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Discussion About the Article:
Violent Role Models:
George Bush Sr. and the United Methodist Church

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Comments by Keith Akers
30 June 2001

Hi all,

I agree that dogs and cats have a natural predisposition to chase and catch things, so the entire blame on their predatory behavior can't be placed on the owner.   On the other hand, these instincts can be modified under the proper circumstances.

Any animal psychologists here?  This is what I've heard vaguely elsewhere -- dogs are naturally scavengers rather than true hunters.  Therefore, while they have an instinct to chase, it is not an instinct to kill for food and could be domesticated.   The story that Mike Shaw tells therefore makes sense to me.

Also, while cats are true and instinctive hunters, I understand that they have to be taught to hunt by their cat-mother.  I recall the story of a lioness ("Little Tyke") who was separated from her mother shortly after birth and then raised by humans.  She was fed a vegetarian diet and never chased or killed animals.   There's a charming picture of her with a lamb, and some more details, at this web site: http://www.vegetarismus.ch/vegepet/tyke.htm ; Mary and Frank Hoffman's web site also has some info at http://www.all-creatures.org/hr/hralion.htm   which gives information on how to get the book "Little Tyke."

Keith

Keith Akers is the author of The Lost Religion of Jesus

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