March 8, 2020

Podcast The Animal Turn

Animals are increasingly at the forefront of research questions – not as shadows to human stories, or as beings we want to understand biologically, or for purely our benefit – but as beings who have histories, stories, and geographies of their own.

Join PhD Candidate Claudia Hirtenfelder as she delves into some of the most important ideas emerging out of this recent turn in scholarship, thinking, and being.

Each season of The Animal Turn is set around themes with each episode unpacking a particular concept and its significance therein.

Season 1 on Animals and the Law is fully available (10 episodes) and Season 2 is focused on Animals and Experience.

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Season 2 – Animals and Experience

Season 2 Episode 3. Animal Culture with Carl Safina

September 21, 2020

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Claudia talks to well-known author Carl Safina about ‘animal culture’ and how culture is a crucial part of how some animals come to understand and experience the world. They chat about the incredible ways culture manifests in animals’ experiences and touch on what a serious consideration of animal culture could mean for conservation efforts. 

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Guest: Carl Safina grew up raising pigeons, training hawks and owls, and spending as many days and nights in the woods and on the water as he could. He is known for hislyrical non-fiction writing which fuses scientific understanding, emotional connection, and a moral call to action noting how humans are changing the living world, and what the changes mean for non-human beings and for us all. Safina is the author of ten books including his classic Song for the Blue Ocean, the New York Times Bestseller Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel and his most recent title, Becoming Wild; How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, TIME, The Guardian, and the National Geographic, amongst others. He has won numerous literary prizes including the MacArthur “genius” prize and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. In addition to his writing Safina was the host of the PBS series Saving the Ocean, he is the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University, and he is the founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. Connect with Carl Safina on his website (, through his non-for-profit ( or on Twitter (@Carl Safina).

Featured readings:Featured:  Chimp Vs Human: Memory Test by the BBC; Crowboarding: Russian roof-surfin’ bird caught on tape by Aleksey Vnukov; Black Swans Surfing at the Gold Coast, Australia;  S4:E19 – Carl Safina Becoming Wild by Species Unite; The Social Contractby Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Malay Archipelago by Alfred Russel Wallace; The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod by Henry Beston. 

Season 2 Episode 2. Cognitive Ethology with Marc Bekoff

August 14, 2020

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In this episode, Claudia talks to Marc Bekoff about the field of ‘cognitive ethology’ and how researchers can better learn about animals through attentively watching them and taking seriously their personal experiences. They touch on some of the tensions of how you can ‘know’ other animals’ experiences through and why taking the time to understand their worlds is so important.

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Guest: Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has published 31 books, won many awards for his research on animal behaviour, animal emotions, compassionate conservation, and animal protection, and is a former Guggenheim Fellow. Marc’s latest books are Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do and Unleashing Your Dog: A Field Guide to Giving Your Canine Companion the Best Life Possible (with Jessica Pierce) and he also publishes regularly for Psychology Today. Marc and Jessica have recently written a book about what the world will be like for dogs as and when humans disappear (Dogs Gone Wild: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World Without Humans, forthcoming). In 1986 Marc won the Master’s age-graded Tour de France. Connect with mark on his website ( or Twitter (@MarcBekoff). 

Featured readings/videos:  The Question of Animal Awareness: Evolutionary Continuity and Mental Experience by Donald R. Griffin; Rewilding our Hearts: Building Pathways of Compassion and Coexistence, Hidden tales of yellow snow: What a dog’s nose knows – Making sense of scents by Marc Bekoff.

Season 2 Episode 1. Phenomenology with Zipporah Weisberg

August 12, 2020

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In the first episode of Season 2, which is focusing on ‘Animals and Experience’, Claudia speaks to independent scholar Zipporah Weisberg about the concept ‘Phenomenology’. They touch on the potential of phenomenology as a concept and a practice for better understanding the lives and experiences of animals, also contemplating some of the tensions that are embedded therein.

