clean energy project in Maine. It’s a hydropower initiative that initially got approved by state and federal agencies, then voted down in a public referendum, and now being determined in Maine’s courts. While the project was is taking hydropower from Canada and moving it into the New England electricity grid via a commercial deal with Massachusetts, it relies on moving all that energy through the state of Maine. We are not going to answer if we think the project should move forward or not. Rather, we are using the Maine story to provide a lens into 3 distinct themes that are playing out all over the country in our shift to renewable energy. You will hear from folks who both support and oppose this project throughout the series. A reminder that Episode 1 provides a detailed timeline of what happened in Maine, so if you have not listened that yet, please do! In this episode, we dive into 1 of those 3 key issues: THE GROWING TENSION BETWEEN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS AND CLEAN ENERGY ADVOCATES While both sides are very much for saving this planet and addressing our climate crisis with urgency, there are differing opinions over what renewable energy sources we prioritize, how we get there, and what environmental trade-offs we can accept along the way. As always, reach out to if you have any questions or comments. Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter as well here Thanks!
June 15, 2022
S3:E4 - 53 MILES IN MAINE, Part 1 of 5
Welcome to Part 1 of our 5-part series covering a very controversial renewable energy project that got shut down in a public referendum in Maine despite previously getting approval from state and federal regulators. While this energy was being purchased by the state of Massachusetts and generated by a hydropower company in Canada, it would require transmitting the energy through the state of Maine and thus in order to build out that transmission it needed Maine’s approval to move forward. Supporters of this project call it the New England Clean Energy Connect. Opposition groups call it the CMP Corridor. Just the difference in naming alone tells you a lot about their respective viewpoints. You’re going to hear throughout this series from folks on both sides of this particular initiative. But the reason we are covering it here at Animalia is not because we are taking our own stance on whether or not this project should move forward - we purposely leave that a bit open ended and we shall see how it plays out in the courts - but rather to use it as a lens into 3 larger issues playing out across the country as we grabble with figuring out how to shift from fossil fuel power generation to renewable generation. In Episodes 2-4, we will cover each of those in detail. In Episode 2, we will dive into the battle brewing between Environmental Activists & Clean Energy Advocates.  All forms of energy, including renewables, have environmental trade-offs.  Evaluating where and when they are worth taking is increasingly becoming complex and divisive, creating tension between environmental activists and clean energy advocates, despite both camps wanting to get off fossil fuels and save this planet.   In Episode 3, we will explore why the most critical decisions ahead in our transition off of fossil fuels are very much happening at the local level because of the land use and infrastructure needed for scaling renewable power generation.  We can no longer just rely on regulatory approval, and need to increasingly engage the public and get their buy in sooner than later. In Episode 4, we will look at how big energy companies around the country are using social media, marketing, and propaganda to stall clean energy projects.  In all cases this is to protect their own business interests, be it fossil fuels or their own renewables.  In the case of this project in Maine, there were big energy companies on both sides with renewable and fossil fuels interests when you roll things up to parent company levels.  How and why did 3 big energy companies seemingly not involved get involved and support the opposition to help build the public pushback? Then in Episode 5 we will do a recap with key takeaways. Here are some reference materials to read up further on this story. Feel free to reach out with any quesitons! Documentation of the State level regulatory hearing Documentation of the Federal level regulatory hearing Article questioning claims of those behind the project Live radio debate between the NRCM and the NECEC Some info on Northern Pass project that preceded this one
May 28, 2022
The Northern Rangelands Trust, or NRT, is one of the largest conservation organizations in the world, setting up community conservations across nearly 10% of Kenya. Last year, they were called out in a scathing report from the Oakland Institute called Stealth Game, which put forth many allegations of wrongful behavior within the NRT, an organization backed by several household names such as The Nature Conservancy & The World Wildlife Fund. While the NRT adamantly denies these allegations and is working on developing it’s own internal study, this report highlights a conversation we need to have about the Western Colonial model of wildlife conservation and why it needs to change if we are ever going to reach true climate justice. What are those solutions and why are these allegations against the NRT so concerning? I sit down with Oakland Institute founder and executive director Anuradha Mittal in today’s episode. SUPPORING CONTENT Again I encourage you all to evaluate this story for yourselves. These allegations have been denied by the NRT. The Report provides many detailed examples but the NRT provides details of their own to counter them. Here are the relevant materials: The Complete Stealth Game Report Oakland & NRT Exchange NRT Annual Report
April 12, 2022
If you care about this planet and are worried about where things are heading when it comes to global warming and biodiversity collapse, well, you're not alone. You've probably experienced some forms of climate anxiety or eco-anxiety because you care. For some, this feeling of worry and concern can be so severe that it can disrupt your life.  Maybe you start to worry too much about the things you are buying, about loved ones not caring, or about the doomsday scenarios that lie ahead if we keep on this track. Or maybe you are already experiencing personally the damages from climate change perhaps due to a recent wildfire or flood or tropical storm.  Maybe you live in one of the areas in the world dealing with water shortages and poor water quality due to toxic runoffs and droughts. Here at Animalia, we feel these forms of anxiety all the time.  It's normal and ok.  It means you care.  We just don't want those negative thoughts to consume you. So today on Animalia, we sit down with Thomas Doherty, one of the leading eco-anxiety psychologists in the field today. Thomas operates a formal clinical practice out of Portland OR, but he is also co-host of a new podcast focused on the intersection of climate change and happiness that we'd highly recommend, called, well, Climate Change & Happiness!  In this episode, we're going to help you better understand these feelings and identify some useful tips such as reframing to help you manage them.  We also want to share a great online support group platform for Climate Anxiety Support called the Good Grief Network, another great resource for you all!  ---------------- If you are not already a subscriber to our newsletter, please sign-up today! It's completely free and each week we will unpack a different topic in detail on the climate/biodiversity fronts as well as link out to a curated list of news articles for the week.  Straight to your inbox. An easy way to stay informed. Subscribe here.
April 05, 2022
Welcome to Season 3 of the Animalia Podcast! We’re back! We felt the best way to kickoff this new season would be talking about the Arctic. As you’re probably aware, the Arctic is melting thanks to global warming. What you may not know is the unique role the Arctic plays in reflecting solar radiation back into space, a critical component keeping this planet as cool as possible. As the Arctic melts however, it also darkens, leading it to absorb more and more sunlight and reflect less and less. Today we sit down with Dr. Leslie Field & Tom Light of the Arctic Ice Project for a deep dive into what’s happening in the Arctic and their highly ambitious, innovative solution to save it using small microspheres of silica. You can learn more about this fantastic project, the team behind it, the research to date, and support their work at this link here. If you can make a small donation to advancing this project forward, it would mean a lot to that team. ————— If you don’t get the Animalia Newsletter, sign-up here. In the latest version we break down impact the Russian War on Ukraine is having over the global energy transition to renewables. Insightful stories touching how we can not only save this planet, but allow all life to prosper by doing so. We also offering climate citizen science trips too for our subscribers, such as our upcoming expedition to Hawaii to help restore a coral reef.
March 17, 2022
The final episode of 2021 and the final episode of Season 2 here on Animalia. To close things out, I’m going to share my thoughts on 3 different topics that I think are really important for everyone to understand: The 2 main things we need to do to save this planet Is “Greening” Your Life Important? The Intersection of Climate Justice, Biodiversity Collapse, and Social Justice For the only time of the year, you get no experts. No politicians. No CEOs. No scientists. Just me, your host James. I hope you can tolerate being with me for 30 minutes, lol, because I think it will be worth it! Thank you all so much for a great Season 2. Here’s to Season 3 coming March 1st 2022!
December 31, 2021
Today on Animalia we dive into the wonderful, critical world of Kelp! A special type of seaweed that will likely, and hopefully as you’ll learn in this episode, be a cornerstone of our future food supply. This is because Kelp is a tremendously regenerative species full of nutrition. We also really need our kelp forests, and proper, ethical kelp farming can be a big step forward in protecting them. This is because they are home to thousands of critical marine species, sequester more carbon than terrestrial forests, help improve water quality, and produce a boatload of oxygen. What is kelp farming exactly? And how do we convince more people to eat it? Joining us today is Tiffany Stephens, Chief Scientist for Sea Grove Kelp, a kelp farm in Alaska to answer all of our burning kelp questions!
December 18, 2021
Welcome to the 5-minute teaser episode about kelp forests and kelp farming!  If you are interested in this episode, please go and check out the full version for the in-depth conversation with Tiffany Stephens, Chief Scientist at Sea Grove Kelp.  We talk about value and role of kelp forests, the future of kelp farming, and how to introduce kelp more into our diets.  All a big part of our shift to a more sustainable, regenerative food system.
December 18, 2021
This is the short, 5-minute (ish) teaser of our episode about de-extinction.  Now that the technology has arrived, larger questions loom about whether or not this is a good idea, what the consequences might be good or bad, and the potential role in our biodiversity and climate crises. We have three incredible scientists joining us for this roundtable discussion: Dr. Mackenzie Kwak - parasitologist at the University of Singapore Dr. Dave Strayer - ecologist and invasive species expert at the Cary Institute Dr. Lynn Rothschild - astro biologist and evolutionary biologist at Brown University This was a fascinating and enlightening discussion that you won't want to miss!  If you enjoy this teaser version, make sure to check out the full episode!
December 11, 2021
Welcome to a very special episode of Animalia. Today we are talking about the merits, ethics, and potential outcomes good and bad with de-extinction.  Earlier this year, a company named Colossal announced $15M in funding to create a new hybrid wooly mammoth species with plans of reintroducing them to Siberia in hopes of reviving their grasslands. Now that the dawn of de-extinction possibilities are upon us, we need to carefully consider how this could play out, and what the positive and negative impacts on our climate and biodiversity crises could be. We have three incredible scientists joining us for this roundtable discussion: Dr. Mackenzie Kwak - parasitologist at the University of Singapore Dr. Dave Strayer - ecologist and invasive species expert at the Cary Institute Dr. Lynn Rothschild - astro biologist and evolutionary biologist at Brown University This was a fascinating and enlightening discussion that you won't want to miss!   ------------ If you have not yet done so, please join our weekly newsletter. It's totally free and every Thursday we will send you 3 stories designed to be consumed in under 10 minutes that will make you a more informed advocate for this planet and addressing our climate and biodiversity crises.  Go to ------------ One short edit from Dave: In the podcast, he mentioned that humans have doubled the amount of reactive nitrogen on the planet, but he asked to correct this statement as such: that we've doubled the rate of input of reactive N on the planet (i.e., we now add as much reactive N as all natural sources combined). See Figs. 8.1 and 8.2 in Weathers et al. (eds). 2021. Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science. Academic Press.
December 11, 2021
Today we are bringing you a very special and valuable discussion with two incredible young climate activists: Raeesah Nor Mohamed from South Africa Hussein Ali Ghandour from Lebanon Over the past few years, you've seen an uptick in protests, marches, and demonstrations from incredible people like Raeesah and Hussein from all over the world.  At COP26 in Glasgow, over 100,000 activists made their way outside the event to demonstrate and push for more decisive action from world leaders. But have you had the chance to actually talk to them?  To understand what motivates them to give everything they have to this issue? To sacrifice so much?  To listen to their message?  To step into their shoes even for a moment?  Well today you do. Because Raeesah and Hussein have been kind enough to join us. I encourage you to share this episode with friends and family so they too can hear the perspectives they probably don't often get to hear, especially from uniquely challenging places in the world such as South Africa & Lebanon. And please go and follow and support them both online if you can! Raeesah on Instagram is @pure.rae.of.sunshinee and on Twitter she is @raeesahnm Hussein on Twitter is @ghandour567 Raeesah also wanted us to share a link to the Climate Justice Charter, so I encourage you all to check it out. --------------------------------------- From now through the end of the year, all the great merch at Animalia is 20% off.  All sustainably made with details in the product descriptions, as well as every item sharing between 20 and 65% of profits with non-profit partners fighting to protect life on this planet.  Go to to get yours today!
