Zooier Than Thou

Zooier Than Thou

Doodle and Kitty host this episode about romantic relationships between zoos and their non-zoo human partners. Plus, a legendary hero has a thing for mares, Calon has a confession to make, and Steeeve joins Zooey to answer your most salacious questions!
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Thoughts About the Episode

Gosh, this past month has gone by so fast, I don't even know what to say. It's all a blur. I guess we start with the fact that the response to the furry episode was overwhelming! At times, literally so. It brought a lot of attention to what we've been doing, and that attention comes with negative things in addition to the positive. It's to be expected, but it's been a bit of a learning curve. We've nailed down things pretty well, and I've learned a WHOLE lot about the back end of our website and about DNS entries.

We've met a lot of new zoos, one of whom chose this episode to craft a coming out letter to his friends for us to air. He delivered it flawlessly, to be honest.

Speaking of, I've also become wary of this whole project becoming "The Toggle Show," so I'm making an effort to step back. Though I feature in this episode to help with interviews, Doodle and Kitty took this apt opportunity to host, and Steeeve took my place during Ask Zooey. This isn't supposed to be about me. I'm not supposed to be a celebrity. I'm kind of the "rat of all trades," so a lot of the duties tend to fall to me when they need to be done on a timeline. But the fact is that I have a very, very strong paw in creating these episodes, so I'm all over them. This has led some people to comment on my "prominence" as a zoo, and I feel like that's not what this show is meant to do. We want to feature regular zoo voices. It's not about creating celebrities. It's about giving us a voice. So I'm hoping to have more new voices featured in coming episodes, and less of your favorite rat boyfriend.

I'm also a little worried we're getting a little human-centric, as of late. Certainly, it's topical to talk about two-legger zoo issues, but I feel like we're missing some of the animal-centric activism we started out with. Our next few episodes are lined up, but after that, I think wanna revisit Healthy, Happy, and Zooey, and really try to dive into more animal-centric topics for a bit. Plus, I wanna get back to that original Ask Zooey feel from before we took listener emails, where we were able to tell things from a four-legger perspective. Tl;dr: less hand, more paw.

I've been pretty exhausted as of late, and I know it shows here in this journal, but I hope it doesn't show in our episodes. Like I said, a lot of the production of making this happen falls to me, but I'm fortunate that we're getting a little help from folks, including someone who can take some of the audio work off my paws, and that will be a huge relief. I do really miss Doug's guidance. Sometimes I feel like it's a struggle to stay on the path we set out on, but I hope by taking it a step at a time and trying to keep the zoo community and animal welfare in mind, we'll stay on course.

Speaking of that, there's an issue I'd like to bring to your attention, if you haven't seen it already.
"Copyright drama" is not an apt description of this problem. It's an issue of privacy, security, and basic respect for the zoo community. Please take the time to read the comments and weigh in on the poll.

Thanks for listening to be blather. Now it's time to enjoy a nice weekend off, at last.

Reminder! Please take the time to visit helpsavemy.dog and leave a donation. Lucy is showing improvement! This is a super hopeful case, so if you DO have anything to spare, consider donating it!

Are you in a mixed zoo/non-zoo relationship? Tell us about it 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
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @OneBigGrumpyRat, and @1DapperDonkey
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Now available on Apple, Google, Spotify, and Amazon!

~ Toggle Rat ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ
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Toggle is joined by Canis Gnosis for this dive into the furry fandom. Featuring interviews with Wolfie and Tugs, this extra-long episode is packed with entertainment! Plus, solve crimes with a loose-rocket cop, practice social distancing, and learn how to get laid!
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Thoughts About the Episode

We've had this episode on the docket for months! We were going to do it last month, but it got pushed back so Canis could join us as a host, and boy, I guess the timing is about as good as it can be! Lots of drama about zoos on furry twitter right now, including the exhuming of a 12-year-old incident with a furry artist. Sometimes you just get lucky with being topical, but it comes at the expense of the mental well-being of a lot of zoos.

This was a blast to record, to be honest. Tugs, our non-zoo furry guest, was very charismatic, and the interview is really loose and entertaining. We have what might be one of my favorite goofy sketches to date, as well, featuring our German friend from ZETA verein as a German Shepherd cop.