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Guest: Zipporah Weisberg is an Independent Scholar, animal activist, and contemporary dancer currently living in Granada, Spain. Her areas of specialization include: Critical Animal Studies, the Critical Theory of the Early Frankfurt School, and Existentialism and Phenomenology. In 2013 Zipporah completed her PhD in Social and Political Thought at York University, and was awarded the APPLE postdoc fellowship, which was renewed for a second year. During the tenure of the fellowship, Zipporah’s research focused especially on the ethics of biotechnology and the phenomenology of animal life, and led to the publications of “Biotechnology as End Game: Ontological and Ethical Collapse in the ‘Biotech Century’” (NanoEthics, 2015) and “The Simple Magic of Life: Phenomenology and Re-enchantment” (Humanimalia, 2015). Zipporah is currently working on a paper about interspecies friendship and the politics of Eros. Connect with Zipporah on or via email (

Featured readings: A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans with A Theory of Meaning by Jacob von Uexküll; Phenomenology of Perception by Maurice Merleau-Ponty; The Simple Magic of Life: Phenomenology and Re-enchantment by Zipporah Weisberg; I and Thou by Martin Buber. 

Season 1 – Animals and The Law (10 episodes)

Episode 10. Grad Review with Hira Jaleel and Paulina Siemieniec

July 15, 2020 · 65 min

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In this final episode of Season 1, Claudia talks to Paulina Siemieniec and Hira Jaleel about the theme of Animals and the Law. Together they unpack some of the overarching ideas to emerge in episodes 1 to 9 and highlight areas that could be explored more in future.

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Guests: Hira Jaleel is a lawyer based out of Pakistan. Hira has recently graduated with an LLM in Animal Law from Lewis & Clark Law School on a Fulbright scholarship. Hira’s LLM thesis – titled “Wildlife Protection in Pakistan – An Overview of Statutory and Case Law” – analyzed the historical development of wildlife protection laws and jurisprudence in Pakistan, the weaknesses and strengths of existing laws as well as how superior courts in Pakistan approach wildlife disputes. During her LLM, Hira interned with Animal Law Reform South Africa and was part of the Animal Law Litigation Clinic – the first and only law clinic in the US focused specifically on animal law litigation and on farmed animals. You can connect with her on Twitter (@hirajaleel) or via email (

Paulina Siemieniec is a PhD student in the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s University under the supervision of Will Kymlicka. Her research interests include animal politics, ethics and law as well as intersectional (eco)feminism and animal care theory. She is the recipient of the 2019-2020 R.S. McLaughlin Fellowship. She has presented her work at the 2019 European Association for Critical Animal Studies conference in Barcelona, Spain and at the University of Victoria for the Animals and Society Research Initiative’s 2019 Emerging Scholars Workshop in Law, Animals, and Society. She is also the coordinator of the A.P.P.L.E. reading group at Queen’s University and volunteers at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre as part of her doctoral research project. You can connect with her via email (

Featured readings: Animals as Legal Beings: Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders by Maneesha Deckha (forthcoming, Fall 2020), Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights written by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka; Keynote Speech by Joyce Tischler at the Animals Legal Defence Fund; and Law and Nature by David Delaney

Episode 9. Liberty with Valéry Giroux

July 7, 2020 · 65 min

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Claudia talks to Valéry Giroux about liberty and how it relates to animals and the law. Valéry unpacks some of the debates and tensions that arise when thinking about liberty, the different types of liberty there are and also how she envisions the law could better serve animals’ freedom by acknowledging them as persons with rights.

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Guest: Valéry Giroux has an academic training in law and is a doctor in philosophy. She is one of the two coordinators of the Center for research in ethics (a Quebec interuniversity center), where she does research in animal ethics. She is also an adjunct professor at the Faculty of Law of University of Montreal, and a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. She regularly gives conferences and speaks in the media about animal rights, animal ethics and veganism. She is the author of the books Contre l’exploitation animale (L’Âge d’homme) and Le Véganisme (Puf, co-authored), both published in 2017. In the same collection as the latter, she just published another book, this one on antispeciesism

Featured readings:  The Rights of Animals and Unborn Generation (1974) by Joel Feinberg; Created from Animals: The Moral Implications of Darwinism (1991) by James Rachels; Welfare, Happiness, and Ethics (1999) by L.W. Sumner; The Animal Question: Why Nonhuman Animals Deserve Human Rights (2004) by Paola Cavalieri; Zoopolis. A Political Theory of Animal Rights (2013) by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka; Animal Rights Without Liberation. Applied Ethics and Human Obligations (2012)and Sentientist Politics. A Theory of Global Inter-Species Justice (2018) by Alsadair Cochrane; Animals Do Have an Interest in Liberty (2016); Contre l’exploitation animale. Un argument pour les droits fondamentaux de tous les êtres sensibles (2017); Le Véganisme (2017) ; Les autres animaux en droit : de la reconnaissance de la sensibilité à l’octroi de la personnalité physique (2019) ; L’Antispécisme (2020) by Valéry Giroux.

