Peter D. Sealey: "They will eat their own. OK? If they get trapped, a live animal trap or a snap trap where they can't get out, if they're
hung up by their tail or their legs or whatever, they will chew that leg off to get out of that trap."
I'd say this was a shocking revelation but, news flash: Human beings have been known to chop off an appendage when survival depended on it.
Really, the shame is that so many rats have to make this decision because we put them in this predicament. :o/
Terrance Powell: "A bleeding rat will sometimes spur other rats to become cannibals and eat the other rat."
I'm not really sure where he got this one. Yes, a rat will cannibalize another DEAD rat. As one rat friend said to another in Dr. Doolittle,
"Only out of respect." But the blood of a rat doesn't SPUR anything. I'm guessing this is one of those human interpretations of something
once witnessed. And as humans we like to create explanations that describe an animal's behavior as long as it DOESN'T match our own....because
we're different, we're better. But try this on instead:
A rat, let's call him Bob, discovers that he is trapped. Bob is scared. His leg isn't moving, he's in a panic,
he can't remember how it got there, and the only thing he does know is that the longer he stays there, the more at risk he is of becoming some
predator's snack. Bob is really freaking out. And to make it worse, Bob feels like everyone's watching.
Now think about it: Are Pete and Earl cannibals? No. They're reacting to a situation. Is Bob spurring anything? No. He's reacting to a
situation. And don't tell me you've never seen two grown people go at eachother's throats for close to nothing. Anger, fear, aggression: These
are very strong emotions. And stupid stuff always results when anger, fear, and aggression are involved. If you're still not convinced,
check your local news. Stupidity happens hourly.
A pair of rats come along. Let's call them Earl and Pete. They hear this guy screaming for what seems like miles. They're curious.
They're on the highway, they KNOW they should be continuing forward at 55 MPH, but they can't help but stop to check out the commotion.
Well Bob's now not only horrified but he's embarassed. His ego is shattered, and suddenly he's feeling very aggressive because that's what men
do when they do something stupid, they become aggressive.
Bob starts to snap at Earl and Pete. And Earl and Pete are seriously confused because they don't know why Bob's being so mean, they just know
they don't like being snapped at. So their adrenaline also rises and they start snapping back.
As you might guess, Pete and Earl have an advantage: There are two of them and they're not trapped. Not so surprisingly, Bob gets the life
beaten out of him.
Robert Wilonsky: "They're cannibals...they're corpse-eaters....they're small, they're powerful, they're carnivorous, they're disgusting"
- Cannibals: "only out of respect."
- Corpse-eaters: Dude, has this guy EVER lived OUTSIDE of a movie? I mean, really! Corpse-eaters?
Rats are OPPORTUNISTIC. That means: If there is an avocado, the rat will eat it. If there is an avocado and corn on the cob, the rat will
eat the avocado then the rat will eat the corn on the cob. If there is an avocado, a corn on the cob, and a big juicy Outback steak, the rat will
eat some avocado, some corn on the cob, and some of the steak until he is full. Add a rotting human to that menu. Will the rat eat avocado, corn
on the cob, steak, and rotting human flesh, or will he stick with just the fresh stuff? (Hint: Rats have tastebuds too).
Now let's say that there is absolutely no food nearby except for this one guy on the docket for burial (because a rat surely won't dig 6 feet
for rotting human flesh). Will the rat eat some of the dead human? Probably. Actually, if I recall correctly, humans, in desperate situations,
have also eaten rotting dead other human. Go figure. It's called: SURVIVAL. Oh no! That means HUMANS ARE CANNIBALS!
- They're small: Robert is very observant.
- They're powerful: Yeah, last time I saw the "Strongest Man in the World" contest, Bob, after finding a way to get his leg out of the trap,
did some serious training in the art of semi-pulling and pulled that truck all the way from Canada to the tip of Mexico! And I can't even begin to
count the number of grand impacts they've had in the political arena.
- They're carnivorous: Shocking!
- They're disgusting: I guess it's a matter of perception. My rats say the same thing about me.
Robert Wilonsky: "They will do whatever it takes to escape even if it means eating their friends, their family members. They have no
consideration for, there is no such thing as love amongst rats."
Let's go back to Bob, Earl, and Pete: Earl and Pete were a threat to Bob. It had nothing to do with the fact that they were like him. Heck,
they might have even been related. The point was that they were messing with him. If a guy's got his leg stuck, the only thing that is going to
make that guy rational is finding a way to help him remove the object that is firmly planted on his leg. Bob isn't hungry. Bob is in
pain. Bob is HORRIFIED. And Bob is about to die. That's all Bob knows. Do you really think that when an animal of prey is trapped that he's
pondering which relative he's going to have for his last supper? I mean, really. D'oh!.
If the definition of love was solely dependent on the behavior of animals in times of extreme stress, humans must not know a thing about love
either. And if that's Robert's definition of love, I seriously feel sorry for him.
Rats: Loathsome Pests.
Rats: In Our Buildings.
Rats: Attacking People.
Rats: What They Chew (And Don't Chew).
Rats: Favorite Pasttimes.
Rats: Personal Hygeine.
Rats: Pet vs. Wild.
Rats: The People Who Love Them.
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