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Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why…

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think… (edition 2010)

by Hal Herzog

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2651142,932 (3.76)13
Title:Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals
Authors:Hal Herzog
Info:Tantor Media (2010), Edition: Unabridged CD, Audio CD
Collections:Read, Read but unowned
Tags:nonfiction, vegetarianism

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Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals by Hal Herzog



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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Don't fight roosters, come on folks. ( )
  kemilyh1988 | Jan 16, 2017 |
So much food for thought on this one! The author leads us on an exploration of the animal-human relationship, pushing the reader to think about several choices they have made. There’s plenty of morality questions here where the author does a good job of letting the reader come to their own conclusions without forcing his opinions on them.

I’ll touch on a few of the subjects that really stood out for me. Captive dolphins for human entertainment or supposed health treatments: humane or not? It’s becoming more and more common to frown upon captive animals for entertainment, and yet more and more common to keep them around for health treatments. Who doesn’t want to go swimming with the dolphins? But at what cost? I have read about a few places were the dolphins are not netted in but come freely for the fish and tourists are entertained in the process. Is that the reasonable middle ground?

Next was the discussion on mice bred for scientific and medical research. These mice never live wild, free lives and have been used for generations for scientific research. Once they have fulfilled their use, they are euthanized. How much is a mouse’s life worth? The author does a great job of getting into the numbers. If 100,000 mice could be the key to curing a specific type of cancer, would that be acceptable? Many of the same questions are raised for other species, such as apes and monkeys. Also, how does euthanizing so many animals weigh upon the researcher?

Some of the sections were a bit tougher as they touch a little closer to home. Food chickens versus cock fighting: the food chickens live in tightly enclosed spaces, sometimes never seeing the light of day. Meanwhile the fighting cocks get gourmet meals, have well-tended yards, and several hens for companionship. A lifetime of bad days versus a life of good days with one bad day at the end.

Vegetarianism – includes fish or not? This is an interesting question I find that my vegetarian/vegan friends answer a little differently from person to person. Other such questions come up for discussion. Some areas of the world, dogs are on the menu and they are kept in deplorable conditions prior to slaughter, much like American chicken slaughterhouses. The torturing of small animals as kids is perhaps more common than expected and may be a way for kids to learn to empathize with others. Why is feeding frozen baby mice to snakes acceptable but not euthanized kittens? As you can see, tons of questions are brought up.

I found this book fascinating and a touch disturbing. It made me question several of my own established ideas of human-animal relationships. I had to do this book in several small chunks because I often set it down to think about it. Over all, it was a very worthy read.

Narration: Mel Foster did a good job, never stumbling over scientific phrases and yet was congenial, not like a computer voice. He was a great fit for this book that tackled some tough subjects. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Apr 18, 2016 |
This book explores the relationship humans have with animals in an amusing and readable way. Except for the rather long section on mice research, the book was very interesting and informative. And who knew what an anthrozoologist was anyway? ( )
  lkarr | Feb 6, 2016 |
An excellent and thorough book that asks more revealing questions that you can shake a stick at it. I love his conclusion, hinted at throughout the book (and is not really a spoiler if I say it outright), which is: we are all hypocrites. I love it because it's true, and it bears out after the arguments he puts forth solidly. I like his writing as well, as it's a stylistic amalgam of some of my favorite writers (Gladwell, Roach, Foer, among others). ( )
  MartinBodek | Jun 11, 2015 |
Written by a psychologist & anthrozoologist, Herzog seems to hold to the middle of the road in most debates & gives a good account of both sides so far as I can tell. There's a lot more to how we think about animals than I would have thought & he comes at the issue from several different angles. He uses multiple studies & comparisons of their findings when he can. It's amazing how often so much diatribe is based on single studies & faulty science, though.

I'm listening to this as an audio book. While it is very well read, I think a hard copy would be a better format or very nice to have as a backup. (I bought it in hardback, read, & gave it a different review (still 5 stars, but listing all the chapters & such) here:

There are times I've wanted to go back & go over some parts again as they are rather long & complex. The Trolley Problem
was one of these cases since he went into studies with 5 variants in some detail. In short, a trolley will kill 5 people unless you switch it to kill one person. Everything being equal, most people will move the switch, but the shrinks play around with who the people are.

Other areas could bear re-reading such as his discussion Bell curve comparisons, single cause fallacy, & other topics that are applicable to many situations outside the ones he addresses here. It would also be interesting to have better access to some of the facts such as we give 3 billion dollars to animal rescue, but spend over 10 times that eating beef - I think. It was a pretty incredible amount & makes his point that we're not particularly rational on the subject. I was a bit disappointed that he didn't make more of a point about the "out of sight, out of mind" factor specifically, though. Not just ignorance, but willful ignorance, are both huge factors, IMO.

While morality & culture are often a topic in the treatment of animals, I found the comparison of cock fighting & broiler chickens fascinating. Our ingrained hot buttons are incredibly weird. And then he gets into culture & eating various meats. Whether you're a vegetarian or meat eater, animal rightist or animal user, Herzog brings up a lot of points to think about & backs them up with the best facts he can bring to bear. In some cases, that isn't much & he admits it.

He spends a lot of time discussing dogs. Early on in the book, he gets into them & again later on. Although some of the information was similar, he's making different points in both cases & they're perfect subjects, so it never seemed redundant.

The last part of the book is almost exclusively on the philosophy of animal rights, vegetarianism, & other of the more extreme ideals. He shows where some have led & makes some great points on the logic of extremism. He also interjects the emotional factors & winds up admitting that we live in a pretty messy world. No great revelations there, but the trip was well worth it.

I highly recommend this to anyone interested in animals of any sort. This book is not designed to make an argument for or against how you treat animals, but just to make you think about how people do & why. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
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To Adam, Betsy, Katie, and most of all Mary Jean, to whom I owe everything.
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The way we think about other species often defies logic.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
A maverick scientist who co-founded the field of anthrozoology offers a controversial, thought-provoking, and unprecedented exploration of the psychology behind the inconsistent and often paradoxical ways we think, feel, and behave towards animals.

CONTENTS: Introduction: Why is it so hard to think straight about animals? -- Anthrozoology : the new science of human-animal interactions -- The importance of being cute : why we think what we think about creatures that don't think like us -- Pet-o-philia : why do humans (and only humans) love pets? -- Friends, foes, and fashion statements : the human-dog relationship -- "Prom queen kills first deer on sixteenth birthday" : gender and the human-animal relationship -- In the eyes of the beholder : the comparative cruelty of cockfights and Happy Meals -- Delicious, dangerous, disgusting, and dead : the human-meat relationship -- The moral status of mice : the use of animals in science -- The cats in our houses, the cows on our plates : are we all hypocrites? -- The carnivorous yahoo within ourselves : dealing with moral inconsistency.
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