Does living with a pet really make people happier and healthier? What can we learn from biomedical research with mice? Who enjoys a better quality of life - the chicken on a dinner plate or a rooster who dies in a Saturday night cockfight? Why is it wrong to eat the family dog? Drawing on over two decades of research in the emerging field of anthrozoology - the science of human-animal relations - Hal Herzog offers surprising answers to these and other questions related to the moral conundrums we face day in and day out regarding the creatures with whom we share our world. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat is a highly entertaining and illuminating journey through the full spectrum of human-animal relations, based on Herzog's groundbreaking research on animal rights activists, cockfighters, professional dog show handlers, veterinary students, and biomedical researchers. Blending anthropology, history, brain science, behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology, and philosophy, Herzog carefully crafts a seamless narrative enriched with real-life anecdotes, scientific research, and his own sense of moral ambivalence.
Alternately poignant, challenging, and laugh-out-loud funny, Herzog's enlightening and provocative book will forever change the way we look at our relationships with other creatures and, ultimately, how we see ourselves.
©2010 Hal Herzog (P)2010 Tantor
"Insightful, compassionate and humorous." (Kirkus)
What a breath of fresh air this book is! A non-technical book on the relationship between humans and animals that does not have a radical agenda is hard to find these days, and so I got this book with some trepidation. This book covers all aspects of the relations of humans and animals, to try to arrive at the how and why. It offers well-done research, clearly explained, and has been a delight to listen to from beginning to end. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Thoroughly researched and thought provoking. Well written and narrated.
I thought I knew how I felt about animal issues but things are much more complicated than I thought! I hate it when that happens
Tell us about yourself!
Truth in petting
Any of the authors even handed presentation of animal rights issues
The Human/Animal Bond ??
As a veterinarian of 52 years I have always wondered about many of these issues and just never taken the time to explore them.
I am an avid reader of several genres, but Mystery/Suspense is my favorite. I also churn through quite a bit of non-fiction.
The title really says it best. We humans often suffer under the delusion that what separates us from the animals is our rational minds. This book deflates that myth. It lights the way with a detailed analysis of how we think as we do about our fellow animals on this planet. Herzog takes us through many of the ways that the human psyche leads us into cognitive traps.
It is good to be reminded that all our drives, preferences, and fears often have no basis in logic. It is hard to remain smug about one's own "superior" choices when faced with the fact that many of our own assumptions--whether we be vegetarians or carnivores, Republicans or Democrats--have no basis in fact or logic.
Herzog's book applies to vegans and carnivores alike--a thought-provoking look into why we feel as we do about our role on this planet, as it regards animals.
This book was BOTH light-hearted AND thought-provoking. Not a usual mix. Never thought the dissection of the psyche could be fun. I was wrong.
Before I read this book I was appalled by cock fighting and thought little about eating chicken, although I wouldn't each mammal meat.
Since I read that book, I have looked at cockfighting as an insignificant infraction to the law, and cannot look at packaged drumsticks without thinking "torture". It took me three months to finally eat some chicken after I "put the book down". And I made sure that the bird was organic and free-range. And I may not even do it again in a while. In that regard, it reminded me of the chapter on Potatoes in Michael Pollan's Botany of Desire. I never looked at a potato in the same way again, and certainly have never knowingly eaten a Russet Burbank ever since.
There are many other interesting things about animals in Herzog's book. Not the cutesy type of things. He is pretty down to earth, scientific, and factual. He destroys many preconceptions and forces us to face our cultural biases vis a vis certain creatures, mainly some that are good to pet and cuddle with in our culture might be good to eat in another. I actually recommended the book to some anti-Obama campaigners who vilified him for eating dog meat in Indonesia when he was 10 years old... A little knowledge of cultural tastes in food goes a long way, even in politics. And Herzog is a good source.
An enjoyable, entertaining read, that I would definitely recommend.
