Myriam Parham, co-founder of Florida Voices For Animals

Myriam Parham—the co-founder and president of Florida Voices For Animals (FVA)—traces the history of the organization, which she formally launched with her mother, Elena Flanagan, in 1989, but was functioning informally some years before that. vegfestParham recounts the early days of FVA—a Tampa-based animal advocacy organization–and the earliest campaigns and educational efforts, and how, over time, they realized their impact was wider than they initially imagined: originally called Tampa Bay Voices For Animals, they decided to swap out “Tampa Bay” for “Florida.” She also discusses the circumstances behind FVA creating the annual Tampa member_56066112Bay Veg Fest—largely the doing of board member Isabelle Tassi, who served as chief organizer the first few years–the fifth edition of which was slated to take place the Saturday after this interview aired. Parham describes some of the food vendors, activities, rescue groups , speakers, and other features of the then-forthcoming event. This discussion touches on Gretchen Primack, an animal advocate and acclaimed poet who was set to read at Veg Fest from “Kind,” her collection of poetry that reflects her ardent passion and compassion for animals. (Primack was a guest on “Talking Animals” in February of 2015, a wonderful conversation you can hear here.)   (, (

Chef-AJ-PHOTO-blog-window2-199x300ALSO: We had a conversation with Chef AJ, the chef, culinary teacher, and author who was booked to be Veg Fest speaker, and was also presenting a cooking demonstration there. She explains that she has followed a plant-based diet for 36 years, but acknowledges that in those initial years, she made major mistakes in her food choices—noting her talks often include cautionary tales based on those early experiences. Chef AJ also mentions how and why she tends to sing as part of her cooking demos! (


COMEDY CORNER: Nick DiPaolo “Animal Activists” (portion) (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Lake Street Dive’s “Rabid Animal,” Sean Frew’s “Wild Dog,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Los Lobos’ “Will The Wolf Survive?”


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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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