BY CONOR SHIELDSPig- Peter Pearson- Flickr
Following the rather grisly end of an Oregon pig farmer last month, pet owners across the country have doubtless been keeping a nervous eye on their cats and dogs. After all, our pets bite us all the time; could that be because they’re just less successful than the 300 kg sows which left nothing but a man’s dentures and a few scraps? What could our misbehaving animals be planning next? Sure, it’s a nip on the finger this week, but perhaps soon your hamster will be advancing on you with a knife fashioned from old bits of sawdust.
I am, of course, being hyperbolic. Calling a hamster bite misbehaving is like scolding Usain Bolt for being fast. Anyone who has been bitten by a hamster was probably poking it at the time. Although you might feel as though your fuzzy friend has betrayed you, you’d most likely attack any giant appendage which threatened to poke you from the heavens as well. Similarly, so called ‘vicious’ breeds of dog were specifically bred and raised to be aggressive; Bulldogs, for example, developed from the sport of bullbaiting, in which a pack of dogs tried to grab a bull by its nose and pin it to the ground (unsu
rprisingly, the dogs were often killed). How can we be surprised that such breeds are aggressive? When they lash out at humans we act shocked and appalled when in truth we developed them this way, the last thing we have the right to do is blame the animal.
Most cat owners have gone through the unfortunate experience of entering the kitchen in the morning only to find that their feline housemate has left their latest victim on the floor. Cat owners seem to be the exception though, the gory remains left on the tiles are “presents”. What most cat owners don’t know, however, is that in this case, cats think that we are the ones who are misbehaving; they leave their meals on the floor for us to discover because they’re trying to teach us how to hunt. Next time this happens to you, just bear in mind that your kitty thinks you don’t have the necessary skills to catch a rabbit. The nerve.
Consider again the Oregon pig farmer’s fate. These were huge animals that have a reputation for being greedy, why is anyone shocked to hear that they had eaten a farmer who probably amounted to less than they could eat in ten minutes? It’s what they do; they’re pigs. A pig’s world is more or less made up of eating and eventually being eaten, they were just doing what came naturally to them. So pity the poor piggies, not only have they nobody to look after them but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were ‘destroyed’ as part of some law for the control of animals, when all they were doing was what they were built to do.