Defender Radio and The Switch

More than four million animals were used in research in Canada in 2016, a 21% increase from the previous year. Included in this increase were the use of cats, up 68%, dogs, up 58%, nonhuman primates, up 53%, and pigs, up 70%.

It isn’t just that so many animals are used though. It’s that so many animals are used for research purposes that aren’t necessarily effective, when more effective and humane options exist. Dr. Elisabeth Ormandy, Executive Director of the Animal in Science Policy Institute, joined Defender Radio to break down the data, explain the alternatives, and share how everyone, from school kids to advocates to researchers can be a part of the necessary change.

Direct download: 2017-11-27_DefenderRadioPodcast_AnimalsinScience.mp3
Category:Season 05 -- posted at: 4:32pm EDT

Joshua Barkman, creator of the False Knees web comic, takes every day circumstances for the animals we see around us in urban areas, like raccoons, rabbits, and various species of birds, and applies absurdly humourous conversations or thoughts.  

Joshua gives great detail to his drawings, creating a wonderful juxtaposition between beautiful artwork and absurd humour. But he also gives life, emotion, character, and introspection to animals often seen, but seldom considered in our daily lives. Joshua sat down with Defender Radio at the popular Café Pyrus in Kitchener, Ontario for an interview, a locally roasted cup of coffee, and an opportunity to dive into the world of False Knees.

Direct download: 2017-11-20-DefenderRadioPodcast-FalseKnees.mp3
Category:Season 05 -- posted at: 5:02pm EDT

Here we are – season five! I can’t think of a better way to kick off this momentous run than with coyote expert, and my good friend, Lesley Sampson of Coyote Watch Canada. Lesley and I spent some time recording in a forest in the Niagara Falls region last week, talking about building community buy-in to co-existence programs, the ups and downs of developing a plan, and why living with coyotes isn’t just possible, but preferable.

That’s not all I have to share with you though – I have a few new features of the show I want to share with you. First is the 60-second advocacy bit – in less than one minute, I’m going to share with you what the primary focus of my guest’s advocacy is, what solutions they have, and how you can get involved. That way if you can’t stay for the whole episode, or it’s a subject you may struggle with, you’ll get the basics so you can still help the cause.

I hear from a lot of you that there’s an interest in helping the show, too, and that’s why I’ve created a new Patreon! That’s the online way of supporting creators – podcasters like myself, artists, designers, musicians, and so on. It’s simple: visit, choose a tier of giving, and click! Each tier – starting at $1 per month and going up to $150 per month – has rewards. For only $1 per month you’ll get access to exclusive behind the scenes videos, blogs, outtakes and more. Bump up to $5 and you’ll also get an additional stream of content from each interview that can’t be heard anywhere else. As the tiers go up, so do the rewards – a Defender Radio t-shirt, advocacy gear from The Fur-Bearers, and even an executive producer title are available! Check out to learn more and help the show, And The Fur-Bearers grow.

Of course I can’t start a new season without a contest, so here we go: register to receive Defender Radio updates and The Fur-Bearers’ eNews at and you’ll be entered in a chance to win a shirt and advocacy pack from The Fur-Bearers. If you’re already signed up, you’re already in the draw! If not, just visit and make sure you opt-in to receive both email types and you’ll be entered. Winner will be announced on next week’s episode!

Direct download: 2017-11-13_DefenderRadioPodcast-coyotewatchcanadav2.mp3
Category:Season 05 -- posted at: 7:02pm EDT