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Jane Velez-Mitchell, Jane Unchained
Jane Velez-Mitchell is the editor of JaneUnChained.com, a multi-platform social media news outlet that reports on crimes against people, animals and the environment. Her reporting on animal issues has won four Genesis Awards from the Humane Society of the United States.Velez-Mitchell is often seen commenting on high-profile cases for national TV shows. For six years she hosted her own show on CNN Headline News. Velez-Mitchell also reported for the nationally syndicated Warner Brothers/Telepictures show Celebrity Justice, and was a news anchor for many stations including KCAL-LA and WCBS-NY. She is the author of four books. The 2014 non-fiction New York Times bestseller, “Exposed: The Secret Life of Jodi Arias” details a gruesome, twisted crime and the salacious trial that gripped the American public. “Secrets Can Be Murder: The Killer Next Door” delves into the secrets unearthed in more than twenty of the most widely covered murder cases of recent times and the secrecy and deceit embedded in these tragic scenarios. “Addict Nation: An Intervention for America” with Sandra Mohr focuses on greed and consumption. Her other New York Times bestseller is her memoir titled “iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life.” She is active in the LGBT community, an animal activist and a vegan and lives with her partner, Donna Dennison, and their companion animals in Manhattan.
Hello everybody I’m Caryn Hartglass and we’re back for the second part of It’s All About Food. Woo! You know what I just wanted to mention something. Do you like the music that I play at the beginning of the program and during the break and at the end? I just have to mention it’s composed by, composed and played by my brother Barry Hartglass. Who is an awesome musician, I don’t get to mention him very often he’s at BarryHartglass.com. But I just wanted to bring it up because he’s going to one of the musicians whose accompanying us next week at our Responsible Eating and Living fundraiser the Happy B-Earthday Review. Which is on Earth Day, and I’m very happy about that. So for more information on that just go to responsibleeatingandliving.com, and you can always email me about just about anything at firstname.lastname@example.org. Very good. Now let’s get to the really exciting part.
Caryn Hartglass: Jane Valez-Mitchell, are you there?
Jane Valez-Mitchell: I am how are you dear?
Caryn Hartglass: Good! Very good! You know I normally read bios, but you know you are just bigger than big and I just want to talk about the news and the good stuff and everything. But anyway, for those of you who don’t know this amazing individual. She’s the editor of a new website janeunchained.com. We’re going to be talking a lot about that. She’s won four genesis awards from the Humane Society, she’s an author. She had her own program on CNN, headline news, and….just a powerhouse. So thank you for being on this planet Jane.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: Well thank you for being on this planet.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay! Well you know we didn’t really have much say about it when it happened did we. (Laughs)
Jane Valez-Mitchell: (Laughs) That’s true. That’s true. Some people do have choice as to whether they’re going to have children or how many children they have. You know we’re going to hit 2050, by 2050 we’re going to have nine billion people on this planet, and the Earth just can’t sustain that much more. So I like to say there are so many kids out there who need good homes who are, who need to be adopted. Think about that as an option. If you know you want kids, there are children out there who have no homes, and our world can only sustain so many people.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, you know this show is called it’s all about food and we talk about veganism, plant based diets, and the environment, and the treatment of animals, and everything connected to food. But you know it really is related to the population of humans on this planet because if we had fifty or a hundred or you know a million people on the planet, we wouldn’t be experiencing the stuff that is going on today.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: More people have been born since 1950 then existed in the entire history of the world up to 1950.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes, well I’m doing my part.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: I think you’re absolutely right, and let’s talk about food. I want to talk about the growing vegan movement.
