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Future Perfect

Vox Media

Future Perfect explores provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. We tackle big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, fight global warming, and end world poverty to create a more perfect future.In season 3, we explore how the meat we eat affects us all. In eight episodes, Vox's Dylan Matthews and Sigal Samuel examine how the way we eat is shaping animal lives, human lives, and the future of our planet. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Future Perfect explores provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. We tackle big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, fight global warming, and end world poverty to create a more perfect future.In season 3, we explore how the meat we eat affects us all. In eight episodes, Vox's Dylan Matthews and Sigal Samuel examine how the way we eat is shaping animal lives, human lives, and the future of our planet. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Vox Media

Description:

Future Perfect explores provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. We tackle big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, fight global warming, and end world poverty to create a more perfect future.In season 3, we explore how the meat we eat affects us all. In eight episodes, Vox's Dylan Matthews and Sigal Samuel examine how the way we eat is shaping animal lives, human lives, and the future of our planet. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Twitter:

@voxdotcom

Language:

English


Episodes

Sucking the carbon out of the sky

4/28/2021
Most of our efforts to fight climate change, from electric cars to wind turbines, are about pumping fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But what if we could pull out the gases that are already there? Akshat Rathi, a reporter at Bloomberg with a doctorate in chemistry, knows more about this technology, called “direct air capture,” than just about anyone. He follows companies like Carbon Engineering and Climeworks that are trying to figure out how to take regular air and pull carbon...

Duration:00:44:06

Should I still have kids if I’m worried about climate change?

4/21/2021
Climate scientist Kimberly Nicholas co-led a study that showed the single most effective thing an individual can do to decrease their carbon footprint is have fewer kids. Despite that finding, she still says that people who really want to have kids should go ahead with their plans. She explains how she squares that circle to Vox’s Sigal Samuel, and the two discuss how to think about the decision to have kids or not and how to make meaning in a warming world. Read more of Sigal’s climate...

Duration:01:03:04

Engineering our way out of the climate crisis

4/14/2021
In an ideal world, cutting carbon emissions would be enough to stop global warming. But after dithering for decades, the world needs a back-up plan. Kelly Wanser is the leader of a group called SilverLining that works to promote research into what it calls “solar climate intervention.” Also called “solar geoengineering,” this approach involves putting particles into clouds that reflect back the sun, directly cooling the earth. It’s a novel and potentially hazardous policy — but one that...

Duration:00:36:13

Unexplainable

3/16/2021
Unexplainable is a new podcast from Vox about everything we don’t know. Each week, the team looks at the most fascinating unanswered questions in science and the mind-bending ways scientists are trying to answer them. New episodes drop every Wednesday. This episode: Scientists still don't know how the sense of smell works. But they're looking at how powerful it is — dogs can actually sniff out cancer and many other diseases — and they're trying to figure out how to reverse-engineer it. In...

Duration:00:28:24

Rethinking meat

11/4/2020
How can we convince people to change their relationship with meat? Melanie Joy has been grappling with this question for a long time. To answer it, she takes us back to other points in history when new technology helped make social change palatable. She digs into how the invention of the washing machine and other household appliances, for example, helped make feminism easier to imagine. Then, she looks to the future, at our latest meat technologies — plant-based meat and lab grown meat — and...

Duration:00:23:32

Can we raise better beef?

10/28/2020
Beef cattle take a huge toll on the environment. In Brazil, a huge chunk of greenhouse gas emissions comes from ranching alone. And a California-sized chunk of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down to provide land for these cattle to graze on. But one man, living on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, has a potential solution. In a series of small pilot projects run in his own small town, he’s demonstrated that he can work with ranchers to make their land healthier and more sustainable, so...

Duration:00:25:38

How to prevent a factory farmed pandemic

10/21/2020
What if the next pandemic comes, not from wet markets overseas, but from our own factory farms? Martha Nelson, who studies viruses at the NIH, says we are playing Russian roulette with potentially dangerous influenza strains on our pig farms. In this episode, we explain what makes these giant farms so likely to breed the next pandemic virus — and spread that virus into the world. And then, we look at solutions — from creating a virus-resistant pig, to developing a universal vaccine, to...

Duration:00:25:54

These bacteria wear chicken shoes

10/14/2020
Right now, we can fight off a wide range of bacterial infections using antibiotics. But those antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective, and antibiotic use on factory farms is partially to blame. In this episode, Lance Price and Cindy Liu, two public health researchers, explain that we give animals a steady dose of antibiotics in their feed, hoping to stave off disease in cramped, unsanitary conditions. But as a result, the bacteria in these animals develop resistance to antibiotics....

Duration:00:24:55

Life on the fast line

10/7/2020
Workers in meatpacking plants already process our pigs and beef and chickens extremely fast, but recently, there’s been a push to make the meatpacking factory line move even faster. Isaac Arnsdorf, a ProPublica reporter, takes us deep into his reporting on why that would be extremely dangerous for workers’ health. Then Jill Mauer, a federal meat inspector, explains why she’s worried that the changes in inspections necessary to make these faster line speeds possible could endanger us all....

