Hal Herzog loves animals. In the acknowledgements for his 2010 book Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat, his cat gets special mention: “Finally,” he writes, “a Crunchy Salmon Treat to Tilly, who spent many a drowsy afternoon lying in a rocking chair, keeping me company and watching me write, occasionally meowing so I would rub her belly, reminding me why we bring animals into our lives.”
Herzog is also an anthrozoologist, an academic who studies the relationships between human and animals. His background is in psychology, but, he writes, his interest turned when he realized that “the justifications my cockfighting neighbors [in the North Carolina mountains] used for fighting chickens were not all that different from my rationale for eating them.”
Herzog’s book presents a convincing case that cockfighting is, in fact, more humane and more ethical than eating chickens, perhaps the most surprising–and unsettling–conclusion he draws in a book that he says he wrote to try to explain the paradoxically consistently inconsistent way that humans thinks about animals.
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