Comment: I see a distinction between human beings and

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I see a distinction between human beings and

other mammals and took the comment to mean behavior of lower animals, so to speak. But my argument still holds if considering the "animal instincts" we humans have (if part of what makes us human is that we are not similarly locked into them). The issue is what is *normal*. Yes, put a lion in a cage and he'll become psychotic. The term "behavioral sink" applies when atypical behavior starts to occur when caged animals (mice) are overcrowded. Under certain conditions humans will develop psychological problems, too. So I agree there are exceptions. But the reason we can describe animal behavior is because it *is* fairly predictable. It's not NORMAL for animals to behave the way those teenagers did. When you said lions will kill a female lion's young, you gave a reason *why*. It wasn't a random act of violence such as the Jersey City "animals." As to house cats, I don't think once you domesticate an animal you can count his behavior as "normal animal" behavior. Cats not needing to hunt for food and escape predators, not getting exercise prowling, stalking, and climbing up trees, and not just having some fun chasing squirrels and birds that, at the same time, hones skills *will* find ways to do so with whatever is at hand.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir