This was a delightful episode to record. Speaking with Yana felt oddly familiar. I immensely enjoyed her new book Companions, which explores our relationship with nature and animals, in particular. There is much to be said about animal sentience and our philosophy toward those that share our planet. Many of the topics are difficult, and it is clear that we have spent more time objectifying animals as an object of consumption than as singular individual life forms.
Though Yana’s book hints at the problematic politics surrounding our relationship with animals, it does not attempt to provoke or persuade. It simply shows the interaction between people she has met and the animals they have saved or are raising. It is essential to note this as acrimony seems to get these political talking points across less than visual forms of empathy. I want people to listen in deeply. I do not have a particular feeling or political side that I want to air personally. As a non-vegan, but with some understanding of the cause, I think it is vital that more dialog like this takes place. Yana is a gifted artist, and her book is wonderful.