December 01, 2021
This is the 5-minute summary version of our episode sitting down with New Belgium's Katie Wallace and how the company is pioneering ways to help save this planet, including making a rather horrible version of their flagship beer, Fat Tire, to resemble what beer may taste like if we don't get our act together. If you are interested in this short summary version, please go and check out the full episode! ----------------------------------- If you have not yet done so, please join our weekly newsletter. It's totally free and every Thursday we will send you 3 stories designed to be consumed in under 10 minutes that will make you a more informed advocate for this planet and addressing our climate and biodiversity crises.  Go to
November 23, 2021
Who knew beer could be one of our best levers in climate communications?  This week on Animalia, we sit down with Katie Wallace, New Belgium's Director of Social & Environmental Impact, to discuss some of their pioneering approaches to advancing climate action, including making a rather horrible future version of what beer may taste like if we continue to destroy this planet. You probably know New Belgium from their flagship craft beer, Fat Tire.  What you might not know is that the company was founded by a former social worker and all the way back in 1999, yes while we were all worried about Y2K, New Belgium was converting their electricity from fossil fuel sourced to wind. So taking action on environmental initiatives is nothing new for them. But seriously...the climate crisis'll have to hear the episode to find out more.  If you have not yet done so, please join our weekly newsletter. It's totally free and every Thursday we will send you 3 stories designed to be consumed in under 10 minutes that will make you a more informed advocate for this planet and addressing our climate and biodiversity crises.  Go to  Here are links to a couple of the references Katie made in our chat:
November 23, 2021
This is the 5-minute(ish) summary version of our episode about the biodiversity crisis and it's links to climate justice with anthropologist Eduardo Brondizio. Eduardo is a professor at Indiana University. He's also Co-Chair of the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. An organization dedicated to the furthering of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for long term human well being and ecosystem health. If you are interested in this shortened summary version, please go ahead and check out the full episode! -------------------------- Speaking of biodiversity, we are launched a special edition collection of sustainably made hoodie and sweats (100% certified green cotton from Groceries Apparel) to help raise funds and awareness for Polymita snails. A snail endemic to Cuba that is under serious threat and with it, the Cuban forests.  Learn more about that project and the team in Cuba fighting to protect these snails here.
November 17, 2021
We've long been exploring ways to help people understand the relationship between our climate and biodiversity crises. Well, who better to do this than an Environmental Anthropologist?  After all, theses crises are results of human behavior and systems, and anthropology is the study of that those behaviors and systems. Eduardo Brondizio is an anthropologist at Indiana University.  He's also Co-Chair of the IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. An organization dedicated to the furthering of conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for long term human well being and ecosystem health. This episode should help clarify just how interlinked the issues of biodiversity, climate, and social justice are.  As well as why biodiversity has had a bit of a public communications challenge and how to address it. ------------------- Speaking of biodiversity, we are launched a special edition collection of sustainably made hoodie and sweats (100% certified green cotton from Groceries Apparel) to help raise funds and awareness for Polymita snails. A snail endemic to Cuba that is under serious threat and with it, the Cuban forests.  Learn more about that project and the team in Cuba fighting to protect these snails here.
November 17, 2021
This is the abbreviated, 5-minute teaser version of our episode with Dylan Leazes, who works in Congress, on the need to decarbonize our electricity grid and some of the policy work it will take to get there.  If you are interested in hearing more based on this discussion, be sure to check out the Full Episode published just before this. ----------------------------- If you have not yet done so, please join our weekly newsletter. It's totally free and every Thursday we will send you 3 stories designed to be consumed in under 10 minutes that will make you a more informed advocate for this planet and addressing our climate and biodiversity crises.  Go to
November 10, 2021
One of the most important things we can do in order to address climate change is decarbonize our electricity grid. As much as 25-33% of our emissions come from electricity and that is only going to increase as the world becomes more and more electric - from transportation to data centers to currency. While there are plenty of zero-carbon sources to cover our power needs - wind, solar, hydro, nuclear - the transition is difficult and needs more policy to push it forward. So today on Animalia we are sitting down with Dylan Leazes to discuss. Dylan works in Congress and spends a large chunk of his time on Energy Policy. He’s just the fella to talk with about how best we can accelerate this work. ----------------------------- If you have not yet done so, please join our weekly newsletter. It's totally free and every Thursday we will send you 3 stories designed to be consumed in under 10 minutes that will make you a more informed advocate for this planet and addressing our climate and biodiversity crises.  Go to
November 10, 2021
This is the shortened, 5-10 Minute Summary edition of our episode on parasites and why it's critical to conserve them to combat our biodiversity crisis.  For the full episode, please go check out the one just before this! Joining us is renowned parasitologist McKenzie Kwak, parasitologist at the National University of Singapore. One of the few in his field that are actively working on parasite conservation. You can follow Mackenzie on Facebook @mackenziekwakparasitologist Or on IG @Mackenzie_kwak_parasitologist ---------------------------------- 2 asks for our Animalia Faithful! A) Please give our podcast a review on whatever site you are listening on. It helps us out a lot! B) Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter, where we share 3 stories you can read in 10 minutes to make you a more informed advocate for this planet!
November 03, 2021
Raise your hand if you have ever actively thought about parasite conservation and the importance of protecting these species. Most of you probably have your hands down. And understandably so, after all, don’t parasites just cause problems for their hosts? Why would we conserve them? As it turns out, most parasites often have a fairly neutral relationship with their hosts. In addition, they can have vast benefits to our ecological systems. They are the glue that very much holds the food web together. And they may be our best tools for fighting future viral and disease outbreaks. So today on Animalia, we are going to learn about parasites and why they are so important from renowned parasitologist McKenzie Kwak, parasitologist at the National University of Singapore. One of the few in his field that are actively working on parasite conservation. What exactly is parasite conservation? You’re going to learn about that as well. You can follow Mackenzie on Facebook @mackenziekwakparasitologist Or on IG @Mackenzie_kwak_parasitologist ---------------------------------- 2 asks for our Animalia Faithful! A) Please give our podcast a review on whatever site you are listening on. It helps us out a lot! B) Please subscribe to our weekly newsletter, where we share 3 stories you can read in 10 minutes to make you a more informed advocate for this planet!
November 03, 2021
S2:E28 (5-minute Summary) BRINGING SEA WALLS TO LIFE
This is the very short, 5-minute (ish) summary of our full episode on Living Sea Walls, a really critical innovation that we are excited to profile!  Through this work, sea walls can protect both human habitats and marine habitats together. ------------------------------------- Big thanks to Dr. Katherine Dafforn and Dr. Mariana Mayer Pinto for from the Living Sea Walls team for joining us today. Please go and support their work. They are a non-profit relying on donations from advocates like you!  Check out their site here. -------------------------------------- A couple Animalia Announcements Please go check out our Polymita hoodies and sweats.  They are made with 100% green, organic cotton and are being sold to raise support for the biology team in Cuba working so hard to save this species and the Cuban rainforest. Learn more about that project here. If you haven't already, join our weekly newsletter.  Each week you'll get 3 stories you can read in under 10 minutes that will make you a more informed advocate for this planet!
October 19, 2021
One of my favorite novels of all-time is Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.  The idea of breathing life into something that previously housed none is both exhilarating and fantastical.  Now in the case of Dr. Frankenstein, it did not work out all too well.  However in the case of sea walls, it seems it very much will! Sea walls are everywhere across the world.  And they have been for a long time.  They are growing larger and more numerous and ambitious due to our warming oceans, rising sea levels, and increases in flooding and storm intensity. Over 40% of humans on earth live within 100km of a coast. Traditional sea walls do a great job of protecting human habitats from waves, floods, and storms.  But they do a terrible job of doing the same for our marine habitats.  They disrupt ocean drift and cause coastal erosion, and that then disrupts critical coastal marine habitats that house many of the fish we eat, oxygenate our oceans, improve water quality, and sequester carbon. An amazing team has come up a solution. A way to breathe life quite literally into sea walls so they can protect both humans and marine life at the same time.  Want to know how? That's today on Animalia! ------------------------------------- Big thanks to Dr. Katherine Dafforn and Dr. Mariana Mayer Pinto for from the Living Sea Walls team for joining us today. Please go and support their work. They are a non-profit relying on donations from advocates like you!  Check out there site here. -------------------------------------- A couple Animalia Announcements Please go check out our Polymita hoodies and sweats.  They are made with 100% green, organic cotton and are being sold to raise support for the biology team in Cuba working so hard to save this species and the Cuban rainforest. Learn more about that project here. If you haven't already, join our weekly newsletter.  Each week you'll get 3 stories you can read in under 10 minutes that will make you a more informed advocate for this planet!
October 19, 2021
This summer we released a 4-part series chronicling the war on wolves in the US from the mid 19th century through today.  If you haven't had a chance yet to listen to that series, here is a link to Episode 1.   Either way, this week we are providing a short update on some of the recent developments as we head into the 2021 hunting season, particularly around the problematic states such as Wisconsin, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.  We'll check in again with another episode in 2022 covering where we stand coming out of this dreaded 2021 hunt. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO AND SIGN THE PETITIONS HERE TO GET WOLVES RE-LISTED UNDER FEDERAL PROTECTION. A BIG THANKS THE CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY FOR CONTINUING TO PUT SO MUCH INTO THESE EFFORTS.
October 13, 2021
This is the abbreviated, 5-minute summary version of our episode discussing Carbon Removal with Rory Jacobson from  If you find it interesting, please go check out the full episode :) —————————————————— Less than 2 weeks until our Live Retirement Party for the most famous rat in the world, Magawa. October 16th at Noon EST. That’s right, a rat! Not just any rat. A rat who has cleared more than 140,000 square meters of land mines in Africa. Join his team at APOPO to learn how they train rats to do this amazing work, as well as detecting tuberculosis! This 2-hour event will forever change your mind about rats. Tickets start at just a $5 donation to APOPO. You won’t want to miss it! Get yours today! ————————————————————— Animalia - Follow us on social @experienceanimalia on IG & TikTok, @expanimalia on Twitter Join our free weekly newsletter where we send you 3 stories you can read in 10 minutes that will make you a more informed advocate for this planet Carbon180 Follow them on social @carbon180 Support their great work at
October 05, 2021
Is it possible to pull enough carbon out of the air to meet our emissions goals? Today on Animalia, we are talking Carbon Removal. We delve into the current state of the technology, the difference between Carbon Capture vs. Carbon Removal, and why we need clear, ambitious targets for both lower our emissions and removing carbon already in the atmosphere. Joining us is Rory Jacobson from, an awesome NGO that is pioneering advancements in carbon removal and capture at both public and private levels to reach a goal where we are removing more carbon than we emit. We encourage you to follow them on social via the links below and if you can, make a donation to their valuable work. —————————————————— Less than 2 weeks until our Live Retirement Party for the most famous rat in the world, Magawa. October 16th at Noon EST. That’s right, a rat! Not just any rat. A rat who has cleared more than 140,000 square meters of land mines in Africa. Join his team at APOPO to learn how they train rats to do this amazing work, as well as detecting tuberculosis! This 2-hour event will forever change your mind about rats. Tickets start at just a $5 donation to APOPO. You won’t want to miss it! Get yours today! ————————————————————— Animalia - Follow us on social @experienceanimalia on IG & TikTok, @expanimalia on Twitter Join our free weekly newsletter where we send you 3 stories you can read in 10 minutes that will make you a more informed advocate for this planet Carbon180 Follow them on social @carbon180
October 05, 2021
This, is the 5-minute (ish) summary of our episode How Saving Sea Stars Can Save Our Forests. A couple weeks ago our Animalia newsletter (subscribe here if you have not yet) we surfaced a story about the devastating 2013 sea star wasting disease that killed upwards of 90%+ of some sea star species up and down the Pacific Coast of North America, how this sea star collapse has led to severe declines in critical kelp forests, and how scientists are battling to successfully breed sea stars in captivity for the first time to restore them into the wild.    Well.....we tracked down the scientist leading that work, and he's joining us today on the pod! If you enjoy this summary, please go and check out the full version. And please go support the work of Jason and his team with a donation of any size to their Stars of the Sea Fundraiser that is providing the resources for this Herculean effort.   ------------------------------------------------------------------- Please join us on October 16th for a very special, live retirement party for the world's most famous rat, Magawa, who has saved many lives in Africa! That's right, a retirement party for a rat!  Need we say more?  Details and tickets are here.
