The book Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat describes people’s attitude towards animals, as well as some ethical dilemmas and inconsistencies. In his book, Hal Herzog, who is anthropologist and psychologist, makes thought provoking, controversial, and fascinating examination of the psychology behind the ways people feel, think, and behave towards animals. For instance, he states that it is worse to be a chicken bound for a frying pan than a cock prepared for a cockfight. Naturally, we always consider animals to be our food, our pets, our draft animals, our prey, and predators. Human interaction with animals leads to the development of feelings and emotions of disgust, antipathy, love, and irresistible cuteness towards them.
Friends, Foes, and Fashion Statement
The given chapter of Herzog’s book discusses the relationship between the dogs and the human beings. It traces human/pet relationship from the ancient times and explores how people have developed in adopting animals as their foes and best friends. Herzog hypocritically describes the manner in which animals are treated and perceived. He also considers dogs as working animals that were treated as the family members. Though dogs and cats are portrayed in the story as those that evolved both mentally and physically and became more human friendly, culturally they are considered to be more associated with human beings because of their food dependence.
In the real-life society, there are a lot of contradictions and inconsistencies in the way people view animals. The given problem results from the fact that people are omnivorous, yet they are strongly entangled from the sense of right and wrong (the fact that people consider other animals to be more delicious than others). In the past, the spirit of an animal killed for food was honored through performance of a ritual. With current changes in fashion, the supermarkets offer meat for sale through Styrofoam trays and plastic wrappers making it easier for people to ignore the fact that they are purchasing dismembered corpse of a formerly living animal.
In my view, increase in the number of animals that are kept as pets has led to the close interrelationships between the animals and humans. The changes in trends in the fashion industry have made many people consider pets as a part of fashion. For instance, in the West, people own dogs and cats as a part of fashion statement. Hence, the changes in fashion have led to the increase in the intimate relationship between the human beings and animals.
The Importance of Being Cute
In this chapter, Herzog talks of why people think about creatures that do not think in the same manner as people do. Although some of our feelings regarding animals appear to be innate, others are considered to be mutable and cultural. For example, animals with furry and big eyes are mostly regarded as cute, while snakes are considered to be repulsive. Pigeons, on the other hand, were viewed as lovable but not useful. However, recently they are neither useful nor lovable. Thus, there appears a classification of lovable but not useful pets, while farm animals are useful but not lovable.
Though there are many women amongst the animal activists than men, women are considered to be more susceptible to cuteness of pets and babies. They are considered to be sensitive to differences in cuteness of pets. Thus, pets that have cute physical attributes will have a better chance of being taken care of. For example, dog lovers prefer cats to dogs because of their cute appearance. Herzog points out that other people have gone further to use cosmetics in order to make their pets even cuter. Though he objects such acts, he views it as increasing of the intimate relationship between the animals and humans.
Although animal testing is described as a highly contentious issue, the cases of product beauty testing are considered to be of uncertain value to humanity. I am opposed to the development of cosmetic testing companies on animals, but I will only support it if scientists consider the cosmetics to cure animals’ diseases.
Prom Queen Kills First Deer on the Sixteenth Birthday
In this chapter, Herzog describes the impacts of gender and human-animal relationship. Even though both genders love animals, Herzog points out that there are more women amongst the animal activists. Although some animals cause a lot of harm, people’s tendencies of liking them have been evolving from time to time. Such a tendency has been occurring due to human inbuilt love for creatures with big foreheads and eyes.
Herzog describes that human-animal relationship has led to such acts as hording and rescuing of animals. Although this is something that many people can handle easily, its primary importance is not understood by many other people. In his book, Herzog describes this through the use of Becky, the director of a municipal animal shelter. Becky knows the stories of many different animals and calls them by their names. She loves her job despite the fact that every year she euthanizes sixty percent of them. The woman remains cheerful and perky when talking about her job. Herzog notes that Becky is the right person for the job. As for me, I would never get through this job. I personally love animals very much. In my case, I would be difficult for me to stop hoarding more animals. I respect people like Becky who is absolutely devoted to her job no matter how sad and hard it may be to get through it.
Though people are created to be omnivorous, Herzog says that our brains are the key factor in the decision of which animals to eat. Other animals, like horses, for example, are unbelievably healthy, but we do not eat them. The right to choose which animals are right or wrong to eat has propelled the decision to kill many animals for food. Though cultures differ from one society to another, people usually eat those animals that are more favorite and delicious to them.
The Cats in Our House, the Cow on Our Plants
In this chapter, Herzog describes human beings as hypocrites. He rhetorically uses this title to portray the behavior of human beings towards animals. For instance, the author notes that many people who are considered to be dog lovers prefer to live with cats instead of dogs. In fact, Herzog names himself as the one who belongs to this category of individuals. Although he goes on describing the relationship between the animals, he never gives the reasons behind the development of these patterns. Herzog further explains that most people have controversial feelings towards the animals they love (their pets) and the animals they eat (their dinner). He also poses the question as to why some animals like dogs are regarded highly, while others like chicken are used for either fighting or eating.
Herzog further describes that chickens meant for consumption are raised in dreadful conditions, while those meant for cock fighting are raised in proper conditions. Hence, when one speaks of chickens used to fight, it raises the noses of many people as they know that chickens used in cock fights are well taken care of during their lives, while those used for chicken nuggets are raised badly. Although Herzog at this point can be considered as promoting cock fighting, he does have a point. He poses a question as to why should people eat chicken that was badly raised yet they know where it came from. Personally, this does not apply to me. I do eat chicken if I know where it has come from. It is hypocritical to mention that majority of people who eat chicken do not know where the meat comes from.
Anthrozoology is certainly an interesting field, and Herzog describes it as a new science of human-animal interactions. Namely, he says that this is the relationship that exists between the human beings and animals. In the book, Herzog describes a survey of anthrozoology and human beings hypocrisies. Thus, this chapter describes the human/pet relationships, which I consider to be extremely interesting. For example, many people eat factory-farmed chickens yet they are opposed to cock fighting. The birds prepared for cock fighting are perceived to have much better lives than the factory farmed chickens. Although Herzog is opposed to both of these views, he is fine with meeting people who raise cock fighters. Another case is where people keep pure-bred dogs that are considered to exhibit genetically impaired diseases or conditions. Thus, the evolution of attitudes towards pets is considered to determine the relationship of animals and humans.
Have you got any questions?
Herzog poses a lot of interesting ethical questions on research. For example, he views children who abuse animals to be serial killers in the future. The author also quotes an example of a crazy cat lady, who loves cats but through neglect, she slowly kills them. Herzog also addresses the variation of cultural differences. For example, dogs are valued pets in the West, while according to many other cultures, dogs are considered as dirty animals that do not fit for human consumption. In some countries people eat dogs. Another case concerns hatred towards snakes or bugs and an incredible love for kittens. This portrays that humans exhibit contradictions in their way of lives.
As for me, I have always wondered why some cultures embrace dogs and cats as pets, while others consider them as food. Another case is where the majority of people eat cows, while the Buddhists consider these animals as sacred. Thus, it is hard to understand all the contradictions and complexities that exist between the humans and animals.