Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight about Animals

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Overview

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 destined for your dinner plate or the rooster in a Saturday night cockfight? Why is it wrong to eat the family dog?

Drawing on more than two decades of research into the emerging field of anthrozoology, the science of human–animal relations, Hal Herzog offers an illuminating exploration of the fierce moral ...

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Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight about Animals

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Overview

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 destined for your dinner plate or the rooster in a Saturday night cockfight? Why is it wrong to eat the family dog?

Drawing on more than two decades of research into the emerging field of anthrozoology, the science of human–animal relations, Hal Herzog offers an illuminating exploration of the fierce moral conundrums we face every day regarding the creatures with whom we share our world. Alternately poignant, challenging, and laugh-out-loud funny—blending anthropology, behavioral economics, evolutionary psychology, and philosophy—this enlightening and provocative book will forever change the way we look at our relationships with other creatures and, ultimately, how we see ourselves.

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Editorial Reviews

Karen Sandstrom
“Wonderful. . . . An engagingly written book that only seems to be about animals. Herzog’s deepest questions are about men, women and children.”
Steven Pinker
“A fascinating, thoughtful, and thoroughly enjoyable exploration of a major dimension of human experience.”
Arnold Arluke
“An instant classic….Written so accessibly and personally, while simultaneously satisfying the scholar in all of us.”
Irene M. Pepperberg
“Hal Herzog deftly blends anecdote with scientific research to show how almost any moral or ethical position regarding our relationship with animals can lead to absurd consequences. In an utterly appealing narrative, he reveals the quirky…ways we humans try to make sense of these absurdities.”
Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
“One of a kind. I don’t know when I’ve read anything more comprehensive about our highly involved, highly contradictory relationships with animals, relationships which we mindlessly, placidly continue no matter how irrational they may be….This page-turning book is quite something—you won’t forget it any time soon.”
Sam Gosling
“Hal Herzog does for our relationships with animals what Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma did for our relationships with food….The book is a joy to read, and no matter what your beliefs are now, it will change how you think.”
Robert M. Sapolsky
“This is a wonderful book—wildly readable, funny, scientifically sound, and with surprising moments of deep, challenging thoughts. I loved it.”
Temple Grandin
“Everybody who is interested in the ethics of our relationship between humans and animals should read this book.”
BookPage
“Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat is both educational and enjoyable, a page-turner that I dare say puts Herzog in the same class as Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis. Read this book. You’ll learn some, you’ll laugh some, you’ll love some.”
Associated Press Staff
“A fun read. . . . What buoys this book is Herzog’s voice. He’s an assured, knowledgeable and friendly guide.”
Associated Press
“A fun read. . . . What buoys this book is Herzog’s voice. He’s an assured, knowledgeable and friendly guide.”
BookPage
“Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat is both educational and enjoyable, a page-turner that I dare say puts Herzog in the same class as Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis. Read this book. You’ll learn some, you’ll laugh some, you’ll love some.”
Publishers Weekly
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. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"Insightful, compassionate and humorous." —-Kirkus
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061730856
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/9/2011
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 269,012
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Hal Herzog is recognized as one of the world’s leading anthrozoologists. He is a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University and lives in the Great Smoky Mountains with his wife Mary Jean.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Is It So Hard to Think Straight About Animals? 1

1 Anthrozoology: The New Science of Human-Animal Interactions 15

2 The Importance of Being Cute: Why We Think What We Think About Creatures That Don't Think Like Us 37

3 Pet-O-Philia: Why Do Humans (and Only Humans) Love Pets? 67

4 Friends, Foes, And Fashion Statements: The Human-Dog Relationship 97

5 "Prom Queen Kills First Deer On Sixteenth Birthday": Gender and the Human-Animal Relationship 129

6 In The Eyes Of The Beholder: The Comparative Cruelty of Cockfights and Happy Meals 149

7 Delicious, Dangerous, Disgusting, And Dead: The Human-Meat Relationship 175

8 The Moral Status of Mice: The Use of Animals in Science 205

9 The Cats In Our Houses, The Cows On Our Plates: Are We All Hypocrites? 237

10 The Carnivorous Yahoo Within Ourselves: Dealing with Moral Inconsistency 263

Acknowledgments 281

Recommended Reading 285

Notes 289

Index 327

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 15 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 15 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 12, 2010

    An incredible read!

    We are all involved in the "love, hate, eat" relationship with animals. This book will take you on a page turning journey into the intricacies, contridictions, and moral delimmas posed by human animal relations. It provides cutting edge science presented in a highly readable, many times humorous, non-academic fashion. Fun, fascinating, and provocative.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Changed. Evereything.

    This book changed the way i thought about food, baffled my entire family on the inconsistancies of humans, the belyaev fox experiments, the notion of going vegan... i think the most memorable part of the book for me was one vegan saying that the thought of eating animals sounded like 'snacking on the burning flesh wound' of an animal. Really makes every thing seem gross and fleshy. This book changed my college major.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2010

    Excellent book! I couldn't put it down!

    I couldn't put it down. Though there was a lot in this book I already knew, reading Herzog's excellent and insightful observations page after page nevertheless came as one shock after another. You quickly realize while reading this book that our relationships with animals is ingrained in everyone's daily lives, not just for those who keep pets. The author shares funny and sad stories and everyday experiences of people he's met and interviewed over the years. Herzog writes in engaging prose about the ethical dilemmas faced by meat-eating vegetarians, animal-lovers who work in mice laboratories, the horrific life of factory-farmed chickens, the surprisingly idyllic life of fighting roosters preparing for bloody battle, and many other stories that are sometimes hilarious, sometimes disturbing, and sometimes heartbreaking. This book is a total game-changer in the world of human-animal relationships. Everyone who loves animals, hates animals, or eats animals, should read this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2013

    Interesting book & gets you thinking a lot about human-anima

    Interesting book & gets you thinking a lot about human-animal interactions. May even change your mind about a few things. From sea turtles to cock fighting, vegetarians to meat eaters, animal enthusiasts to anmial hoarders and science reseachers - this book will take you into a whole other level of thinking about our interactions with animals. The author writes like he's talking to you personally with stories and statistics that will make you laugh,cry,and wonder.

    "What new science reveals is that our attitudes, behaviors,and relationships with animals in our lives - the ones we love, the ones we hate, and the ones we eat - are, likewise, more complicated than we thought."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    its ok

    this book is ok, but I expected more information, not just the author's "friends" thoughts

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  • Posted October 24, 2011

    excellent and thought provoking

    Well-written, insightful and often humorous look at how we (mainly Western society) feel about animals. A must-read for anyone struggling with ethical questions such as "should I be a vegan?" or "should we perform medical testing on animals?" Not political, no sides are taken. But you will think about questions raised in this book long after you finish it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2011

    Interesting and thought provoking!

    A very well written look at how humans view animals. It focuses on how our thoughts on animals are often inconsistent, based on emotions not logic. Very unbiased, with no political agenda. Very witty and easy to read writing style.

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