Zooier Than Thou

Zooier Than Thou

The ZooTT crew continues the discussion about zoo activism where Sigma left off in S3E5. What matters most to zoos? Animals, of course! Join Aqua, Toggle, and Kynophile for a discussion about animal rights activism and the work that zoos have ahead of them. Plus, learn a cool new skateboard trick, and be an animal advocate with Zooey.

Listen @ zoo.wtf
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Thoughts About the Episode

We’ve been planning this episode as a natural progression from s3e5’s discussion, and we had planned to set it up during that episode, but it didn’t quite land as a set up. Still, I think we have enough preamble to make the connection clear. Gays had marriage as a bridge issue, and we feel that our bridge issue is mostly likely going to be animal rights. Big thanks to Aqua for really pulling this together, in addition to everyone else that helped contribute to and refine our discussion. We had tons of links, so please be sure to check out the links either on YouTube or on our actual website.

I’m pretty happy with the discussion to be honest. Something I’ve been thinking about is when someone mentioned to me that they didn’t feel like they were a real zoo because they weren’t really gung ho about animal rights activism, and frankly, I don’t think activism is something you just naturally fall into. I also don’t think that the values we discuss on our podcast are natural conclusions people might draw after growing up in western society. We have to do a lot of unlearning as zoos, and while this process may come more naturally to some than it does to others, I think having a community pushing you toward these higher values is a key component to fostering them within oneself. We are largely the sum of our outside influences, and if you’ve not been exposed to the horrors of factory farming, for instance, there’s very little pressure to acknowledge it outside of our community. So I hope that zoos don’t feel alienated by our discussion because they don’t feel connected enough to activism, and I also hope that they’re open to learning more about it and understanding why it matters.

I finally get to talk about this rap I’ve been sitting on for two months. I’m super stoked with my verse, if I’m honest. It could potentially be the best one I’ve written yet, in terms of rhyme schemes, wordplay, and setup/punchline. Maybe I won’t feel like that in the future, but I’m really digging the way it sounds right now. Kynophile reworked his verse just a very small bit, and I think it’s even better than before, particularly with one line that’s really fast and has a ton of alliteration as a result of his changes. He snuck in a bunch of Sondheim references fairly seamlessly, so it was a neat concept for him.

I think for both of our verses, there is a lot about our own interests and personalities that show through. I likened mine to a sort of introduction, and I think Kyno’s follows suit in that you get a sense of what he’s about. However, they’re very different otherwise, and I was trying to think of a hook to unify them together. Thinking about my verse, which revels in rebellion, I thought about the skateboard trick No Comply as a really neat title. A No Comply is basically a way of getting air with your board without doing an Ollie. You put your front foot on the ground and use your back foot to pop the board into the air. I started thinking about what kind of skateboard trick might represent Kynophile’s verse, and I recognized he talks about three kinds of grinds. He speaks about mundane office work — “the grind,” as it were; he discusses performing in musicals, which is his own personal bread and butter; and he talks about physical intimacy — you might grind against a partner while fooling around. I thought it would be a nice innuendo to talk about a tailgrind. One small problem: what might be considered a tailgrind in skateboarding — which is when only your back trucks are grinding against the coping or rail — is actually called a 5-0 grind — referencing half of a 50-50 grind, which is both trucks on the coping. In other words, “tailgrind” doesn’t really exist. The closest we have to work with is a tailslide — a grind using the tail of the board across the rail — so that’s what I went with. A No Comply Tailslide is a pretty standard No Comply trick that looks pretty neat, so it’s a canon skateboard framework. In Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, you would see this written out as No Comply + Tailslide, so I kept that format in homage to a game that really defined a part of my childhood and cemented my love for punk and hip hop.

To tie it all together, I wrote a short hook that has double entendre — it both describes how to perform a No Comply Tailslide, and it also references defiance and innuendo as it relates to the two verses of the song. It might be the closest to being Aesop Rock that I’ll ever get xD It’s catchy as hell, and I’m pretty happy with it.


Lastly, I think the Ask Zooey for this episode fits with the overall discussion, and I love when that happens. But boy, was it a tough one to answer. Y’all keep giving us really difficult questions! But the scenarios we find ourselves in as zoos are often complicated as fuck. I find it telling that sometimes it’s the way we stick our necks out for animals that makes people suspicious. I’m thinking of one particular zoo who was confronted by a furry in their community literally because they talk about animal rights too often. Imagine being a furry suspicious that someone is a zoophile because they care too much about animal welfare. It’s wild to me that you can use that as evidence to ostracize someone on grounds that zoos are bad actually. That’s complex enough, but throw in stories of zoos trying unsuccessfully to advocate for animals in very dire situations and not being able to overstep their bounds for fear of either getting caught or not being allowed to look after those animals’ interests in the future. That’s devastating. I hope we were able to give good advice. Thanks for sending us your questions, folks.

