The Homeless Romantic Podcast
The Homeless Romantic Podcast
Dr. Jerry Vlasak | Animal Liberation Front | #50 Homeless Romantic Podcast

My friend Dr. Jerry Vlasak stops by to talk with us about everything we need to know about treating animals with compassion and respect as well as some of the myths about veganism. Dr. Jerry is a former trauma surgeon and physician as has been worked at the Animal Liberation Front press office and has been criticized for his radical views, which are not so radical for anyone who are true animal lovers. This is an amazing conversation with a brave and highly intelligent human being!

Raised in Austin, Texas, Vlasak graduated with an MD from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston in 1984. He is board certified in General Surgery and is licensed as a medical doctor in California and Texas. He was an animal researcher himself, but has since become adamantly opposed to vivisection. According to the Los Angeles Times, he conducted research on dogs’ arteries in a laboratory at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, during or after which the dogs were killed.

Vlasak became active in promoting animal rights in 1993. He became a spokesperson for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, although he is no longer a member, and was a board member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

His principal role in the animal liberation movement is as a liaison between the movement and the public, publicizing the movement’s “underground” activities in his role as a press officer. He acknowledges his medical background provides a “certain amount of credibility” to the movement and has used it to advocate against the use of animals in scientific experimentation.

In 2005, Dr. Vlasak spoke at length to the Committee on Environment and Public Works’s investigation into Eco-terrorism. In his summation, Dr. Vlasak said:

” Here in the U.S., there are thousands of physicians like myself who realize there is no need to kill animals in order to help humans, the vast majority of whom get sick and die because of preventable lifestyle variables such as diet, smoking, drugs and environmental toxins.

In a country where 45 million people do without reliable access to ANY medical care, there is no reason to waste hundreds of millions of dollars testing drugs and procedures on non-human animals.

In a world where 20,000 children are dying from lack of access to clean water each week world wide, there is no reason to waste hundreds of millions of dollars testing drugs and procedures on non-human animals."

Vlasak has been active in opposing the seal hunt in Canada, which occurs every year, mostly in March and April. He was punched in the face by sealers during the 2005 hunt on Prince Edward Island, which he attended on behalf of the Sea Shepherd Conversation Society. No charges were brought in connection with the attack. Vlasak was Sea Shepherd’s treasurer for many years. During the same hunt, he was one of 11 activists convicted of violating Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans regulations, because they watched the hunt without a permit. He was sentenced to 22 days in prison, which he served in a Prince Edward Island jail in 2006.

Vlasak was convicted in Los Angeles in 2006 of “targeted protesting” for demonstrating against euthanasia at animal shelters outside the home of a Department of Animal Services employee. He was sentenced to 30 days’ electronic monitoring. He appealed and then lost the decision, and subsequently served his sentence

As a result of the Observer article, the British government announced in August 2004 that Vlasak and his wife were banned from the UK. Vlasak had been due to attend a conference organized by Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC), an animal-rights campaign to close Huntingdon Life Sciences. The Home Secretary told the couple that their presence in the UK “would not be conducive to the public good.”

Vlasak is one of two animal liberation press officers who have been banned from entering the UK. Steven Best, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas, El Paso, and a former press officer, was banned in 2005 to prevent him from addressing an animal rights conference there.

The Homeless Romantic Podcast

Traveling and surviving like barnacles on the hull of society is undoubtedly a hard and depressing journey but adversity always yields the most amazing and hilarious stories.

Activists, Academics, Artists, Hobos, Inventors, Musicians, Crazy People and anyone interesting occasionally stop by and have long form conversations with me. Most telling stories from their adventures and travels but also topics ranging from past to future.

Everyone I know has a story to tell and I am always to excited to talk with someone new. Random stories of debauchery and survival in a society that doesn’t value compassion and creativity. The flowers that grow between the cracks in the street have a story to tell.