By Giorgio Samorini, Rob Montgomery
An Italian ethnobotanist explores the outstanding propensity of untamed animals to search out and use psychoactive components.
• Throws out behaviorist theories that declare animals haven't any attention.
• bargains a very new figuring out of the position psychedelics play within the improvement of awareness in all species.
• unearths drug use to be a average intuition.
From caffeine-dependent goats to nectar addicted ants, the animal nation bargains extraordinary examples of untamed animals and bugs searching out and eating the psychoactive elements of their environments. writer Giorgio Samorini explores this little-known phenomenon and means that, faraway from being limited to people, the will to adventure altered states of attention is a ordinary force shared via all residing beings and that animals have interaction in those behaviors intentionally. Rejecting the Western cultural assumption that utilizing medicinal drugs is a unfavorable motion or the results of an ailment, Samorini opens our eyes to the chance that beings who eat psychedelics--whether people or animals--contribute to the evolution in their species by means of growing totally new styles of habit that at last might be followed through different participants of that species. The author's interesting bills of mushroom-loving reindeer, intoxicated birds, and drunken elephants make sure that readers won't ever view the animal international in rather a similar manner back.
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Extra resources for Animals and Psychedelics: The Natural World and the Instinct to Alter Consciousness
I witnessed this myself during the course of my field studies in Gabon. In such cases we are clearly not dealing with a natural animal impulse but with an intentional behavior conditioned by the human environment in which these animals live. Nor can we consider it a natural impulse in those cases in which human beings themselves are the ones to administer by force certain drugs to laboratory animals for the purposes of research. Journals specializing in psychopharmacological and neurochemical research are filled with the results of experiments carried out on the most disparate animals, who undergo forced administration of cocaine, heroin, nicotine, and countless other drugs so that scientists can study their physical and behavioral effects.
Nepeta should not be confused with another cat herb sold in pet stores, which is a type of grass whose stems, when chewed, induce vomiting in cats and act to purge their digestive systems. When a cat is offered catnip, its behavior is observable as a succession of four separate stages. First the cat sniffs the plant (which smells like mint and/or alfalfa to humans); second, it licks the leaves and sometimes chews them. Ronald K. Siegel says in Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise that the “chewing is often interrupted when the cat momentarily stares into space with a blank expression, then quickly shakes its head from side to side.
Siegel’s brilliant text Intoxication: Life in Pursuit of Artificial Paradise, published in the United States in 1989. Siegel has conducted research and observations of animals ingesting drugs both in the field and in the laboratory; in his book he has gathered a dense body of documentation on the subject, which I have referred to again and again in the course of my own work. 1 Crazed Cows One of the most well known and striking examples of addictive behavior—that is, of true drug addiction—in animals involves locoweed, also called crazy grass or crazy seeds.