On her award-winning podcast, “Our Hen House,” activist and recent memoirist Jasmin Singer interviews celebrities, athletes and students about animal exploitation.
Below, The Daily Texan caught up with Singer, discussing her veganism, podcast and new memoir “Always Too Much and Never Enough.”
The Daily Texan: Where did [your involvement in activism] in start?
Jasmin Singer: I went to school for theater. I was an AIDS-awareness actor educator when I graduated. That’s when I first became an activist. When I was an actor, I became involved in social justice, the first role I ever got, and it changed my whole life.
DT: What made you switch from being vegetarian to vegan?
JS: I was intrigued by veganism, which I thought was extreme. Now, I see it as an obvious choice, and it doesn’t seem radical. What is radical for me now is the way we oppress farm animals in the name of our pleasure and profit. I watched a documentary about factory farming, and that was the first time I learned about the way farm animals are treated. There were a lot of personal implications for me. I realized all the ways female farm animals in particular are exploited for the reproductive parts. I realized by consuming dairy and eggs, I was taking part in the system that was banking off exploiting females for their reproductive parts.
DT: What is your book “Always Too Much and Never Enough” about?
JS: [My book] is about a journey toward finding personal authenticity, and for me, that was a process that started when I realized the ways I was being betrayed by the food industry. Once I realized it, I started to untangle the ways that I was also betraying myself. My book is an exploration in going from a food addict to someone who finally found peace within [my own] body. During this process, I lost 100 pounds.
DT: What inspired you to write the book?
JS: I wrote an article about how when I lost 100 pounds, the world started treating me very differently. I realized that I was in a unique position of having jumped the fence from something that the world had previously marginalized into something that the world was sort of arbitrarily celebrating or at least accepting. That was very similar to what it had been like for me as a bullied kid on the playground, who at lunch time would eat in the bathroom stall by myself. When I lost the weight, I knew that I had jumped the fence and was suddenly being accepted. I wrote the article, and within a day it had 10,000 Facebook shares. This article is what got me the offer to write the book.
DT: What is the audience that you are targeting?
JS: Anybody who is on their own journey of seeking a better vision of themselves. Or [anyone] who is working through questioning assumptions about themselves and about the world. Anybody who feels that they don’t fit or belong.
DT: What are your future plans?
JS: I’m hoping to do a one-woman show that is based on the book next year [and] to continue to grow Our Hen House.
Join Singer for a reading and signing for her new memoir Thursday at the Counter Culture Cafe at 7 p.m.