Written by a psychologist & anthrozoologist, Herzog seems to hold to the middle of the road in most debates & gives a good account of both sides in Some-We-Love-Hate-Eat.. There’s a lot more to how we think about animals than I would have thought & he comes at the issue from several different angles. He uses multiple studies & comparisons of their findings when he can. It’s amazing how often so much diatribe is based on single studies & faulty science, though.
Other areas could bear re-reading such as his discussion Bell curve comparisons, single cause fallacy, & other topics that are applicable to many situations outside the ones he addresses here. It would also be interesting to have better access to some of the facts such as we give 3 billion dollars to animal rescue, but spend over 10 times that eating beef – I think. It was a pretty incredible amount & makes his point that we’re not particularly rational on the subject. I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t make more of a point about the “out of sight, out of mind” factor specifically, though. Not just ignorance, but willful ignorance, are both huge factors.
While morality & culture are often a topic in the treatment of animals, I found the comparison of cock fighting & broiler chickens fascinating. Our ingrained hot buttons are incredibly weird. And then he gets into culture & eating various meats. Whether you’re a vegetarian or meat eater, animal rightist or animal user, Herzog brings up a lot of points to think about & backs them up with the best facts he can bring to bear. In some cases, that isn’t much & he admits it.
He spends a lot of time discussing dogs. Early on in the book, he gets into them & again later on. Although some of the information was similar, he’s making different points in both cases & they’re perfect subjects, so it never seemed redundant.
The last part of the book is almost exclusively on the philosophy of animal rights, vegetarianism, & other of the more extreme ideals. He shows where some have led & makes some great points on the logic of extremism. He also interjects the emotional factors & winds up admitting that we live in a pretty messy world. No great revelations there, but the trip was well worth it.
I highly recommend this to anyone interested in animals of any sort. This book is not designed to make an argument for or against how you treat animals, but just to make you think about how people do & why.