Shomeret'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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Apr 20, 13

bookshelves: anthropology, my-reviews
Read from June 10 to 12, 2011

Although I liked this author's attempt to be fair to all perspectives, there were some questions that he chose not to explore.

Herzog points out that many dog lovers live with cats instead of dogs. In fact, he is one of them. But he never asks why this pattern has developed. Is it because cats make better apartment dwellers or are there other factors not related to urban living?

Also, in discussing the domestication of wolves (which is of particular interest to me), Herzog mentions a theory that wolves first approached human settlements because they wanted to sift through garbage heaps. Herzog considers this likely. Herzog is assuming that wolves are scavengers like dogs. They aren't. They are carnivores. Dogs really did evolve into a separate species. So why would wolves have been interested in garbage? Any canines who approached human settlements to scavenge trash would already have taken steps on the evolutionary path away from their original wolf identity. Herzog doesn't wonder how that could have happened. I do. Maybe it's a mystery beyond the scope of this book, but I think that given the fact that most humans have very different attitudes toward wolves than they do toward dogs, I would have thought that this would be an important issue for Herzog to deal with.

A GR reviewer accused Herzog of saying that vegetarianism causes eating disorders. Actually, he doesn't say this at all. He cites a number of studies that show a correlation between vegetarianism and eating disorders, but academics like Herzog know that a correlation is not the same as causation. He consulted with a colleague who works with young women who have eating disorders. She said that some anorexics are using vegetarianism to cover up their eating disorder. In other words they claim to be vegetarians, so that omnivores won't question the fact that they aren't eating when a meal includes meat. It occurs to me that if the omnivores immediately presented them with a vegetarian alternative meal that would expose the anorexics' true motive. They wouldn't be able to hide behind their alleged vegetarianism.

In a discussion of animal experimentation, Herzog discusses his qualms about using mice. Actually, I found his revelation about the gassing of "surplus" mice who aren't used in research even more disturbing.

In conclusion, this was an interesting book, but I would have liked to have seen more about some issues.
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