Sitting in the park a few days ago, my friend Maggie told me that she doesn't read fiction. I don't think I had ever heard that statement before. A small handful of people have admitted to me that they only read fiction (for various reasons) but never the other way around. Maggie said simply that she does not like made-up stories.
I read everything but I had luckily just finished Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals by Hal Herzog so I had something to recommend to my exclusively non-fiction friend.
I borrowed this book from my friend, Ryan, because I am always interested in reading about human-animal relationships and how people justify their treatment of other species. Herzog examines a lot of the psychology around our human-animal interactions and presents his findings in an accessible way with interesting stories alongside studies. For example, when he starts getting into the meat issue, he sets it up alongside research he did into modern day cockfighting.
This book is about more than the dissociative techniques that humans use to separate themselves from their dinner. It covers cuteness, social norms and taboos, the evolution of dogs from wolves, laboratory experiments, activism, and the morality of using information gathered through exploitation.
I don't have any quotes for you because my page markers have all mysteriously fallen out... But I recommend it. If you like non-fiction.
Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat by Hal Herzog (New York: Harper Perennial, 2010). Image from Google Images.