Apr 19, 2007
Today's episode is dedicated to pigs - how wonderful they are, how we misrepresent them in our society, and what affect that has on our treatment of them. Pigs are exploited and used by humans in a variety of ways: as research tools, as "food animals," in high school science classes, as entertainment in a blood sport called "hog-baiting" or "hog dogging," as victims of hunting. We also talk about how our language shapes our perception of them and, thus, our treatment of them, and we examine the cycle of violence inherent in hiring men to work in slaughterhouses, desensitizing them to violence, and then essentially supporting abusive and sadistic behavior - just because we like bacon. The cycle of violence makes its final stop in the homes of these slaughterhouse workers, where alcoholism and domestic abuse is commonplace. Finally, we end on a positive note with a beautiful poem by Pulitzer-prize winning poet, Galway Kinnell - who pays homage to our porcine friends in "St Francis and the Sow."