“The root of all evil is in thinking some suffering doesn’t matter” – Jane Velez-Mitchell – Sentientist Conversation

The audio is also on our Podcast – subscribe on Apple here & on all the other platforms here.

Jane (@JVM) is a TV broadcaster, author, journalist & now CEO of the animal rights non-profit Jane Unchained. She has written four books, two of which were NY Times bestsellers.

In these Sentientist Conversations we talk about the two most important questions: “what’s real?” & “what matters?” Sentientism is “evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.”

We discuss:

  • Jane’s career in media & journalism & now running a non-profit
  • Countdown to Year Zero & making the world vegan by 2026
  • Near death experiences
  • Growing up in “showbiz” New York with Puerto Rican/Irish parents
  • Jane’s mother gave up meat early
  • Thinking the family was vegetarian but eating pescetarian
  • Going to different churches as an adventure, but when things got serious, going back to Catholicism
  • Dabbling rather than strong religiosity
  • “Let your conscience be your guide”
  • We all know what’s wrong and right. The role of guilt, shame & remorse
  • Recovering from alcoholism. 26 years sober!
  • Praying every morning “Turn it over – seek guidance”. Making the bed every day
  • “We don’t need to have a definition of a higher power – it’s just not me”
  • Ego & self-centredness is the source of so many wrongs
  • Societal forces claiming that “some suffering doesn’t count” are behind most evils. Human & animal
  • People talking about “peace & love, Ahimsa & loving animals”, then “ordering the hit on those animals” by buying products made from them
  • The cruelty we inflict on animals is “complete self sabotage”
  • “We think eating animals is our solution when it’s our problem”
  • “My worst day as a vegan is better than my worst day torturing animals”
  • “Breaking through the wall of denial”
  • Watching video of vicious experiments on primates in 1980 and the founding of PETA
  • Interviewing Howard Lyman, the “Mad Cowboy” after he had been on Oprah exposing cattle ranching
  • Eating dairy until being told it’s “Liquid Meat!” then going vegan ~23 yrs ago
  • Thank you for shaming me into going vegan! “I might not have heard it otherwise!”
  • If you love animals, take care of your addictions first
  • Getting sober gave me more time for activism
  • Refusing to cover news stories that trivialised animal abuse
  • Interviewing Robert Redford and other celebs about animal causes
  • Using journalism to talk about animal rights
  • Doing a hard-core weekly animal activism segment on CNN Headline News
  • Interviewing Josh Tetrick and other CEOs/activists
  • Nudging the culture through global media
  • Coming out as gay
  • Becoming “Jane Unchained” & being free to join protests
  • Seeing the end of Ringling’s Circus due to campaigns
  • Of course wild animal suffering matters too
  • The harm animal agri causes even to wild animals
  • Even Bill Gates sees we need to switch
  • We need to “punch holes through denial”
  • Environmental & conservation groups are in denial because they’re eating animals
  • We’re all hypocrites to some extent. There is no perfection
  • If conservation groups wouldn’t burn coal in the foyer at their conferences, why would they serve animal food?
  • You can’t lead if you’re not willing to change yourself
  • Media is funded by animal foods & pharma industries
  • “Farm animals are eating nearly all of the food!”
  • Zoonotic disease: “We have 80 wet markets in NY City alone”
  • Carole Raphaelle-Davis!
  • “Whatever your role or skills you can use it to help animals”
  • Some seemed more willing to eat BeyondMeat because the stock was doing well!
  • “The cultural shift is happening fast now”
  • Even the big meat companies are investing in alternatives
  • Governments have been co-opted by animal ag
  • Kamala Harris & Cory Booker
  • Instead of subsidising animal ag, fund a #JustTransition​
  • Maybe fast growing economies will leap-frog Western economies re: plant-based protein sources
  • Support Mercy for Animals, animal sanctuaries, PETA, “hire a vegan handyman!”
  • Animal ag sexually violates animals. How can a feminist support that?
  • Animal ag exploits the poorest & most marginalised communities. There are no slaughterhouses on Park Avenue!
  • Jon Lewis’ “They’re trying to kill us” documentary
  • Defending your right to animal products is self-sabotage
  • Maybe climate change will bring us together. We’re all earthlings
  • Ending animal agri will mark the evolution of humanity
  • The next 6 years could be the most important years in the history of humankind.

Sentientism is “Evidence, reason & compassion for all sentient beings.” More at

Join Jane on our “I’m a Sentientist wall” using this simple form.

Everyone interested, Sentientist or not, is welcome to join our groups. Our main one is here on FaceBook.

Thanks, Graham for the post-prod.

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