I loved the narrator, Mel Foster. His voice was calm, strong and non-judgmental while speaking about a topic that engenders lots of judgment. Of course, a lot of that credit goes to Herzog, the author. I listened to the first half of this and thought it was finished because the second volume hadn't downloaded. At the end of the first volume, I found myself wondering why he didn't make more mention of cats, the predominant type of pet in this country. There was a history of the domestication of dogs and the differences(many) between domesticated dogs and wild dogs (wolves, etc) or even cross-bred wolf-dogs, which retain much of their "wildness" and therefore are unacceptable as pets. I found all this interesting, but, being a cat person, I wanted to know the same about cats and the history of their domestication. I've heard that they domesticated themselves. When I found that there was a volume 2, I was excited to hear it and looking forward to the cat story. Well, no such luck. It was mostly about animal cruelty and what defines it and the activists who promote animal rights, though they differ greatly in their focus. Some wear leather but don't eat animals, some eat animals but eschew hunting, some go to extreme avoidance of doing anything to hurt a living thing with sentience (who decides?) which would include mosquitoes and other bugs. I loved this discussion and the way it was presented in a non-judgmental way, but I got to the end of volume 2, cats had only been mentioned in passing.
Yes. Contains interesting stories and information on how we interact with animals. The author recognizes that we are inconsistent in the way we deal with animals. I expected the book to be lean towards animal rights but found the author to really wrestle with the implications of granting animals equal status with humans.
He struggles with the question of whether humans and animals are different in kind or different in degree. If different in degree, rather than kind, this argues for treating animals as we would treat humans. He recognizes this as overly difficult and therefore settles for being inconsistent. He will treat humans better than animals (eat them, use them for experimentation and work, etc). But he gave up too easily on the question of difference. I suggest reading Part 1 of "The Everlasting Man" by G. K. Chesterton for a great treatise on man being different in kind from animals. If you settle on this, much of the anguish the author struggles with would be more consistently resolved. Great stories but he gave up too easily on the foundational truth that would resolve the dilemma.
In “Some We Love, Some We Hat, Some We Eat” Hal Herzog surveys the ambivalence we have toward animals. He thoroughly describes, analyzes and illustrates the battle we face between our heads and our hearts when we consider them in daily life. Blending research, philosophy, history and current events he walks the reader through the moral/ethical dilemmas faced by us all and we individually confront each one. Along the way, Herzsog opens points of animal/human contact which may be unknown to the general ready. I was surprised by the sections on cock fighting for example. The section on how persons who volunteer for animal rescue come to their decisions. In the end, Herzog comes across and even handed, but ambivalent himself. This may be frustrating to some who want hard answers to life’s issues. This is a terribly informative and well written book. The reading of Mel Foster is excellent.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
I realized that, while I thought Herzog was being even-handed with his research and presentation, he actually wasn't. We all know that we can find research that backs up ANY point of view, and Herzog did that a couple of times. I felt that was okay for the most part as he would later clarify a more reasoned position. It turns out I have a really big problem with this for a few reasons: 1) Starting off an argument with unsound reasoning. It detracts from anything worthwhile. Vegans and vegetarians run the risk of becoming anorexics and bulimics? Blah, blah, blah. Oh, wait! Actually, the REAL study says that ANOREXICS and BULIMICS sometimes turn to veganism/vegeterianism. BIG difference, Mr. Herzog. 2) Just plain wrong. A gazillion percent of practicing vegetarians admit to eating meat within the past 24-hrs. Huh? This is where I think you can dig up any sort of sample to to get any sort of answer you want from your research.
Finally, the lack of a fourth star is because I truly, truly, truly wonder if people are so stupid? They'll call themselves vegetarian but will eat chicken and fish? They'll be against cockfighting but will eat chicken?
And Mr. Herzog? You think it's cruel the way chickens are raised but a rooster raised to be slaughtered by claws and blades is okay? And it's okay to spout histrionic studies first, relatively sane studies last? Oy, you give me a headache...
Say something about yourself!
This book does a very good job covering the different relationships we have with animals, however, I felt is was lacking in depth. It provided a lot of instances to demonstrate our relationships with animals but not as much about how those relationships evolved or why we feel as we do as I would have liked to see. It does provide some explanations but I think I was expecting more. Overall, I'm glad to have read the information and did enjoy my time spent on this book. It may serve as a precursor to other books that research this topic more thoroughly.
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