Why Hate Rodents?
"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."
-- Marie Curie
Over the years, I have encountered a lot of opposition toward rodents. Many people hate rodents for various reasons (disease, crop destruction, etc.). But this hate is merely a misunderstanding. Personally, I don't believe in hate. I think that everything that is hated is actually misunderstood. Below is a few definitions of "rodent", and only number 3 is right.
What is a rodent?
1. Only rats and mice are rodents (Wrong!). Many rodent-haters have nothing against rodents other than rats and mice (or anything that resembles rats or mice, such as gerbils), but these people still say they hate rodents. It is most likely because they define rodents in this category. I personally have nothing against rats or mice.
2. Anything small and furry is a rodent (Wrong!). People even dumber than the people who believe in the first category believe this. Weasels, skunks, moles, rabbits, and bats are not rodents, yet there are people who hate these creatures because they think they are rodents. Besides, not all rodents are furry (i.e. naked mole rats), and not all rodents are small (i.e. capybaras).
3. The order Rodentia defines all rodents (Bingo!). Rodentia is the scientific classification of rodents. Many people say "Rodent Family" but that is inaccurate. A family is more specific than an order, and Rodentia has many families. That is why Rodentia is so diverse. Rodents include beavers, squirrels, chipmunks, prairie dogs, gophers, rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters, chinchillas, guinea pigs, and I can go on. Smart people believe this category.
The main misconception of rodents is that they all carry disease. Only few rodent species (less than 1%) are harmful to humans. If the few rodent species that are harmful were raised in captivity, there would be no way for them to acquire any disease from the wild. Therefore it would be extremely ignorant for people to fear or hate a pet rodent of any kind.
How do we convince people?
I have been trying to convince people to at least appreciate rodents. Often I feel that our affection toward rodents is a religion; we have some converts, but other people refuse to listen to our points of view. An example of refusal to listen is this: one lady who claimed to be an animal lover refused to read my emails when I was trying to educate her about rodents, which she hates. She seemed very rude and close-minded especially when she said that rodent enthusiasts have no valid points of view and should be arrested. Those weren't her exact words, but she sure meant it! I don't know which definition of "rodent" she uses, but for an animal lover, she sure hates a lot of animals! If you find someone who does not like rodents, send an email as friendly as possible; I was trying to be friendly to this lady but I don't know what went wrong.
Here's a sarcastic biography of myself:
Ever since I was 12, I have been quite fond of rodents. Now I'm in my early 20's, and I've owned at least 7 different rodent species. Now I'm diseased all over, my fingers are falling off, and my face is disfigured because of all the years of having these diseased animals. I shouldn't go out in public because I scare people with my ugliness, but for some strange reason I don't mind. If you're sensitive about looking at pictures of people with extreme deformities, you don't have to look at the below picture of me holding my ground squirrel.
As you can clearly see in the photo, my face and arms are totally disfigured with lots of scabby disease and bite marks, my fingers are falling off, and I'm losing all my hair.
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