"I'd sit alone and watch your light
My only friend through teenage nights
And everything I had to know
I heard it on my radio"
I LOVE RADIO. There. I'm a die hard NPR news listener and Radio Lab makes me truly happy (did you listen to the recent one about genetics - I did not care for the toad story). Fresh Air, The Conversation with Ross Reynolds. Don't get me started on why Marketplace is important. My love for radio aside, I didn't think I'd live to see the day when Seattle would have it's very own vegan and animal welfare radio show. But I did! And I'm not totally ancient yet.
Living Humane, hosted by Christie Lagally airs from 2:00-3:00 pm PST on KKNW 1150 AM Sunday afternoons (Saturday afternoons in January and February) and is available via podcast for those of us not free at that time. Her show debuted on November 25, 2012 with interviews with NARN Founder Esterly, plus a great conversation with the folks at Motley Zoo.
The format is basically information and interviews with groups, people, and non-profits that work to live humanely. Guests range from local vegan entrepreneurs, to activists, to authors, to animal advocacy group leaders. She also shares upcoming related events and there are even public service announcements. It is so fun listening to real interviews, with real people right here in our community. I'm already super impressed (and once again re-inspired to start doing Vegan of the Week again).
Christie doesn't have years of experience as a radio host, but she does have an impressive background in writing and journalism, with an emphasis on companion animal welfare issues. As you can guess, she doesn't get rich from advocating for animals on the radio, so she also has a day job as an aerospace engineer. And she's been vegan for 17 years! I got a chance to ask Christie a few questions so that you could know more about the voice behind the radio show.
Vegan Score (VS): How did you decide to go vegan?
Christie Lagally: In spirit, I feel like I've been a vegan my whole life because, as a child, I was so disturbed by meat. I loved animals, and I knew meat was a dead animal. I didn't want to or like to eat it. Additionally, I've been intolerant of dairy milk most of my life and suffered a lot of stomach problems as a result. But in a 'meat and dairy' centric family in Colorado, I didn't really get to choose to be a vegetarian till I was a teenager and when I was about 19, and I wrote a paper on health and vegetarianism only to learn about the problems of the milk and dairy industries and the health issues associated with eating animal products. I read about the sad realities of dairy cows' lives and chickens in cages, and that was enough emotional pain for me. That very day I began a vegan.
VS: What made you decide to start a radio show after having so much writing experience?
Christie: The radio show was an evolution of events actually. I began working with print media and radio and television stations to promote a shelter I was volunteering with in Richmond BC, to raise awareness of issues and help raise funds for our work. I learned a lot about what worked, and what didn't.
It was when my friend and I started a campaign to ban the sale of dogs in Richmond's pet stores that I truly learned how being a part of the 'mainstream' media allows us to fully integrate animal welfare and animal rights into our culture. During that campaign, every type of person came to our City Council meetings to advocate for the animals. It wasn't just animal rights advocates; it was the entire community. My experience as a guest on the Christy Clark Show in BC regarding the puppy sale ban convinced me of the power of radio to reach people who may not have otherwise been interested in animal issues. So once in Seattle, I worked for a while to find a way to get animal welfare/rights issues on the radio and KKNW Alternative Talk radio was interested in the program. This is great station for the show because, again, it brings together people from all walks of life.
VS: What do you hope people get from the show?
Christie: Awareness! And accurate, honest, and professionally delivered information so people can make good choices. I had one listener write to me after the first show on 11/25 where we discussed the Woodland Park Zoo elephants with Rachel from NARN. The listener wrote "I had never before realized how trying it must be for an elephant to live in a cage even with some outdoor space! So your program awakened me! I'm sure you are doing much to sensitize us!" I was so touched by this comment because this is exactly what I hope people will get from the program.
VS: What stories do you have in store for us?
Christie: Upcoming programs on Living Humane will include interviews from authors like local athlete Ben Greene to animal rights activist, Pete Keller. We will also have executive directors from Coalition Humane and the Feral Cat Spay Neuter Project. Additionally, Paul Shapiro from the HSUS will be coming on the program to explain to us the recent $500 million settlement between HSUS and the Hallmark Meat Company and what it means for future animal welfare lawsuits.
VS: How can people connect with you?
Christie: Information about the Living Humane and podcasts are located at livinghumane.com. People can follow us on Twitter @livinghumane. We take recommendations for show guests, and feedback on any show. The program is entirely funded through either donations or the sale of commercial airtime which is available to any animal-friendly business or non-profit at a low cost. Most of all, I hope people want to listen and if they have suggestions, I hope people give us feedback!
So there you have it friends. Radio by a vegan but for the world - human and animals alike. Each show is only an hour long, so have a listen to some past episodes and tune in today (Saturday) at 2:00 pm.