Owing to the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing Stay at Home order, I produced and recorded this show remotely from home, the first program prepared this way at the Talking Animals corporate headquarters in Jupiter Farms, Florida.
Jane Velez-Mitchell— the New York Times bestselling author and former TV anchor, whose newer ventures including hosting “New Day New Chef,” a vegan cooking show that currently streams on Amazon Prime Video—resumes the critique of the way others in the media covers animal welfare issues that began in our previous Talking Animals interview in 2012. She’s clearly just as disappointed in this conversation, if not more so, raising concerns tied to the media coverages—and causes—of the coronavirus pandemic. Velez-Mitchell notes that the long-term dissatisfaction with the media in this regard prompted her to take matters into her own hands: launching the Jane Unchained News Network, which covers an array of news and developments in the realms of animal rights, climate change, vegan issues and lifestyle stories, and more. Also under the Network umbrella is “New Day New Chef,” which features different vegan chefs or other notable figures on each episode, demonstrating how to make a vegan dish, and if the preparation of that dish involves using a blender, the chefs and Velez-Mitchell do the fabled “blender dance” (she explains the origin of that zesty ritual). She also describes how the show came together, including the pivotal played by executive producer Eamonn McCrystal, who’s won multiple Emmy Awards, and happens to be a former Irish tenor. Velez-Mitchell also credits McCrystal with the unusual arrangement by which the episodes of “New Day New Chef” initially air on Amazon Prime Video, then will later be broadcast on public television stations. (https://janeunchained.com/newdayshow/,https://www.instagram.com/newdaynewchef/, https://www.facebook.com/newdaynewchef/)
ALSO: I spoke with Linda Hamilton, executor director of Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT), which has long offered low-cost spay/neuter procedures and other affordable veterinary services. Hamilton explained that ACT is still offering those services, though now following some COVID-19-dictated changes in the protocols for providing them. On a related note, Hamilton also previewed a new ACT program for inexpensively diagnosing animals, and sometimes treating them, by telephone. (https://actampa.org, https://www.facebook.com/actampa/)
COMEDY CORNER: Myq Kaplan’s “Meats and Robots” (http://myqkaplan.com)
MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” Neko Case’s “I Want A Dog,” instrumentals
NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: The Beatles’ “And Your Bird Can Sing”
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