Quarantine has been interesting. There's less work to do at work, which means a bit more time to focus on other projects like ZooTT, but honestly, a lot of it has gone to Animal Crossing and fielding comments across our social media sites. I worry about other people, though. There's a lot of friends who are suffering right now, whether with unemployment, difficulty paying bills, or just feeling isolated and lonely. Couple that with a lot of really bored kids on twitter writing the "n-word" and sending death threats on our pages, and you've got a bad recipe for deteriorating mental health.

While finishing this episode up, a weird thing happened. A lot of zoos on twitter got a message about how a right-wing extremist group called Dissident Furs, led by Len Gilbert ("The Furred Reich" author), is behind all this anti-zoo rhetoric on twitter, utilizing sock puppet accounts, driving divisive rhetoric, and bolstering anti-zoo callout accounts. There's a lot we don't know about the validity of the effectiveness of their reach, but we do know that it IS the stated goal of Dissident Furs to purge the furry fandom of "degenerates," and explicitly zoophiles. Because we don't have an effective way of really verifying this information yet, we haven't really moved on it, but since this is a "thoughts about this episode" section, I figured I'd include it here, since it's been on our minds this week.

Reminder! Please take the time to visit helpsavemy.dog and leave a donation. Lucy is showing improvement! This is a super hopeful case, so if you DO have anything to spare, consider donating it!

What're your thoughts on the furry fandom? Let me 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
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @OneBigGrumpyRat, and @CanisGnosis
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Now available on Apple, Google, Spotify, and Amazon!

~ Toggle Rat ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ
Sigma and Toggle discuss the positive future ahead of zoos to kick off a brand new season of ZooTT! Plus, meet a ninja who's bark matches his bite, and catch up with Randy the Ram!
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Thoughts About the Episode

Gosh, I literally ran out of disk space on my computer trying to export this out this morning! Time for some heavy-duty clean-up!

We had originally scheduled to talk about the furry fandom this episode, but at the request of Lovecat so that an important guest would be able to appear on that one, we switched to this topic and brought ZooVille's very own @SigmatoZeta on board to host! I've always enjoyed his posts here, which are generally very thoughtful and well-written. If you haven't checked it out yet, he keeps a blog right here on ZooVille!

My goal this time was to release on a set date, and have everything ready to go on time. Well, various emergencies struck last week, and though we were working right up until the last minute, we DID manage to get it out more or less on time. That's one step toward getting back on a set schedule!

Reminder! Please take the time to visit helpsavemy.dog and leave a donation. Fausty would have wanted that.

What're your thoughts on the path forward for the zoo community? Let me 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
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @AskZooey, @OneBigGrumpyRat, and @ACatWhoLovesYou
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Now available on Apple, Google, and Amazon!

~ Toggle Rat ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ
Lovecat and Toggle take a look back at the first season of ZooTT and discuss what comes next in Season 2! Then, join them for bloopers, outtakes, discussion, and fun!
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Thoughts About the Episode

This was an episode we put together over the past weekend as a fun celebration of making it a full year as a successful podcast. I exported about 65 outtakes from our 24 episodes, though we didn't feature all of them, and there are even more to still sort through on top of that. We've got a fair amount of bonus content to release. We also talk about the preparation up to the release of the first episode, since a lot of that is lost for brand new listeners, so I hope they'll enjoy us talking about that.

So this episode is basically pure fun for us as hosts, laughing and talking and hitting on one another, so I hope you'll enjoy it.

We're already hard at work on the first two episodes of Season 2! They're gonna be awesome!

Reminder! Please take the time to visit helpsavemy.dog and leave a donation. Fausty would have wanted that.

What's your favorite segment of ZooTT from Season 1? Let me know in the comments, or e-mail us!
_________________________

You can subscribe to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast application: rss.zoo.wtf
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @AskZooey, @OneBigGrumpyRat, and @ACatWhoLovesYou
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Now available on Apple, Google, and Amazon!

~ Toggle Rat ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ
This episode features an enlightening interview with Michael Kiok and Komet of Germany's ZETA Verein. Plus, catch up with Zooey in Kahalui, get rammed by a ram, and hear from two secret zoos!
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Thoughts About the Episode

When we started out, Lovecat proposed getting some zooey perspectives from around the world, to find out what being a zoo is like in different cultures other than our typical US perspective. With his lead, we collected a number of great interviews over the span of a couple of weeks, but the one we decided to focus on this week was one that Fausty had wanted to do since the beginning: an interview with Michael Kiok of ZETA Verein.