Next month is Halloween, and traditionally we do emails and skits, and also a Samhain ritual. If you’re creative, or even just have skit ideas, please send them to us before October 8th. We are also accepting eulogies and remembrances for our Samhain ritual, so if you have a lost loved one you want to speak to across the veil, please send us either audio or text to eulogies@zoo.wtf by October 8th.

The next full moon is October 20! See you there!
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Do you have experience with animal rights activism? Are you wondering how to get involved? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us!

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You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @OneBigGrumpyRat, @MeowofLove
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Zoos have been finding the courage to come out, and our inbox has been flooded with your tragedies, fears, and triumphs. This episode, Toggle, Doodle, and Lovecat revisit the topic of coming out with the help of the stories you've sent in. Plus, Dog Science has another breakthrough, Loose Rocket Cop is finally out in theaters, and Zooey helps with unrequited love.

Listen @ zoo.wtf
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Thoughts About the Episode

I’m posting this one a week late, since I was out of town last weekend when the episode came out. I thought I’d write on the plane or at the airport, but it turned out I was destined to just sleep the whole time. :

This episode, we were committed to taking things easy, both on ourselves and on our listeners. I needed to get the episode done at least a week early so it was ready to launch while I was out of town, and we were keenly aware of potential listener fatigue. Thus, we didn’t want to do any heavy topics with lengthy discussion, and we wanted to keep the episode at about an hour and a half in length. We weren’t sure what we were going to do the show about, but a few listener emails that came in right around that time sealed the deal. Blackbird, who is here on ZooCommunity, wrote in about his experience coming out to his parents, and with the number of emails about coming out that were coming in, we thought it was about time to talk about it again. I still wanted to make sure we got a well-rounded look at the topic, rather than just saying, “Coming Out is sunshine and roses!” so I don’t know that this is an easy topic, but the array of emails we had allowed us to cover the good and the bad. I think we did a decent job, and we really have our listeners to thank for that one.

I think the highlight of this episode for me, other than the great discussion, is the Dog Science skit. When Aqua and I were discussing it, he mentioned he had this really shitty “Nut” button on his desk, and we decided that HAD to be a part of the skit. We also got to share our love of old Mac culture and played around with really old MacinTalk plug ins. In the end, we decided to go with the female MacinTalk voice for most of them, and save the male voice for the Nut button. Without being prompted, Kynophile took time to put together some male button voices, so I used his “Nut,” and I think it came out great. I just laugh my ass off at that “Nut. Nut nut nut nut.” We’d love to do more of these, so if anyone has ideas, we’re all ears!

I wrote a rap for this episode that I’m really very happy with, and Kynophile came through with a rap that referenced 17 different Sondheim songs throughout, but we weren’t able to get a good recording in time for the episode. Rather than put out a half-assed production, I opted to save it for next time after reworking a couple of parts. I’m very excited about it, though!

I wanted to grab a few oldies for this episode, and I happened to notice that Loose Rocket Cop was supposed to come out in Summer 2021 when we originally aired it. It’s still one of my favorite skits, so I changed the ending so it was like it had just come out and popped that in. I also grabbed one of the secret zoos from S2E12 because it felt very relevant to the topic.

Finally, our Ask Zooey question actually came from right here on ZooCommunity, so thank you for allowing us to give it a try! It was actually incredibly tough to answer, but honestly it’s something that a lot of us deal with, a partner that’s not interested in us the way we are in them. At some point, I realized that this was analogous to having an asexual partner (not one-to-one, but similar), so I started looking into resources related to that to help answer this one. It’s really tough, cuz as someone who is an unabashed slut who fucks a lot of people, the answer seems obvious. But I know from experience that promiscuity isn’t a viable solution for a lot of people. I hope that we were able to be helpful here for anyone who’s in that kind of relationship.

Thanks for listening and contributing to our discussion. You are the reason we are able to do what we do. See you in September!

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Have you come out to anyone important in your life? Are you afraid of coming out? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us!

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You can subscribe to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast application: rss.zoo.wtf
Don't forget to subscribe to our Bonus Content feed: bonus.zoo.wtf
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @OneBigGrumpyRat, @MeowofLove
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In this Zoo Pride episode, Mike the Dog and Sigma continue last month's discussion with Argil and Kyon about queer activism post-Stonewall, discussing the future of zoo activism and what we can learn from those who came before us. Plus, hear the latest scientific breakthrough regarding human sentience, slam dance to a hardcore banger, and say hello to zoos from around the world!

