Title: Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals
Author: Hal Herzog
Narrator: Mel Foster
Publication Year: 2010
Pages: 368 (audio length: 11 hours 54 minutes)
Genre: Non-Fiction, Narrative Non-Fiction
Source: Audiobook version purchased from Audible.com
From the cover:
Does living with a pet really make people happier and healthier? What can we learn from biomedical research with mice? Who enjoys a better quality of life – the chicken on a dinner plate or a rooster who dies in a Saturday night cockfight? Why is it wrong to eat the family dog? Drawing on over two decades of research in the emerging field of anthrozoology – the science of human-animal relations – Hal Herzog offers surprising answers to these and other questions related to the moral conundrums we face day in and day out regarding the creatures with whom we share our world. Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat is a highly entertaining and illuminating journey through the full spectrum of human-animal relations, based on Herzog’s groundbreaking research on animal rights activists, cockfighters, professional dog show handlers, veterinary students, and biomedical researchers. Blending anthropology, history, brain science, behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology, and philosophy, Herzog carefully crafts a seamless narrative enriched with real-life anecdotes, scientific research, and his own sense of moral ambivalence.
Alternately poignant, challenging, and laugh-out-loud funny, Herzog’s enlightening and provocative book will forever change the way we look at our relationships with other creatures and, ultimately, how we see ourselves.
One of the things that I’ve found challenging as I’ve started to travel around the world more, and to eat the food of other cultures, is that the animals we consider “food” or “pets” do not always fit in the same categories for other people. I always knew this intellectually, but there’s something about going to a market and finding rabbit for sale, seeing a camel burger on a menu, or living in a country where dogs are simply not considered worthy of being pets to make you realize that it’s more than just theory.
Herzog does a great job in this book of exploring the different types of animals we associate with different things, and why. One passage that I found particularly interesting was when he explained the similarities between baby animals and baby humans, and why our reactions to them are similar. It was also interesting to listen to him explain why we have such an aversion to eating certain kinds of animals that are considered food sources in other countries.
I would’ve liked him to have branched out into discussion of some more exotic animals and food practices, but I suppose the main focus of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat was the North American / Western way of things. Other than that, I really have no complaints about the book. It was entertaining and informative all at once.