When I heard the promotion for your upcoming show with Barbara Kingsolver, I was excited to tune in. I trust Speaking of Faith to bring important moral questions to the forefront, and I looked forward to a dialogue on an issue near and dear to my heart. Unfortunately, your interview with Ms. Kingsolver left me disappointed (and at times downright troubled), particularly in relation to her take on animals. While I commend her and her family's efforts to participate directly in the slaughtering process, I found her equivocations about the use of the words "kill" and "murder" as they pertain to non-human creatures dishonest and arrogant. To hear her say she "knows" that certain animals do not want to live to a ripe old age , that they do not have significant attachments to their children, was to hear a rationalization made righteous, and it frustrated me to no end. And to hear you flatter her overconfidence with complicit giggling was a real shock. Kudos to farms and families that treat animals with kindness and care before their deaths, but the purposeful act of taking a life, regardless of context, is still (rightfully) called "killing", no two ways about it.
While I know not every issue can be tackled in a one hour interview, I hoped this episode would have made more out of our relationship to the animals we eat. If a show as thoughtful as yours cannot address the question of killing sentient beings for food on an episode devoted to the ethics of eating, where will it happen? I urge you to follow up this issue with a guest like Peter Singer or Matthew Scully ("Dominion") or an investigation into how different faiths around the world deal with the question of how to treat both the earth and our fellow earthlings. I am a great fan of the work you have done thus far, and have every hope you will expand your search for answers on this topic.
More information about text formats