Katy PayneAs the newest member of the Speaking of Faith staff (I've been working for the show for almost 3 months now), I'm still navigating the somewhat awkward transition from fan to employee. This week's upcoming show really brought that into relief.

Before I got this job, Whale Songs and Elephant Loves was perhaps my favorite show in the history of SOF. I remember listening to it more than a year ago, in my car, and there was that amazing moment when Krista points out how hard it is for people to really understand that their lives affect the survival of animals half-way around the globe. And Katy Payne gets very quiet and almost whispers, "Here we are on the radio; our task is to make this real. This planet, this planet is the only place where we have this kind of life. Let's not blow it." That just knocked me out. It seems so obvious, but when she states it that way I can't help but marvel at the idea. This planet is the only place where we have this kind of life.

Flash forward about a year, and it's now my job to get in contact with Katy Payne to find out if we need to update anything for the rebroadcast of the show. I dial her number, listen to it ring, and then suddenly that distinctive voice, somehow fragile and strong at the same time, is coming through my telephone. I tell her who I am and why I'm calling and she answers my questions, and I'm aware the whole time of how strangely small the world is, that a year ago I was marveling at the words over the radio of this woman who's spent her life listening to whales and elephants, and now I've called her up and she's listening to me. I'm almost surprised to find out she's real. I thank her and say goodbye and she says, "Well, thank you. I loved that show. I think I'll celebrate by listening to it again myself."

Photo of Katy Payne from Poptech.org

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You lucky, luck man. You've got a great job!

I listened to the Whale Songs and Elephant Loves Podacast yesterday after being prompted by my wife. Katy Payne sounds as wonderfully spiritual and whole as the animals that she studies.

It is quite obvious to me that animals have feelings. I defy anyone who reads Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's, "The Pig Who Sang to The Moon" and not think twice before eating their next meal of meat or poultry. We can learn so much from the animals that we share this precious planet with. Everyday they tell us how to live, how to be. All we have to do is listen.

Congratulations on a job well done. (Do you need any help with your next project?)

Best Regards,
Bruce Katlin

The beauty, fragility, and evanescence of this world, as evoked in her comment, bring tears to my eyes.