A roundtable discussion, featuring a small cross-section of people who’ll participate in the forthcoming Talking Animals Festival

Shaking up our customary guest format, we held a roundtable discussion, featuring a small cross-section of of people who were set to be participants in the then-forthcoming Talking Animals Festival–the idea being that this would represent a more universal cross-section well outside the confines of the Festival.


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The roundtable included: Ronny Elliott…Tampa-based animal advocate & singer-songwriter, who began his music career more than 45 years ago & became a vegetarian nearly as long ago. Ronny performed animal songs at last year’s Talking Animal Festival, was slated to do so again at the second Fest, and during this radio show, performed two, “Nothing About Heartache” & “Dakota”; Belinda Diaz…from Pit Bull Happenings, a Port Richey-based pit bull rescue-advocacy organization. This represented the first time at the Festival for Belinda & Pit Bull Happenings; Jim Janolek…who would be participating in the Festival for the first time, yet doing so wearing two hats: food vendor (operates vegan hot dog stand, Lettuce Eat Healthy) and speaker with a colorful life story, including chapters as Marine drill instructor & PETA investigator; Veronica Simonetto…a vendor who runs a Tampa pet sitting business, Tailored Pet Sitting, & was a vendor at last year’s Festival, where she bid in the silent auction & landed the week at the Kauai condo. The freewheeling discussion touched on an array of topics, from when animals first meant something to each of the guests, to breed bigotry (particularly against pit bulls, but also against Chihuahuas), to feelings about PETA, to personal views about maintaining a vegetarian or vegan diet (or not), to what animal welfare issue is most significant currently, etc. (www.RonnyElliott.com, www.PitBullHappenings.com, www.Facebook.com/lettuceeathealthy, www.TailoredPetSitting.com)

COMEDY CORNER: There was no Comedy Corner today

MUSIC: eels’ “Little Bird,” Ronny Elliott performed “Nothing About Heartache” and a cover of Larry Murray’s “Dakota,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: We didn’t play Name That Animal Tune Today

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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