Human domestication III: Wolf vs chihuahua

In the last couple videos, I looked at the idea of human domestication, the idea that modern humans can be considered somehow tame and domesticated compared to our wild ancestors.
Now, it’s quite a different way of looking at things than the typical more positive and congratulatory view of evolution: that mainly we became smarter.
And the the main feature of human evolution, the most interesting thing, is that we became smarter.
And clearly that has to be part of it, because we are doing things as modern humans that no other animal that we know of can even come close to.
So we’re definitely applying some brain power.
But then you think that domesticated creatures have smaller brains.
They tend to be more docile and passive.
And all these features that in some ways, it’s not so self-congratulatory, it’s not so pleasant to imagine.
I mean, if I think that comparing myself to a neanderthal is like comparing a chihuahua to a wild grey wolf.
And of course, I just picked chihuahua.
It could be any one of the dog breeds chihuahua is just an especially smal and seemingly makes a bigger contrast with the wild wolf.
But any of these modern pet dog breeds, I mean, I guess the best thing, what makes them good as pets, is they’re friendly and cute.
They’re docile, tame, they follow orders, they do what they’re told.
They, most of them, don’t freak out and start biting, most of the time.
So that’s what makes a good pet dog.
It’s not what makes a good wolf.
A good wolf has those skills of aggression and the ability to hunt and survive in the wild.
So the entire paradigm, the entire system, the situation of what makes a good domestic animal is totally different, greatly changed, from a wild animal.
And when I look at it that way, I don’t really like it, because who would want to be a pet?
I mean, what is a domesticated animal?
You’re either going to be a pet, so you’re kept around because you’re cute and friendly, or you’re going to be livestock, and you’re kept around because you or something you produce is somehow tasty or useful for your owners.
And so the idea of being that kind of creature: there’s something that feels unsettling about that.
I mean, there’s some part of us, I think, that – I know I’m not the only one – that that there’s something attractive about being a wild and free creature.
There’s something that is good about that, the sense of freedom, self-reliance the idea that I can be the master of my own destiny.
Of course, we’re all at the mercy of fate, and we’re a small part of the wide universe, but at least not directly serving a master, at least not directly being owned and used as a pet or a livestock creature.
And so the idea that we have become and we have evolved along lines that in many ways have a lot of similarities with domestic pets and livestock leaves me a little bit uncomfortable.
So I wonder about this, and I would like to hear your feedback about this.
What do you think about this?
Do you think there’s any truth to it at all?
And what do you think about this idea?
Is it OK to go with that and kind of be tame?
Celebrate the advantages of being tame?
Or do we need to somehow fight back and rewild ourselves I think maybe it might be a mix, because being tame is not entirely bad.
Being able to be more cooperative, and the reduced aggression, helps us to be able to actually do things other than club each other over the skull, and so we can actually get a lot of things done.
And also not have our skulls clubbed as frequently.
So that’s great.
But on the other hand, there’s so many conditions and neuroses that develop when an animal is domesticated.
There’s something off about it, like I talked about in the first video with the zoo.
You see those creatures in the zoo, that there’s just something off about them.
Something’s not right, that they’re not able to really be themselves.
But then that would be a wild animal in a zoo, and you could say, well, after generations, maybe the neanderthals, and maybe our faraway ape ancestors, they were wild, so they were like the wild wolf, but maybe we are more like a chihuahua.
Are we more like a domestic animal, and so we should just live like that?
So I would love to hear your thoughts on this bottomless topic.

#rewilding #domesticatedhuman #becomingtame

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