We got some critique on a past interview, so I wanted to make sure we were fully prepared for this one. ZETA Verein's principles fall very closely in line with our own here at ZooTT, so it was particularly exciting to hear their struggles and learn from their experiences successfully fighting back against an "anti-zoophile" law in their country.

"Activism is when you open your mouth." -- Michael Kiok

To all our other wonderful friends we interviewed, fret not. We will be releasing these interviews over time, and we truly appreciate your participation <3

We also put together a couple of secret zoo "ads," if you will, inspired by the I Am A Zoophile account on twitter. I'd like to use these in the future for some sort of outreach, but no concrete plans. Let me know what you think, and if you have any similar situations you'd want represented there, let us know!

Reminder! Please take the time to visit helpsavemy.dog and leave a donation. Fausty would have wanted that.

What's your favorite segment of ZooTT from Season 1? Let me 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
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @AskZooey, @OneBigGrumpyRat, and @ZeMenDepo
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Now available on Apple, Google, and Amazon!

~ Toggle Rat ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ
Two zoos seek to leave a legacy behind for future generations. Featuring an interview with Appa Loosa, and memories of Fausty from members of the ZooTT crew.
In loving, zooey memory of Douglas LeConte-Spink. We will keep your legacy alive.
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Thoughts About the Episode

What is there to say, here? Fausty's gone, but ZooTT will endure, as we always planned for it to. We knew from the beginning he would be leaving us eventually, and we planned for this show to keep going in his absence, and he stuck around just long enough to see that happen.

As we began recording, ZeMen expressed that he wasn't sure he was ready to do this. At the end, he said it was cathartic to have the opportunity to keep ZooTT going.

Appa's interview is really good. I don't want it to be overshadowed by Fausty's death, and I think it's cool to hear Fausty's voice on the podcast episode that's dedicated to him. I tried to cut down the dedications in length, but they still end up being a significant portion of this long episode. It's basically half Fausty, and half Appa, which I think is a good balance.

Reminder! Please take the time to visit helpsavemy.dog and leave a donation. Fausty would have wanted that.

If you have any memories you want to share about Fausty, let me know in the comments!
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You can subscribe to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast application: rss.zoo.wtf
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @AskZooey, @OneBigGrumpyRat, and @ZeMenDepo
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Now available on Apple, Google, and Amazon!

~ Toggle Rat ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ
Join us for this special, guest-hosted episode about zoo history! Steeeve recalls how he Forrest Gump'd his way through zoo history, a former prince finds happiness with a unicorn, and Zooey discusses canine foreplay!
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Thoughts About the Episode

This month, Fausty was recovering from radiation surgery, and both me and our lead writer were having financial troubles after the holidays that warranted we spend more time working, so I left the episode up to our very dedicated team of contributors. Unfortunately, without someone to wrangle them and keep them on a time table, they had trouble pushing things out in a timely manner. That's not to say they didn't do AMAZING work this episode, because this one turned out super well. But it is to say that this project needs a project manager, so toward the end of the month I stepped in and made sure everything got put together.

Last Tuesday, as we recorded our interview with Steeeve, Fausty was admitted to the hospital.
On Wednesday, he was given two weeks to live.
On Thursday, at around 10 am, Fausty passed away with his fiancé ZeMen holding his hand.
Even writing this, I can feel the sting of tears welling up in my eyes. He had been recovering steadily, but a missed CT scan and a matter of two weeks was all it took for him to spiral.
I spent the weekend with ZeMen and our anonymous lead writer, who drove 14 hours to be with us. It's been exhausting, and painful, and difficult. It's one of those things where you know it's coming, but when it comes, it comes so fast that you don't have time to prepare. So many things were left up in the air. So many plans came crashing to a halt. As difficult as it is for me, I worry terribly about ZeMen.

We loved Fausty with all our being. We're devastated, to say the least.

So this episode got pushed even further back, and we're doing a memorial episode this weekend. Lots of ZooTT, so little time.

Reminder! Please take the time to visit helpsavemy.dog and leave a donation. Fausty would have wanted that.

Have any stories from the zooey past you wanna share? Let me know in the comments!
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You can subscribe to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast application: rss.zoo.wtf
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @AskZooey, @OneBigGrumpyRat, and @ACatWhoLovesYou
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Now available on Apple, Google, and Amazon!

