In 1853, a steamship named the Winfield Scott ran aground near the Channel Islands, which are off the coast of California. Unfortunately, when the ship landed, so did a certain foreign species that reproduced quickly, and ate the eggs of native birds and reptiles: the black rat. In 2001, the National Park Service began fighting the rats with poison. Members of a fringe environmental group responded by scattering vitamin K — an antidote to the poison. It’s this real struggle between warring environmentalists, humans, and animals that is at the center of T.C. Boyle’s newest novel “When the Killing’s Done.”
The celebrated author joins us to talk more about environmental activism and moral struggles.