A True Story: Over-Population, Global Warming, Epidemics & Life in the Behavioral Sink

Photo by Joseph Chan on Unsplash

This is a true story:

In the 1940s, psychologist John Calhoun began a series of studies on rats and mice living in ideal laboratory conditions, with no enemies in sight. Without predators, rat reproduction accelerated, leading to bigger groups.

Long Before They Ran Out of Food and Water

Then, unexpectedly, long before shortages of food and water became a problem, life in rat utopia began to fall apart.

The stress of overcrowding altered the rats’ hormones — physiological functions grew abnormal. With biology rum amuck, well-organized rat social behavior collapsed and chaos ensued.

Ordinarily, rats live in stable, well-organized groups of about 12. Witnessing his rat utopia turned into a living hell, Calhoun christened it: “the behavioral sink.” Mothers gave birth before building a nest, then forgetting she’d just had a litter, she’d scatter her babies all over the place and failed to recognize those that were hers.

Insane Aggression In Males

Powerful males were in constant dominance fights with one another, stopping only to chase an unreceptive female, scared to death as he tried to mount her. Lower-ranking males and females slunk away, refusing to socialize with anyone.

Soon Calhoun’s rats forgot how to fornicate, how to raise the young, and how to follow traditional rules of rat social behavior.

It’s eerily familiar.

Beginning to Feel Much Too Familiar

With the social system dismantled, the rats’ health began to deteriorate. Vulnerable to infectious agents, bacteria, viruses, and even fungal infections took over. Rat utopia turned into hell and then turned into a graveyard.

If only this weren’t so fucking familiar.

Today’s headlines: High-ranking males (politicians) are getting busted for trafficking under-age girls. An ex-President was sued for raping a reporter. Over 120 degrees in Vancouver last summer, it was only a matter of time before a Pandemic arrived, killing millions.

Sounds eerily familiar.

A True Story: Over-Population, Global Warming, Epidemics & Life in the Behavioral Sink

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