September 21, 2021
A couple weeks ago our Animalia newsletter (subscribe here if you have not yet) we surfaced a story about the devastating 2013 sea star wasting disease that killed upwards of 90%+ of some sea star species up and down the Pacific Coast of North America, how this sea star collapse has led to severe declines in critical kelp forests, and how scientists are battling to successfully breed sea stars in captivity for the first time to restore them into the wild.   Well.....we tracked down the scientist leading that work, and he's joining us today on the pod!  Jason Hodin is his name, a metamorphosis scientist at the University of Washington.  So what is a metamorphosis scientist doing saving sea stars?  Find out in this episode and much more about the incredible sea stars and their vital role in marine ecosystems. And please go support the work of Jason and his team with a donation of any size to their Stars of the Sea Fundraiser that is providing the resources for this Herculean effort. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Please join us on October 16th for a very special, live retirement party for the world's most famous rat, Magawa, who has saved many lives in Africa! That's right, a retirement party for a rat!  Need we say more?  Details and tickets are here.
September 21, 2021
S2:E24 - (5-Minute Summary) THE BAD ASS WOMAN FROM BAD RIVER
This is the 5-minute(ish) version of our episode, The Bad Ass Woman from Bad River.   We sit down with Philomena Kebec, a Native woman from the Bad River Band in Norther Wisconsin, to discuss some of the experiences and philosophies she has about the world today, the climate crisis, and our relationship with the natural world. If you are interested in some of the excerpts here, I encourage you to go listen to the full episode and discussion. It's really powerful. Please share this discussion and stand up for the rights of Native people in this country.  
September 14, 2021
In the production of our series The American War on Wolves, I met a really amazing person named Philomena Kebec. Philomena is a member of the Bad River Band, part of the larger Anishinaabe community in Northern Wisconsin. When we first spoke, she shared some really powerful insights on the climate crisis and philosophies about how we exist within the natural world. There is so much we can learn from Native people. And so much we need to do to better serve them, protect their cultural heritage, and address a system of violence, oppression and cultural assimilation going on for over 400 years in this country. Philomena has many really powerful insights about what is going on in the world right now, way too many to put into one podcast episode, but in this episode, we talk through a few of them and everyone can really benefit from tuning in. Creating a stronger, more inclusive society for Native people, ensuring Native people are represented in high positions of public and private office….not only are these the right and just things to do, but they would greatly help us in our fight to save this planet. Every time I chat with Philomena, on or off the record, it leaves a positive imprint on me.  I hope this episode will do the same for you! Here are some additional links Philomena wanted to share with everyone to check out on your own! Anishinaabe Botanical Teachings Tribal Climate Adaptation Model Food Code Project
September 14, 2021
S2:E23 - (5-Minute Summary) GOING NUCLEAR
This is the 5-minute (in this case 8 minute) version of our episode on Nuclear Energy. Listen to this one if you want some quick takeaways while on the go, but then go check out the complete episode when you get a chance for a deep dive into all things nuclear energy and why it may be our only way to get off of fossil fuels.
August 31, 2021
Nuclear Energy! In today’s episode we give you a deep dive into nuclear energy and why it may be our only way off of fossil fuels. Like many others, when you think of nuclear you probably think of large scale accidents, radiation, nuclear waste, and nuclear weapons. All bad things! However it’s also a carbon-free, zero-emission energy source that produces more output at a more consistent pace than wind or solar, and is cheaper than coal or natural gas. And there are a ton of innovations happening to mitigate the historical challenges of accidents, radiation, waste, and threats. It also may be one of the few things left that can get bipartisan support in DC. So let’s learn more about it and see where it fits into our clean energy future! Joining us today is Jason Herbert, Director of Government Affairs for Energy Northwest, a major energy agency in the state of Washington providing a lot of renewable energy to utility companies, including of course, nuclear. Prior to Energy Northwest, Jason spent a decade on Capitol Hill work in Congress with a focus on energy and environmental policy. -------------------------------- Quick plug for our weekly newsletter - every week we curate and write about 3 important stories in the world of protecting this planet and send it to your inbox - all designed to be read in 5 minutes or less. It's the fastest and most efficient way to learn and spread effective climate communications. Sign-up today here. It's totally free. ------------------------------------ In This Episode 5:45 - Meet Jason 8:10 - A Political Orphan 23:00 - State of Nuclear in the US Today 28:00 - New Innovations 41:50 - Debunking Nuclear Critiques
August 31, 2021
What's the first emotion that comes to mind when you think of sharks?  For most people it's fear.  Fear of an open water attack.  A fear that has been culturally woven into our lexicon dating back thousands of years.   That fear is justified - sharks are powerful predators.  However, it's also over blown.  300 times more people bite other people on subways each year than how many sharks who bite people globally each year! Sharks are vital to our oceans. In fact, given every curveball we are throwing at our oceans right now - warming, acidification, plastic pollution - sharks are more critical than ever.  They've been around for over 400 million years, yet have never been so valuable to the survival of our oceans. Find out why this week on Animalia. -------------------------------- Quick plug for our weekly newsletter - every week we curate and write about 3 important stories in the world of protecting this planet and send it to your inbox - all designed to be read in 5 minutes or less. It's the fastest and most efficient way to learn and spread effective climate communications. Sign-up today here. It's totally free. ------------------------------------ Joining us today is Dr. James Sulikowski, a professor at Arizona State University where he leads a conservation lab focused on sharks, skates, and rays.  So what’s a sand shark scientist doing in the desert?   Finally, we want to mention Dr. James' partnership with Earthly to promote conservation research of the spiny dogfish shark.  Earthly is a clean-ingredient dog treat brand known for their trademark dental chews that is supporting this important research initiative.  You can get 20% off your first order of their dental chews or other treats using the code "ANIMALIA" on their site here.  Thanks!
August 24, 2021
S2:E21 - How Composting Can Help Solve our Soil Health & Waste Crises
You’ve probably heard the disturbing stat before: we throw away 40% of our food here in the US. And that’s a big problem on multiple fronts. For one, landfill waste is a major source, in fact our biggest source, of methane. A greenhouse gas that traps heat at a rate 25 times stronger than carbon. In addition, that food waste could have otherwise been converted into nutrient rich soil, at a time when we are in a massive soil criss after decades of soil degradation spurned from an agriculture industry focused only on efficiency and scale.   While there is no single silver bullet to any of our environmental and climate issues, there is a powerful elixir that can combat both our soil and waste crises.....composting. Know doubt you know what composting is. Maybe you've tried it.  Maybe you compost regularly. Maybe you are one of the 75% of US Households that are not offered curbside composting.   In this episode, you'll learn both why composting is so important in our fight against climate change AND all the ways it is become more and more accessible. Joining us are the 3 Compost Commandos: Lauren Turk, aka The Marvelous Soil Maven - a founder at Fera Zero, an incredible organization bringing a variety of waste solutions to many different cities, including an app to find how, where and why to compost. Join their waitlist.  Charlie Pioli, aka Dr. O - founder of O-Town Compost, a for-profit composting venture in Orlando Florida. And host of The Community Compost Podcast.  Go check it out and subscribe! Dr. Lee Reich, aka The Farmdener - the O.G of composting going over 50 years strong and a renowned gardener, author, and teacher. We are so thankful to all three for joining and we think you'll love this episode! If you are looking for some tips on how to start composting yourself, there are hundreds of great videos on YouTube but here is one in particular that I love! NOTE: IF YOU LOVE THE ANIMALIA PODCAST, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE LEAVE US A RATING AND REVIEW!  IT HELPS A TON.  AND YOU'LL ALSO PROBABLY LIKE OUR WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER, WHERE WE WRITE ABOUT 3 TO 4 TOP STORIES OF THE WEEK IN CONSERVATION AND CLIMATE. SUBSCRIBE HERE.