Listen @ zoo.wtf
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Thoughts About the Episode

Woooh! Alright, we got this monster of an episode done! I’ll start with what I actually contributed, because that was the bulk of my work.

I was thinking about pride and protest, and I had the idea to do a hardcore song. Some Toggle backstory you might not know: I used to do punk and hardcore music when I was a lot younger, so this was pretty familiar territory. I put together the riff while Sigma and Sunny Seed were visiting for Zoo Pride Week, sitting in Sunny’s RV on his nylon string acoustic, no less!

A pause — it was really nice getting to see zoos this month. I got to do some majorly serious cuddling with Sunny and Sigma, and we went out for vegan pizza and stayed for an unexpected trivia night. We were terrible, but it was a lot of fun. Zemen visited later in the month, and I got to see updates on his tattoos — they’re looking pretty incredible. We mostly chilled and played Biomutant, while Zemen got some of the Vietnamese food he’d been missing since last staying with us, and I found a Chinese place with mock Sweet and Sour Chicken. I have plans to see more zoos in August, so I’m pretty excited.

Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve actually screamed and shouted. The first day I was trying to remember how to do it, I totally destroyed my voice, and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to perform it like I wanted to. I guess that pain jogged my memory, though, because the next day, the technique clicked again, and I was able to give it my all with minimal strain on my poor vocal cords. Proper screaming technique requires you to not add heat with your throat. You shift your vocals up into your head and add heat up there. I’m not a voice teacher, so I don’t really know how to describe it, but if you’re doing this stuff, remember that it’s not supposed to hurt.

I got a bunch of zoos together to do the chorus stuff, and I’m thrilled with how big of a sound I got out of it. I was listening to a lot of hardcore bands while studying, but one not-so-obvious band stood out as inspiration, one that I’d kind of forgotten about over the years: AFI. I started listening to their really early hardcore stuff, but I’m really into the Sing the Sorrow/Decemberunderground phase where they peaked in popularity. I don’t sound like Davey Havok, but I ended up spending a lot of time listening to them while writing this music — unexpectedly. They’re not really part of that core, classic hardcore library, but I fell back in love with them all the same. I mention it because my melody lines for the crowd ended up mimicking their style the most.

The song is in and out in a flash, but I’m really happy with it. I hope you like it!

As for the meat of the episode, I didn’t have a lot to do with it. But I found out later they ended up with pages and pages of discussion notes, and when it was said and done, they handed me 4 hours of discussion to edit down. Lord! I cut that roughly in half in the end, but it’s a LOT of content, enough I might make a bonus episode with some of the cut discussion. Mike the Dog did a great job of keeping things going, Sigma was a wealth of knowledge and discussion, and I was happy to hear Argil come out of their shell this time around. Kyon was there to provide much-needed levity along with matter-of-fact observations. It’s a good discussion, but it’s heavy stuff. We’ve vowed to make the next episode lightweight and fun — and way shorter. I know some of you like meaty content, but I can only imagine for a listener binging that this season is starting to cause fatigue. We’ve been back-to-back major topics since S3E1. It’s time for a break!

Our skit was a listener-submitted idea. Funny thing, Aqua and I were talking about trying to recapture the subversive spirit of earlier episodes, where we used to turn human/animal relationships on their head pretty regularly. That was a lot of Doug’s influence, and without him here, we’ve not been quite as deft about doing it. Aqua suggested a skit involving speech buttons, but with dog scientists teaching humans to speak dog. We had a great time laughing about it, and I mentioned that it was very similar to a skit idea sent in by a listener about dog scientists talking about a dog version of the mirror test. So this month, I wrote up the listener skit, and next month we’ll likely follow with the talking buttons skit, as a kind of series. If anyone has more ideas for dog scientist skits, please send them in!

Everyone seemed to have fun with this episode, so I’m pretty happy with it. Just a tad long, but that’s OK.

This past month, Lykon was approached by a freelance journalist with connections to some kind of seedy publications about an interview. He brought it to us, and we were like, “Don’t do that. It’s a bad idea.” Somehow, that person was put in touch with me, and he was like, “Lets do a video interview. You can wear sunglasses to protect your identity,” and I was like, “Are you serious right now?” Haha, we were very, very skeptical. Doug’s big rule about the media is not to trust them, and I didn’t trust this person as far as I could throw them. We talked about it a whole lot, and had the person give us time to deliberate about whether or not we’d participate. I had a ton of doubts, but I was also worried about the journalist preying on someone less media savvy and with fewer resources for interview prep than was available to us. A lot of twitter zoos are really eager to be heard, which is great, but frankly, the media is predatory. There are some things you absolutely can’t say, that we’re inclined to say in defense of ourselves. It’s natural.

