Clark Hays'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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Nov 15, 2011

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Read in October, 2010

Cognitive dissonance: gloss over it or untangle the knot?

This is a fun, worthy read of a complex subject. The author doesn't seek to draw any "meaty" conclusions, but rather uses a deft hand and light approach to probe the way humans think of animals from a variety of angles. I found it the most intriguing when referencing studies that seem to shed light on the way our brains perceive sentient beings. I found it the clunkiest when the subject turned to vegetarianism. Characterizing self-identified vegetarians as lapsed when they eat meat misses the point. Self-identified carnivores certainly don't consider themselves lapsed when they eat vegetables. It's not all or nothing, nor is vegetarianism a religion. Herzog seems fond of bell curves and spectrums - he should open that possibility to those who consciously choose to minimize suffering/cruelty. No matter where you are on that curve, you can make choices to increase happiness for yourself and other sentient beings. One misstep doesn't invalidate it all. Still, speaking as a long time vegetarian (my carnivorous ways lapsed 15 plus years ago) married to a vegan - both of whom are concerned about the validity of animal testing in medical science - I think Herzog does a fine job of presenting a balanced view of the issues. Not sure there's much new here to shape individual decisions, nor are there strategies to clear up the evident cognitive dissonance, but there is fascinating food for thought.
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Sara Fonseca I totally agree with your review of this book! Took the words out of my mouth :-)


Sara Fonseca I totally agree with your review of this book! Took the words out of my mouth :-)


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