August 17, 2021
Episode 4 of 4 - The American War on Wolves: The Battleground of 2021
Welcome to Episode 4 of Animalia’s The American War on Wolves. In this 4th and final episode of the series, we dig into what’s been happening in 2021 so far since Federal protections for gray wolves were lifted in January. State by state, wolf protections are falling away and senseless killing is picking up steam. In order to change this trend, we need to understand why it’s happening. So our focus in this episode will be to break down the justifications the anti-wolf community uses in their policies and programs to kill wolves, and look specifically at Wisconsin and Idaho as examples. We will also look at two states still on the side of wolf advocacy, Oregon and Washington, albeit there are aspects of their programs that also feel like they are on shaky grounds. Finally, we hear from the many experts and advocates throughout this series on what we can do to prosper coexistence with wolves and return them to their rightful range and habitat. In so many ways, our relationship with wolves is symbolic of our relationship with the natural world overall. For far too long, it has been adversarial and exploitative, rooted in cultural disdain. We are seeing right now how this disdain, misinformation, and polarizing politics rear their ugly heads in causing us to go backwards, not forward. In the series finale, we detail what is happening across 4 specific states, analyze the arguments given by the anti-wolf community, and talk through some different solutions for getting us to peaceful coexistence with wolves. ————————————————————— As always, this series is dedicated to raising support and awareness for, put on by the Center for Biological Diversity. Please check out the page and sign the petitions going to state and federal policy makers to protect wolves. Every digital signature is incredibly valuable. In case you missed them: In Episode 1, we outlined some kay facets of wolf biology, sociology, and day to day life to lay a foundation of understanding In Episode 2, we chronicled the historical extermination wolves have experienced here in the US dating back to the mid 19th Century In Episode 3, we looked at Recovery & Reintroduction programs that have been successful and unsuccessful and why A big thanks to all those who are featured in this episode: Amaroq Weiss Zoe Hanley Wally Sykes Philomena Kebec Peter David Melissa Wintrow Ali Rabe Michael Robinson Rick McIntyre Josh Specht
August 05, 2021
Episode 3 of 4 - The American War on Wolves: Recovery & Reintroduction
Welcome back to The American War on Wolves, a 4-part series chronicling the historic extermination of the critical gray wolf in the United States culminating in the battle grounds of 2021 as states wrestle to determine the fate of this species. If you didn’t get a chance to check out Episodes 1 or 2, please do so. Episode 1 provides an important foundation for understanding wolf behavior and sociology that serves as context for evaluating the policies aiming to control and manage them. Episode 2 is a walk back in time, taking us through the mid 19th century when Western Settlers ignited the wolf extermination process up through the modern day. And here we are in Episode 3: Recovery & Reintroduction. In this episode we are going to dissect 2 specific recovery and reintroduction programs, one that has gone quite well in Yellowstone, and one that has not gone well at all in the US Southwest for the Mexican gray wolf, also known as the lobo. It is important to understand what we can learn from each before we finish up in our 4th and final episode next week, The Battle Grounds of 2021. As a reminder, please go support, our partners in making this podcast series possible. It’s a program created by The Center of Biological Diversity, an organization that has been fighting to protect wolves for decades. Please sign the digital petitions if you can, going straight to key state and federal policymakers. In addition, every listen of this podcast triggers a $1 donation to the cause. That’s right, all you need to do is listen and share it along and a donation will be triggered from the Animalia team. Special thanks in this episode to both Michael Robinson, historian and author of Predatory Bureaucracy, as well as an active member of the Center for Biological Diversity himself. And to Rick McIntyre, renowned wolf expert and author of The Rise of Wolf 8 and The Reign of Wolf 21. You’ll be hearing a lot from both of them in this episode. Also a shout out in this episode to Sustainable Human, a great YouTube channel who did a fantastic video on the positive impacts of wolves in Yellowstone we borrowed some audio from. Check out their full video here and please go subscribe to their channel. In This Episode: 2:45 - Quick update on Red Wolves 4:45 - The challenges of the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program in the US Southwest 39:00 - A 12-minute overview on how to set Recovery Targets 51:21- The success of the Gray Wolf Recovery Program in Yellowstone National Park
July 27, 2021
Episode 2 of 4 - The American War on Wolves: An Historical Extermination
Welcome back to Episode 2 in our 4-part series: The American War on Wolves. In this episode we are going to go back in time to the mid-1800s when Western Settlers moved into the Great Plains, the Southwest, and the Northwest and began forever changing these ecosystems.  Native American communities and roaming bison would be replaced by Western outposts and grazing livestock. What followed was a systematic extermination of wolves and other wild predators, led by the collaboration of private economic interest, namely the livestock industry, and government help, namely the US Biological Survey which would become the US Fish & Wildlife Service. In order to better understand the state by state battleground for wolf recovery happening today, we must first know how we got here. Two incredible guests join us for this episode. The first is Michael Robinson, whose book Predatory Bureaucracy drives a lot of the information here.  He’s a historian and member of the Center for Biological Diversity, the organization again that this series is benefiting. Each time you listen or ask someone to do the same, we are donating $1 to their efforts at The second is Josh Specht, a professor at the University of Notre Dame and author of Red Meat Republic. Thank you to Michael and Josh for their contributions and the work they do. Enjoy this 2nd episode!  If you missed the first one, go back and give it a listen as it will ground you in some of the sociology, family structure, and behaviors of wild wolves.  Coming up in Episode 3 next week, we will look at modern Recovery and Reintroduction programs, both successful and unsuccessful and what we can learn from them. And again, please please go to and sign the petitions to support the fight to protect this species.  And remember every listen of this podcast triggers a donation so spread the word! ----------------------------- PS. We want to link as well to the Wikipedia page of Rosalie Edge, an amazing conservationist you’ll learn about in this episode.
July 20, 2021
Episode 1 of 4 - The American War on Wolves: Establishing a Foundation
We’re so excited to bring you our first ever mini-series here on Animalia. The American War on Wolves If you’re not already aware, 2021 has become a pivotal year, a year like no other, in the fight to save this species here in the United States. After the Trump Administration delisted wolves from Federal protection in January of this year, many states have returned to the horrific, sweeping legalization of killing wolves. The same programs and strategies that led to their near extinction from the mid 1800s through the Endangered Species Act of 1973. It’s critical we bring more awareness to what’s happening, spread the facts, and share the love across the incredible community fighting for this species. Because the biggest threats to wolves continue to be a combination of misinformation and ingrained cultural disdain. So here we go. We can’t wait to bring this to you. The 4 episodes will take you through a journey starting with highlighting some of the many incredible traits of wolf behavior and sociology in order to lay a foundation of understanding and appreciation. In Episode 2 we’ll move into the historical extermination that began in the mid 19th century. Episode 3 will walk us through reintroduction efforts in the mid 90s through today, what has worked, and what hasn’t. Finally, the 4th and final episode will focus on the ideological and political war going on right now that may very well determine the fate of the species. Throughout the series we will urge you to visit and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE sign the digital petitions pushing policy makers at state and federal levels to protect wolves. If you can also make a donation to their efforts, that would be amazing too. However, guess what, you already did that just by listening to this episode! That’s because for every listen this series gets, Animalia is donating $1 to the Center for Biological Diversity, the organization behind So please share with friends and urge them to do the same! ————————————————————— As described above, this first episode delves into the behavior and sociology that makes wolves so special. We’ll learn what it’s like day to day for wolves, how their family structures work, how they interact with their ecosystem, and the value of play. We feel it’s important that before we get into the war on wolves, we first need to better understand them. We think you’ll love this kickoff :) Throughout the series you’ll here from some amazing guests. Biologists, conservationists, authors, and policy makers that were kind enough to contribute to this project. In this particular episode, you’ll meet: Rick McIntyre: One of the most celebrated wolf experts in America, Rick has been at Yellowstone National Park since 1994, the year before wolves were reintroduced in 1995.  He is also the author of The Rise of Wolf 8 and The Reign of Wolf 21, two books we HIGHLY recommend. John Vucetich: A biologist, professor, and Primary Investigator of the Isle Royal National Park in northwest Michigan  Enjoy!!!!
July 14, 2021
S2:E16 - Climate Migration hits the US Southwest Border
You’ve probably seen the “US Southern Border Crisis” plastered across news media the last few months. There is a surge of migrants coming from Central America, particularly what’s known as the Northern Triangle, highlighted by Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Only this surge is nothing new, it’s been building for over a decade. And the true cause of it is barely touched on in the news media, be it left or right leaning, and that’s climate change. If terms like climate displacement, climate migration, and climate refugees are not too familiar, you’re not alone. And that right there is a big part of the problem. Of all the issues and problems climate change poses in the decades ahead, one of the largest and most overlooked is climate migration. This is essentially when people are forced to move and change locations because climate issues, be it extreme weather or rising coastlines, have rendered their how and/or trade untenable.  It’s hurting those most who are marginalized and living in lower-income areas, and it’s only going to get worse. In this episode, we dive deep into Climate Migration, what it is, how its being discussed globally, and specifically how it is impacting people in Guatemala as an example of what lies ahead. We’re lucky to have two amazing guests joining us for this episode: Amali Tower, founder and the executive director of Climate Refugees and member of the World Economic Forum Wilfredo Miron, Program Quality Manager for CARE in Guatemala, with my friend Jose translating his interview for us If you are moved at all by this episode, and we hope and think you will be, please go and support their two organizations in anyway you can. You can donate to Climate Refugees Here And you can and should subscribe to their amazing newsletter, which you can do here You can donate to CARE Here As always thank you for supporting our partners and guests in the work they do to save this planet and all the life on it. IN THIS EPISODE 3:50 - Intro to Amali Tower & Climate Refugees 7:19 - Intro to Wilfredo 8:10 - Overview of AmalI’s Work 9:10 - Intersection of Climate Justice & Social Justice 19:20 - Those Impacted the Most Don’t Have a Seat at Policy Table 28:50 - Getting Consensus on what do to about Climate Displacement 43:30 - Florida Keys will soon be Underwater 45:20 - What’s happening in Central America 56:20 - Climate Crisis & 10 Year Drought in Guatemala 1:08:00 - The United State’s Role in Assisting Guatemalan People
July 06, 2021
S2:E15 - The Subcultures of Sperm Whales & How this is Changing Conservation Science, with Hal Whitehead
One of the most fascinating shifts happening right now in conservation biology is factoring in different cultures within certain species and the need to protect and preserve each one as we do the species overall. You might think, well how do we know animals have culture?  How do we know their behaviors are not all genetically programmed?  And if they do have succinct subcultures, why is it important to preserve each one?  Well, in today's podcast episode we are going to answer these questions and more. The species we are going to draw from are Sperm Whales.  Known as an "animal of extremes" for their unique characteristics and lifestyle, sperm whales are the whales made famous by the book Moby Dick, and are one of the most social and communicative whale species on the planet. Joining us is Hal Whitehead, a biologist and professor who has been studying Sperm Whales and other cetaceans for decades.  You'd really enjoy his Ted Talk as well linked here. We really loved recording this episode and learning from Hal, we hope you will as well! IN THIS EPISODE 3:10 - Intro to Hal and his work 5:10 - Cultural vs. Genetic Behaviors 10:15 - Sperm Whales & Their Cultural Identifiers 20:20 - How Animal Cultures evolve like our own 26:10 - How Protecting Subcultures is Changing Conservation Science Don't forget to Subscribe to our Weekly Newsletter for news and stories on all things conservation, climate, and saving this planet.
June 14, 2021
S2:E14 - Farming Goes Indoors, with the Chief Science Officer of Bowery Farming
The hottest trend in agriculture is indoor, controlled farming. Often called “vertical farming”. These are massive warehouses, some as large as football stadiums, that are growing billions of pounds of fresh produce every day. So what is vertical farming and why is it growing like crazy? The modern concept of indoor farming has been around for over 20 years, but only in recent years have efficiencies in key technologies such as LED lighting, AI, hydroponic systems, and robotics made this concept commercially viable. There are tons of benefits - less land usage, less water usage, no pesticide usage, and local access to fresh produce in large, dense urban areas - and some limitations as well in terms of what crops are most suitable for this type of system today. We get into all of this and more with Henry Sztul, Chief Science Officer of Bowery Farming, the leading vertical farming company in the US that recently closed a $300 million fundraising round. Enjoy!