Duration:00:25:58

Chicken Big

9/30/2020
In 1992, Craig Watts got into growing chickens for Perdue Farms because he was told he could turn a good profit. Instead, he found himself hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and unable to bargain for better working conditions because Perdue was the only game in town. Things seemed hopeless, until, in 2010, President Obama’s Department of Justice announced that they were going to look into the relationship between big poultry companies and their growers. In this episode, reporter Leah...

Duration:00:28:50

The paradox on our plates

9/23/2020
In the US, we spend billions of dollars a year pampering our pets. We have laws to protect them from harm and to punish those who inflict it on them. And yet, we routinely abuse pigs and chickens on farms, cutting off their beaks and tails without anesthesia, and cramming them into cages. In this episode, neuroscientist Lori Marino helps us understand how arbitrarily we draw the lines between animals as pets and animals as food, and how we might redraw those lines. Further listening and...

Duration:00:25:17

Pig poop lagoon

9/16/2020
North Carolina is home to around 9 million pigs. Many of those pigs live in big factory farms, and all of those pigs produce a lot of waste. On these factory farms, that waste is collected in big outdoor lagoons, and then sprayed out across fields as fertilizer. People living in communities nearby complain their daily lives are disrupted by the stench, and they fear that it’s affecting their health. On this episode, three North Carolinians team up with a lawyer to try and fight back against...

Duration:00:29:21

Season 3: The beef with meat

9/9/2020
The meat we eat affects us all. It affects non-human animals, but also the farmers and factory workers who raise those animals and slaughter them. It affects the communities living around those farms and slaughterhouses. It affects our health care system and our ability to treat infections. And it affects our environment. On this season of the Future Perfect podcast, we bring you stories about all those effects. And we’ll tell you about some potential changes, big and small, that could make...

Duration:00:02:31

What the housing crisis means for the climate

9/7/2020
Dylan Matthews sits down with housing policy experts and advocates Leonora Camner and Annie Fryman to discuss California’s housing crisis, climate catastrophe, and how more sustainable land use policy could help both. Featuring: Leonora Camner (@CamnerLeonora), executive director, Abundant Housing LA Annie Fryman (@anniefryman), housing policy lead for California State Senator Scott Wiener Host: Dylan Matthews, senior correspondent, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect...

Duration:00:59:37

What MLK and Malcolm X would do today

8/19/2020
Co-host Sean Illing talks to Peniel Joseph, a University of Texas at Austin historian of Black Power movements Relevant resources: The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. by Peniel Joseph Featuring: Peniel Joseph, a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), interviews writer, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big, complicated problems the...

Duration:01:13:56

The benefits of contemplating death

8/12/2020
Co-host Sigal Samuel talks to Nikki Mirghafori, a Buddhist meditation teacher and AI researcher, about how to practice mindfulness of death Relevant resources: “Our calm is contagious”: How to use mindfulness in a pandemic, by Sigal Samuel It’s okay to be doing okay during the pandemic, by Sigal Samuel Are we morally obligated to meditate? by Sigal Samuel Featuring: Nikki Mirghafori, a Buddhist meditation teacher and AI researcher Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox More to...

Duration:00:58:17

A nun on the radical possibilities of Christianity

8/5/2020
Co-host Sean Illing talks to Sister Ilia Delio, a Franciscan nun and Catholic theologian, about the power of love and suffering in Christianity. Relevant resources: The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love, Ilia Delio Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness, Ilia Delio Featuring: Ilia Delio, a Franciscan Sister of Washington, DC, and Villanova University theology professor Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), senior interviews writer, Vox More...

Duration:01:09:49

Why Cornel West is hopeful (but not optimistic)

7/29/2020
Co-host Sigal Samuel talks to Cornel West, professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard, about Black liberation theology, existentialism, and other philosophies that can help us through these times. Relevant resources: Cornel West and Tricia Rose on The Tight Rope, Apple Podcasts Featuring: Cornel West (@CornelWest), professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect...

Duration:01:02:46

What Camus’s "The Plague" can teach us about this pandemic

7/22/2020
Co-host Sean Illing talks to Robert Zaretsky, professor of French history at the University of Houston, about Albert Camus’s novel The Plague. Relevant resources: The Plague, by Albert Camus Simone Weil: An Anthology, by Simone Weil Albert Camus: Elements of a Life, by Robert Zaretsky Featuring: Robert Zaretsky, professor of history at the University of Houston Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), senior interviews writer, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which...

Duration:01:03:40

Muslim mystics on the power of pain

7/15/2020
Co-host Sigal Samuel talks to Omid Safi, professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University, about the benefits of solitude and suffering, according to Sufis like Rumi. Relevant resources: Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition, by Omid Safi Featuring: Omid Safi (@ostadjaan), professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big,...

Duration:00:56:59