Episode 8. Autonomy with Frédéric Côté-Boudreau

June 24, 2020 · 54 min

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Claudia talks to Frédéric Côté-Boudreau about autonomy and how it relates to animals. They highlight some of the tensions with considering animals as beings who might want to make their own choices and touch on what this could mean for the law and the ways in which our societies are structured.

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Guest: Frédéric is a philosophy scholar who earned his PhD at Queen’s University in 2019 with a thesis entitled Inclusive Autonomy: A Theory of Freedom for Everyone. He is based in Montréal, Canada, and regularly gives talks on speciesism, veganism, the citizenship approach to animal rights, disability rights, and the convergence between social justice and animal justice. He also co-founded the Québec’s Estivales de la question animale, a summer camp where academics and activists meet to discuss issues and strategies related to animal liberation. Find out more about him here.

Featured readings:  Inclusive Autonomy: A Theory of Freedom for Everyone by Frédéric Côté-Boudreau ; Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka; and The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young

Episode 7. Animal Warfare Law with Saskia Stucki

June 6, 2020 · 52 min

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Claudia speaks to Saskia Stucki, who sees overlaps between International Humanitarian Law and Animal Welfare Law as providing fertile ground for legal conceptual development. Saskia Stucki believes ‘Animal Warfare Law’ offers a way forward for considering how animal welfare and animal rights could better complement one another.

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Guest: Saskia Stucki is Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2018/2019, she was a visiting researcher at the Harvard Law School Animal Law & Policy Program, where she worked on her two-year postdoctoral research project “Trilogy on a Legal Theory of Animal Rights” (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation). She studied law at the University of Basel, Switzerland, where she also obtained her doctoral degree in 2015. The resulting book on “Fundamental Rights for Animals” (2016) won four awards, among other the biennial award of the Swiss Association for the Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy. Her research interests include animal law and ethics, animal personhood and rights, legal animal studies and comparative animal welfare law, legal theory, human rights philosophy, international humanitarian law, and environmental law. You can find out more about Saskia and her work here

Featured readings: The Humanization of Humanitarian Law by Theodor Meron; The War Against Animals by Dinesh Wadiwel; and Beyond Animal Welfare/Warfare Law: Humanizing the war on animals and the need for complementary animal rights by Saskia Stucki (forthcoming)

Episode 6. Ag-Gag Laws with Siobhan O’Sullivan

May 19, 2020 · 58 min

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Claudia speaks to Sioban O’Sullivan about Ag-Gag laws with a particular focus on how they are manifesting in Australia. They also touch on some of the tensions that exist between animal welfare and issues of visibility.

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Guest: Dr. Siobhan O’Sullivan is Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She has interests in animal welfare policy and environmental ethics, and is the author of three books, including: Getting Welfare to Work (2015) and Animals, Equality and Democracy (2011). Siobhan is also well known for her podcast ‘Knowing Animals’  which you can find on the iROAR – an animal focused podcast network she launched.  If you would like to find out more about Siobhan and her work, you can see a list of her publications here and you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter (@so_s). 

Featured readings: Animals, Equality and Democracy by Siobhan O’Sullivan, The Lives of Animals by J.M. Coetzee

Episode 5. Extraterritorial Jurisdiction with Charlotte Blattner

May 5, 2020 · 70 min

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Charlotte Blattner discusses how international law, specifically Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, might provide a useful and productive way in which to build legal protections for animals..

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Guest: Charlotte E. Blattner is a senior researcher and lecturer at the Institute for Public Law, University of Bern. She earned her PhD in international law and animal law from the University of Basel, Switzerland, as part of the doctoral program Law and Animals. From 2017-2018, she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Department of Philosophy at Queen’s University, Canada, working on animal labour as part of Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law, and Ethics (APPLE). From 2018-2020, Blattner was a  postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Program, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, to explore critical intersections of animal and environmental law. She is the author of Protecting Animals Within and Across Borders (2019, available open access here) and Animal Labour: A New Frontier of Interspecies Justice? (2020, coedited with Will Kymlicka and Kendra Coulter), both published by Oxford University Press. Blattner has argued several cases in court, including the “Primate Rights Case” currently pending at the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. Find out more about Charlotte here. 

