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Whose side are you on? August 22, 2005 3:59 PM

Haven't you always noticed how although rats are so nice, friendly and affectionate, people still poison them everyday? I think humans should have a taste of their own medicine (so to speak). If there was a big war between humans and rats, who would you support? Personally, I'd join the rats. Although they're probably more likely to lose, what would happen if they won? They wouldn't cause global warming (save the warmth of their fuzzy little hearts), and they'd have no pollution (besides a little bit of high-pitched gas here and there). Aww!

Don't you think our ratty friends would take so much better care of the earth?

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out there August 23, 2005 5:56 AM

Boy Catriona, you must be tripping to get onto such a strange subject.  I think pretty much all creatures live for themselves alone and if rats were to evolve to be at a level with people, they'd do just like us...take advantage of things. 

I was on a trip this past week and saw a glue trap behind the toilet at a gas station.  Man do those ever piss me off.  They are meant for mice not rats though.  I picked it up and chucked it.  It may not make a difference on the whole, but maybe I saved one little mouse.

Hang in there Cat, not everyone in this world is a heartless dodo bird.

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 August 24, 2005 2:55 AM

I guess if the rats won, they would eat us, to be honest.  That doesn't stop me from appreciating them though.  When I move I hope to have a larger space to start keeping rats in.

I also love seeing our local wild rats and often feed them.  I know many people wouldn't appreciate that, but I feel that humans are the only real pest on this planet, so I choose not to judge other creatures.

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Hmm August 24, 2005 5:21 AM

Hmm, yes it it a wierd topic - but I was desperate to make this a more active group! I guess you can only adore rats so much before you run out of things to say!

But yes, they probably would eat us... but still, there are always friendly rats; our companions prove that! Just like there are humans who kill rats without a second thought - then there's us, who throw away mouse traps!

I don't hate humans as much as it sounds - honest!

Wouldn't it be nice if humans stopped killing rats, and found a way to work in harmony?

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 August 24, 2005 5:38 AM

Catriona its good you recognise that rats would not necessarily welcome us with open arms, but its a lovely thought to think we could learn to live in harmony!

There is a big difference between tame rats and wild rats though.  I love wild rats, but they do cause disease.  Then again so do lots of animals, especially humans, so we all need to learn some humility here.

I think its great to see people exploring these issues and recognising that humans are not all that great a lot of the time.  So long as we keep trying our best though, there is no more we can do.

I hate the icky way that some people view certain creatures, as a lover of insects I get very fed-up with the things people say about them.

Anyway, keep being yourself and keep inspiring the rest of us!

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I love random thoughts August 24, 2005 4:34 PM

Keep those tripped-out questions coming!

 If rats ruled the world:

- we would be covered in scratches from them climbing all over us
- we would be covered in pee from them claiming us
- it would stink, because they don't flush
- we couldn't have nice things because they would chew everything (come to my house and you'll see what they do to our leather sofa)
- we would starve, because every time we tried to eat something a rat would shark it from our hands
- our beds would be stinky but warm because they'd be full of rats
- we'd always have little rat kisses
- there would be no more animal testing
- there would be no more animals, because the rats would eat them all
- everything would be disorganized, because rats have poor planning skills

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Maggie you rock! August 24, 2005 5:16 PM

Yes this really did geth things going. I love the background on this page. Everything you said. And things would fall off shelves because the rats would be climbing to check it out.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 August 24, 2005 5:28 PM

to add to Maggie's list:

- there would be a greater sense of community, as rats are very social and loving
- we would all be very clean because rats love to groom themselves, each other, and whoever is their friend
- there would be plenty of food because rats share when there is enough food for all, which there is in the world (just a problem of distribution due to humans)
- everyone would get a lot of love and attention because rats love to snuggle
- there would be no more homelessness because rats know how to make cool houses out of kleenex boxes!

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 August 24, 2005 5:31 PM

and i don't know about anyone else's munchkin, but my Basil is very organized and neat... he rearranges his house sometimes... and if he's finished with something (like a piece of carrot) and wants to save it for later, he puts it back into his food dish!
I like to think of him as a metrosexual. hehehehe
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 August 24, 2005 5:33 PM

I should also add that I'm rat sitting right now for a friend's baby rat.... and my Basil, who had never interacted with another rat as long as I've had him, welcomed little Merlin with open arms! He started grooming him and they were so cute!!! hehehehehe    [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Hmm August 25, 2005 5:13 AM

There is evidence that ratties and humans CAN live in harmony, though... take for example in Deshnoke, where they have a whole teple dedicated to them:

http://www.bway.net/~bastable/rats.html

And:

At the so-called “rat temple,” priests and villagers feed, dote on and worship rats as the returned souls of their departed family and village members. Though I didn't get a picture of it, a boy in the temple motioned me over, saying, “See that one white one there? That's your people.”

There's a place on Earth where rats aren't horrid pests, but treasured guests. In fact, as many as 20,000 run rampant within the Karni Mata temple in Deshnok, a city in northwest India. These residents of the 17th-century Hindu temple are considered holy: Each day, devotees bring large silver trays laden with offerings like sugar, coconut, and milk for the sacred ones to feast on.

Although a serious house of worship, rat spotting has become prime tourist activity. Following Hindu practice, visitors must remove their shoes before entering. If a rat scampers over your feet, you're considered blessed. And your blessing increases if you spot a rare white rat among a sea of furry browns. Even greater fortune is promised by eating food the holy rodents have drooled on or nibbled.

Surprisingly, "Rat Temple" claims no reported cases of rat bites or rat-related diseases, and when nearby cities were plague-stricken in 1994, Deshnok went unscathed. Rodents infected with the bacterium Yersinia pestis spread plague by fleas; humans contract the contagious, deadly disease through fleabites or exposure to infected animals. Temple followers, however, and many plague victims drank the rats' leftover milk and water as preventive medicine or cure, but whether it worked is uncertain.

While worshipers still think sharing a drink with rats provides divine health miracles, disease ecologist James Mills of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, "Personally, I wouldn't touch it." Among his reasons: fever and diarrhea-causing salmonella bacteria. Severe flu-like symptoms can result from Leptospirosis, a disease spread by rat urine. Even if the rats were lab-raised and certified disease free, Mills says, "Numerous bacteria live in the digestive system of rats. Humans aren't adapted to these organisms. I don't want an upset stomach."

See that? It says there were no reports of rat bites or diseases! Of course this could be because anyone to get bitten would probably be too ashamed to amit it in a temple like that, but I like to think they didn't bite because they were well treated, and that there were no diseases because they were allowed to live with the people in the city, instead of in the sewers!

I saw a documentary about the city, and the rats weren't just in the temple, they were in the streets too. They played in the streets and wandered about carelessly in broad daylight. How nice is that? I'm SO going to live there when I get older!

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 August 25, 2005 9:43 AM

That is soooo cool!!!!
I've read something somewhere about the city of rats before, but didn't know that much.
Thanks for sharing!
I'll come live with you there Cat! hehehe
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 August 25, 2005 3:02 PM

Catriona, I have seen that temple on tv, it was most inspiring.  I find the Hindu faith very inspiring as well, the way they accept their fellow creatures is something I can't imagine in a more western society.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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