Everyone knows that man is fickle about other beasts. When the Romans weren't throwing each other to the lions, they were busy refining the art of the hunt. From the time when Homo heidelbergensis first killed a saber-toothed tiger with a jagged stone until today when we cosset fleas, goldfish and hamsters, we have been ambivalent toward the ""lesser"" creatures. Dembeck's ""cultural history of relations between man and animals"" covers prehistory as well, myths and fables under three vaguely chronological topics: the animal as prey; as servant (domestications of the dog, cock, horse and camel); and as friend (zoos, circuses and pets). Since he feels that ""the sign of love for animals is in the ascendant in our age,"" he ends on an optimistic, nearly ASPCA-ish, note-- we shall have reverence for all life. The book should promote that purpose and serves as adequate additional reading for the avid animal lover.