eBook ☆ Rat How the World's Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top Þ Hardcover

ePub Rat How the World's Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top

eBook ☆ Rat How the World's Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top Þ Hardcover Ç From its origins in the swamps of Southeast Asia to its role in the medieval Black Death to its unshakeable niche in modern urban centers the rat has incredible evolutionary advantages CombiS in her lifetime• A rat can fall fifty feet onto pavement and skitter away unharmed• A rat’s jaws can exert a force than twenty times as powerful as a human’s• The front side of a rat’s incisors are as hard as some grades of steelIn Rat How the World’s Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top Jerry Langton explores the history myth physiology habits and psyche of the rat and even speculates on the future of the rat and how they might evolve over the next few hundred years Rats—how we hate them fear them love them and study them How we kill them and they kill us And above all how the rat owes his success to the human who is like the rat than we’d ever care to admitRats have little sympathy especially when the animals in uestion are wild rats There is virtually no push to spare them Because of this people are often at their ugliest when dealing with the rodents Entire websites are dedicated to swapping stories and tips about killing rats On one such website the author notes 24% of respondents said they feel orgasmic after killing a ratDomestic rats get a little sympathy They along with mice are the most common animals used in lab experiments but they are afforded zero protection under the Animal Welfare Act Various animal welfare groups work to improve the lot of rats used in research and testing however they still have nowhere near the advocacy of say chimpanzees Pet rat breeding ownership and adoption have their adherents in various degrees Speaking broadly the people who are devoted to domestic rats are surprisingly similar to those who adore aggressive dogs—read the book and you’ll see what I mean The rat becomes an extension of self—and perhaps that’s why we feel the way we do about rats

Jerry Langton ☆ Rat How the World's Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top mobi

Found in virtually every nook and cranny of the globe and their numbers are ever increasing Rats are always adapting and they seem to outwit any attempts by humans to wipe them out What makes the rat such a worthy adversary and how has it risen to the top of the animal kingdom • Rats have been discovered living in meat lockers The rats in there simply grew longer hair fatter bodies and nested in the carcasses they fed upon• A female rat can under good conditions have well over 100000 babie Rat is unsurprisingly very much cut from the same mold as Robert Sullivan's Rats They differ in journalistic particulars which I'll get to but they're both from the themed collection of facts school of book writing and they emerge from the impulse to use facts to sell papersbooks rather than to pose and answer uestions Obviously as an academic I think that's a bad way to write a book in general but with rats it's much annoying Rats sell magazines and books as a boogeyman which gives authors plenty of incentive to play up that narrative with anecdote and personal experience and also to maybe not work too hard to emphasize the degree of confidence and commonness that can be ascribed to certain wowing tidbits Langton is a bit bold about the fact that this is journalism not academia He cites dozens of scientific and historical facts about rats often with only minimal caveats as to their reliability Yet not a single one of them has a citation There is no way to chase down these claims and get information on how they were determined or whether any of them are sheer hearsay and poppycock Langton claims for instance that rats can leap 4 feet up in the air without a running start I've seen young rats do 2 ft but four seems like it would take a special kind of rathlete But maybe it's typical in wild rats who have to do that sort of thing to access garbage Hard to be sure since I don't know where Langton got that information That's something I don't let my undergrad students get away with on throwaway assignments and I don't understand why his editor let him get away with it or maybe they had him cut it who knows Where Sullivan dismissed pet rats as a fundamentally different animal not worthy of his consideration Langton seems uixotically fascinated with the pet rat owner an object of his gawking narration even than the rats themselves He interleaves chapters with among other documents three letters sent to the Saskatchawan government to protest their proposed ban on pet rats Many of these are clearly written by children full of pent up anger and shoddy grammar and it feels exploitative and cruel It's hard to imagine the logic behind their inclusion and it feels vaguely unethical There's a chapter that partly covers contemporary pet rat owners and the tone is disgustingly psychoanalytic He paints us as weirdo loner goth outsiders probably unattractive and shunned by their families who identify with rats because they're outcasts Oof To give a sense of just how much of an out of touch Boomer Langton comes off as It doesn't come as a huge surprise that he's into a style of music he calls death metal and used to play in some pretty nasty bands himselfPart of that bitterness seems to come from an antagonism he established after publishing the articles that formed the seed for this book He got a lot of angry mail from pet rat owners and advocates who were doing some damage to the facts in order to make our little friends look good This is unfortunately entirely believable and I can see it getting pretty annoying He seems to have overcorrected a teensy bit and he pretty uncritically frames rats as a historic and universal enemy of the human race which is dumb All of that collectively got me pretty upset with Mr Langton and I was about ready to tweet angrily about how fuckin heated people would get if someone wrote a book like this about stray dogs how gross they were how many people they'd killed one of Langton's clearest whoppers is that people are bitten by rats than any other animal all the stats I could find didn't even mention them; dogs are the clear leader and cats in second for obvious reasons how hard they are to control etc But then he did it He claims to be responding to pet rat owners who liken rats to dogs and points out that this is a bad comparison since dogs are so brutal That got my attention and won me over a bit After that I found some other redeeming features here First he does a lot of on the ground reporting but unlike Sullivan he never makes a big deal out of his own experiences It's so low key that his biggest pilgrimage the Karni Mata rat temple in India I'm not actually sure he made which isn't great but it's better than Sullivan's pretentious Thoreau lite fare Second his weird hangups didn't stop him from interviewing over a hundred he claims pet rat owners and looking into the history of their domestication which Sullivan just wrote off He never discusses the advantages of rats as pets of course but it's somethingFinally despite the lack of sources he generally puts anecdotal claims at arm's length at least implying he's interested in vetting claims and that the other facts are from primary lit or experience by extension not that that's the only reason to cite sources obv He also shows a ton curiosity about rat evolution ecology and history than Sullivan did which of course is the whole point of the endeavor from my end The benefits of that curiosity are a bit tempered by the fact that I can't dive into the bibliography and learn but it's appreciated It's just a shame that he completely lacks the historian's self consciousness of his own culture of the assumptions he brings to this project He never uestions why he or his readers might take the idea of keeping rats as pets to be taboo and weird He takes it for granted that rats are disgusting and any aberrations from that idea must be explained through desperation or pathology For instance he discusses the filthy and disease laden conditions of Africans with Black rats living in their thatched roofs in lurid detail like living near animal poop was some uniue form of African poverty and suffering and then reveals that these rats constitute a major food source for those households It's painted as a uniuely modern problem a situation born of desperate poverty and the defaunation of landscapes by overhunting and habitat conversion The idea that not eating rats might be a uniue and Western phenomenon doesn't seem to have occurred to him Of course there is no discussion of the potentially complex and interactive nature of this relationship as rats became domestic animals in the first place

doc ò Rat How the World's Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top ☆ Jerry Langton

Rat How the World's Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the TopFrom its origins in the swamps of Southeast Asia to its role in the medieval Black Death to its unshakeable niche in modern urban centers the rat has incredible evolutionary advantages Combining biology with history and social commentary with firsthand experience Rat dispels the myths and exposes the little known facts about the ubiuitous rodentPlague carrier city vermin and an out and out menace to modern man the rat like death and taxes is a certain fixture in humankind’s history Rats are Rats are dirty Rats spread disease Rats are stupid If you don't want them in your house don't feed them or give them water You knew that There's a temple in India where rats are worshipped Rats have flexible rib cagesNow you don't have to read the book