Caryn Hartglass: I chose long ago that I didn’t want to have children, and I love kids, and I love my nieces and nephews, and all my friend’s kids. But you know, it’s just a piece of it deciding how many children to have or not have is important.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: Yeah, and you know these shows that 19 and counting, the Duggars that encourage that sort of self indulgence when it comes to having many many children I just think it’s so unfortunate. Again, there are so many children that need homes. You know while we’re talking about population and food we could solve world hunger today, and as we’re talking there are kids dying of malnutrition all around the world and we could feed all those kids very easily. If for example America stopped eating meat and took the nine billion animals that we raise and slaughter for food every year and stop that production and the intimidation of those animals and the breeding of those animals and took the food that those animals eat and distributed it equitably around the world we would end world hunger today. So when people say to me, why are you so worried about animals and getting people to eat plants, don’t you have something more important to talk about? What’s more important than world hunger? What we’re talking about, the resources that these animals use. We’ve got this massive drought in California. I find it amazing that the news media which is really so biased on this issue. When they talk about the water the farmers use they go to amin.
Caryn Hartlglass: I know! I know!
Jane Valez-Mitchell: It’s the meat and dairy companies that are using all the water!
Caryn Hartglass: You know, I haven’t done the math. But I’m tempted, I really want to do the math. How much money is really going into animal production and water. It can’t even be the tip of the iceberg going into the plants that are grown to feed animals, to feed those cows, and the that alfalfa we’re growing to export to China
Jane Valez-Mitchell: Of course it isn’t, but here’s the point. You’re not going to get any mainstream media to talk about that. Look at the advertisers. The advertisers are connected to the meat and dairy industry so you can’t even say that. You say the word vegan on mainstream TV they shut you right down.
Caryn Hartglass: Now just some…you were on CNN for a while and….
Jane Valez-Mitchell: I’m just talking about media in general. I was just on an un-named show on television today and I started talking about veganism because it came up. We were talking about Hilary Clinton going to Chipotle and somebody said, very fun host he’s a friend of mine, he goes yeah she’s doing what everybody does she’s eating fast food trying to be a populist. I said not everybody eats fast food, I don’t eat fast food. Somehow we ended up talking about veganism and he said right out, don’t talk about that the people here on the show that eat meat don’t like that. People don’t want to be confronted about their behavior. They don’t want to have to look at it and if they have the power to say don’t talk about it, that’s what they’re going to do. So the way that things change is with the new generation, and that’s why I jumped the internet and I’m doing social media. Where I’m shooting tons of protests, animal rights protests, and going to the veggie festivals. The New York City vegetarian foods festival which had eight thousand people! No coverage! No coverage from the media.
Caryn Hartglass: Yep I know, no coverage.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: Yeah, so we have to become the media for animals. This is the point that I have been trying to make over and over again with everyone. To all our listeners, if you care about the animals it’s up to you to spread the message. Nobody else will do it but you, and that’s the same thing when it comes to animal activism in general. You’re upset about something just do something about it, because there’s nobody else that’s going to be able to do it. All the animal welfare organizations and the animal rights organizations are stretched thin. They get hundreds of calls every day with people saying “do this, do that”. How do I know that? I get hundreds of emails every week, that they’re kidnapping elephants in Zimbabwe, they’re taking the wild horses and running them off the land. It’s one thing after another, every day. Dozens and dozens of things. You’re upset about it, you do something about it! Just like how I’m doing something about it, because the idea that somebody else is going to do this it’s just not true.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah and that’s it, just do something. Each one of us has to do something and for everyone that’s listening. For everybody that’s listening number one thank you for listening, but now you got to go and do whatever it is you can do.