The Callers Are The Guests

Once in a while, I set aside the chief element of the “Talking Animals” format—a long form interview with a single guest—to offer a debate or some other multi-guest panel discussion. Mr-Ed-Gives-AdviceAs part of that effort, and a parallel desire to give voice to a broader array of animal organizations and leaders, as well as to listeners who also may have important animal-oriented information to announce or commentary on the news, etc.—I invite people to call into “Talking Animals” and, briefly, become the show’s guest. We placed 14 callers on the air, many of whom addressed, in one way or another, the recently-ended Florida bear. But this segment—in which I took the calls randomly and unscreened–also elicited a wonderful array of responses:radio-microphone From Eddie, who shared the cautionary tale, for animals and humans, of aluminum spraying (…to Marilyn, Executive Director of the League of Humane Voters in Florida, emphasizing the importance of being registered to vote and taking part in local issues and elections (…to Jimmy, offering some information about cats who urinate on the bed or other soft materials (the cat may have a bladder infection) and the importance of regularly cleaning cats’ water bowls and re-supplying with fresh water (…to Suzanne, of Florida Voices for Animals, describing the organization, some of the major events it produces (Tampa Bay Veg Fest, ThanksVegan) and mentioning that it’s seeking new members (…to Bob, a puppy raiser with Canine cat_using_computerCompanions For Independence, announcing its big forthcoming family-friendly and dog-friendly local event, DogFest, to be held at USF Nov. 8, 11am-3pm. ( There were other callers, as well as some emailers and texters—my thanks to all who participated.

ALSO: I spoke briefly with Jo-Anne McArthur, an award-winning photojournalist whose passion as an animal activist has informed her book, “We Animals,” and who is also the email_joanne_croppedsubject of an acclaimed documentary, “The Ghosts In Our Machine.” She provided a sneak preview of the presentation she will deliver at Tampa Bay Veg Fest, Nov. 7 at Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park—also “The Ghosts In Our Machine” will be screened at Veg Fest. (,

COMEDY CORNER: Joe Zimmerman’s “Pet Snakes” (part two) (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: U2’s “An Cat Dubh” (Happy Halloween!)


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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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