The elephants in the room

When it comes to livestock domestication and how it began, whilst it’s probably not entirely ignored it’s been overshadowed by studies on dog domestication which makes it harder to understand and pinpoint where these creatures evolved from. I feel as if whatever attempts at saying dogs have a closer bond with humans than any other animal are way too biased towards dogs to make a good objective statement, given there are people who aren’t always too close to their own dogs whether if it’s their mental state or their cultural upbringing.

Conversely speaking, this ignores the possibility of people forming close emotional relationships with animals considered livestock such as sheep and goats as well as their attitudes to them in kind. It even ignores the odd possibility that certain theories about dog domestication such as the active social domestication model would be better applied to livestock. In the sense that livestock would’ve benefitted far more from it than dogs have.

While dogs are the first animals to be domesticated, if hunter-gatherer societies** are any indication the dog’s path to domestication as we know it isn’t that smooth and straightforward. These dogs may not always be reliable hunting partners, given there are instances where they’d hunt something else. They may not always be fed, either socialised to other dogs in order to hunt or even drugged to hunt game. They’re also even allowed to roam freely on their own, something shepherds and farmers would never do to their livestock.

Dog populations wouldn’t explode significantly until the advent of intensive agriculture, which would’ve coincided with gaining the gene to process starch. However even today some dogs can’t process starch, so the ability to process starch isn’t universal for all dogs. If the dog’s road to domestication’s convoluted, given the repeated occurrence of semi-feral stray and owned dogs then livestock animals’ road to domestication would be far smoother.

This should be obvious as they’re more commonly and widely used for food and clothing, until recently it can be said and argued that livestock animals would be more closely monitored and taken care of more rigorously than what’s been done to cats and dogs. In some of the stuff I recall reading, cats and dogs would even be starved in order to hunt something. Not to mention that they stray often proves my point that dog domestication’s convoluted.

While dog breeding did exist, it didn’t exist on such a big scale as you have within the past three centuries (from the 19th to 21st centuries) and historically the only people who could have pedigree dogs were rich. Even today in non-Western countries like the Philippines and Nigeria, it’s still the case not just with the rich but also status seeking individuals. Livestock don’t get this treatment.

Instead of getting a fancy breed of sheep/goat/cattle, status would be measured in how much livestock they can raise and take care of. This is the case with the Maasai where cattle are even used as bride price when it comes to marriages and that the Bible’s Job was prosperous because he had a lot of sheep. I might be wrong about the Maasai, but as it stands wealth was and still is measured by how much livestock one owns for some communities.

Especially pastoralists, which the words pastor and pasture are related to. Livestock like sheep and goats have a lot of use to pastoralists and farmers, not just because they’re used for meat but because they’re also used for leather, dairy, wool and parchment. I’m not saying that dogs are entirely useless, they do have use in farming and pastoralism but sometimes in some pastoral communities they’re ancillary creatures. Especially if the major feature of such economies are goats, sheep or any other livestock.

Same thing with cats especially for some African pastoralists like the Fulani and Tuareg. It would be easy to overlook goats, sheep and other livestock animals, even if they’re capable of forming close emotional bonds with humans and vice versa. Ironically, they fit certain domestication theories better, due to the nature of horticulturalism, pastoralism and intensive agriculture.

If dogs are in some regards not the best exemplars of domestication, given that there’s still a lot of feral and semi-feral dogs* out there in the world perhaps sheep would be a far better example as there’s not a lot of feral and semi-feral sheep out there. Most people allow their dogs to roam on their own, most people who have sheep won’t allow them to. In a dark irony, the active social domestication model fits sheep better than with dogs.

The pariah dog exists in a liminal state between wild and domesticated, in fact in far larger numbers than you get with sheep. Not that semi-feral sheep don’t exist, but given the nature of farming and herding they’re unlikely to exist in large numbers the way you do with dogs. So it stands that livestock animals aren’t just the elephants in the room when it comes to animal domestication, they’re also a far better fit for the active social domestication model.

