Gene Roddenberry and Animal Rights

Captain’s Log: Stardate 201704.30. Last week we watched and analyzed “The Devil in the Dark” and learned about Gene Roddenberry’s views on animal rights. In Judith Barad’s book The Ethics of Star Trek, Roddenberry says that although he was not a vegetarian, he had serious concerns about factory farms and that he hoped someday to be able to eat a steak without killing an animal. Ethicist Tom Regan also discusses the conditions necessary for an animal to be a “Subject of a Life” which Barad applies to the very intelligent animal (the Horta) encountered in the episode. Just as interesting, in my view, is the fact that William Shatner’s father passed away while he was filming this episode, but didn’t let it affect his performance. Say what you like about Shatner’s acting, I think he’s a real pro, and he shined in this episode. Attached are public domain photos of Roddenberry and Shatner for your edification. Live long and prosper.

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