Featured readings/speeches:  Protecting Animals Within and Across Borders: Extraterritorial Jurisdiction and the Challenges of Globalization by Charlotte E. Blattner, Critical Terms for Animal Studies edited by Lori Gruen featuring Kristen Stilt

Episode 4. Personhood with Maneesha Deckha

April 22, 2020 · 45 min

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Claudia talks with Maneesha Deckha (Professor and Lansdowne Chair in Law at the University of Victoria) on trying to include animals within the legal category of personhood, and the potential of a different concept, ‘Legal Beingness’, to side-step some of the challenges of Personhood as a concept.

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Guest: Maneesha Deckha’s research interests include critical animal studies, animal law and legalities, postcolonial feminist theory, and reproductive law. She is widely published and has received multiple grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and other funding bodies. She has also held the Fulbright Visiting Chair in Law and Society at New York University. Her book project on feminism, postcolonialism and critical animal law entitled Animals as Legal Beings: Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders is forthcoming from the University of Toronto Press. She serves as the Director of the Animal Studies Research Initiative at the University of Victoria and is a Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network Fellow.

Featured readings/speeches:  Animals as Legal Beings: Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders by Maneesha Deckha (forthcoming, Fall 2020), Best Actor Speech by Joaquin Phoenix / We are completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.  

Episode 3. First Possession with Angela Fernandez

April 6, 2020 · 51 min

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Claudia talks to Angela Fernandez (Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto) about the legal concept of ‘First Possession’ also delving into the significance of historical research in considering animals and the law.

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Guest: Angela Fernandez is a Professor at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, cross-appointed to the Department of History. She is the author of a book-length study on Pierson v. Post, the famous first possession case often used to begin the study of American (and sometimes Canadian) property law: Pierson v. Post, the Hunt for the Fox: Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2018). She is an Associate Editor (Book Reviews) for Law and History Review. She is on the Board of Directors for Animal Justice Canada, a Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and a member of the Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network (BASAN) with the Brooks Institute for Animal Law and Policy.

Featured readings: Pierson v. Post, the Hunt for the Fox: Law and Professionalization in American Legal Culture written by Angela Fernandez  

Episode 2. Legal Subjects with Lesli Bisgould

March 19, 2020 · 53 min

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Claudia talks with Lesli Bisgould about what it means to be a subject of the law and the extent to which animals could be considered as such.

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Guest: Lesli Bisgould is an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto and is also currently the Barrister at Legal Aid Ontario’s Clinic Resource Office where she assists caseworkers at Ontario’s community legal clinics with their complex appeals. She worked for several years at a Toronto litigation firm, then left to start her own practice in animal rights law. For ten years, she acted for individuals and organizations in a variety of animal-related cases in the first practice of its kind in Canada.  She now works in the poverty and human rights fields as well. She has argued at every level of court and has deputed before government bodies and committees at every level of government. Bisgould is the author of Introduction to Animals and the Law (2011), the first Canadian law text on the subject, and a contributor to Canadian Perspectives on Animals and the Law (2015), both published by Irwin Law. 

Featured reading: Animals and the Law by Lesli Bisgould

Podcast The Animal Turn

Episode 1. Animal Rights with Will Kymlicka

Feb 24, 2020 · 1 hr 22 min

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Claudia talks to Will Kymlicka (Canada Research Chair in Political Philosophy at Queen’s University) about the concept of Animal Rights and how it pertains to the law. They touch on what the relationship is between law and ethics and what this means for scholarship in ‘The Animal Turn’.

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Guest: Kymlica has published eight books and over 200 articles, which have been translated into 34 languages. His books include Contemporary Political Philosophy (1990; second edition 2002), Multicultural Citizenship (1995), Multicultural Odysseys: Navigating the New International Politics of Diversity (2007), and most recently Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights (2011), co-authored with Sue Donaldson. He was awarded the 2019 Gold Medal from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Featured readings: Zoopolis: A Political Theory of Animal Rights written by Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka; Animals and the Law by Lesli Bisgould; Social Membership: Animal Law Beyond the Property/Personhood Impasse by Will Kymlicka

Hosted by Claudia Hirtenfelder

Host: Claudia Hirtenfelder is a PhD Candidate in Geography and Planning at Queen’s University and is currently undertaking her own research project looking at the historical relationships between animals and cities. Contact Claudia via email ( or follow her on Twitter (@ClaudiaFTowne).

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Sponsored by Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics – A.P.P.L.E
Member of iROAR an Animals Podcasting Network
Bed Music created by Gordon Clarke (Instagram: @_con_sol_ )
Podcast Logo created by Jeremy John (Website)

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