Dr. Patricia McEachern, professor of animal rights

Dr. Patricia McEachern–the Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professor of Animal Rights at Drury University in Springfield, MO–recounts how former “The New Price Is Right” host Bob Barker (Drury is his alma mater, the professorship is named in honor of his late wife) approached the school with the notion of making $1 million donation if Drury could create a program to truly help animals & animal welfare.

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From there, the Drury University Forum on Animals Rights was created, and then Barker made another $1 million donation to provide the resources for Drury to offer an 18-hour, interdisciplinary minor in Animal Studies, and freeing up McEachern’s time (she had been a professor of French) to oversee the program. She also addresses how a French professor ended up a Professor of Animal Rights, describes the key components of the minor, and outlines her hopes and aspirations for the program, including, ultimately, the school offering a major in Animal Studies and a master’s degree in the field. (http://www.drury.edu/section/section.cfm?sid=377)

ALSO:We had another brief conversation with Libby Boosalis, our friend and “Talking Animals” family member who, in early January, decided to go vegan. We spoke with her on the Jan. 11 show, when she was just a few days into the conversion, then again on the Jan. 25 and Feb. 15 shows to get update. As she had allotted herself 60 days for this experience–and we were at Day 55 today–this may well represent the final such segment, at least for now.

COMEDY CORNER: Myq Kaplan’s “Animal Rights and Wrongs” (www.MyqKaplan.com)

MUSIC: Sunset Bridge’s “Good Ole Dog,” Radiohead’s “Morning Mr. Magpie,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Rolling Stone’s “Monkey Man”

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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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