Kristie Middleton, author of Meatless: Transform the Way You Eat and Live—One Meal at a Time”

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Kristie Middleton—the Senior Director of Food Policy for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and author of the new book “Meatless: Transform the Way You Eat and Live—One Meal at a Time”–discusses her job at HSUS, and what the duties entail. 415EoV55eeL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Middleton, who’s done animal rights/welfare work for many years, and earlier in her career was employed by PETA, assesses the evolution of sensibility and messaging that characterize these larger organizations in addressing and promoting plant-based diets. Responding to my observation about the large number of books (and films) in recent years espousing the virtues of adopting a plant-based diet, Middleton outlines some of her reasons for writing “MeatLess,” and ways she hoped to carve out a new niche amidst this literary canon. Noting that—as a 20-year vegan–that she herself made a very slow transition to a plant-based 15965557_411419189198295_1105027174634777247_ndiet, Middleton articulates why it’s so significant in her book and elsewhere to project a kind, flexible, nonjudgmental, and encouraging tone for those people making similar changes, in whatever scope and pace they choose. She provides capsule summaries of some “MeatLess” profiles of individuals who made such changes, including those who oversaw university dining facilities. (One was Ken Botts, who created the nation’s first vegan dining hall.) Middleton speaks about some of the 60-plus recipes for plant-based dishes that she includes in the book.

COMEDY CORNER: Joe Zimmerman’s “Crows” (excerpt) (http://www.zimmermancomedy.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” The Beatles’ “Hey Bulldog,” Jethro Tull’s version of “Serenade To A Cuckoo,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Sweet’s “Fox On The Run”

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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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