As a dog owner, an “animal lover,” and a former farmer, I largely enjoyed Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. Author Hal Herzog’s message is simple and clear: humans’ relationship with animals is illogical and emotional. My bona fides didn’t make me a logical-minded reader. I got emotional reading some of the stories.
But there were unforgettable passages, such as his outlining the strong animal rights stance of Nazi Germany. This created great difficulties for the Reich because it had to dispose humanely of so many pets that had belonged to the Jews they were mass murdering.
My view of the book is complicated by the fact that I read it as a member of my university’s screening committee for possible common books. A common book, which is read by every entering freshman, must have two qualities: a strong story and a strong social issue; Herzog’s book is more of a collection but explores a strong social issue. And our students would find it interesting, I think, at least initially.
I was concerned they might wonder why they were reading the same message repeatedly—that there’s no sense in how we treat animals of different species—and might bog down. And then my own biases came into play.