"Personalities on the Plate" at Rhodes

Mar 12, 2019

At Rhodes College on March 21 at 6 p.m., author Barbara J. King will present “Personalities on the Plate: The Lives and Minds of Animals We Eat,” based on her book of the same title

Credit Barbara J. King


Free and open to the public, the lecture will take place in Blount Auditorium in Buckman Hall and will be preceded by a reception beginning at 5:30 p.m. The event is part of the college’s “Communities in Conversation” lecture series and is co-sponsored by the Environmental Studies and Sciences Program and the Philosophy Department among others.

King’s work centers on the cognition and emotion observed in animals we eat, like pigs, cows, chickens, fish, and octopus (so-called “food animals”). Individuals of these species have recently amazed scientists with their strategic thinking and expressions of grief and love. These observations bring to bear ethical implications about our diets, asking us, what are the consequences for the planet? How can we live an ethically and ecologically sound life through our food choices? King draws on her research with scientists, farmers, vets, and chefs to guide the reader through an empathetic exploration of our intimate relationship to food animals.

King is emerita professor of anthropology at the College of William and Mary and a freelance science writer. She has authored six books, including Personalities on the Plate and How Animals Grieve. A recipient of the Guggenheim Fellowship, King regularly contributes to radio shows and academic journals to discuss her primary focus of research, the science of animal thinking.

In this interview, Spence L. Wilson Chair in the Humanities at Rhodes Dr. Jonathan Judaken and Rhodes Assistant Professor of Philosophy Dr. Rebecca Tuvel discuss the upcoming lecture and their experience with Dr. King's work and philosophy.

Find Communities in Conversation on Facebook.com/Communities.in.Conversation, on Twitter @Rhodes_CiC, or on Instagram @rhodes_cic  

Those with specific inquiries about Communities in Conversation or upcoming events can contact Dr. Jonathan Judaken, the Spence L. Wilson Chair in Humanities at Rhodes, at judakenj@rhodes.edu or (901) 843-3292.