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: For number one you can share videos. There are many many animal rights videos that pop up all the time. I’m shooting them go to janeunchained.com and share my videos. Go to my Facebook page facebook.com/janevalezmitchell and start sharing the videos. Go to Mercy For Animals and start sharing their videos. Go to PETA and start sharing their videos. Become the media for animals that’s number one. Anybody that says “Oh, I can’t do this. I don’t have time.” It doesn’t take any time at all click a button that says share. It really doesn’t take that much time. Facebook is an incredible medium. Twitter is an incredible medium. You can get the message out there, but you’ve got to be part of the process.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah so the message is share, share, share, like, click, share. Takes no time at all and it makes a big difference. Now it’s important to get to the young people the next generation, and I really have a lot of faith in them getting this message, because we do so much exploitation on so many levels. Exploitation of people, of non-human animals of the planet. I believe that the younger generations are more sensitive to all of it. So I’m hoping that’s going to change. But the other big piece of it is money, and you said the shows that you’ve been on the advertisers don’t want to hear this information.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: I’m not just talking about the shows that I’ve been on. I’m talking about in general all you have to do is turn on any TV show anywhere and you just look at the advertisers are mostly meat and dairy companies. So they’re not going to want people talking about factory farming the hideous things. See once you open the door, the Pandora’s box of animal rights and you start saying look you know what’s happening to Lolita down at the sea aquarium, what’s happening to Tilikum, and the other Orcas at Sea World what has happened to them. That opens the door, because once people start caring about one Orca all of the sudden their minds start doing calculations. Then they start realizing wait a second if I care about this one Orca how can I sit here and eat a hamburger because that’s another animal? People want to remain in a state of denial about that once they start, once you open that Pandora’s box you’re on the journey. There is no turning back. You may be on the slow train, you may be on a fast train. But you had the light bulbs go off in some way shape or form and that’s what’s really going to happen in terms of evolution in terms of us evolving as a species beyond killing. When we’re incapable of having factory farms and people are eating a plant based diet. We will have evolved beyond war. We will have evolved beyond all sorts of violence. So I mean this is all a limits test for evolution of our human species and it’s probably. No it’s not probably it’s undoubtedly the most important issue facing the world today. Ironically when you talk to people about this issue they scoff and they laugh at you and say get a life because they can’t make those connections. But once the light bulb goes off and they go “ahh” it’s like everything else in life. Gravity, until that apple hit the ground and then all of the sudden oh gravity well that makes sense that’s obvious.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah and when Newton was talking about Gravity they all said he was a nut right?
Jane Valez-Mitchell: Right, and you know there’s a good ole song. They all laughed at Christopher Columbus when he said the world was round. So we’re a little ahead of ourselves, we’re a little ahead of the herd.
Caryn Hartglass: (Horse noise)
Jane Valez-Mitchell: We’re doing this really important work and I applaud you for talking about this. We’ve really just got to let people know that we’re in crisis right now and that it doesn’t mean that we have to go walking around being depressed or just talk amongst ourselves. I don’t like to sit around and talk to other animal rights activists about what’s happening. It’s either a plan for action or talk to someone that doesn’t get it yet, because that’s wasted energy. I mean I’m talking to you about it, you’re an animal activist and obviously a proponent of a plant based diet and so am I. We’re talking to each other because other people are listening otherwise you and I should be talking about what’s the next demo we’re going to? What’s the next the next demonstration? We have to be talking about spreading the message.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes or we could talk about what’s the next wonderful new vegan restaurant that’s showing up.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: Yeah, those trends or……
Caryn Hartglass: No, I mean just you and me. Not for our listeners. Just saying if we were going to be not…..anyway that’s like a fun thing that we can do when we’re just socializing with our own kind. Just rejoicing about the access to wonderful delicious food that’s popping up everywhere. I have a lot of listeners that are not vegan and many of them have written to me and say they want to move in that direction, and they struggle on so many levels. Personally I’ve been doing it for over twenty six years. I can’t see you doing it any other way it’s not hard for me but my heart goes out to those who are challenged by it for whatever reasons. But I want to say it really isn’t hard.