Humane Talk™

drawing of two dogs, a cat, and human hands gently surrounding the animals Tracie Hotchner the Radio Pet Lady

Humane Talk features conversations with Thought Leaders in animal welfare, whose books or scientific studies focus on practical and philosophical issues regarding society’s attitudes and interactions with various non-human species. Interviews with social scientists and authors focus on the emotional and social lives of creatures other than human.


Saving Elderly Elephants Living in Solitary Misery

#8059: Ulara Nakagawa, the organizer of Elephants in Japan, describes how her group is lobbying to save the 14 remaining elderly elephants living in solitary misery in private zoos across Japan. The Elephants in Japan: In Memory of Hanako campaign works to ensure that no other elephant will have to endure the solitary imprisonment of an elephant named Hanako, who died alone in 2016. Taken away from her family in Thailand as a baby in 1949, this elephant was forced to live most of her 69 years alone, in a small concrete enclosure in a Tokyo zoo. She had no soft dirt or grass to stand on or freedom to roam. She was deprived of any true, lasting companionship of her own kind, which is crucial to an elephant’s overall well-being. Elephants in Japan works to better educate people in that country and worldwide about elephant welfare, and works to expose and improve the living conditions of the many other captive zoo elephants worldwide.

League of Humane Voters

#8058: Bill Sacrey on Long Island discusses the League of Humane Voters, and how concerns on behalf of animals can impact politicians and legislation.

Discussing the Ethics of Animal Research

#8069: Is research on animals moral? A continuation of a conversation with John Gluck, a member of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, who got a fellowship in bioethics in 1993. Animal research ethics are not typically studied — a desire for “proof” done by scientific standards. He and Tracie discuss the difference between trivial vs. important experiments, and how public opinion has driven concerns and change about how, when and if animal research should be conducted.

Ethical Dilemma of Research With Animals

#8067: John Gluck talks about the ethical dilemma of research with animals and his book VORACIOUS SCIENCE & VULNERABLE ANIMALS: A PRIMATE SCIENTIST’S ETHICAL JOURNEY. He describes what has been done to monkeys in the name of science and how the moral ground shifted beneath his own feet during his early scientific career, propelling him to advocate on behalf of the subjects of these research studies which found themselves in a predicament for a lifetime.

Why We Need To Adjust Our Thinking About Fish

#8066: Max Elder returns to the show to continue the conversation about how we need to adjust our thinking about fish, and what the future holds for them if we do not become more mindful and responsible.

Celebrating #GivingTuesday

#8068: Celebrating #GivingTuesday — the ultimate antidote to the rampant consumerism of Black Friday. Kim Alboum — director of the Emergency Placement Partners program for the Humane Society of the United States — thanks Halo for giving a bowl of food for every $1 donated to the HSUS on this day. She and Tracie discuss how important it is –– beyond donations to HSUS — to bring a stop to the squabbling in the rescue community and give respect and kindness to the shelter workers, who are the first line of defense, sheltering animals so that their journey to a forever home can begin. Donations can also be done on Facebook:

Do Millennials Have More Empathy For Animals?

#8065: Max Elder raises the question of whether his generation has more heart? Do millennials have more empathy for animals? Max has a fellowship at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics with a special interest in fish ethics — more particularly his focus on “the moral poverty of pescatarianism” (a word that only evolved in 1992). He and Tracie debate the value of radical activism like Peter Singer’s for PETA, decades ago. Elder’s work has been published in

Shaming Those Who Embrace Trophy Hunting

#8064: Wayne Pacelle discusses trophy hunting and shaming those who embrace it –– like the Trump sons, Eric & Donald, Jr. who recently bragged about their exploits on safari. Tracie says that anyone engaging in the willful slaughter of precious and endangered species is committing “social pornography”; Wayne says that “ethical consistency has to guide our behavior,” and those who do not have it should be called out.

Complexity of Fish Relationships

#8062: Jonathan Balcombe (What A Fish Knows) on the complexity of fishes’ relationships, tool use and ingenuity, and why it’s important for a cleaner fish to build a maintain a good reputation in this underwater service industry!

Value of Influential People Embracing Animal Welfare

#8063: Wayne discusses the hour he spent with Oprah recently on her own SuperSoul TV network talking about the issues in his book THE HUMANE ECONOMY and the enormous value that influential people have when they embrace animal welfare ideas.