On animal aggression and people

Since childhood my family has owned a number of pets.  As an adult I’ve had many different types of pets of my own.  One thing I realized is that more primitive animals, such as a tarantula, a giant centipede or a big python are not aggressive.  They may attack you defensively if they are afraid of you; if they fear that you would harm them.  More often than not they would choose to run.  If they mistake you for food, they may also attack.  They would stop when they realize their mistake.

However aggression, the urge to attack someone because you want to fuck that other being up, is something I’ve only observed in higher, more intelligent animals.  Dogs and cats can attack out of anger.  I’ve even observed a bird with the habit of attacking people out of jealousy – whenever the person the bird liked would show affection to other members of the family, the bird would attack to stop the act.

The strange, unusual, potentially ugly and possibly venomous things in the world are not really out to get you.  They’re just dumb creatures trying to get along with their lives.  Most of nature does not have malice toward you, its just trying to mind its own business like you.  On the one hand this understanding makes me feel quite good.  On the other hand if I compare people and society with nature or a big dumb bug, I realize, damn, people sure likes to tell you what to do, and people are a lot more aggressive and malicious than tiny venomous critters with many legs.


ps – pictured above is a centipede with the scientific name of scolopendra polymorpha, native in the U.S.  They get up to 4 inches long only, and can easily be kept in a big jar or a cheap plastic tank.  They can be kept on a diet of tiny crickets or juvenile cockroaches.  They are available cheaply and make for interesting, low maintenance pets.

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