*Let’s not also forget that even with livestock guarding dogs, they still hunt animals from time to time. At other times, the actual answers to animal domestication lie in the social sciences when it comes to the way people use and interact with animals.

**In some places and communities like parts of South America and much of Africa, dogs would’ve been introduced rather recently which means people would’ve spent centuries without using dogs while hunting. In the case with Africa, dogs would only arrive with the coming of Levantine Afro-Asiatic speakers and this is a good argument for dogs being an invasive species.

Other ways

I still think there are other ways of depicting evil actions, however through the extent of the consequences like say Tim Drake has a habit of conning Stephanie Brown into thinking he watches movies in the theatre until she realises he uses it as a cover to get away with dating other girls that she even gets mad at him and breaks up with him.

Sadism’s an easy way of depicting evil, machiavellianism and narcissism are harder to pull off but that involves realising evil can exist outside of outright violence that involves knowing the full extent of the consequences they have on others. Tim isn’t necessarily evil but whenever he lies to Stephanie, she starts getting suspicious of and angry at him that he’s not aware of what he did’s wrong.

(As for psychopathy, I don’t think psychopaths are necessarily evil and in some cases, a degree of psychopathy’s needed in some fields.)

Machiavellianism’s harder to pull off but that involves knowing the character could do wrong without knowing how it hurts somebody, like if Caitlin Snow’s got a habit of conning people and even making people do bad things without knowing she gets others in trouble and even herself that’s the full extent of how bad her actions are.

As for sadism, there are other ways of depicting how bad it affects people where let’s say somebody got his girlfriend or dog killed that he begins to empathise and protect other people from further damage or harm but that’s also another way of depicting the character’s goodness without revenge or perpetual angst.

Narcissism’s harder to pull off, but that involves much more subtlety in the sense that the character’s not very considerate towards others’ feelings. Tim Drake’s not necessarily evil but whenever he chastises Stephanie a lot for the little things she does, she gets hurt and angry and he doesn’t say sorry to her like he’s not aware of what he did’s wrong.

It’s possible for a character to learn from their mistakes and then move on or something, but when it comes to depicting evil there are other ways of depicting how bad it gets without always resorting to sadism (which’s the easiest way to depict evil).

On Psylocke

The character did start out as somebody’s sister, albeit in a form different from what she’s usually depicted as until recently and when she did adopt the Asian body, that’s due to body-swapping but one where somebody eventually had to undo this. Psylocke might and should be the poster-child for ‘racebending sucks’, but because this was something that’s forced onto the character in canon, rather than a reimagining.

It’s one thing to reimagine let’s say Valentina Vostok into a Yakut, it’s another to have the bodyswapping actually occur in-story where whatever criticism people have of racebending should be applied to what’s been done to Psylocke. There are characters trained as ninjas, but needn’t to be race and bodyswapped for it, but that involves actually care for characters.

Or at least being able to handle it with any real understanding, even if that may not be the right word for it. Elektra may be Greek and trained to be a ninja, she needn’t to be racebent to become one herself whereas this happened to Psylocke against her will. Now that’s different from the usual racebending, which simply reimagines characters.

She may be finally back to being white again, but I still think if there’s any character that does represent the problem with racebending it should be Psylocke first and foremost.

Governed by emotions

I do think suspicion and understanding/kindness by fueled by sentiments where somebody’s who annoyed and critical tend to think there’s something wrong with somebody and that somebody has to change. Somebody who’s kind and understanding may also feel annoyed but patient enough to (try to) understand them and attend to their needs and wants.

Somebody like Paul tends to be critical of somebody by nature at times, especially when they do something he doesn’t like that he’s quick to chastise them and sense there’s something wrong with them as to be corrected. Somebody who’s kind and understanding’s willing to try to understand where they’re coming from and even feel for them.

So to wit

My own suspicion’s that those who tend to be judgmental aren’t necessarily emotional but are more impatient than they’d realise in the sense of being so annoyed or suspicious of somebody doing something as to call them out immediately, sometimes seemingly without mercy as their patience’s always gets tested this way and feel the need to stop or control the person in some way.

