Thursday, November 4, 2010

relationships between humans and animals.

I am really weird about animals. I can enjoy meat as food when I don't think about it too much, but as soon as my jungle of a mind starts going, the thoughts are hard to digest. I was the little girl who saw a bird with a broken wing on the side of the road and would take it home to Daddy to fix - and if it was a lost cause, I would cry for a week. Yet there is this other side of me that can scarf down a cheeseburger like no other.

What makes any society have feelings for one animal and not another? I am not talking about just Americans, but people around the world as well. Why is an animal a pet in one country, yet dinner in another? Hal Herzog has given us some answers in his latest book, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard To Think Straight About Animals. 

This book way more serious than I would have thought. For example, Herzog considers the various theories of animal rights, from an absolutist vision where choosing between saving a baby or a hamster in a fire is equivalent, to considering an animal's ability to suffer, its level of cognition or cuteness factor to decide whether one can kill or eat an animal. Also, Herzog sees the hypocrisy of trying to make cockfighting a felony while permitting wholesale torture for food production - though he disagrees with both. There are less intense issues discussed as well, like why a certain breed of dog becomes more popular than another?

Such an interesting book is a must to add to your collection. 

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