When a pet dies, to what degree can it be replaced by another? And to what degree can pets replace people in our lives? David Sedaris tells this story of cats and dogs and other animals.
What do cats want to see on television? Steve Malarky, creator of the world's best-selling home video for cats, tells all. And—in the interest of equal time—a cashier who works at a chain store that sells pet products rants about the absurdity of the items she's ringing up every day: St.
Writer Brady Udall with another story about what animals can take the place of, in our lives and in our homes—this one involving an armadillo.This work of fiction originally appeared in the Autumn 1999 issue of Story magazine.
Stories about rats in the city, from Kate Aurthur (former rat columnist for New York magazine), and from a Mark Lewis documentary called Rat. When rats arrive in our homes, we remember why we as a species wanted to tame nature in the first place.
Unlike Reykjavik, some cities don't coddle citizens in their idiosyncratic beliefs about nature. We hear New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani react (with vehemence) to a man who believes New Yorkers should have the right to keep ferrets in their homes.
Scott Carrier tells the story of trying to bring a part of the outside world inside the house when he was a boy. His brother wanted to capture a rattlesnake and bring it home and keep in the basement, as a secret.
True stories of what happens when children are allowed to bring nature's own creatures into the house as pets. When it comes to rodents, fish and amphibians, it often works out badly...for the pets.
The story of a typical American family—imaginary poultry—and a handpuppet.
What happens when a chicken crosses the thin yellow line that divides the animals we eat from the animals we keep as pets. Jonathan Gold, food writer for Gourmet magazine, tells how he accidentally came to adopt a chicken, and what happened to his opinion of chickens afterwards.
The true story of how a multinational chicken company turned a white man into a black man. The man they did it to? An old time Kentucky Colonel who liked to dress up as a Southern plantation owner in string tie and goatee, who happened to be their own spokesman.
Writer Mike Paterniti tells a story of dogs and a community of dogwalkers that formed on the grounds of an old cemetery at the corner of Vaughn and Clifford in Portland, Maine.
How fundamentalist Christians and Orthodox Jews are combining forces to breed a perfect red cow that could bring about the end of the world. Ira talks with cattleman and minister Clyde Lott, and with New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright.
Host Ira Glass with Robert Lundin, who talks about a time in his life when he felt too alive, and how much more sane he feels now, though his life is less exciting.
When is a chicken your friend? When is he your dinner? This American Life's former webmeister Elizabeth Meister talks with Kamiko Overs, an 11-year-old girl at the annual poultry exhibition run by the American Poultry Association in Columbus, Ohio. Elizabeth Meister is a producer with Long Haul Productions.
Food writer Jonathan Gold tells what it's like to panfry a chicken—with a live chicken watching you the entire time.
Last year, a woman named Karen Davis started a national letter writing campaign to try to get This American Life to stop the very program we are broadcasting today—the annual Poultry Slam. In this portion of our show, she explains what it is that we just don't understand about poultry, and why the whole idea of this poultry show was wrong-headed from the start.
Writer David Rakoff explains how his life was changed—in a single evening—in a room of 5000 chickens.
The first day inevitably means mistakes, mishaps, fiascos. A true story, told by a former rookie cop.
Two brothers set out with a friend to cross America on horseback. They take a tape recorder with them to make a kind of audio journal of their trip.
Host Ira Glass reads from a letter Benjamin Franklin wrote, and discusses it with Jack Hitt.
Jack Hitt reports on one woman's opera about Chicken Little.
Ira with Lloyd Natoff, on killing chickens.
Michael Lewis on duck hunting.
Ira with chicken photographer Tamara Staples.