Ever wonder how big wolves are and why running from them is a really bad idea?
This had me so fucked up the first time I worked at the zoo. Because honestly they just look like big German-Huskies when they’re not wild. They look like big puppies. And then… they get close to you… And it’s suddenly kinda fucking terrifying. Like “oh this is the animal that used to scare people shitless.” “This is the animal that used to run through nightmares and poems so much.” And you suddenly fucking get it. As cool as these animals are far away, as important as the animals are in their natural environment, as much as we need them to survive… they’re still pretty fucking terrifying
can you believe these things became our friends
And then people domesticated them and now sleep with them in their beds.
We’re not a species meant to last
I’d actually argue the opposite!
We took these super efficient killing machines and befriended them and now they love and protect us as much as we (ideally) love and protect them
Cats basically domesticated themselves so that they could share in our food, medical care, and affection
In urban spaces, prey species know that there’s a higher likelihood that humans will help you if you’re stuck or injured than them killing or maiming you
It’s just, over time we see trends of our species overcoming environmental pressures that would and do lead to extinction in other species by sharing and forming close bonds with other sentient organisms and just kinda… aggressively community-bonding our way out of it?
For a long time there’s been this pervading idea that we, as a species, are just innately violent and terrible and “sinful” and it’s been that violence that let us survive (see the hunting hypothesis of human evolution). But that’s not what we see
We are, at our core, a species that looks into the face of something other, and thinks “I wonder if they want to be friends?” so long as the individual isn’t actively trying to kill us. Sure, tons of people do awful things every day, but for every terrible act or thought on this Earth, there are a dozen acts of kindness that people do casually for complete strangers
So yeah. We looked at these massive fluffy monsters with the sharp claws and crushing jaws rooting in our garbage just beyond the campfire and thought, the way no other species before or after us has done to the same extent; “They look friend-shaped!”
And they were. And that is how we got to be the dominant species on this planet
…no. You’re massively over-romanticizing co-evolution. (Also this gif is of a wolfdog, not a pure wolf).
The most recent scientific evidence points towards the proto-wolves that became dogs domesticating themselves for most of the process. Semi-permanent human settlements meant that low flight distance and bold behavior were advantageous to survival and were selected for in proto-wolf populations. It’s theorized that at some point humans recognized the benefits of encouraging them to lurk around camp (less rotting food waste means less pests and less disease, and their presence would likely keep other predators away) and began to indirectly influence population genetics long before any sort of truly domestic proto-dog existed – this is very different from the mythologized idea of ‘bringing a wolf cub into the tent to love and raise as family’ that your description hearkens back to.
Cats domesticated themselves by being small, opportunistic predators with a short reproductive cycle and quick maturation rate – not because they comprehended an innate value in associating with humans.
Humanity does not want to befriend everything we meet – if that was the case, domestication of cattle wouldn’t have occurred. Cows aren’t friends – they’re tools that we bred exclusively to feed our society – and don’t get me started on if domestic camels are our friends.
I get what you’re trying to say, but you’re referencing outdated and romanticized theories about human history and evolution and domestication in order to put a rosy tint on humanity’s tendency to manipulate and fiddle with everything we encounter until it benefits us. We’re just lucky our early agrarian lifestyle led to co-evolution with animals that are now our closest companions.