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Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals Hardcover – September 7, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (September 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061730866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061730863
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Wonderful. . . . An engagingly written book that only seems to be about animals. Herzog’s deepest questions are about men, women and children.” (Karen Sandstrom, Cleveland Plain Dealer)

“A fun read. . . . What buoys this book is Herzog’s voice. He’s an assured, knowledgeable and friendly guide.” (Associated Press)

“A fascinating, thoughtful, and thoroughly enjoyable exploration of a major dimension of human experience.” (Steven Pinker, Harvard College Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Stuff of Thought)

“Everybody who is interested in the ethics of our relationship between humans and animals should read this book.” (Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human)

“An instant classic….Written so accessibly and personally, while simultaneously satisfying the scholar in all of us.” (Arnold Arluke, Anthrozoös)

“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.” (BookPage)

“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.” (Irene M. Pepperberg, author of Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Uncovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process)

“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.” (Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Deer: Lessons from the Natural World)

“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.” (Sam Gosling, Professor of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, author of Snoop: What Your Stuff Says About You)

“This is a wonderful book—wildly readable, funny, scientifically sound, and with surprising moments of deep, challenging thoughts. I loved it.” (Robert M. Sapolsky, Neuroscientist, Stanford University, and author of Monkeyluv and A Primate's Memoir)

More About the Author

Hal Herzog is regarded as one of the leading experts on the psychology of human-animal relations. He is Professor of Psychology at Western Carolina University and lives in the Smokey Mountains with his wife Mary Jean and their cat, Tilly.

Customer Reviews

Herzog writes well.
Herblady22
The book remains engaging and encourages you to question how you think about animals without preaching.
Briana Tomkinson
It is essentially a book about why it's so hard to think "straight" about anything.
Terry Nienhuis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

125 of 130 people found the following review helpful By Herblady22 VINE VOICE on September 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Hal Herzog is fascinated with our moral relationships with animals, the contradictions we feel and the ethical problems when we avoid contradictions. A dog, he points out, is a member of the household in the United States, vermin in India, and food in Korea. We humans tend not to eat animals we either adore or despise. As Koreans and Chinese have started keeping pets, they have become more ambivalent about eating dog meat and relegate certain species to the dog trade.

Herzog is an anthrozoologist who studies the interactions between humans and animals. He is also possessed with a quick eye for absurdity and a broad range of interests. In this book he has visited industrial farms and Appalachian cock fights, dogmeat markets, dolphin treatment centers, loggerhead turtle nests protection runs,animal research laboratories, and rescue refuges for injured animals. Even his family pets come up for scrutiny, when an animal rights neighbor called to ask if he was feeding kittens to his new pet boa constrictor and he experienced a revulsion that he did not feel about feeding them mice. And it led to a comparison of the food a snake needs compared to a cat- 5 pounds of flesh versus 50 each year which leaves a moral burden of owning a cat ten times that of a boa. Herzog writes well. I had trouble putting the book down, stopping only to ponder some of the questions he raises.

Like most of us, Herzog eats meat, wears leather shoes, but thinks that animals should not suffer. He foreswears veal, spends more money to get chickens that roamed under open skies, and is more troubled by the use of laboratory animals for safe eye makeup than for medicine.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ken C. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Some books are made for cover-to-cover readings. Others hold up nicely as "dippers" -- books you can read either intermittently or by selecting chapters and sections willy-nilly. Hal Herzog's SOME WE LOVE, SOME WE HATE, SOME WE EAT falls into the latter category. His chapter titles are clever, while the sub-headings provide the actual topic. For instance, we get "Pet-O-Philia: Why Do Humans (and Only Humans) Love Pets?" and "Prom Queen Kills First Deer On Sixteenth Birthday: Gender and the Human-Animal Relationship" and "Delicious, Dangerous, Disgusting, and Dead: The Human-Meat Relationship." The titular games set a tone, actually, as Herzog introduces anthrozoology in chapter one as a "new science of human-animal interactions," then has fun with it, being serious all along, of course.

The pleasures in the book are mostly of the "interesting tidbit" and "food for thought" variety. For instance, in the chapter "The Importance of Being Cute," Herzog explains how the Nazis managed to raise dogs above Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals in the social construct because Hitler, believe it or not, loved animals. In the same chapter, he wonders what it is like to be a spider. Do spiders have feelings too? Here we get into the squishy side of this "new science" as Herzog includes an anecdote (real or apocryphal, I can't say) of an arachnologist who constructs a web of rubber tubes and sits in the middle of it to find out.

"Pet-O-Philia" examines our tendency to turn pets into people (benign shades of the Nazis?) by dressing them in clothes and sleeping in bed with them. "Friends, Foes, and Fashion Statements" tackles the tendency for breeds to become popular. It discusses the controversy surrounding pit bulls and rottweilers.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By VampireCowboy VINE VOICE on October 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
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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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mayflower Girl TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I first saw this book, I was intrigued, but also worried that it would leave me feeling guilty if I chose to follow anything other than a vegan diet. I was completely wrong. This is a very engaging, funny book which is open to all--and is not about guilt. Instead, it basically goes into our cultural hypocrisy regarding animals and our treatment of them. I found myself thoroughly engaged with this book--probably because I was learning something new on almost every page. It is a book that will transform how you view animals and their treatment in many different ways. You will come away with knowledge of the history of the domestication of dogs, cock-fighting, snakes, animal research, and a whole slew of other topics. You will never interact with animals be it in real-life or via the media the same way again.

I highly highly recommend this book. Dr. Herzog is an excellent, entertaining writer.
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