I spoke with people who had interviewed with RT before about their experience, and I consulted very trusted people and discussed the pros and cons of participating. Part of the issue we had was that this article was clearly being written with our without our voice as a community involved, and we were being presented with an opportunity to be a part of that conversation instead letting it happen without us like it usually does. RT is known for being anti-queer, and there was a definite sense of us being weaponized. Someone described it as handing the bullets to a gunman, but the idea was to give the gunman blanks so his weapon was less effective, to control the narrative that was being spun instead of letting someone else make up whatever they wanted, or taking advantage of someone who would give them what they wanted.

There were a number of other factors that led to our decision, but in the end, we took a calculated risk and participated in a text interview. In the end, I have definite issues with the article, but for our part, we’re represented fairly, and we didn’t let them catch us in any snares with their questions and talked about what mattered to us. They completely ignored my answer that Zoo Pride wasn’t a response to not being invited to Queer Pride, because apparently the crux of their article was based on that.

While several people reached out and thanked us for participating and agreed with our reasoning, not everyone was thrilled. At least one listener expressed significant anger at our decision, for understandable reasons. That’s the thing about activism, though: no matter what move you make, someone will assert it’s the wrong move, but you gotta keep moving. Activism is necessarily outside of our comfort zone. It necessarily requires making tough decisions and being visible in ways that make people uncomfortable.

One thing that came out of that, though, is that we’re now formalizing the process of submitting skits and writing to the podcast; we won’t be allowing anyone to request the removal of submissions, skits, or emails once permission has been granted to use them. It’s not really possible with the Zootube program, anyway.

As things go, I thought the interview went as well as it could have, given all the factors that went into it. Hopefully net positive things come from it. Time will tell.

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What are your thoughts about our future as zoos? Do you have any answers to the questions posed by Mike and Sigma? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us!

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You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @OneBigGrumpyRat, @MeowofLove
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Mike the Dog and Sigma are joined by Argil for a history lesson on the gay rights movement pre-stonewall, culminating in a discussion of the 1961 film Victim. Plus, Be Prepared for the King of the Pride, celebrate a Muppet wedding, and unravel the complex queerness of cross-species romance with Zooey.

Listen @ zoo.wtf
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Thoughts About the Episode

Last episode, I’m not exactly how it came about — perhaps from Sigma’s discussion of Magnus Hirschfeld — but we decided that it was time to put Sigma to work as our resident history buff and discuss the lgbt rights movement and what we as a community can learn from it. Sigma had so much content that we ended up splitting it into two episodes, so this month was pre-Stonewall, and next month will be about Stonewall and the aftermath. Sigma was joined by Mike the Dog as host, and Aqua gave some feedback during the planning sessions. Argil joined for a discussion about the 1961 movie Victim, a pivotal film for pre-Stonewall gay rights. I think maybe the history is a bit “white gay male” centric, but I think a lot of queer history in general is hard to put together, let alone queer POC history. And frankly, what we learn from this aspect of history is incredibly relevant to the zoo community. You won’t get everything, unfortunately, but if what we get is super relevant, it’s totally worth it. The parallels between pre-Stonewall gay history and what we’re living right this moment as zoos is incredibly striking. We have a lot to learn, and it boils down to the fact that we’re not like the LGBT community because we’re queer, we’re like them because we’re human, and we’re being put through the same sorts of crucibles they faced and reacting like humans do.

This is one of those episodes I basically had nothing to do with, so it was pretty interesting to get to hear the final product of their discussion having not participated myself, nor having been a part of the planning at all. We started using a new project management platform, and holy shit did Mike step up in terms of managing the project. If he weren’t already stretched so thin, I’d steal him to be a full time project manager. For those projects that have him permanently, y’all are really lucky. Don’t take that kind of work ethic and focus for granted. Not a lot of people can do what Mike does, but we really desperately need more Mikes for community projects.

That said, Mike was super nervous about hosting, but you’ll find he did a great job. I hope he starts getting more comfortable in front of a mic, cuz I think he gets it. I think I can be a bit of a hardass when it comes to giving feedback and direction, but he adapted well and hopefully realizes he did a fantastic job.

So like I said, this was basically a vacation month for me, so I only really stepped in really to put the audio together. I’m very pleased with the work everyone put in, and the final product is excellent.

I have King of the Pride stuck in my head. Kynophile was like, “Ex’s and Oh’s,” but also “Be Prepared” from The Lion King, and I was like, “Uhhhh ok.” It worked! Loved his last chorus in particular. Sells the ending.

