Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chrissie Hynde, Temple Grandin: A Tale Of Two Guests

One of the major perks of hosting "Talking Animals" is the opportunity to speak with all kinds of bright, fascinating folks.

And while I make a concerted effort to achieve a real mix, so that the type of guests and the fields or interests they represent tend to vary significantly over the course of any given three to four show block, I still sometimes wind-up with some intriguing back-to-back bookings.

Like the juxtaposition of my two most recent guests, Chrissie Hynde, who chatted with me Feb. 4, and Dr. Temple Grandin, who joined me Feb. 11. (By way of the "Talking Animals" archives, you can check out the Hynde show, and the Grandin show

They're both enormously smart, accomplished, well-spoken women--Hynde, of course, is the veteran Pretenders leader and animal activist, while Grandin is a renowned expert on animal behavior and autism (she herself is autistic), and bestselling author--but probably occupy decidedly spots on the animal welfare continuum.

For instance, Grandin eats meat (in a previous "Talking Animals" interview she explained she'd tried but abandoned a vegeterian diet, which she said created some medical complications) and has done pioneering work in fostering more humane treatment of animals at slaughter plants. Hynde hasn't eaten meat in decades, and for much of that time has been a vegan.

At the same time, the organization Chrissie Hynde has been most closely identified for the better part of two decades is PETA, for which she's participated in campaigns and protests (efforts that have gotten her arrested a coupla times). If you know much about Hynde, nothing here is surprising.

What may be far more surprising, to some, is that, in 2004, PETA awarded Temple Grandin a Proggy (PETA Progress) Award in the "Visionary" category.

Strange bedfellows, indeed. And back to back guests--and exceptional guests, both, I might add--on "Talking Animals."

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