June 09, 2021
S2:E13 - Managing California's Natural Resources
If you are not already aware, California is a big, complicated state.  It's home to over 40 million people and if it were an independent nation, it would be the 5th largest economy in the world!  From the lush forests of the north to the dry deserts in the south, from the historical Pacific coastline to the rural, agricultural Central Valley, California has some of the most diverse and wide ranging natural resources in the world.  Managing these is not easy.  From the ongoing water crisis to increasing wildfires to major drops in biodiversity in recent decades, we don't envy those who are in charge of making sense of it all.  We do however, want to talk to them.  So this week on Animalia, we chat with Angela Barranco, Undersecretary for Natural Resources for the entire state! IN THIS EPISODE 2:30 Intro to Angela and Understanding her Role 9:20 Outside Access for All Initiative 14:00 What it means to live in a nature-deprive area 21:40 How to prioritize outdoor access vs. other critical needs for lower income communities 33:05 Role of Education in Outdoor Access 41:50 California’s Water Crisis 54:00 California’s Wildfire Crisis SOME LINKS FOR FURTHER READING Fed-CA shared forest stewardship agreement -,forest%20health%20and%20wildfire%20resilience. CA wildfire and forest resilience action plan - Early Action projects announcement from March - Drought and water resilience package - CA water resilience portfolio -
May 25, 2021
S2:E12 - How Rats Are Saving People's Lives
This episode is hopefully going to forever change your prospective on rats! Yes, the well known rodent that we often look at as pests in our day to day lives. If you’ve ever had a rat problem in your home, you know how clever and smart they are, how easily they can outmaneuver you. They are natural problem solvers with such a keen sense of smell and a nose for food. Well an awesome organization called APOPO, headquartered in Tanzania, has found a way to channel the abilities of rats to help people. To quite literally save lives. Today APOPO is working with Rats to detect land mines that have been buried for years, and to detect tuberculosis in humans, the most deadly disease in the world. Joining us today is Dr. Cindy Fast, Head of Training & Innovation for APOPO who has a background in Behavioral Neuroscience that she is now applying to training these HeroRats. As a bit of a teaser that will make your heart spin, check out this video about Magawa, one of APOPO’s most famous rats who won a medal of honor for clearing 141,000 square meters of land mines in just 4 years! We promise you this - you will leave this episode with a whole new respect and appreciation for rats! Please also check out APOPO’s website and if you can, adopt a HeroRat for yourself! It costs just $9 per month and as a non-profit, APOPO needs this support to continue to save lives. You will get regular updates on the work your rat is doing and the lives he or she is saving. It will be the best $9 you ever spent! IN THIS EPISODE 2:45 - The story of APOPO 6:25 - Why rats are so well equipped for land mind detection 8:45 - How APOPO rats are trained 12:40 - People trusting their lives to rats 21:00 - How rats detect Tuberculosis 30:10 - Magawa, APOPO’s most famous HeroRat 32:40 - Do the rats feel pride? 38:50 - Future applications for APOPO rats
May 18, 2021
S2:E11 What is Happening to the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil?
The deforestation crisis in the Brazilian Amazon has been making headlines globally dating back to 2019. In fact, the latest finding - that the Amazon in Brazil is now officially producing more greenhouse gas than it captures due to forest degradation and deforestation - is as alarming and concerning as it gets. Studies are now showing the Amazon is on the brink of a point of no return where it could mostly dry out and turn into a savannah like ecosystem, causing major negative ramifications globally in terms of climate change. So what exactly is happening? Why is it happening? And what can be done to stop it? In this episode we sit down with Ana Ionova - an environmental journalist in Brazil who has been covering the Amazon issue for years. She gives us a first hand account of what is happening right now in Brazil, and we talk about everything from President Bolsonaro to the impact on indigenous people and dissect everything going on. We really encourage everyone to listen to this episode and become well informed on this issue. We also encourage you to read a couple of Ana’s past work on this topic and support her as the standout journalist she is! Ana's Story on the Paracana people Ana's Story on the Arrival of Palm Oil IN THIS EPISODE 2:30  Current State of the Brazilian Amazon 11:10 Bolsonaro’s Impact & The Economic Argument Behind Deforestation 20:40  Impact on Indigenous Communities 33:10 Palm Oil’s Arrival in Brazil :( 39:20 Sentiment of Brazilian civilians 44:19  A Radical Solution
May 11, 2021
S2:E10 What Makes Food Organic & Where The Lines Get Drawn
If you are like us, you probably try to buy and consume organic food whenever you can.  Sometimes it's not available, sometimes it's a bit too expensive, and sometimes you might just wonder, "what exactly makes food organic and where do those lines get drawn."   You're not alone, we have those questions as well.  Which is why we sat down with Jessica Shade from The Organic Center to answer all these pressing questions for us!  She's the Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center, where she directs projects associated to communicating and conducting research related to organic agriculture.  Her full bio is below! And a bit about The Organic Center.  Their mission is to bring together credible, evidence-based science on the health and environmental impacts of organic food and farming and to share the findings with the public. The Center is an independent non-profit research and education organization operating under the administrative auspices of the Organic Trade Association. For more information on The Organic Center, visit, and on the Organic Trade Association, see In This Episode 1:00 Introduction 2:15 What is the Definition or Organic? 6:00 Organic vs. Non-Organic GMO 12:30 Meet Jessica 17:45 Why is Organic Food So Expensive? 25:10 Clarifying Usage of Synthetic Pesticides 32:30 Where Organic Standards Stand on Wild vs. Domestic Pollination Services 42:15 A Discussion Around Organic Livestock 59:00 How Organic Industry Views Cell-Based Meats & Vertical Crop Farming Jessica's Full Bio Dr. Jessica Shade is the Director of Science Programs at The Organic Center where she directs projects associated with communicating and conducting research related to organic agriculture. During her tenure at The Organic Center Dr. Shade has collaborated on diverse research programs ranging from applied solutions to on-farm challenges to methods for improving environmental impacts of agriculture.  Some of her most recent collaborations include projects aimed at mitigating climate change, decreasing agriculturally-mediated nutritent pollution, increasing on-farm biodiversity, and developing integrated pest management solutions for organic growers.  Dr. Shade developed and leads the Center’s signature conference event, Organic Confluences, which brings together policy makers, researchers, farmers, industry members, and other non-profits to address and overcome challenges faced by the organic sector.  She has also been an invited speaker to a wide range of events including academic conferences, farmer meetings, industry expos, and TEDx. Dr. Shade has been honored for her environmental accomplishments by the Audubon Women in Conservation through their Women Greening Food Special Recognition, the Ecological Society of America Student Section and Union of Concerned Scientists through their Ecoservice Award, and is a Switzer Environmental Fellow.  She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. If you want to email Jessica about her work:
April 27, 2021
S2:E9 Finally Answers to the Question "Are The Bees Dying?"
You've heard this question a lot in the last few years.  What's killing the bees?  Why are they dying? How bad is this? Well, while many articles share this headline, few actually explain it. For starters, do you even know there is a difference between Wild & Domestic bees?  Or that the classic honey bee we are all so familiar with is not native to the US? In this episode we sit down with Matias Viel, co-founder of Bee Flow, a technology company creating a new paradigm in pollination services that is showing Growers how much they benefit by putting bees first, and Mike Briano from Harris Woolf Almonds, a crop that relies on bees more than any other. In this episode, you'll learn about: The difference between farmed and wild pollinators Why over reliance on farmed pollinators poses environmental challenges How we need more growers to start measuring pollination Why it has been challenging for growers to rely on wild pollinators What the future of pollination services might look like EPISODE BREAKDOWN 0:45 Episode Intro 3:25 Introductions for Team Bee 8:20 Breaking Down “The Bees Are Dying” Headline into what’s actually happening 13:30 How Almond Industry Monitors Pollinator Health Today 15:25 Threats to Wild Pollinators 17:20 The Relationship between Bees & Almonds 24:00 Balancing Restoring Biodiversity without Sacrificing Yield 29:20 Measuring Pollination 35:30 Wild Pollinators & Farmed Pollinators Can Help Each Other 39:40 Dialogue on Wild Pollinators Today 47:15 The Debate over Classifying Bumble Bees as Threatened 55:37 What is The Future of Pollination Services
April 13, 2021
S2:E8 Can a Snail Save an Entire Tropical Forest?
The Polymita Picta is one incredible, beautiful snail you are gonna want to get to know! It is native to Cuba and does some incredible work in supporting the forest and the species within it.  Sadly though, it's under serious threat. Their remarkable colored shells are a thing of wonder, but also enticing to poachers.  Polymitas are being collected and killed for their shells, and when combined with habitat loss and invasive species, this is putting this critical species in danger of collapse.  And with it, the Cuban rainforest. Joining us today is Norvis Hernandez, a biologist in Cuba and founder and forever leader of the Polymita Fan Club! She has dedicated her entire life to this little gastropod, and her story and work is inspiring.   You can learn a lot more about the Polymitas as well in this great article from Nat Geo. That's not all! Here at Animalia are making a big push to save this species.  As part of that, we have launched a line of limited line of Polymita themed hoodies and sweats made of 100% recycled cotton.  They are super soft and perfect for Spring or Fall.  You will love them and you'll be supporting REALLY important work.  With the restrictions in Cuba it is so hard for Norvis and her team to get the word out.  Get yours today and as a podcast listener, get 15% off with the code 'POLYMITA'. Oh and that's not all! We made a full on Polymita music video too!  You heard that right.  Check it out on YouTube here!