Also, I feel like the Muppets sketch was spot on. Maybe not the voices per se, but the humor seems right. I’m happy with it.

The new project management system is Wrike, and it’s working out really well. It has all the features I wanted to see, even in its free version. Not as touchy as Trello was. I’m kind of in love with it!

I’m looking forward to another month or two off. Much needed! And I know the podcast is in capable paws.
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Does any of our early gay history ring true to your own experiences as a zoo? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us!

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You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @OneBigGrumpyRat, @MeowofLove
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S3E3. Get Help!

Aqua and Toggle are joined by Dr. Hani Miletski for a discussion about therapy for zoophiles. Plus, seek help from a specialist in animal linguistics, swoon over a zooey love song, learn a bit about the history of sexology, and process the loss of a loved one with Zooey.

Listen @ zoo.wtf
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Thoughts About the Episode

Let’s get this out of the way:

AHHHHHHHHH! We actually got Hani Miletski to come on our podcast! It feels like leveling up! +1 Legitimacy

That’s all thanks to very thorough and careful planning by Aqua, who finally did what we’ve wanted to do since day one and reached out to Hani to invite her to the podcast. Get this: one of her patients linked her to our S1E10 episode about coming out, and she liked it! She thought Aqua was Fausty and wished him well with his cancer when he reached out. *sigh* It is a shame Fausty wasn’t here to see this big milestone met, but I know he’d be jumping for joy.

I gotta say, NOT telling everyone that Hani Miletski was coming on the show was HARD. But I knew I’d regret it if I spread the word and then for some reason she couldn’t make it. I had constant anxiety about my internet going out or something right when we were supposed to record, so I maintained a position that it wasn’t real until it was recorded. Bitch, it happened, and she is like the nicest person ever. Also she looks really cool. I like her hair :3 I hope you enjoy the interview and find it useful.

Aqua, Sunny, Sigma, and LC have been planning this episode for quite a while, and it really shows in the thoroughness of the topic we put together. The original recording was literally 3 hours long — as long as this whole episode — but I machete’d it down to an hour and twenty minutes. I hope this one helps a lot of people overcome their fear of seeking therapy in a time where everyone really could use a little help. Also, when we slated this episode for May, we had no idea it was Mental Health Awareness Month, so that’s some pretty impeccable timing!

The first asset that was finished for this episode was the song. I’d been thinking there weren’t any zoo love songs, and that needed to change — basically the motivation for everything we do on the podcast, right? I wrote it during last month’s episode and put it together way more quickly than I expected. I was originally going for a big, 90’s pop ballad, but there’s too many starts and stops that it wouldn’t flow well enough with those big drums. Instead, I opted for a stripped down string quintet arrangement, with some larger orchestral backing to thicken it up when things got dramatic. It’s got a sort of Broadway musical vibe about it, prompting a few people I showed to declare there needed to be a whole zooey musical. That sounds like a lot of work. One of y’all can pull that one off x3

During planning, Sigma had this great narrative about Magnus Hirschfeld that we wanted to incorporate. What we ended up with wasn’t the same sort of painting he’d originally written, but I think it’s interesting and informative, and very importantly, I think it’s the exact right length to give an engaging overview of the topic without getting into the weeds, and it really sets up sexology as a science of protest against repressive sexual attitudes. I like it.

Kynophile came through with a really topical Secret Zoo, which I think has some great characters, featuring our non-zoo friend as Dr. Doolittle. I’m pleased with how it turned out. And one of our contributors who is dealing with a lost loved one submitted an Ask Zooey question that I thought would resonate with zoos who have gone through many lifetimes of love and loss. I hope our answer is satisfactory and useful for people going through similar things.
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Have you considered therapy, or do you have any stories of therapy to share? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us!

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You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @OneBigGrumpyRat, @MeowofLove
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"Wherever we are, that's where people will find us." Toggle interviews three zoos about zoo culture and spaces, accountability, and the difficult past and positive future of the zoo community. Plus, travel up north for some reindeer games, remember a lost lover, and Howl at the Moon!

Listen @ zoo.wtf
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Thoughts About the Episode

You can consider Lykon the inspiration for this episode. Lykon was asking me advice for a program he wanted to create called the Double Shield Initiative, to help make zooey telegram spaces a little bit safer from being exploited for abuse. I thought it was interesting, and I was getting a sense that this was a real problem in our spaces, the sharing and glorifying of abusive content. It’s not something I often get to see, as I’m actually not in that many zoo spaces, and it got me thinking about community accountability and why it’s traditionally been so hard for us.