Those who tend to be understanding and kind tend to be usually patient to a fault, taking time to understand people and even feeling the same things as they do, or at the very least feeling sorry and pity for them in some fashion. That’s my understanding of things, but it does make sense as those who’re more understanding are more patient than those who’re judgmental.

In the sense of bearing their problems and empathising with them, whereas a judgmental person would be suspicious of somebody doing something as to feel the need to call them out.

Judgmental and impatient

When it comes to judgmental people, they’re not necessarily any less emotional but more emotional/impulsive/impatient than somebody’s who’s not that judgmental. Impatient in the sense of quick to chastise somebody they don’t always trust at times, or if they’re sufficiently annoyed as to call out somebody.

Somebody who’s not that judgmental afford to be more patient, in the sense of being more understanding of where the person’s coming from and even actually merciful at times, whereas a judgmental person’s slightly more impatient in the sense of being quick to chastise somebody for screwing up.

These aren’t necessarily good or bad traits, as much as I think those who tend to be judgmental feel the need to correct people they don’t always trust immediately or feel annoyed, those who’re not that judgmental are naturally kind and accepting by nature.

Wanting to be happy

Sometimes it’s not always a bad thing to want to be happy and not be reminded of bad things, especially if it becomes the more understandable if you’re stressed out, always having bad experiences and a bad temper that your decision to not be reminded of thing that hurt you’s understandable.

It’s like if your patience’s running short due to stress and effort that I won’t chastise you for losing your temper as I’ve been there myself, like if you’ve been rejected and hurt for your efforts at doing something then that deserves consideration especially if it’s understandable/reasonable.

Also if you’re been through so many bad experiences, distress and anger that not wanting to be offended by something bad becomes understandable that’s if you’re prone to pain and hurt inside of you that needs to be understood and respected.

This has to be considered more

I still think that there are cases that seemingly defy stereotypes but need to be considered in light of trauma, practicality and allergies where somebody’s neurotic from having a bad childhood (abused by peers/parents) and so allergic to cats as to gravitate to dogs unless if there are situations that demand cat tolerance (like churches, farms and monasteries where somebody has to put up with the cat as much as they can manage).

I even said that it’s also possible for extroverts to have cats, especially if they have them around for practical purposes like hunting vermin in the farms, churches, houses and monasteries. Like it’s possible for an agreeable, conscientious person to have cats especially if they need them to hunt mice and are influenced by either their own thinking or peers into getting one at all.

That’s doable and understandable

I honestly still think that whilst there are studies that do mention neurotic dog owners, there’s also the possibility of some of them having allergies in which if the stereotypical cat owner’s supposed to be neurotic and introverted but doesn’t apply to people with allergies to cats then that has to be considered even further.

Unless if there are situations that demand cat tolerance like monasteries, churches and farms with cats around, a neurotic person who’s allergic to cats would gravitate to dogs more (actually I know somebody who’s like that but they’re also bullied by their father). Logically it’s possible for an extrovert to have cats, especially for practical reasons like hunting vermin.

If people do have good reasons for having animals around, then that’s understandable but the possibility of neurotic introverts having dogs or calm extroverts having cats has to be considered: the former for allergies to cats, the latter for practicality.

This has to be considered

In the sense that if some neurotic, introverted dog owners do exist this has to be considered for many factors like possible social/emotional disregard for who they are and what they’re into, as well as allergies to cats where one expects a cat owner to be neurotic and introverted but allergies and others complicate matters.

Unless if there are situations that require people to tolerate cats like farms and monasteries, those with allergies to cats would gravitate to dogs that it’s not always the neurotic, introverted person’s fault for having dogs especially if they’re allergic to cats unless if there are circumstances that demand tolerance that it’s not their fault for having dogs more.

Logically, it’s possible for some cat owners to be extroverted, conscientious and agreeable but usually if they have cats for practical purposes like hunting vermin and also being influenced by their own thoughts or peers into having cats for useful purposes.