Robert Grillo, author of “Farm to Fable: The Fictions of Our Animal-Consuming Culture”

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Robert Grillo —an activist and writer who is the founder of Free from Harm, and just published his first book, “Farm to Fable: The Fictions of Our Animal-Consuming Culture”—recounts how his work in advertising, particularly handling food accounts (like working on McDonald’s Happy Meal boxes), along with the experience of adopting three baby chicks, provided the impetus for launching Free from Harm.51IqpAXFspL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_ A nonprofit organization formed in 2009, Free from Harm’s mission is to promote farmed animal rescue, education and advocacy—with a major element of the operation being its website, which is a dense, sprawling forum, rich with articles, posts and other resources. “Farm to Fable” is an ambitious undertaking—an interdisciplinary philosophical treatise, examining how pop culture employs a host of “fictions” to make us, as a society feel OK about eating animals…Grillo discusses some of those fictions, and how they function to influence us. He also addresses “humane washing,” a counterpart to green washing, and one of the books important concepts. (This leads to an exchange about Temple Grandin, whom Grillo cites as a pivotal figure in the section on humane washing, and I have some countering viewpoints.) Grillo speaks to the sort of outcomes he’s seeking with the book. (http://freefromharm.org)

Taking time out for paw-ternity leave!

Taking time out for paw-ternity leave!

ALSO: I spoke briefly with Sarah Warman, from Brew Dog, the rising Scotland-based brewery that recently announced they’re giving their 1000 employees worldwide a week’s paid leave when they adopt a dog–“paternity leave.” Brew Dog also just opened its first U.S. operation, near Columbus, Ohio. (www.brewdog.com/usa/)

COMEDY CORNER: Chris Porter’s “Vegan Date” (portion) (http://chrisporterisfunny.com)

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

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Elton John’s “Honky Cat”

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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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