Around the same time, Akela figured out who I was and approached me. We had a really long heart-to-heart about the things that happened surrounding the zoosadist leaks and the podcast’s second episode, and elements of his story really spoke to me about this very thing I’d been pondering over. Not only that, but he’d asked me what I thought of Lykon, told me how he’d been impressed by what he saw on ZooCommunity, and how he saw a positive future in Lykon’s various projects. At that point, I saw a narrative arc that I wanted to consider at length.

I conceived of this episode in three parts: some historical background that established the issues I wanted to address, Akela’s story which I felt was indicative of those issues, and then Lykon’s projects which inspire a vision of the future that’s positive and potentially address those issues. In this way, we could tackle a really heavy topic and do it justice, while also leaving everyone with a sense of hope. When I put out feelers for someone with a little insight into the history I wanted to talk about, Bo stepped up. Lykon was taking a much-needed break from the internet, but Mike the Dog had stepped up to run things in his absence, and he agreed to speak to some of the projects they were working on.
I also wanted to be sure to touch on purity spirals, lest this call to action be seen as some kind of “cleaning up the community” type of thing. I really want to avoid this narrative being used in service of the same sort of moral panic that furries have toward everything remotely “impure.” That stuff destroys communities, so being really purposeful about how you define the things you want to address is incredibly important.

These were really long conversations, literally two hours apiece before editing, but I think the final product is worth the listen. I thought it was also really worth bringing Fausty into frame, and how the issues with community accountability left him feeling responsible for a decision he came to regret for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile, I didn’t have any inspiration for an Ask Zooey this month, and no one else was able to put anything together in time, so this is the first month without an Ask Zooey segment. Ah, well.

Kynophile took care of the Secret Zoo, which is super cute, and we had a listener submit an incredible eulogy for his lost canine lover that brought a tear to my eye. To balance things out, Zipwok gave us permission to showcase the song he’d written inspired by the show, and I feel like it goes perfectly after that wonderful essay.

So there it is, two months in the making! Next month, you’ll get a real treat, an episode three months in the making about therapy, with a special guest we’ve been trying to get on the show since day one. If you have any questions about therapy you want to address, email us or respond to this thread on ZooCommunity:
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What kinds of ways have you considered making positive zoo spaces for the community? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us!

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You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @OneBigGrumpyRat, @MeowofLove
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Kynophile and Lovecat are joined by a pagan, an indigenous American, and a christian to discuss where zoophilia and religion intersect. Plus, hark the tale of Pan Hu the Doggie King, and join Zooey for a discussion about the best treats for two-leggers.

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Thoughts About the Episode

This was my month off, and Kynophile and Lovecat really stepped up to put this one together. LC reached out and said that the topic was going to be religion, and that they had an amazing guest to work with. I said, “Excellent. But be sure to pull Jack in on this episode. He’s been asking to do this topic for months.” Once they finally brought in Jack, his experiences fit perfectly with what they wanted to discuss. I'm pretty happy with how the discussion turned out, but I'll need to remind them to make sure people have good mics next time. I hate how hard it is to hear what Mark is saying half the time. If you're thinking of coming on the podcast, we absolutely need to make sure you have a good mic.

Kyno wrote up a secret zoo about Zeus, but I wasn't sure we really tackled the issues with Zeus correctly — namely that he had a penchant for raping the women he impregnated. That might show up in another episode down the line in a modified form. It's a topic that shouldn't be rushed, and that's kind of where we were with it. It's not the first time we’ve cut a skit because we couldn't give the topic the right attention it needed. I think it was S2E1, I wrote a secret zoo segment that upon listening we completely scrapped. It dealt with a toxic situation for a mare, but it didn't bring the right gravity to the topic. Sometimes what you cut is just as important as what you're able to produce.

Speaking of what we were able to produce, the Big Iron parody about Pan Hu was pretty dope, right? If most episodes feel like the Toggle show, this one was definitely Kynophile’s time to shine.

And finally, NEW ARTWORK! Oh my God, new artwork was long overdue. I worked with the artist to do inking and colors to help the style feel like it didn't belong to any one person, and I'm pretty pleased with the results. Please take some time to go to zoo.wtf on a computer and stare at my massive, massive balls that I actually didn't ask for but which are anatomically correct and therefore incredibly large. X3 We’re working to do Fausty and Kynophile next over the course of this month, with any luck.

If you're looking for transcripts, we’re a little behind, but they're coming. Using Descript is a real pain in the ass if you're trying to edit audio and transcription at the same time. But it's amazing if you're just using the audio editor. So we’re editing audio and then having someone go back and manually edit the transcript. This takes time, but it saves me a lot of hassle, which is something I really need.

