Journal 17/Hal Herzog’s “Animals Like Us” Response

In Hal Herzog’s, “Animals Like Us,” he exhibits the view of animals from different perspectives. A domestic animal does not necessarily have to be a dog or a cat. For some cultures, specifically Asian, dogs “can be a pet or an item on the menu.”(246) For Americans, that appears to be absurd because dogs are mostly considered to be family. On the other hand, some individuals create bonds with larger, sometimes dangerous animals. Herzog introduces his readers to Carolyn, an avid sea cow lover who had the tendency to put the life of a marine mammal over her husband. This shows us that any type of animal can bond with a human. The sea cow became attached to Carolyn even though she was not nearly the same species. This proves that animals do have some human characteristics. Although it is possible for both humans and animals to form such strong connections, it could be potentially dangerous. There have been many stories of people domesticizing animals such as chimpanzees and later being attacked by their beloved pet. Is it ethical to keep certain animals as pets? For instance, the boa needs to eat meat in order to survive. Is it right for the owner to be providing Sam the meat or should he let the boa be in the wild scavenging for itself?

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