April 06, 2021
S2:E7 Why Citizen Science is Important and How You Can Get Involved
Did you know that everyone uses the scientific method everyday, even when we don't realize it?  That's highly recommended when making any important decisions, however, it's not quite Citizen Science.  Citizen Science is when anyone, regardless of qualifications or training, can contribute to the collection of analysis of data in the natural world as part of a collaborative project with professional scientists. You may have heard of apps like iNaturalist as an example.   In this episode, we sit down with Danni Washington to discuss the role and value of Citizen Science, and why everyone should give it a try.  Danni is a Science Communicator and big time ocean advocate. She has hosted multiple TV shows, and now a couple incredible podcasts as well.  She's a major believer in the need to make science more accessible to all, from citizen science work all the way up to evolving our higher education system around science to make it more inclusive.  Please go check out her site and enjoy her amazing work. JOIN US IN COSTA RICA Danni is also joining us on our Costa Rican Sea Turtle Adventure!  This is Animalia's first formal, IRL Citizen Science program.  We are taking 25 lucky people down to Costa Rica from May 25th to June 1st to work with the incredible Leatherback Sea Turtle!  It's an experience you won't want to miss so please get your ticket today here while they last! In This Episode 2:35 - What is Citizen Science? 10:10 - Making Science more Accessible 16:00 - How can we make Citizen Science most effective? 20:00 - Info about our Costa Rican Trip! 20:45 - How the Smartphone has changed Citizen Science 21:30 - Will we one day all be participating in Citizen Science constantly via our live health data? 25:40 - Social Motivations in Citizen Science 29:50 - How to evaluate the Legitimacy of a Citizen Science project Danni's Recommendations A) Book - The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho B) Film/TV - Game Changers by Louie Psihoyos C) Wildlife - Orcas! D) Earth-Friendly Lifestyle Change - Eat more plant based food & know where your food comes from
March 23, 2021
S2:E6 Changing Culture in our Fight to Save this Planet with Vietnam's Climate Hero
The role of shifting our culture as citizens and consumers is incredible important in the fight to save this planet. That often starts with the Youth, as they are the shapers of culture going forward. We sit down to chat with Hong Hoang, founder of Change Vietnam, the largest environmental NGO in all of Vietnam to learn how she has been changing culture for the past 20 years. Joining us halfway through are two young adults who have gone through Hong’s program. Hong is one of the most incredible people on his planet in the world of climate action and climate justice. One of Hong’s favorite quotes is: “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it."  Thank you Hong for taking the time to join us!  And thank you Up & Son for doing the same! BTW - if you don't already get it, you'll want to subscribe to Animalia's Weekly Newsletter.  It's 100% free and gives you a weekly digest of some of the most important stories developing in conservation, climate justice, and sustainability. Subscribe here. In This Episode 2:38 - Meet Hong 3:50 - Importance of Changing Culture in the Climate Fight 9:00 - Creating Grassroots Climate Movements in Vietnam 12:30 - Why focusing on the Youth is so Important 15:27 - Chatting with two Youth Activists from Hong’s program 30:10 - Hong’s journey into the Climate Fight started in Antarctica 33:50 - Climate Literacy in Schools 37:35 - Political Spectrum on Climate in Vietnam 41:36 - Discussion on Clothing Manufacturing & Traditional Medicine 50:45 - Hong’s Incredible Quote
March 16, 2021
S2:E5: A Detailed Discussion about the Philosophy & Culture of Traditional Chinese Medicine
In this episode we sit down with a Practitioner and Researcher from China who has dedicated herself to fully understanding the manufacturing of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and what lies ahead for this critical pillar of Chinese culture. If you are wondering what TCM is, you're not alone.  We begin the discussion by breaking down the philosophy behind TCM and how it is used in China today.  In fact, you've likely used TCM-based approaches to healing in the past. Be it from acupuncture, or more likely using tea, herbs, and rest to treat the common cold.  TCM takes a holistic approach to healing the body and offers a lot of benefits. However, TCM also utilizes a lot of animal products, particularly products derived from wildlife or wildlife farming.  And while this makes up a small percentage of TCM remedies, which are predominately plant and herb based, it's massive scale in China and globally makes this small percentage highly problematic to the trafficking of wildlife and unethical practices such as captive breeding. In order to discuss these things, we needed to talk to someone directly from China who works in the field.  We need to understand the culture of TCM and to talk openly and honestly about how to make it more environmentally and ethically sound.  You'll learn a lot from this episode. In This Episode 3:15 - Meet Wei 3:45- Understanding TCM and why you probably have practiced it 7:30 - How does TCM compare to religion vs. medical science? 12:00 - TCM vs. Western Medicine applications in China 14:02 - Wei’s personal relationship with TCM 17:30 - The use of wildlife products in TCM 24:50 - A growing divide of animal product usage within the TCM community 32:25 - Unpacking the Chinese approved COVID treatment using bear bile 35:00 - Would TCM spread globally better without animal usage? 38:15 - TCM is based on energy balance to overly simplified, so how do TCM loyalists make sense of our imbalance with the natural world? 41:40 - Comparing TCM animal usage to Livestock Farming 48:10 - Changing Culture 58:20 - The importance for Americans and Chinese to have a relationship built on trust to tackle the most important issues
March 09, 2021
S2:E4 When The Buying Stops, The Killing Can Too
You may not have heard of WildAid but you probably have seen or heard of their work. In the battle against wildlife trafficking and poaching, while many other organizations focus on the supply side of the issue - stopping the trafficking and poaching itself - WildAid focuses on the demand end - making consumption of wildlife products taboo and educating the public on what they are really buying and consuming. WildAid's now infamous slogan When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too, rings throughout their work. It’s a powerful message worth repeating. They work with major celebrity ambassadors to help spread this message. While they operate all over the world, a large part of their work happens in China, where they are working hard to educate the public on the harmful nature of wildlife products.  Their work has made a huge difference.  From videos with Yao Ming standing against Shark Fin Soup to Jackie Chan standing up for Pangolins, they are truly changing habits.  In just 2 years since launching the pangolin campaign, a large sample of respondents in China showed that 70% thought pangolin scales had a medicinal quality, down to just 28.5% two years later. Joining us today to talk about this work are Christina Vallianos, Wildlife Program Director, Asia at WildAid and Steve Blake, Former Chief Representative for China at WildAid.  About WildAid WildAid is a non-profit organization with a mission to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes. While most wildlife conservation groups focus on protecting animals from poaching, WildAid primarily works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products such as elephant ivory, rhino horn and shark fin soup. With an unrivaled portfolio of celebrity ambassadors and a global network of media partners, WildAid leverages more than $218 million in annual pro-bono media support with a simple message: When the Buying Stops, the Killing Can Too. More information on WildAid can be found at or follow us on Twitter @wildaid
March 02, 2021
S2:E3 A Tall Order - Protecting Wild Giraffe with The Giraffe Conservation Foundation
ATTENTION: PLEASE REGISTER FOR OUR VERY SPECIAL VIRTUAL GIRAFFE EVENT ON SATURDAY, MARCH 6TH AT 10AM PST / 1PM EST / 6PM UTC. IT IS COMPLETELY FREE AND YOU WON'T WANT TO MISS IT!  LINK IS HERE. When most people think of wildlife species in Africa that need protection, they often think of lions, elephants, and rhinos.  Even an Animalia favorite, the pangolin, is finally getting some of recognition and support. However we often don't think of giraffes.  Yet, we love giraffes. They are popular gifts for kids and one of the most shareable images on social media.  Those shares just don't seem to come alongside advocacy for protection.  Well here are some telling facts: Giraffe numbers have dipped from 155,000 to just 110,000 in the last 30 years There are 4 elephants for every 1 giraffe in the wild today Giraffes have lost 89% of their natural habitat in the last 300 years So today, in this episode we sit down with Stephanie and Julian Fennessey, co-founders of The Giraffe Conservation Foundation, to discuss this species in depth and what needs to be done to protect them.  GCF is headquartered in Namibia but actually operates in 15 different countries in Africa. They have been leaders in complicated translocations, empowering local communities, and started an open resource library for all of those who work in the field.   If you love Giraffe, you'll love this episode. And if you want to support GCF, please donate here.  Or you can pick up your very own Animalia Giraffe Tee, as proceeds are shared with GCF :) IN THIS EPISODE 1:30 State of Play for Giraffe Today 15:30 How Stephanie & Julian started GCF 23:24 Giraffe Translocation as a means of Conservation 36:45 Working within the politics of Wildlife Conservation in Africa 49:25 Empowering Locals to do the Conservation Work
February 20, 2021
S2:E2 Teaser - An Excerpt From Bog Inglis, A Leader in the Conservative Climate Community
Here is a short excerpt from Bob. Go ahead and check out the full episode for our complete discussion!
February 16, 2021
S2:E2: Let's Dispel the Notion that There are No Conservatives who care deeply about the Climate Crisis
There is a false narrative out there that all conservatives stand against climate action and all liberals stand for it. Things are not so black and white and we are letting partisanship get in the way. While it’s true that climate action has leaned more liberal than conservative overall, there are conservatives who think it is a top priority and are doing things about it, and likewise liberals who are not concerned about it at all. The point being, we need to engage in discussions across the aisle so to speak and work on climate change together. So today, we were fortunate to have one of the Conservative Climate Leaders join us for a discussion on the policies he sees as the pillars for climate action, particularly as it comes to carbon and clean energy. Bob Inglis served 6 terms in Congress. 3 from 1193 to 1999, and another 3 from from 2005 to 2011. It was during that second stint that he started coming around to the climate crisis and by 2011, he was advocating for climate action as a foundation to his platform. That ended up in him losing his seat in Congress, since many conservatives did not support such a position and still don’t today. That did not deter Bob however. He did not capitulate for the sake of staying in office. He doubled down on these efforts and founded RepublicEN, an organization dedicated to making climate action a conservative staple. In this episode we are going to hear from Bob on what it means to be a conservative climate activist and what policies he thinks are critical to fighting this crisis. We hope you take the time to listen and go check out their work on their website here, or their podcast here. You may not agree with everything, but that’s ok. We grow through civil disagreement and collaboration. Big thanks to Bob for joining! Also, please check out our Giraffe Conservation Event coming up on March 6th. It is 2.5 hours long starting at 10am PST / 1pm EST and it’s completely free to attend. The Giraffe Conservation Foundation is presenting 4 incredible talks about protecting giraffes in the wild and you won’t want to miss it! Register Here. IN THIS EPISODE 2:50 Bob’s Journey to Climate Action 9:25 Pillars of the Conservative Climate Movement 25:13 Reacting to the 2020 Energy Act 31:32 Discussing the Green New Deal 36:28 Corporate Paths to Net-Zero 41:08 Bob’s Thoughts on Biden’s Climate Campaign So Far
February 16, 2021
S2:E1 Can We Actually Recycle Our Way Out Of Our Waste Problem?
Welcome to Season 2 of the Animalia podcast, where we cover all things conservation, climate, and sustainability. We’re opening this season with a long overdue chat about waste and recycling. How much progress are we actually making here? What should and should not be recycled? Is recycling the only way out of our waste problem? We sit down with Erik Osmundsen, CEO of The NG Group in Norway, one of the leading global innovators in recycling and waste management. Erik answers some of our common recycling questions, and clues us into what he thinks is perhaps as important if not more important than simply consuming less and recycling more: actually changing the materials we make products and packaging with. In This Episode 2:42 My Friends Answer Common Recycling Questions 7:34 Setting up the waste problem with Eric 15:05 What is preventing developed nations from making more progress 18:18 Defining a Circular Economy 21:10 Government, Corporate, and Individual Action 26:45 Gypsum: A Circular Economy Example 35:40 Consumers Should Get Paid to Recycle Properly 40:26 Debunking some common rules with recycling 53:50 Role of Subsidies 57:12 Erik’s Accomplishments with the NG Group Don't forget to stay safe and pick up your Animalia Facemask!  We have masks for elephants and sloths and 100% of proceeds go to their respective conservation work.
February 09, 2021
Episode 32: Nature's Positive Takeaways from 2020 & What To Expect in 2021
Ahhh 2020. The end is finally here. It's been a painful and tumultuous year on so many fronts.  And while we are happy to turn the page forward into 2021, and we will do so in this episode, we also think it's important to find some positive takeaways from 2020. So we asked the incredible guests of Animalia's podcast this year to share their positive takeaway on the topics of conservation and climate from the past year, and we are sharing those here. In addition, we have 8 positive forecasts for 2021 that we are sharing as well.  We hope this can bring some positive energy to an otherwise horrible year.   This is the LAST episode of this season.  Thank you all for your support.  Season 2 will begin in February.  Enjoy turning the page on New Years and please stay safe. PS - We have launched a very special, limited edition Animalia 2021 Feel Good Tee that celebrates our Earthling status.  We have a very limited amount of these available, so if you want yours get your order in here.  10% for all podcast listeners.  Just use the code PODCAST in checkout.
December 30, 2020
EP31: Why Most Clothes Are Made With Petroleum And How Kintra Fibers Is Changing That
You may think of cotton as the dominant source of clothing and apparel. For a long time, I certainly did. However, synthetic fibers actually make up 63% of all the fibers used for the clothing industry worldwide. Why is this important? Well nearly all of these synthetic fibers are derived from petroleum. We often think of the energy industry as the only area of focus for scaling back our use of fossil fuels in our fight against global warming and climate change. However the clothing industry accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, and the primary culprit here are petroleum derived synthetic fibers. So how do innovate ourselves out of this? In this episode we sit down with Alissa Baier-Lentz, co-founder of Kintra Fibers, a company utilizing natural feedstock to replace the monomers derived from petroleum to make synthetics far more sustainable and cleaner without sacrificing quality or durability. You can learn more about Kintra's incredible work here And don't forget to Follow Animalia on Instagram or on Twitter All Podcast listeners always get 10% of ALL products in our Merch Store at using the code PODCASTERS IN THIS EPISODE: 2:00 - The role of synthetic textiles in fashion/apparel & climate 5:30 - Meet Alissa 13:30 - The low down of synthetic fibers and where they come from 24:00 - Shifting from petroleum to feedstocks 28:30 - Why this shift in synthetics has not happened sooner 34:40 - The biggest challenge ahead for Kintra 36:30 - Responsibility of consumer demand vs. corporate proactive change 44:40 - The full impact of moving from petroleum monomers to feedstock monomers 55:10 - Rapid Fire with Alissa
December 16, 2020
Ep 30: Saving the Last African National Parks with Mark Hiley
Poaching, corruption, and climate change have caused havoc for many national wildlife parks throughout Africa.  So how can we revitalize them?  Is there any hope?  Absolutely there is. And in this episode of Animalia, we are gonna tell you how. Joining us is Mark Hiley, co-founder of National Park Rescue, the leading organization for turning around the most dire situations.  Mark is a wildlife ranger, filmmaker, and Fellow of the royal geographic society.   After we learn more about Mark's story and the overall challenges he faces in reviving these critical parks, we will take a deep dive into their work at the Chizarira National Park in Zimbabwe, which has become an incredible success story after decades of going in the wrong direction.   Please check out and support their work as well at And if you want to support conservation and look good doing it, don't miss Animalia's Holiday Gift Bundles. Great deals on all of our most popular wildlife merch.  All proceeds are shared with specific conservation project!  Click Here.
