Joanie'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 07, 12

Read in March, 2012

I loved this nonfiction look at our entrenched, loudly argued, and deeply inconsistent opinions involving human and non-human species. We all draw the line somewhere: Never eat a cow, a dog, a horse, a pig, a lobster, a bug. Kill all snakes, endangered or not. Poison rats. Stroke kittens. Experiment on a mouse but not a chimpanzee. Dote on the bottle-fed offspring of your milk cow until you put him (the bottle-fed offspring) on the dinner table. Protest the inhumanity of cock fighting over a chicken dinner.

With a quirky writing style and a great tolerance for human foibles, this book shares anecdotal stories and scientific research. It touches on pretty much everything. It turns out that men are more likely to damage animals with aggression and women to damage animals by hoarding large numbers of them in infected, flea infested misery; that fighting roosters arguably live better lives and die easier deaths than their table-bound compatriots, in spite of the humane ban on cock-fighting in all 50 states; that despite being designated by Congress as non-animals, mice feel empathy; that among college students, 66% of males and 40% of females admitted to abusing animals as children; that swimming with dolphins is risky for dolphins as well as the people who share their water; that boy chimpanzees prefer "boy" toys and girl chimpanzees prefer "girl" toys.

From the preface (where I learned that ex-vegetarians outnumber vegetarians 3 to 1 and that female hyenas give birth through penises) to the last chapter (a sort of forlorn note of hope in which we learn about a variety of animal sanctuaries), this book is well worth reading. I highly recommend.

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