Canuck and I: A Human’s Special Friendship with A Crow; and Dr. Jennifer Verdolin on The New Science of Animal Family Dynamics

Listen to this show here!

The Canadian government has released a new draft of its food guide, and, surprisingly, this version actually favours plant-based foods and eliminates dairy as a food group! Times are changing, and to start this show, we’ll discuss some of the details of the new Canada Food Guide, and how Canadians can submit their ideas for its final stage. The Canadian government has initiated a Healthy Eating Consultations phase, and you can visit their website here to provide your input now, until August 14th!

Shawn Bergman, Canuck and I

Canuck the crow and best friend Shawn Bergman.

Canuck the crow and best friend Shawn Bergman.

For our first interview today, we have Shawn Bergman on the show. He’s a human, and he’s the best friend of a local and global celebrity who happens to be a crow named Canuck, who has over 80,000 followers on his Facebook page.

You may know of Canuck from seeing him on the news from time to time, or seeing many of the viral videos of him interacting with people in our city of Vancouver here. He’s known for being extremely mischievous, outgoing and social towards human beings, and he is a wild animal living in an urban environment.

Canuck also stars in a new short documentary film that just came out last week called “Canuck and I”. Shawn has known Canuck for a few years now and shares a special bond with this special friend. In this interview, he tells us about Canuck’s “double life” in living amongst both wild crows and humans.

Canuck has a paid full-time job at the Pacific National Exhibition, enjoys riding the wind on car windshields and taking the Skytrain, and made international headlines last year when he stole a knife from a crime scene.

Shawn also shares with us his feelings as to why Canuck chooses such an adventurous way of living, and how Canuck has enriched his life in becoming his best friend and an ambassador for crows.

You can watch the short documentary “Canuck and I” here:

YouTube player

Dr. Jennifer Verdolin, Raised By Animals: The Surprising New Science of Animal Family Dynamics

raised by animalsFor our second interview, we have Dr. Jennifer Verdolin on the show. She is an animal behaviour researcher specializing in social and mating behaviour and a scholar in residence at Duke University. Her work has been featured on NPR and in Wired and Scientific American magazines and many other media outlets. Her weekly radio segment, “Think Like a Human, Act Like an Animal” is a regular feature on the U.S. nationally syndicated D.L. Hughley Show. Dr. Verdolin also writes a blog for Psychology Today.

Jennifer has recently written a book called “Raised by Animals: The Surprising New Science of Animal Family Dynamics”. In this book, she invites parents, animal lovers, and science buffs to explore the wild world of parenting in the animal kingdom — and its implications for human families. Weaving together research on both human and animal behavior, she draws fascinating (and sometimes shocking) parallels in a narrative that’s packed with interesting tidbits.

In this interview, she discusses some of the discoveries as detailed in her book on the inner family lives of animals, such as unusual pregnancies, fatal sibling rivalries, and parent-infant emotional bonds.

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