Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals

Drs. Hal Herzog and Mike von Massow

For our last CCSAW Seminar of the academic year, we were lucky enough to host Western Carolina University’s Dr. Hal Herzog, author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals and a fascinating Psychology Today blog post. The format was different  from normal – a prerecorded interview with CCSAW’s very own Mike von Massow followed by a live Q & A – but it worked really well, not least because we had such a diverse and engaged audience. You can listen to the seminar on the Food Focus podcast series, here.

Dr. Herzog provided a thoughtful, entertaining overview of the confused and contradictory attitudes most of us have towards animals, typified by someone who treats their cat or dog as a family member, while eating meat from animals who’ve lived and died in sometimes welfare-challenging environments.

The discussion explored why so few people seem to disavow animal protein, or simply restrict themselves to products from systems they are ethically happy with. “The four N’s” gives us one insight, explained Dr. Herzog: meat-eaters regard meat-eating as Natural, Normal, Necessary and Nice. But he added a fifth reason too, and that is the perceived notion that “food animals” are less sentient than cats or dogs.

This seminar attracted CCSAW’s peak audience to date – 116 people from all over Canada, the US and Europe! And many lit up the chat with great questions, and exchanges of personal principles, stumbling blocks and inconsistencies. It was a truly wonderful way to end this year’s series.  

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