We have exciting things coming up in the coming months. I can't reveal it yet, but I'm chomping at the bit to share. Soon!
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How does zoophilia fit into your own religious beliefs? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us!

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You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Join Zemen, Togs, and Tugs for a friendly dive into the world of podcasting. Plus, learn about fantastic beasts and where to find them, head on down to Broadway, and catch up on Stableboy's situation with Zooey.

Listen @ zoo.wtf
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Thoughts About the Episode

I basically forgot I needed to write this. Sorry for the delay!

Wow, the final episode of Season 2. A lot has happened in the month up to this one. I came out to my mom finally, and it went well! Our relationship hasn’t changed. I can still go over and hang out with her and help her out the way I always have. I’m pretty grateful for that.

I honestly started writing this right when the episode came out, and I don’t remember everything I wanted to say. I know we weren’t sure what topic to end the season with, and I knew we wanted to have Tugs back on, so I asked him if he was available to talk shop, and he agreed. As always, he was a fantastic guest with lots of insight. Tugs is actually the person I asked for podcast advice when we started this project, so I hope you’ll find his insight useful! And I hope you’ll understand why we only do this once a month. It’s a lot of work! But one of our stated goals was to help other zoos with the interest and drive start their own projects, so this is just another step in that direction.
I’m thankful for Kynophile having music and scripts ready to go for this one. He’s basically coming on as a regular writer, helping our staff take a little bit of a break. This song is still always stuck in my head, and I’m not mad about it!
We’re working on a couple of community initiatives in the background that we hope will have a positive affect on the zoo community and on the animals we love. We’re working with unlikely allies, and ZooCommunity.org is absolutely at the forefront of our plans. This place is great, and I hope you’ll continue to cultivate it and make it a space where the best aspects of our community thrive. Love you all!
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Got an idea for your own podcast? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us!

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You can subscribe to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast application: rss.zoo.wtf
Don't forget to subscribe to our Bonus Content feed: bonus.zoo.wtf
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @OneBigGrumpyRat, @MeowofLove
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Toggle and Kynophile host this special episode about the therian community. Plus, take a peek into a doctor's diary, Ask Zooey about big bones, and take a stab at one of the zoo community's greatest enemies -- ourselves.

Listen @ zoo.wtf
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Thoughts About the Episode

This turned out to be a fantastic discussion. It was flying by the seat of the pants for a little while there. One planned host couldn’t make it, one guest had reservations about joining us on the podcast, and I didn’t have anyone helping me host the dang thing until the last minute — thank you, Kynophile! Aqua planned out this discussion, with input from a number of therians, and despite a whole lot of imposter syndrome all around, it came out beautifully. I have a little time between release and writing, and I’m thrilled to see that the therian community has responded so well to the episode, even nonzoos — even nonzoos that aren’t especially zoo friendly. That speaks to the genuine nature of the discussion and the relevance of the topic. We couldn’t have done this without everyone involved, even those that didn’t appear on the episode.

This month’s rap is one I’ve been working on since October, on and off. Discussion about it actually lead to Kynophile writing the first Crabs in a Bucket song from November, but this one’s my original vision. It’s also the first beat I’ve produced myself for the show, and I’m quite pleased with it. Kynophile wrote the last verse for his version of the song, but I told him to hold off so I can use it. The first verse is a zoo who complains that activists bring too much spotlight to the community and make things worse, and the second verse is about Randy Pepe. The chorus is based off of 3 Tearz by Danny Brown and RTJ. And even though it doesn’t sound like it, the inspiration that helped me finally nail down the beat was Battle Cry by Nujabes. I wrestled with it for a long time, but the sparseness and reservation that defines that beat helped me figure out the approach I wanted to take. I also like that slightly off-kilter beat that defines beats by folks like Nujabes and J-Dilla.


Doing character voices of real people is a lot harder than doing Shaggy and Scooby, but the Scrubs skit turned out great. I was worried about it, but man, mm, so good. Also, we didn’t pull this one out of our ass, either. (Make sure the video starts at 3:08)


“Sure hope I don’t have dog flu.” There are secret zoos all throughout our pop culture if you’re paying attention!

Lastly, it seemed like it was about time to bring back the blackmail skit from Season 1. It seems a number of people I know are facing these kinds of threats right now. Hell, even I’m being doxxed. We’ll see how that goes. At any rate, it seemed relevant. Please take it to heart. Don’t let anyone hang your sexuality over your head, and never give into an extortionist’s demands. Don’t give them the power of your fear. Stay defiant.