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: It’s so easy, and it’s so much fun. I mean who wants to sit there eating the same thing over and over and over again? Let’s have a challenge. Today I did this early morning hit on a station and I came back and I stopped at a grocery store. I felt the urge for noodles so I got some Chinese noodles making sure that they didn’t have any egg in them and I put those in a pot with Cauliflower and broccoli and tofu. I added some rice amino, which is like a soy sauce but with lighter sodium, and some nutritional yeast, and I added a vegetarian bullion cube with low sodium, and I put that all together with some water and it was the most delicious soup. It was kind of rainy here today, I’m in New York. It was the perfect lunch. That was a delicious lunch that I had. Then later I still was hungry even though it was a nice big soup. Then later after a couple of hours, I did get up at like six AM, so that was a weird breakfast. But I had been up since six so I had that at about eleven and then later I had a really great…. It wasn’t Ezekiel bread but it was very similar it was all grains, sprouted toast with some organic peanut butter and some sugar free jam that is just really good. That was another delicious lunch right there and it’s not difficult. I’m not a cook, It’s not like I’m a gourmet chef or anything but I whip things up all the time. I use coconut oil, and canola oil, and olive oil, and garlic, and Bragg’s Aminos, and nutritional yeast. Remember ninety percent of the things it’s the sauces you put on them that give them the flavor. They did a taste test with The Today Show, I was watching it at home, probably watching it on the computer I don’t remember but I don’t watch The Today Show. I don’t watch any television I watch everything on the computer so I saw this on the computer. They did a taste test, they brought in Beyond Meat the chicken version. They made some real chicken and they asked the stars of the show “Tell us which is the real chicken and which is Beyond Meat” and they got it wrong! They picked the wrong one. So if you can’t tell the difference why kill an animal. I remember this women this very sort of sophisticated woman when I was in LA I had some kind of a meeting and I had brought something as food. I brought some soy bologna, so I was bringing something that might have been palatable, and the woman was going for it then I said “Oh that’s soy bologna” and she stopped herself and she stopped herself and she went “Oh, I don’t know if I can go there.” I didn’t want to be rude but I thought wait you can rip an animal away from his mother you can stick him in a crate and have the grieving mother chasing after the cow and beaten away. You can stick animals in crates never allowing them to turn around. You can drive them to the slaughterhouse. You can slit their throats in terror as they defecate on themselves and everything else. You can take the veins out of them and the eyeballs out of them and hang them upside down. Of course she didn’t have to do any of that she’s ordering the hit. She’s not carrying it out. But you know what they say in crime, my whole thing on janeunchained.com is to treat crimes against animals whether they’re legal or not moral against animals as crime. I’ve found myself in the crime genre and I can’t tell you how I got there, but somehow I ended up in the crime genre. My whole thing is crimes against animals should be just like crimes against people. So you know when it comes to crimes against people if you order a hit you are also culpable of murder. You don’t have to pull the trigger yourself.
Caryn Hartglass: (Laughs) I’ve never heard that before, I love it! If you order a HIT, that’s brilliant!
Jane Valez-Mitchell: Well if you’re involved in a carjacking, and you didn’t necessarily shoot the person, you were involved in that carjacking. You’re as guilty as the person who the driver.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s right. Guilty, guilty.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: That’s right, or a bank robbery. Any of these kinds of crimes, it’s the same concept. You don’t have to go there and slit an animal’s throat to be responsible for the torture and the death of the animal, and remember we’re talking about nine billion farm animals raised horrific factory farming conditions and slaughterhouses every year.
Caryn Hartglass: That’s a number that nobody…
Jane Valez-Mitchell: Do not trump moral responsibility. Okay? I would like to eat chocolate all day long, I love chocolate I’m a chocoholic. You know, I don’t. When I was a little kid I thought of it because my parents were macrobiotic for a while they went through that phase. I thought “When I grow up I’m going to have ice cream, and snow cones, and chocolate all day long. That’s all I’m going to eat.” But taste buds don’t trump everything. I don’t want to go into sugar shock and get diabetes and become obese so I constrain myself. The people that say “Don’t tell me what I should do! Don’t restrict my right as an American!” I don’t personally believe you’re right extends to killing another sentient being.
Caryn Hartglass: Amen, that’s right. I’m talking to Jane Valez-Mitchell and you are probably the biggest or the most famous animal rights journalist reporter that we have had on the planet. Is that true?