~ Toggle Rat ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ
Join us for this roundtable reflection on the past, present, and future of ZooTT, and for a very special interview with Doodle's mom! 2019 was zooey as elk, but 2020 promises to be the zooiest year to date!
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Thoughts About the Episode

I wanted to do a really simple New Years episode where we all just got together, hung out, and talked, so that's what we did! Sounds like a boring premise, but it was actually really nice, and I think the fun we had translates well. I also think we got to get into a lot of the philosophy of what we're doing, which I hope will be interesting to people.
And of course, we got to interview Doodle's mom! Doodle recently came out a couple of months ago, so it's pretty amazing she was willing to come speak to us on the podcast! She was wonderful!
These past two episodes got me thinking about coming out to my own parents, knowing that I have nothing to fear in terms of being disowned or anything like that, but as I talk about on the air, it's not always as simple as knowing you're going to be loved. I still want to. I still might. But timing is important, and frankly, my parents are TERRIBLE about gossiping and telling people's secrets. Good-natured, to be fair, but certainly unable to keep confidences :p
I'm excited about where things go from here. 2020 is the year of the rat, baby, and I am HERE for it!

Reminder! 'Tis the season of giving, so please take the time to visit helpsavemy.dog and leave a donation!

What do you want to see from ZooTT in the future? Let me know in the comments!
_________________________

You can subscribe to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast application: rss.zoo.wtf
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @AskZooey, @OneBigGrumpyRat, and @lecontespink
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Now available on Spotify, Apple, Google, and Amazon!

~ Toggle Rat ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ
Lovecat and Toggle tackle the difficulties and benefits of coming out as zoo in this special Yule-tide episode. Plus, listen to an incredible interview with Lovecat's father, find out what makes reindeer fly, and discover the quickest way to Zooey's heart!
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Thoughts About the Episode

So many delays! I wanted it out on Yule, then on Christmas, and now this Full Moon episode falls squarely on the New Moon. Ugh. Largely, the issue was procrastination on my part, but Lovecat was also super nervous about his first episode as host. He proposed this topic several months ago, and I felt December was a great time to talk about coming out. I kept telling him that he had everything he needed, but he was super nervous he wouldn't have enough content. He did, and our conversation was super good!
But really, the pièce de résistance is our incredible interview with Lovecat's father. No joke, it's his actual, biological father, and it's really fucking wonderful to listen to. Funnily enough, he chose the name Sparky for himself, so by that token, he fit right in with a group of furries and zoos, and Lovecat reports that he had a blast working with us. We hope to revisit this magic next week when we talk with Doodle's mother, whom he recently came out to. She was sick this week and couldn't talk, so she sadly couldn't make it this time.
I gotta say, this is one of those episodes where, as a creator and computer-chair-activist, I know we're on the right track. I hope people are as moved as I was.

Reminder! 'Tis the season of giving, so please take the time to visit helpsavemy.dog and leave a donation!

What do you think about the subject of coming out as a zoo? Let me know in the comments!
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You can subscribe to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast application: rss.zoo.wtf
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @AskZooey, @OneBigGrumpyRat, and @lecontespink
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Now available on Spotify, Apple, Google, and Amazon!

~ Toggle Rat ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ
In this very grateful episode of ZooTT, Toggle and Fausty interview three non-zoo allies: a best friend, a girlfriend, and a gay activist. Happy Thanksgiving!
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Thoughts About the Episode

I wanted to have this out on Black Friday, but my friend Justin had laryngitis, and I knew we needed to have his interview featured on the show. I made the right call; I'm positive his contribution was worth waiting for.
I'm so happy to have gotten to do this episode, an episode featuring non-zoos who support zoos in their lives. I fear that a lot of zoos might not realize that such a thing exists, but it's an integral part of my support network, and that of so many other zoos I know. If nothing else, I think this will stand out as an important addition to the first season of ZooTT.
I'm thankful that I've gotten to be a part of this podcast, and that I met Fausty, and that he's still alive. I have a lot to be thankful for, and it culminates in this episode.

Reminder! Please take the time to visit helpsavemy.dog and leave a donation!

How did you like the interviews? Let me know in the comments!
_________________________

You can subscribe to our RSS feed using your favorite podcast application: rss.zoo.wtf
You can subscribe to us on Twitter @ZooierThanThou, @AskZooey, @OneBigGrumpyRat, and @lecontespink
You can contact us using the anonymous web form at zoo.wtf
Now available on Spotify, Apple, Google, and Amazon!

~ Toggle Rat ᘛ⁐̤ᕐᐷ
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