About When We Talk About Animals

When We Talk About Animals is a podcast devoted to exploring the big questions animals raise about what it means to be human. The series is supported by the Law, Ethics & Animals Program at Yale Law School and the Yale Human Nature Lab.

Each episode features an in-depth interview with a guest expert whose work has furthered human understanding of what animals think and feel and/or challenges how our society commonly thinks about and treats other creatures. The podcast hosts ethologists, neurobiologists, sociologists, philosophers, legal scholars, historians, and other leading thinkers to speak on one of the most interdisciplinary and morally pressing topics of our time.

When We Talk About Animals is co-hosted by Viveca Morris and Jennifer Skene. The first 28 episodes of the podcast were co-hosted by Morris and Lindsay Stern, who co-founded the podcast in fall 2018. The show is recorded, edited and engineered by Ryan McEvoy and the Yale Broadcast Studio.


Listen and Subscribe

Listen to past episodes and read more about featured guests on the podcast’s website. Episodes are also available via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Soundcloud, Spotify, and Pandora. Subscribe to When We Talk About Animals’ monthly email newsletter for notifications of new episodes.

Featured Episodes

Monica Gagliano

On plant intelligence and human imagination

J. Drew Lanham

On finding ourselves magnified in nature’s colored hues

Rebecca Giggs

On the world in the whale

Daniel Pauly

On why overfishing is a Ponzi scheme

Valérie Courtois

On indigenous-led land and wildlife stewardship

Gay Bradshaw

On Charlie Russell, grizzly bears, and discovering PTSD in animals

Sonia Shah

On how animal microbes become human pandemics

Ed Yong

On telling the grand and urgent stories of animal worlds

Ian Urbina

On lawlessness on the high seas

Amanda Hitt

On why the animal agriculture industry needs whistleblowers

Gene Baur

On changing hearts, minds, and laws about farm animals 

Bathsheba Demuth

On capitalism, communism and Arctic ecology

Ferris Jabr

On reviving the Gaia Hypothesis

Irene Pepperberg

On revolutionizing what humans think of bird brains

Peter Godfrey-Smith

On what the octopus can teach us about consciousness

Charles Siebert

On translating nature’s symphony.

Fabrice Schnoller

On free-diving with sperm whales.

Lisa Margonelli

On the big ideas termites raise about science, technology and morality. 

David Wolfson

On pioneering the field of farm animal law. 

Gale Ridge

On bringing peace to humans’ befuddling relationships with bugs. 

Robert Macfarlane

On being good ancestors across deep time.


Thomas Seeley

On the lives of wild honey bees.

Christopher Quinn

On “Eating Animals” and the hidden costs of factory farming.

Diana Reiss

On recognizing the dolphins in the mirror.


Natalie Kofler

On CRISPR and questioning the role humans should play in editing nature.

Nicholas Christakis

On the evolutionary origins of human and animal friendships.

Dale Jamieson

On love and meaning in the age of humans.

Rick McIntyre

On the stories of Yellowstone’s greatest wolves

Edie Widder

On the ocean’s spectacular light

Bernie Krause

On saving the music of the wild

Michelle Nijhuis

On the history of the wildlife conservation movement

Margaret Renkl

On finding wonder, grief and inspiration in backyard nature

Hugh Warwick

On hedgehog highways and how manmade lines impacts wild animals

Photo credits: Ferris Jabr photo by Shawn Linehan, Irene Pepperberg photo courtesy of Harvard University, David Wolfson photo courtesy of Milbank, Fabrice Schnoller photo courtesy of Fabrice Schnoller, Nicholas Christakis photo by Yale Human Nature Lab, Robert Macfarlane photo by Bjornar Nicolaisen, Ian Urbina photo by Fabio Nascimento, Bathsheba Demuth photo courtesy of Bathsheba Demuth, Ed Yong photo courtesy of Ed Yong, Sonia Shah photo by Glenford Nuñez, Amanda Hitt photo courtesy of Government Accountability Project, Monica Gagliano photo courtesy of North Atlantic Books, Rebecca Giggs photo by Leanne Dixon, J Drew Lanham photo courtesy of J Drew Lanham, Rick McIntyre episode photo by Bob Landis, Edie Widder photo courtesy of Penguin Randomhouse, Bernie Krause photo by Nick Nichols, Michelle Nijhuis photo courtesy of Michelle Nijhuis, Margaret Renkl photo by Heidi Ross, Cynthia Barnett episode photo courtesy of Cynthia Barnett, Hugh Warwick photo courtesy of Hugh Warwick.