Jane Valez-Mitchell: I don’t know about that. I mean there are so many wonderful people. I had the opportunity to ride in a car for eight hours for what was supposed to be a five hour trip turned into eight hours with Ingrid Newkirk a few months ago who is the president of PETA.
Caryn Hartglass: But she’s not a reporter or a journalist. She runs a non-profit organization.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: She does, but you want to talk about heroes you want to talk about inspiring people.
Caryn Hartglass: No, it’s journalist like you who are really telling it like it is like so many don’t. So I’m just applauding you. Yaaaay Jane! (claps)
Jane Valez-Mitchell: Thank you. That’s sweet of you but I don’t want the exclusive on the story. I would love nothing more than for everyone else to reporting it to the point where I wouldn’t need to report. It’s the agitation of responsibility that these journalists don’t report on these stories. I just want to say this, when I started Jane Unchained on a fluke because basically my girlfriend had given me a go-pro camera for my birthday. So when I was free to do whatever I wanted to I had a nice run on a show it ended and I came home and was like “Well what am I going to do now?” I thought look we’ve got a go-pro. I hadn’t even used it once just to go bike riding and when I knew there was a protest I went and covered the protest. This is how It started. So we get there and there’s no other journalist there, it was a great protest I forget what it was. I just started, and my girlfriend and I, she’s really savvy on social media and editing and everything else and she taught me to edit. But anyways we just started going to these protests. Not one of these protests was there another, maybe one maybe one or two of the forty or sixty protests that we’ve gone to now. Some of them, like when we covered the Lolita protest. That was covered because that was a big deal. When we’re covering the monkey issue down in southwest Florida. Please go to Jane Unchained and get involved with monkeygate down there they’re trying to turn southwest Florida into the last monkey breeding capitol of America. Hendry county officials have been secretly been approving these facilities without telling the public and now the public knows and they’re outraged and they’re trying to do everything they can to stop it so please get involved. Read the stories on janeunchained.com write to the Hendry county officials. Tell them how you feel as an American and that you don’t want this to happen. Do whatever you can. Share the videos, call everybody you know who lives in the Fort Myers Naples area and get people involved. Fly down there! I’m flying down on Monday. It’s my third trip down there. You know it gets down to if you want you want something done do it yourself. People love to sit around and chat over cocktails over the terrible state of the environment and animals “This is what needs to be done and this is what needs to be done!” and what I tell people is just do it. There is no one else.
Caryn Hartglass: Wow, well that’s a great way to end because we’re at the end. I know you could talk about all kinds of important things all day long and you do. Thank you for joining me on It’s All About Food Jane Valez-Mitchell with your video for the voiceless janeunchained.com. Go there, get involved, and do stuff. Thank you Jane.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: I love you, keep it up!
Caryn Hartglass: I love you! Okay, Stay fueled and inspired.
Jane Valez-Mitchell: Bye!
Caryn Hartglass: Bye! Well that was great Jane Valez-Mitchell. Go to janeunchained.com we have a minute left and I wanted to remind you again about responsibilityandliving.com our upcoming fundraiser is on Earth Day which is birthday on Wednesday April 22nd you can still get tickets if you’re in the New York Metro area it’s really easy to get to and I want to you there! Okay? Meanwhile you can also go to Responsibility and Living because there’s a lot of great things going on. I’ve got my What Vegans Eat blog and there are links to wonderful recipes when you go there. Jane was mentioning the importance of sauces and how they make the difference in making food taste good and that’s why we started the transition kitchen and we started with the traditional French mother sauces that we are veganizing. Showing you how easy they are to make and they’re the foundation sauces to make everything taste delicious. So you can go to our video button and check out the transition kitchen and we’ve got more of those coming. Thanks for joining me on It’s All About Food everybody! Send me an email at email@example.com and have a delicious week okay.
Transcribed by Thomas Merica, 4/19/2015