Anna's Reviews > Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals

Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog
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's review
Nov 05, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: audio
Read from October 20 to November 05, 2010

This was a fascinating survey of anthrozoology (the study of relations between humans and animals) and the hypocrisies of human beings. For example, many people are opposed to cock-fighting and yet many of us eat factory-farmed chicken. Birds that are used for cock-fighting have much better lives than factory farmed chickens up until the last minutes or hour or so of their lives. Incidentally, Herzog is opposed to both although he meets plenty of people who raise cock-fighters and likes them just fine. Lots of vegetarians eat flesh. Lots of people are enthusiastic about having a pure-bred dog despite the genetically impaired conditions or diseases that many breeds now have. And what about the crazy cat lady who loves cats and yet slowly kills her hoarded cats by neglect? Another interesting question is whether animal abuse by children is a sign that the child will turn into a serial killer (nope).

Herzog also asks a lot of interesting ethical questions about research. How many mice would you sacrifice to prevent Dengue Fever? For a lot of people, a lot. But what about baldness or ED? I'm not sure I'd sacrifice any but maybe female pattern baldness? He also makes a lot of interesting cultural observations. For example, dogs are valued pets in the West but in some cultures they are considered so dirty that people wouldn't even eat them. And, of course, in some countries people do eat them. Why do we love kittens but hate snakes or other kinds of bugs? Ultimately, Herzog concludes that we are all such a bundle of contradictions precisely because we are human.

I listened to the audio version and Mel Foster did a great job of keeping my attention. He's pretty good at translating that friendly, almost gee whiz tone of Herzog. He's lousy at accents though - his British founder of Best Friends isn't so terrible - he does sound British but he said Oxbridge and he doesn't sound like that. Trying to do a Chris Rock impression was a huge error. Jarring but minor irritations.
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