December 09, 2020
EP:29 The Psychology of Talking Climate Change with Molly Kawahata from Obama's Climate Policy Team
Ever wonder why it’s hard to talk about climate change in a way that is just simple and easy to understand for everyone around you? Why have we made this so hard and how to we fix it? Well you’re in luck, because the wonderful Molly Kawahata was kind enough to join the Animalia pod to explain. Molly worked in the White House for President Obama in Climate Policy before moving into the private energy world that she is working to make cleaner and more sustainable. In addition to reframing how we talk about the climate crisis, we also dive deep into debate of Individual Action vs. Systemic Change. Where should we put more emphasis and how do we move the needle significantly on each? This and more in this week’s Animalia podcast. We are counting down to our final episodes of 2020 and you won’t want to miss this one! And don't forget to follow Molly's mountaineering adventures on Instagram @mollyykayy 1:35 - Meet Molly 6:23 - Reflecting on the highlights of working on Obama’s Climate Policy 10:00 - Solving Climate Comms and stripping out the politics 24:20 - The Marketing Prowess of the Republican Party and how we can draw from that to advance the fight against Climate Change 34:40 - Individual Action vs Systemic Change 55:38 - The link between The Outdoors, Climate, & Mental Health
December 02, 2020
Ep 28: 2020 California Fires - What Happened & What's Next?
By now I'm sure everyone is familiar the terrifying size and scope of the 2020 wildfires in California. Over 9,000 different fires, over 4.5 million acres burned, tens of thousands of homes lost or people displaced, over two dozen firefighters killed and over 15,000 firefighters pushed to their brink, and hundreds of millions of wildlife lost.  It's bad. So why did this happen. Why have the 10 largest fires in California's history all been in the last 8 years?  In this episode, we explore all the many factors at play.  And we do so with three very different guests: Jonathan Parfrey - Executive Director of Climate Resolve Matt Fiorenza - Former firefighter and now mental health advocate and mentor to first responders Bob Golden - lifelong mechanic for the agricultural industry born and raised in Fresno, CA In addition to breaking down the causal factors, we explore what we can do to Mitigate these fires going forward and Adapt to the new normal. In This Episode: 2:40 Intro our Guests 8:45 Quick recap of 2020 California fires 11:59 Diving through the different factors that lead to the 2020 fires 37:42 Recognizing the toll taken on Fire Fighters and first responders 46:50 What can we do to Mitigate wildfires going forward 57:40 How should we Adapt to this new normal?
November 19, 2020
A Peak Inside the World of Poaching with Author & Journalist Rachel Nuwer
In this episode we discuss the fascinating world of poaching and wildlife trafficking detailed in the booked POACHED with author Rachel Nuwer.   Rachel is an award winning journalist who covers conservation & science for The New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American and more.  We dive in one some of the bigger macro themes from the book and discuss her journey putting it together. POACHED does a great job of balancing a terrifying look behind the curtains of the wildlife trafficking world while also visiting with incredible people working to stop it and exploring long term solutions.  This oscillation between horror and hope makes a for a really compelling read combined with Rachel's sense of urgency and curiosity that weave through her investigative work.  Please get a copy of the book here.  We promise you'll come away more informed than ever about wildlife trafficking and how we can stop it! IN THIS EPISODE (2:01) RACHEL'S BACKGROUND AND JOURNEY WRITING POACHED (11:30) WALKING THE FINE LINE BETWEEN HORROR & HOPE (13:01) COVID IMPACT ON WILDLIFE CONSERVATION (16:40) WILDLIFE FARMING AND CONSERVATION COMMERCIALIZATION (23:01) IMPACT OF TRADITIONAL ASIAN MEDICINE (26:45) THE MANY SHADES OF GRAY OF POACHING CONSTITUENCIES (34:01) FUN MOMENTS IN THE BOOK FROM THE ELEPHANT STARE DOWN IN CHAD TO GOING UNDERCOVER IN KINGS ROMAN (43:06) RACHEL'S RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
November 10, 2020
A Climate Conversation with my Conservative Leaning Father
Just in time for the tail end of election season, in this episode we take a break from our deep dives into core subject matters with scientists, conservationists, and advocates for the natural world. Instead, I share a sit down with my very own father, Jim Veraldi. A man raised in the 60s and 70s, of deep family and religious value, who believes in work ethic and dedication to one’s craft, and has always leaned conservative in his political values. The climate crisis has sadly become a polarizing political issue in recent years. It shouldn’t be. It impacts all of us regardless of political party, religion, or cultural differences. This summer, I took my father through an online climate course from the University of Michigan. As he’ll explain in the episode, up until this year climate change was never really top of mind or a priority in his day to day life. He just wasn’t that aware of the gravity of it. This class, however, opened him up to new information that started to change his thinking. It is important that we learn to have more constructive, mutually respectful conversations with those who think differently from us, no matter where you are on the spectrum of climate and conservation. This is the only way to make this movement stronger and wider. Build onramps, not blockades. For those who are still skeptical on the climate crisis, I hope this episode can make you more open to seeking information and learning more about this issue. For those who are fighting already to combat this crisis and save this planet, I hope this episode can give you a framework for talking to family and friends to join you. Don't forget to all podcast listeners get 10% off the Animalia merch store!  Just use the code 'PODCASTERS' in checkout at IN THIS EPISODE (3:00) Jim’s Core Values (10:00) The 2 Macro Spectrum’s of Climate Dialogue (16:00) Jim’s Upbringing and Early Years at Exxon (24:20) Jim recalls when he remembers Climate initially being in public discord (28:29) We discuss how wrong we both have been on this topic at points in our lives (40:25) Jim’s 2020 Summer School in Climate (46:30) Is climate factoring into Jim’s Presidential Vote? (53:47) How do we make the climate crisis more bipartisan? (1:00:02) What would Jim say to other traditional conservatives about climate today?
November 03, 2020
Black Birders Week & The Movement Behind It
By now, everyone is familiar with the May 26th incident in Central Park between Christian Cooper & Amy Cooper that went viral.  That video and the outcry it spurred was a catalyst to the launch of #BlackBirdersWeek, and incredible virtual event that took place throughout social media in late May and early June celebrating the contributions and value of the work and role of the Black community in Outdoor Exploration & the Natural Sciences. The group behind it was a collection of of Black science professionals who after putting this on formally created the collective BlackAFinStem.  In this episode, we sit down with two of their members - Danielle Belleny & Chelsea Connor - to discuss their love of the outdoors, systemic racism in the outdoor and natural sciences space, and how they turned this disturbing viral video into a powerful, positive movement.  If you stand for improving diversity, inclusion, and decision-making representation in conservation, environmental, and science work for BIPOC, you won't want to miss this episode. We also made a limited run, long-sleeve tee to celebrate Black Birding in collaboration with BlackAFinStem.  Get yours today here! Finally, there are a few awesome figures in the Black scientific community mentioned in this episode we want to highlight: Dr. Drew Lanham Kerry James Marshall Betty Reid Soskin Roger Arliner Young In This Episode (1:17) What does birding represents to both Danielle & Chelsea (5:00) Falling in Love with the Outdoors (10:00) Systemic Racism in Outdoor Recreation and Exploration (21:00) Let’s talk about Birding (24:32) #BlackBirdersWeek (34:18) Improving inclusion and representation of BIPOC in conservation and natural sciences (42:40) BIPOC Role Models
October 28, 2020
Gigantic "%*#$"-ing Solutions
What is You'll have to talk to Gabi & Ben Kay to find out.  This incredible couple turned their careers in advertising and content into a powerful mission to solving the puzzle of how to talk about Climate  Change.  And they are bringing many others in the advertising and communication field with them. You can access the site and play 'The Game' only if you reach out to Gabi first.  And yes, she will 100% respond and give you a half hour of her time to get you started.  Here is her email address: Want some insight in how to talk about the climate crisis in a way that gets more people involved and taking action? You won't want to miss this episode. Gabi & Ben Backgrounds: Ben Kay has spent over twenty years creating advertising for big brands at agencies such as BBDO, Wieden and Kennedy, Saatchi and Saatchi and RG/A. Most recently he spent six years as Executive Creative Director and International Group Creative Director at Media Arts Lab in London and LA, working exclusively on Apple. Gabi Kay worked for many years in commercial production in the UK, initially heading up sales at HSI and Gorgeous, before also becoming an Executive Producer at Knucklehead and then Sonny London. In 2017 Ben and Gabi Kay co-founded Invincible Unicorn, an ethical creative communications company and B Corp. They went on to create Gigantic Fucking Solutions on a night out in 2019 (cocktails and Thai food played a crucial role in its inception). IN THIS EPISODE (1:00) Intro (4:32) The name Gigantic Fucking Solutions (8:50) The story of Gabi & Ben (15:50) Why is Climate Comms so hard to get right? (20:55) Movements should be inclusive not exclusive (40:31) What “The Game”on is all about (53:00) The 9 Climate Briefs you need to know (1:03:30) Who is playing The Game so far? (1:10:30) What would you say to a group of recent grads in advertising?
October 14, 2020
The State of Greenwashing in Fashion
Feeling confused on how to determine what is actually sustainable or not?  You're not alone.  The issue of greenwashing - exaggerating, embellishing, or downright making up environmental claims - is probably worse in fashion and apparel than any other industry in the world.  It's just so easy to trick consumers with the right buzzwords. We sit down with Sasha Ternent, a former executive at Banana Republic, Gap, and Luxe Brands, and now founder of a new business trying to push the sustainability needs in fashion even further in the right direction, to discuss. If you care about the climate and are striving to make the right decisions in your own fashion purchases, this episode is for you. We even offer a handy checklist towards the end! 1:02 - What do we mean by Greenwashing? 2:29 - Meet Sasha 9:40 - Environmental Impact of the Fashion Industry 16:40 - The Evils of Fast Fashion 21:00 - The hidden costs of externalities 30:00 - Discussing Brands’ Responsibility 38:25 - Regulation Responsibility 45:40 - Why is Greenwashing a Big Problem 48:54 - 3rd Party Certifications 53:00 - Recycled vs. Sustainable Organic 58:12 - A Checklist for Consumers to avoid Greenwashing Brands 1:11:11 - Why can’t we have a single set of sustainability standards? 1:19:06 - Sasha Rapid Fire Questions
October 02, 2020
Inside the Sinking of Jakarta & The Move to Borneo
Indonesia is one of the fastest growing countries in the world, with nearly 280M people to date, close to the size of the UA. It's capital city, Jakarta, is now sinking. Due to it's local water system, poor city planning, and climate change, if some of the 10M people do not get out of Jakarta, nearly half of the city could be underwater by 2050. In August of 2019, the Indonesian president Joko Widodo, announced plans to build a new capital city in East Kalimantan in Borneo, a vital island home to rich peatland rainforest and one of only two remaining islands housing orangutans. Borneo has already been decimated for decades by the palm oil industry, and just as that industry is starting to curtail and get regulated, this new problem emerges. Indonesian officials say they can move 1.5M people to Borneo without threatening the ecosystem and it's wildlife, but many have doubts on how that is possible. There are still many details to be worked out and announced. Today we sit down with Juliarta Barmansa Ottay - or, Arta - an Indonesia biologist working with the Borneo Nature Foundation, to discuss these plans and the future of Borneo, one of the most sacred and critical rainforests in the world. Please also checkout the work of the Borneo Nature Foundation online, and make a donation to support their work if you can!
