We romanticize our pets. Seriously, when you see the woman who carries her dog around in a purse and buys "Muffy" bejeweled collars, it makes you pause. But think about even the dog named Rover who lives next door, he is still doted upon as much as Muffy. People spent thousands of dollars taking care of what are essentially, animals. Does that make them lesser than us? Scientifically, yes. It is funny because we squash bugs and eat cows, but then idolize those who have become common pets. What about snakes? Some people have them as pets and yet some people eat them. It is historically know that people eat dogs in many countries. Why are we outraged by this? It is a fine line to walk between what is an animal to be used in any means and what is an animal to be treated with respect and in a human fashion. Half Brother brings this, and many other, ideas to the forefront in its telling.
In some ways, this reminded me of Next, another book regarding using animals in scientific experiments, by Michael Crichton. One more that I would recommend especially for the background knowledge you can glean about the scientific process and thoughts that go into planning and implementing a study. Again, where do you draw the line? Lots of fodder for thinking. The mark of a fabulous read for sure!