Mantacore and Man
There is something exhilarating about breaking someone’s will. That may sound sociopathic, but most people do this very thing without even noticing. Perhaps the most benign for is simply winning an argument – You and another person have a disagreement on a matter, and through the application of logic, knowledge or even just annoying persistence, you force them to stop arguing. You have broken their will to argue. Your will was greater. Doesn’t it feel cathartic? Don’t you feel superior? Of course, some people take things to extremes.
Another common form of this behaviour is pets. You take these things from outside of our society and culture, with different physiologies, instincts, needs… And you teach them that their instincts and behaviours are wrong. You teach them that if they want food, shelter and companionship, all they have to do is bow to your whims and be at your mercy.
They go out when (or even if) you let them, they eat when you decide they can, they can only do what you allow. Hamster chews through a cable? Cat scratches up your sofa? It is the fault of the animal, not yourself. They need to change, the fault of course doesn’t lie with the person forcing the animal to be something it is not.
Of course, there is the ‘exotic’ pet market. The tougher the hunt, the greater the reward, so to speak. The more wild an animal, the greater the feeling of empowerment if you manage to tame it. The more dangerous an animal is, the greater the thrill of surviving its presence… If you can pull it off. The most famous early example would be Cleopatra.
Leader of one of the greatest historical civilisations, seducer of the time’s greatest conqueror, snake enthusiast. When you believe yourself to be like a god, you become too arrogant to fear those you deem beneath you; be that people or beast. Her lover, Caesar, met with a knife to the spine, courtesy of his underling Brutus. She herself succumbed to the bite of her beloved asp. She forgot she was a human and that she lived with a snake, and was surprised when the snake did what snakes do.
Then come the modern examples. The arrogant and rich love to invite danger into their home, thinking themselves as shielded from these threats as they are from other dangers in the world. Then the scorpion uses its stinger, then the chimpanzee rips their arm off. Of particular note is the story of Roy Horn, of Siegfried & Roy. He asked his white tiger, Mantacore to say hello. He never expected the greeting to come in the form of teeth wrapped around his throat.
I killed your lion before he could kill you, Alistair. Your problem was you chose the most dangerous animal of all to make your pet. Lions aren’t responsible for 96% of all extinctions in the past hundred thousand years. Elephants have not wiped out millions of people… That is humans. And you, in your hubris, decided to ‘tame’ a particularly dangerous human.
My fangs are sharper than yours.