This is a great episode. I hope you all enjoy it! Thanks for listening. We really appreciate all the positive response we’ve gotten over these past two years. Season 2 ends next episode, and then Season 3 begins in March!
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Are you a therian? What did you think about our discussion? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us!

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You can subscribe to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast application: rss.zoo.wtf
Don't forget to subscribe to our Bonus Content feed: bonus.zoo.wtf
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @OneBigGrumpyRat, @MeowofLove
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
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S2E10. 'Tis the Season for Animal Autonomy

Toggle and Lovecat are joined by Quantum for a discussion on animal autonomy. Plus, visit the great hall of Valhalla, file a formal request for an amen, and help a stableboy make a hard decision with Zooey.

Listen @ zoo.wtf
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Thoughts About the Episode

This month is a little bit of a blur. Putting together the podcast happened all in the last two weeks of the month, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been working! The biggest achievement of the month is finding a suitable subscription platform for people to donate to the podcast. Seriously, I’ve been casually looking on and off for a while, and at first, SubscribeStar seemed like a viable option, but it turns out their payment model isn’t great and they’re associated with far-right propagandists, plus they keep any money you’ve earned if they decide to suspend you. Other options didn’t quite fit, either being run by Patreon (and thus ban-happy thanks to PayPal) or requiring us to create even more content only for backers — we’re already spread thin as it is doing a monthly podcast. Liberapay turned out to be ideal. Their bylaws specify a commitment to neutrality, which is really good news when it comes to worries about being deplatformed. Everything is really easy to use and simply laid out, and we can’t see anything about the people donating to us. It’s pretty much all the things we were looking for. In the first month or so of piloting the donation system, people have donated almost $900, which is nothing short of mindblowing, considering we haven’t really announced it yet. It’s allowing us to fund much-needed asset updates, pay for the next few months of expenses plus yearly website fees, and try out new software that we otherwise wouldn’t have had access to. Check this little bit of technology out we’re looking into:
[https://www.descript.com/]
It’s pretty interesting, and it’s made editing off-the-cuff dialog a breeze while facilitating the creation of transcripts, something we’ve been trying to do since the beginning. $30/month is kind of steep, but with donations coming in, it makes that a realistic investment. I enjoyed getting to test out the platform with this episode.

This was Lovecat’s episode to put together, so I let him steer the ship for the most part. I was thrilled to get submissions for Secret Zoos and Ask Zooey questions, too, so I already have next month’s lined up and ready to go! I love that new people are getting involved in actually creating the podcast, which takes a lot of pressure off of me and the main writer.

Our discussion on animal autonomy, to me, went really well. We were quoting books and articles and shit. We had receipts, bitch! I dunno, I really like when we can do stuff like that, because it feels all the more legitimate that way. I like to think we generally come from an educated perspective, but it feels nice to be able to say, “Here’s what Peter Singer had to say about this in Animal Liberation, and here’s a section from Animal Ethics and the Autonomous Animal Self by Natalie Thomas.” Maybe that’s a little childish or pedantic, to like pulling out quotes and shit. But I think it’s neat, and it feels like we prepared, which makes me feel fuzzy and warm and safe. There’s no worse feeling when putting together a podcast than feeling completely unprepared.

This episode didn’t really get into the holiday spirit that much, but it doesn’t really feel like the holidays. That’s probably fine. I did get to visit my parents, though, which was super nice. My family is really awesome. Unlike almost everyone else, none of them have ever even questioned me choosing to go vegan, which makes the fact of the matter a lot easier to deal with when I have to say, “No, thanks, I think I’ll skip Christmas dinner this time.” My sister isn’t vegan, but she’s been generally cutting meat out, so I got to have semi-vegan hot cocoa made with oat milk because she had some on hand. She’s been telling me her favorite meatless alternatives. My mom keeps forgetting, but she never complains when I remind her.

We might do an off-the-cuff New Years bonus episode, but we haven’t finalized any plans yet. We’ll see what happens. I’ve got a lot of non-podcast work I’ve been neglecting, so it depends on how labor-intensive an extra episode is. We still have planned bonus content we haven’t recorded yet — namely some text interviews that need to be voiced. Finding extra time to make more stuff is hard. But I’ll tell you what, having a monetized podcast makes it a hell of a lot easier to justify the significant amount of time that goes into producing this show. Thanks to all of you for your support and allowing us to make this viable.
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What are your thoughts on veganism, animal autonomy, and animal welfare? Let us know in the comments, or e-mail us!

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You can subscribe to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast application: rss.zoo.wtf
Don't forget to subscribe to our Bonus Content feed: bonus.zoo.wtf
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You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
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