Thursday, June 09, 2005

Speaking up for those who can't squeak for themselves:

Today in the BBC: There are a whole bunch of rats out there, in your homes, your gardens, under your feet and visiting your favorite restaurants. Gives some people the willies, I know.

But you know what I say? Good for them. Any animal smart enough and tenacious enough to "share with us the title of most successful mammal on the planet" deserves my respect. Rats don't maliciously invade our homes, they are intelligent enough to think "hey, there's a warm place, with holes to hide in and lots of food lying around - I want to live there" kinda like us. And the truth is, if most of us cleaned properly, and didn't leave so much food lying around, then there wouldn't be much incentive for the ratty friends to come and live with us.

Everybody thinks that the bubonic plague was caused by rats, it wasn't. First of all, it was caused by people: throwing their feces and garbage out the window, living too close to one another - a nice environment to spread disease. Secondly, if you really want to blame an animal, blame the flea. It was the fleas on the rats (and the humans, and the dogs) that actually carried the disease. The rat was just the messenger, a flea mode of transportation if you will, but then again so were we.

So I fail to understand why people are so afraid of rats. They are just smart little animals with a poor reputation. We actually owe alot to these little creatures. They are subjects in trial after trial for scientific experiments (because they are so much like us.) Most modern medicines, and theories of behavior/psychology would not have been possible without rat help. Now, personally I am against animal testing, but if for no other reason, this one is a good way to illustrate how rats have actually helped humans.

Bottom line is, I think we should respect all creatures great and small. We may not understand why an animal is here on the planet with us, but that doesn't really give us the right to do away with it. I think we can learn a great deal about ourselves from watching the world around us. Even those bits that some people may find unpleasant.


Blogger michelle said...

yeah..i know what you mean. Its quite fascinating that people's first instinct when they see a cockroach is to squash it in sight even if they did nothing. they just happened to pass by their way..its hilarious..its not their fault that they look the way they do...

*dont get me wrong..i hate cockroaches and i get grossed out by them..its just funny if you think about it...

9:38 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

Thank you for your comment. Of course, you're right - even cockroaches deserve a chance. I think everything does it's own little job here on earth and who are we to say whether they deserve to live or not?

Thanks for dropping by, take care,

9:29 AM  

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