Of Rodents and Humans

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,175
Albuquerque, NM
#12
VHS, Of Mice and Men, is a short novel written by John Steinbeck published in 1937. It is NOT a text book, though it is a popular book assigned to students of literature.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,264
Brassicaland
#13
VHS, Of Mice and Men, is a short novel written by John Steinbeck published in 1937. It is NOT a text book, though it is a popular book assigned to students of literature.
It was not designed as a textbook, but in Canada (at least previously), High School English courses often used this book as part of the course.

Some rodents make wonderful companion animals, such as fancy mice and rats, Guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas.
I can safely say that Apopo's Herorats have saved more lives than most people have in their lives.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,264
Brassicaland
#14
Yes, I acknowledge that many rodents have done considerable damages to properties and can be vectors of diseases.
On the other hand, some rodents are beloved companions.
Some people shout "yuck" when they hear that guinea pigs are eaten in parts of the world, which is a similar reaction to people eating cats and dogs.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,264
Brassicaland
#15
rodents are pests. they spread disease, it's established fact.
Certainly some rodents are pests, but many people are delighted with sights of squirrels and chipmunks.
Beside, if a species exists, it usually has its ecological role.
The "pest" thing can be a totally anthropocentric thing!
 
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Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,424
#16
Certainly some rodents are pests, but many people are delighted with sights of squirrels and chipmunks.
Beside, if a species exists, it usually has its ecological role.
The "pest" thing can be a totally anthropocentric thing!
Good point.

Squirrels for instance plant forests. They always bury more acorns and other nuts than they actually need to get through the winter, plus some die over the winter or get eaten by predators, and those unrecovered nuts end up as the next generation of trees.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,264
Brassicaland
#17
Good point.

Squirrels for instance plant forests. They always bury more acorns and other nuts than they actually need to get through the winter, plus some die over the winter or get eaten by predators, and those unrecovered nuts end up as the next generation of trees.
Without agoutis and pacas, we won't have Brazil nuts!
Why are we ignoring the ecological roles of rodents?
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,264
Brassicaland
#18
Although a few rodents are prolific and have become pests, quite a few rodents are endangered.
We need to be aware of these crisis.
The points I am trying to make here are:
Rodents are not universally pests; they often have their ecological niches.
Some domesticated and trained rodents have made major contributions.
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,685
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#19
Rodents have been cohabiting with humans since the beginning of our prehistory. And when humans begun to collect food in their cities, rodents begun to do some "sightseeing" in our urban areas.

Animals don't reason about changes, they simply try and see if they can find a way to survive in the new environment. To come back to the present, in my hometown wild squirrels live in the parks of the villas [despite the presence of cats and dogs]. They have adapted their lifestyle to the man modified local environment.

To spend some words about mice, we all know that they have been a constant presence in our life [still today at Rome they say that the city stays above an underground mice city!] and that they have been also means of diffusion of plagues and similar, but this was more due to the lack of hygienic conditions in our societies ... more than to the mice themselves. To say that rats spread plagues is incomplete: they can spread plague where humans don't live in a hygienic way.

Btw, rabbits are not rodents [this is a common mistake], they are "lagomorpha".
 
Sep 2012
8,757
India
#20
In my locality, where my bungalow is surrounded by ' Co-operative Housing Society blocks of flats ' on three sides, and a road on one side, we have a number of rats, mole-rats, and the squirrels on the trees nearby.We have a number of pigeons, too. Our tomcat Manu fed off a number of pigeons for quite some time, till the pigeons took the hint and their number has definitely decreased but not so the rats. Our tom killed a few rats in the beginning but he probably did not relish rat meat because he soon stopped killing them.
I blame our neighbours who eat meat and leave the rubbish in the rubbish bins for the rats to feed on and multiply. The rubbish bins are of lightweight plastic and are easily turned over by stray dogs in search of trash food.