Some we love, some we hate, some we eat: Book Review

I recently read a book called “Some we love, some we hate, some we eat”. The book basically looks at the moral (or lack there of) decisions on how we  treat, eat,   interact with animals and insects.  The questions raised make you look at just how rational we really are when it comes to our relationships with animals.

As Eric Greene once stated, “It is easier to empathize with the dog than with the flea” . The Book asks “should it be?”

There were a few areas of the book that caught my attention more than others.

The first being the case against eating meat as a food source. Below is a clipping from the book that discusses eating meat.

“The case against meat comes down to 4 claims that are hard to dispute

1. To eat an animal, you have to take it’s life

2. The conditions under which nearly ALL meat animals are raised, transported, and slaughtered involve great suffering for the animals and horrible conditions for the people who do the dirty work.

3. The conversion of plants to meat is inefficient, and environmentally destructive.  Animal farms are the number one use of the worlds fresh water resources

4. Eating animals at the rate we do causes obesity, cancer, and heart disease. In the last 30 years human consumption of meat has jumped from 3 billion to 10 billion animals a year. A family of 4 went from 56 animals to 132 animals per year – That is not safely sustainable… yet we continue… Chicken being the worst offender. Since WW2 when a pound of chicken cost half as much as a pound of beef, it has dropped now to just a quarter of the cost.

In 1960 we ate around a half a pound of chicken a year, now it is almost 90 pounds per year.”

Those 4 points should be enough to turn us from eating meat. But they are not. In fact people laugh in the face of those statements. They usually come back with some silly argument about how it tastes so good, or how God intended for us to eat meat, or they will say things like, “ya gotta die from something”… which is odd, I don’t see anyone just jumping in to traffic because “ya gotta die from something”.

Those 4 points are not scare tactics. They may be scary, but that is not a tactic that is just a result of the fact. We still eat meat. A lot less than we ever used to… but we still do. We are working on cutting it down even more.. those 4 points should really be enough to do it…. Every few months I revisit this thought in my mind. Every few months we stray. American culture is pervasive when it comes to meat. We are told we have to have it, we are told we NEED it… That simply is not true, but meat is a part of almost every single meal served…… Why?

The next point that caught my attention is the scene at the Seattle sea market. “The one where they are throwing the fish.. the crowd takes photos, cheers, claps”. At the Pike Place Fish market, they have seminars on the fish toss seen here:

In fact, you can even participate in the action, and throw around and catch dead fish with them.

The real question according to the book is,  “Would they do the same if we were tossing dead cats and dogs through the air”? Would we take pictures? Would we cheer? Would we join in and throw them along side the workers?

 

If those images above really bother you… why does the one below not?

The question being raised by this book is simple. Why?

Why is one acceptable and another is considered brutality and in this country you would go to jail for it? Why is it OK for Farmers to cut off the beaks of chickens, let them urinate and defecate on each other, but it would send you to jail and be labeled a monster if you did it to a dog?

Why is Cock fighting, where a rooster is fed well, worked out, living in luxury until his fight, illegal, but when humans  chop them up, stack them up, cut them up, break wings, and break legs it is “farming”? The question posed is where does the disconnect come from. And why.

I am not trying to sway a decision here… It may seem that way, but I am not. Like the book, I am posing the question, “Why”?

Morals are tricky, relationships with other animals are even more tricky when it comes to morals.

I suggest picking this book up from the library, Amazon, a book store, where ever. Give it a read, leave me  your thoughts. There are many more dilemmas than eating food or choosing which animals to eat discussed in the book.

Below is the description from Amazon:

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.

 

Leave me a comment with your thoughts. I am intrigued by this topic!!

2 thoughts on “Some we love, some we hate, some we eat: Book Review

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