Radio

Speciesism + Science Faction

 

Painting by P. Mathews from 1838 of the Trial of Bill Burns. Burns was prosecuted for beating his donkey under the Martin's Act for cruelty to animals (1822). The case is memorable because the donkey was brought into court.

Painting by P. Matthews (1838) of the trial of Bill Burns, a man prosecuted for beating his donkey.

This week’s theme is speciesism! Speciesism refers to the belief that the human species is superior to all other species. Mark Devries is the filmmaker behind “Speciesism: The Movie,” a film that documents the immense scale of pig farms in North Carolina using drone surveillance. Inspired by the animal rights discussion, we’ve included a podcast episode produced by Science Faction that discusses the evolution of land species from fish.

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Mark Devries, Speciesism: The Movie

Mark Devries is a filmmaker interested in the ethics of livestock practices used in North Carolina. His documentary, Speciesism: The Movie, shows how large-scale livestock farms raises the issue of animal rights and raises concerns about environmental protection and human health. Tasmia Nishat interviewed Mark Devries about the visual impact of these livestock farms, his ethical concerns, and the methods he used to capture film of private farm property, including using a small plane and drone surveillance.

Science Faction: Fish with Feet

Science Faction is a Canadian miniseries that explains scientific research using 1000 of the most commonly used words. “Fish with Feet” takes listeners on a journey to the lab of Dr. Emily Standen at the University of Ottawa to learn about fish that can walk. They discuss how Dr. Standen’s lab is raising fish out of water and how her work elevates our understanding of the evolution of ancient fish species into land species.

 

 

What’s Driving Hybrid Sales? Which Moss Is Boss?

Macro photo of delicate orange and green moss.

We wondered who is purchasing hybrid cars, so we asked those who would know best: car dealers. And we wondered what worlds are hiding inside a moss, so we asked he who would know best: Edmonton’s resident Moss Man. In between, we consider the rash of recent train derailments by pitting pipelines against railways to see which is best.

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Who’s Buying Hybrid Cars?

At this point, hybrid vehicles have been on the market for a while. The Toyota Prius began selling in Canada fifteen years ago. But despite the constantly improving technology, electric and hybrid electric vehicles account for less than 5% of the automotive market. Adoption is proving to be slow.

To examine what’s happening at the point of sale, Terra Informa’s Carson Fong sat down with a few members of the Lexus of Edmonton team. Wayne Chak, a sales consultant at the dealership, and Matt Miller, the general manager, spoke about the trends they’re seeing with their clients.

Moss: It’s Boss

Let it not be said that mosses are less fascinating that other, more impressively plumed species of flora. For some nature nerds, they are still plenty interesting. Tasmia Nishat caught up with Edmonton’s own “Moss Man,” Dr. René Belland of the University of Alberta’s renewable resources department. They discussed his passion for this plant and the legal troubles of protecting rare mosses.