September 18, 2020
Venture Capital & The Future of Food
Julianne Hummelberg is Vice President at PowerPlant VC, a company that has invested in several plant-based food companies many of which are household names you might know such as Beyond Meat, Veggie Grill and JUST. She believes the world of venture and private capital can play a big role in fixing our food system by investing in companies who are operating by higher standards but still designed to be profitable and scale. How does scaling a plant-based food business fit into a world already struggling with monocropping agriculture? How do you put the right value on non-bottom line economic measures when you are optimizing for financial returns? What is the right role of regulation in a world that incentivizes free market solutions? Those questions and more in this episode. Also, Julianne is kind enough to offer all of our podcast listeners a discount code for one of the companies she's invested into called OWYN, which is a fantastic nut free, dairy free, soy free, and gluten free protein shake.  Enjoy 20% off on any purchase of $25 or more until the end of the year using the code OWYNPPV2020.
September 09, 2020
A Positive Future for Captive Wild Elephants
For centuries, mankind has had a complicated relationship with elephants.  On one hand we greatly respect these magnificent animals, their cognitive ability, their social and emotional intelligence, their ability to learn, and adore their strength and beauty.  On the other hand, we've abused this relationship to the tune of poaching, forced labor, and abuse in captivity. There is hope.  Unfortunately we can't simply release every captive elephant on the planet back into the wild as it would endanger those elephants and the wild ones remaining. However, we can create and operate by higher ethical standards in captivity, to do so in a way that respect's an elephant's independence and agency while allowing for a new type of human experience centered on observation, and in a way that paves the way for controlled, safe wild repopulation and wild protection. In 100 years time, we could one day have every elephant on Earth back safe and thriving in the wild.  How do we get there?  That's what we are discussing today with Michael Volger, founder of The Mandalao Elephant Conservation, and Sally Kweskin, Director of The Lao Elephant Initiative. Learn more about each organization and please donate if you can at: The Mandalao Elephant Conservation The Lao Elephant Initiative And don't forget.....proceeds from all of our elephant merchandise on Animalia - from tees to facemasks to hoodies and hats - goes directly to The Lao Elephant Initiative.  So learn more about their work and then go pick one up for yourself at!
September 01, 2020
The Mauritius Oil Spill
In this episode we chat with Dr. Steven Murawksi and Dr. David Hollander about the oil spill off the coast of Mauritius and the lasting damages these spills have on marine ecosystems. We also dissect the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010, the largest in human history, as Drs. Murawski and Hollander both led a lot of the analysis of that spill for the scientific community .   If anyone is willing and able to support The Mauritius Wildlife Foundation, please go to their site here to donate and support the clean-up efforts.
August 26, 2020
NatGeo Explorer Niall McCann on The Mysterious Botswana Elephant Deaths & Creating Impact
Meet Niall McCann the most interesting man on Earth.  He sailed across the Atlantic on a rowing boat. Adventures for a living and is an official Nat Geo Explorer. McCann founded his own conservation, National Park Rescue. And works on the frontline in biological research worldwide.  We talk about the mystery in Botswana with the unsolved elephant deaths, creating impact in the natural world and the wildest travels. Follow Niall at @NiallPMcCann
August 11, 2020
Lab Grown Meat Is In Your Future | With Michael Seldon, CEO of Finless Foods
What if your favorite meat could be cultured in a lab and created with much less environmental harm? Would you be down? We chat with CEO of Finless Foods, a company bringing sustainable, delicious seafood to the world, without having to farm or harvest live fish from our precious oceans by harnessing cellular biology.  Learn more at Michael's mission on socials @finlessfoods. 
July 28, 2020
Dog's Mental Health | With Paul Mundell - Head of Animal Behavior at Companion Labs
The stigma surrounding mental health is starting to wane, but humans are not the only ones whose mental health can be afflicted. Like humans, dogs who suffer from conditions like anxiety or depression can self-harm and severely damage their overall health by not eating or exercising. We're joined by Paul Mundell the Head of Animal Behavior at Companion Labs, a technology firm that uses AI to develop, test and apply protocols to shape and build a wide variety of behavioral responses.  Tune in to learn how you can help your furry friend avoid issues such as separation anxiety and live a longer, healthier life. 
July 21, 2020
What You Didn't Know About Sloths! | Chatting Community Based Conservation With Katra Laidlaw
Katra Laidlaw (she/they) has always been inspired by  animals living parallel yet distinct lives and seeks to foster symbiosis between wildlife and humans wherever possible. Having studied the environment and theater in college, Katra is always seeking ways to combine the disciplines of art and science. As Coordinator of the Sloth Crossings Project for The Sloth Conservation Foundation (SloCo), this takes the form of installing bridges so that sloths and other wildlife can safely navigate our shared habitat.  Keep up with SloCo's amazing work at @SlothConservation and at!
July 06, 2020
The 2020 Australia Bushfires: What We Learned
The 2019-2020 Australian Wildfires were some of the worst in the country's history.  Over 18 million hectares where burned - nearly the size of New Jersey - , over 400 million tonnes of carbon were released in the atmosphere, and an estimated 3 billion animals were killed. So what did we learn from all of this?  What caused it?  And what is happening in Australia 6 months after this disaster? We discuss these questions and more with Dr. Paul Ramos, a Nat Geo Wild Vet who was there on the ground providing vet services at the height of the fires. Don't forget, you can support Australian Wildlife with every purchase of our Australia Wildlife Tee, with proceeds shared to WIRES, a conservation who worked diligently on providing aid during the fires. And be sure to check out Paul Ramos' TikTok channel to learn more about his work as well!
July 03, 2020
Birding While Black | With Professor & Poet Dr. J. Drew Lanham
We're joined by Clemson University Distinguished Professor and Author Dr. J. Drew Lanham for an insightful conversation on scales of economy, ecology, and communication, as well as the importance of representation in the Earth Studies field, #BlackBirdersWeek and a foreshadowed commitment of inclusion in conservation.  Follow him on Twitter at @1blackbirder.  Check out his recommendations A Sand County Almanac and Cultivating the Wild. 
June 19, 2020
Part 1: The #BLM Movement And Environmental Intersectionality
We share our personal connections to the Black Lives Matter movement and how inextricably linked social justice and environmental justice are. Check out this resource to deepen your anti-racism work:
June 09, 2020
Social Media's Impact On Conservation With TikTok Star Jake Colvin
We're joined by YouTuber and Tik Toker Jake Colvin, whose ocean conservation and shrimp parasite removal videos have earned him almost 7 million followers!  James and Nare weigh out the pro and cons of wildlife content on social media and how merging entertainment with a cause based mission can lead to real awareness. Join Jake's ocean adventures at @Jake.pnw on Tik Tok and YouTube. 
June 04, 2020
Adaptability & Addressing The Environmental Crisis With Autodidact Gaya Roshan
For 20 years Gaya Roshan, has explored deep ecology through film and advisory work in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. With only two years of formal education, she's an autodidact who has developed a  cross-disciplinary, holistic approach to addressing our environmental crisis. Roshan has advised to foundations such as the Fetzer institute, corporations such as Interface and Ikea as well as government bodies like NASA. Her film work spans 15 years, 20 countries and 4 continents and explores the mass extinction of species, deep ecology, sustianability and other important environmental issues. 
May 25, 2020
Filmmakers' Role In Wildlife Conservation | With Sanctuary Director Ezra Gentle
Ezra Gentle's new short Sanctuary highlights the story of a family of women in Namibia running Co'Lu'Bi Wildlife Sanctuary, rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing baboons back into the wild.  James and Annalie chat with Ezra on the challenges faced by filmmakers in the conservation space and how storytelling can help people see the parallels between nature's animals and themselves.  Check out the short Sanctuary here: Keep up with Ezra's latest here:
May 19, 2020
The Peculiar Pangolin
We're joined by Paul Thomson, Conservationist and Co-Founder and Executive Director of Save Pangolins, to uncover the mysteries of the pangolin, a rarely known but most illegally trafficked mammal in the world!  The upcoming Pangolins & The Pandemic, organized by Animalia and Save Pangolins, is a free week-long digital conference diving into all things Pangolin with daily chats by top global conservation experts working to save this species.  LEARN about the truth behind pangolin's link to COVID-19.  ASK questions to the world's top leading pangolin experts. MEET other wildlife & climate supporters. SUPPORT this incredibly endangered species.  Reserve your free ticket today at
May 12, 2020
Community in Conservation | Chatting Mental Health with Lonely Conservationists Founder Jessie Panazzolo
We chat with Conservationist, Ecologist, and Founder of Lonely Conservationists Jessie Panazzolo. She's built a platform connecting a community of passionate conservationists, creating a safe space to share their mental health stories to reduce social stigmas against burnout, isolation and being undervalued in the conservation industry.  Their upcoming series Lonely Conversationists, will cover conservation psychology topics such as failure, resilience and gender diversity in the conservation industry.
May 06, 2020
Finding Credible Environmental News With Journalist Jeremy Hance
In this age of media overload how do we identify credible news sources?  We chat with writer and environmental journalist Jeremy Hance, whose monthly Mongabay column Saving Life On Earth: Words on the Wild covers wildlife conservation, climate change, indigenous people and animal behavior.  Hance is the author of the memoir Baggage: Confessions of a Globetrotting Hypochondriac, now available for pre-order. 
April 28, 2020
COVID-19's Impact On Conservation | With Conservationist Nicki Wheeler
James, Annalie, and Nare are joined by Latin American Sea Turtle Association's Nicki Wheeler, highlighting the chaos the Coronavirus has brought conservations worldwide and immediate ways to help them.  Donate to save a generation of leatherback sea turtles through LAST's fundraising efforts.  Follow Animalia on Instagram: @iloveanimalia
April 22, 2020
Should Vegans Eat Oysters? The Plant-Based Environmental Debate
James and Annalie dive into the ethics and science of consuming mollusks, is it vegan? And our thoughts on the vegan-environmental movement.
April 17, 2020
Episode 03: Tiger King and Big Cat Conservation
Hey all you cool cats and kittens! This week we're covering Tiger King and the complicated issue of big cat conservation. 
April 09, 2020
Episode 02: Animal Vaccine Testing | Technologies Moving Us Forward
James and Annalie chat about the current state of animal vaccine testing and the innovations in bio-science propelling health and humane testing forward. 
April 06, 2020
Episode 01: Nature & Pollution Improving | The Silver Lining of Covid-19 Lock Ins
In Animalia's first episode we chat about the effects of COVID-19 lock-ins and the flourishing of nature and reduced pollution. James and Annalie brainstorm ideas on how to keep wildlife, Earth, and people in co-existence even after lockins are lifted. Follow us on Instagram: @iloveanimalia
March 20, 2020