I'm an animal-lover. I have a cat, a dog, and a a fish that has lived abnormally long. I feed birds and hummingbirds in my back yard. I love spiders and will usually make sure they get put outside rather than killed. However, I don't spare ants that crawl on my counters. I eat meat, and believe that my cat doesn't need to be allowed outdoors. Where does that leave me? Apparently, in good company.
Hal Herzog became fascinated with the way people create their own belief systems when it comes to animals. He wondered how people justify keeping certain animals as pets, viewing others as pests, and keeping a small list primarily for eating purposes. Why is animal research on primates so hated (enough to get your car bombed), and yet research on mice is rarely ever mentioned by those same animal-rights activists (even though the numbers are significantly higher)? How can those activists use the same tactics as terrorists, and yet feel they are morally superior? Why is it OK to raise roosters for fighting - and are those roosters better off than those raised in factory-farming?
Herzog covers a lot of ground, but does it effortlessly. There is a flow to the narrative, and it is helped along tremendously by interviews with people on every possible part of the spectrum. The book is an entertaining read, and while it probably will not convince anyone to change their personal views, it will certainly demonstrate that those views are as varied as the animals we co-exist with.
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About the reviewer
Beth C. (biblioholicbeth)
I'm a SAHM of two, a board member of my son's charter school, and an avid reader. I am also an Amazon Vine member and the wife of a retired Coastie.
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