Did you know that schools are bringing on hi-tech animal-friendly alternatives to science class dissections? Are you aware of the impact of captivity on whale & dolphin social networks and behavior? What is “framing” and what’s new at zoos that could change practices worldwide?
The Now You Know podcast is a series of novel interviews with world-known experts in animal science, animal welfare & wildlife conservation, calling attention to issues that the average person may not know about. The project’s mission is to provide the general public with unprecedented access to the latest information about animal welfare issues by revealing little known facts and providing multilateral points of view on trending or controversial topics. As guest experts discuss specific practices, or touch on unfamiliar, puzzling, and sometimes shocking issues with co-hosts Kathryn and Gen, they underscore in easy-to-understand ways the inextricable link between animal welfare and current community movements such as environmental responsibility and social change.
The co-hosts Kathryn and Gen are two Canadian women with different backgrounds who have joined forces from opposite ends of the animal care world. Based in Toronto, Kathryn Sussman is an experienced advocate for animal welfare, a PhD and a private consultant. Kathryn is actively helping NGOs in their efforts to bring about legislative and regulatory change for animals around the globe. Working in Montreal, Geneviève Douyon is a practicing veterinary technician pursuing studies in marine biology and bioacoustics research. Geneviève has worked with a variety of animal species in clinical, zoological and rehabilitation environments trying to bring change to captivity standards.
Together, the co-hosts reach out to their global network of A-list biologists, animal science & behavior specialists, animal protection organization leaders and reputable animal rehabilitators & conservationists, inviting them to share their knowledge and offer recommendations on how to reduce the repercussions of our society on animal welfare. The podcast’s interviewees also touch on what is of the utmost importance in terms of spreading awareness about these issues. The NYK project innovates as being the first podcast to expose issues that aren’t species-specific and that cover the wide gamut of animal topics, practices and uses – such as research, factory farming, captivity, wild animals, the exotic pet trade, our domestic pets and more – in unique interviews featuring a long lineup of acknowledged guests.
“Through my work in animal protection I have learned from many amazing experts, and I feel people deserve to hear what they know. In my experience, people care greatly, and want to help. Now You Know brings that expert knowledge to busy people. It tells them in everyday terms what’s happening, and gives them specific direction to support animals and the natural world,” underlines co-host Kathryn Sussman.
The podcast is available on the NYK website and presents listeners with 4 different series supplemented with text and breathtaking wildlife photography. Animal welfare experts can be heard in a set of short 10-minute interviews discussing specific animal welfare topics in Now You Know with Kathryn and Gen in which the co-hosts follow up with a 10-minute recap translating the information into easy-to-grasp “consumable science,” offering their take and solutions to listeners on how to effectively take action for change. In parallel, the NYK Experts Uncut series provides the full-length interviews with the above selected experts addressing in more detail the topics discussed in the short episodes, directed at audiences that would like to learn more about a specific issue.
The project’s main goal is to showcase these major issues as being relevant to all members of society, outlining the links that tie them into our own existence and exemplifying different ways in which people from diverse backgrounds can have an impact towards positive change. By providing easy tips on individual actions that can make a difference collectively, the project aims at creating a wave of savvy and empathetic audiences that will feel mobilized and empowered to act on changing social behaviors. These day-to-day actions are realistic and easily achievable, encouraging the average person who has a desire to contribute by helping animals and to take responsibility towards wildlife conservation and environmental sustainability.
Two more series will be added in the upcoming months: NYK Kids will get at the heart of what kids themselves are thinking about these heated environmental and animal welfare topics, and which direction they believe we need to move in collectively as a species to help our planet. NYK Politics will be a weekly discussion and analysis of current ‘in the news’ topics providing crucial – often serious but sometimes uplifting – information related to animals and the environment around the globe, hosted by Kathryn and her personal animal advocate guru, Rob Laidlaw, founder and director of the highly respected animal protection organization Zoocheck.
The project’s final attempt is at directly inviting public figures, influencers and leaders from the highest levels of society to voice their concern about animal welfare issues and to publicly stand up in support of the proposed initiatives. NYK’s premise is that after providing prominent individuals with the podcasts’ new cutting-edge information regarding animal welfare, they will willingly take the challenge to step forward bearing a message of change and shouting out to the general public to take action as well.
“I always want to share what I know with people in a very simple and straightforward way. The idea to ask public figures to help came from observing how quicker a message is passed around when they get involved. Now You Know is an ideal platform to enter the world of experts, turn their knowledge into accessible information that we can all understand, and get it out there for change to happen,” aspires co-host Geneviève Douyon.