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A maverick scientist who co-founded the field of anthrozoology offers a controversial, thought-provoking, and unprecedented exploration of the psychology behind the inconsistent and often paradoxical ways we think, feel, and behave towards animals.
How do we reconcile our love for cats and dogs (and rabbits, snakes, hamsters, gerbils, and goldfish) with our appetite for hamburgers and chicken breast and our use of medications that have been tested on lab mice? Why do so many of us—as meat eaters, recreational hunters and fishermen, and visitors of zoos and circuses—take the moral high ground when it comes to condemning activities like cockfighting? And why are dogs considered pets in America but dinner in Korea? With Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat, Hal Herzog offers a lively and deeply intelligent look inside our complex and often paradoxical relationships with animals. Drawing on over two decades of research in the interdisciplinary field of anthrozoology, the science of human-animal relations, Herzog examines the moral and ethical decisions we all face when it comes to the furry and feathered creatures with whom we share this planet.
Alternately poignant and laugh-out-loud funny, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat takes readers on a highly entertaining and illuminating journey through the full spectrum of human-animal relations, relating Dr. Herzog’s groundbreaking research on animal rights activists, cockfighters, professional dog show handlers, veterinary students, biomedical researchers, and circus animal trainers. Through psychology, history, biology, sociology, cross-cultural analysis, current animal rights debates, and the morality and ethics surrounding the use and abuse of animals, Herzog carefully crafts a seamless narrative composed of real life anecdotes, academic and scientific research, cross-cultural examples, and his own sense of moral confusion.
Combining the intellectual rigor of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma with the wry observation of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods, Herzog offers a refreshing new perspective on our lives with animals—one that will forever change the way we look at our relationships with other creatures and, in so doing, will also change the way we look at ourselves.
How rational are we in our relationship with animals? A puppy, after all, is "a family member in Kansas, a pariah in Kenya, and lunch in Korea". An animal behaviorist turned one of the world's foremost authorities on human-animal relations, Herzog shows us, in this readable study, how whimsical our attitudes can be. Why do we like some animals but not others? One answer seems to be that babylike features like big eyes bring out our parental and protective urges. (PETA has started a campaign against fishing called "Save the Sea Kittens)." Research has shown that the human brain is wired to think about animals and inanimate objects differently, and Herzog reveals how we can look at the exact same animal very differently given its context most Americans regard cockfighting as cruel but think nothing of eating chicken, when in reality gamecocks are treated very well when they are not fighting, and most poultry headed for the table lead short, miserable lives and are killed quite painfully. An intelligent and amusing book that invites us to think deeply about how we define and where we limit our empathy for animals. \n