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 Can a leopard change its spots?

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DarkOne
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PostSubject: Can a leopard change its spots?   Fri Oct 31, 2014 10:13 pm

here's an interesting thought I've been thinking, so much has been made about the morality of the predators however there has been a major imporant aspect of it all that goes unexplored for the most part...

...Even if a gaint Predator was convinced to change it's ways.......would it be able to? Would the environment and the humans themselves even allow the predator to have such a opportunity?

This issue really revolves around the concept of escaping your past and cleaning the slate...which most people will argue is near impossible. Just as it's diffecult for many convicts to have a life after prision (with that criminal record and all potentially getting in the way of meaningful employment, meaning that sadly many criminals just end up doing crime again) A predator will also surely find life extremely difficult if it decided to befriend the humans after being given a rousing speech by an adventurer.

First off, is that while the predator might have changed, Felarya hasn't. And the predator might find herself coming in conflict with her own kind by trying to defend the humans, possibly at the risk of being socially excluded from any predator social circles she might have had.

Also, the predator now has the added stress of looking out for herself AND the humans. I've noticed that in most stories the humans let the predator pull all the weight. Many adventurers seem to become extremely lax once they have befriended a predator, clearly expecting the predator to provide for them at every oppourunity.

Is the freindship with humans even going to be geniune? Or is it just going to quickly become exploitation? It's very well for the predator to think about humans' wellfare but are the humans going to think about the predator's? If it starts looking like the predator is being used as a slave under the guise of "freindship" surely the predator isn't going to put up with this.
For example most adventuers surely arn't going to hang around, it's not like they actually came to Felarya to make freinds to begin with. They will travel for a while, get what they want and leave the predator in the forest...leaving her exactly where she started...just without her little buddy to inspire her.
If a predator befreinded a settlement, will she even be allowed to get near the settlement to enjoy the same secuirty they do? A predator woulden't be able to get near places like Negav, and hidden settlements might prefer if the 100 foot creature wasn't so close as she could potentially give the game away to other gaints. Basicly she has to live in the same dangerous forest she has always done and only can see her freinds when they decide to see her.
And not all humans are going to treat her nicely, many humans can't even live with nekos without resorting to treating them like second class citizens. Some humans won't let the predator move on, constantly hating her for what she did in the past. Putting her in a cacth 22 situration where she can't do anything right, and she might decide that pretending to be human was a fools errand and she might as well be a monster since many humans are happy to treat her as one.

And surely the only true way a predator can really clean the slate is if she could escape the forest altogether and work towards being cilverlised, which requires an education and a role that encourages and maintains her new life direction. But when you're a 100 foot gaint, there's very little opportunity for that. A predator can't hide away in places like Negav and completely forget about the forest outside...she is still in the forest and is going to be constantly tempted to return to her old life. It's like trying to get a alcoholic to kick the habit by employing him in a bar.

Overall I just think most predator-human freindships would realisticly end in disaster. No matter how well intentioned the predator was and how much she believed that "humans are not food!" she is likely to just end up going back to the way of life she was raised in simply because it's easier. It takes alot for a person to break a life long habit and the humans are extremely limited on ways they can help.


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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Sat Nov 01, 2014 12:16 am

Oh, good points. Well, we have Safe Haven and Jade as an example that it can happen, but everything you said is true. Of course, couldn't the predators simply live as before? Humans are only a small part of her diet, with fish, fruit, or what else still being available to her.

Now, if she was still traveling with the humans, then she would indeed have to be forceful, and remind them that she too has her needs. She needs to rest and eat, so either they pull their weight as well, or she won't be responsible for bad things happening while she is away. In fact, they could at least be her lookouts and watch her back.

Then, if she wishes to become part of society, then there is always work for a giant. Like in the Flintstones, she could carry a bus on her back, or work as a crane. Or what about crafting? Knitting a handkerchief is enough to give humans a fishing net.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Sat Nov 01, 2014 8:52 am

Actually, I don't think Safe Harbor's Jade counts in this one, since she never ate humans to begin with.

I agree with all of Darkone's assessment overall, and not just because I'm a pred sympathizer. I feel like, throughout his argument, he made sure not to claim that it could never happen, a once-predator befreinding their prey and changing their habits, only that it isn't very likely when you think about all the consequences. It really gives writers like me more to think about in how they portray giant-little relationships.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Sat Nov 01, 2014 9:15 am

Personally, I don't see true friendship between giants and humans happening anytime soon. Not just because what we currently know of Felarya is only part of only one continent and a handful of islands, but I don't see it as practical for the giants. While I'm in the camp that preds feed on animals just as much as humans, if not more so cause they're just more likely to run into animals, simple survival instinct would tell them not to let a chance for an easy prey to escape, otherwise they run the risk of becoming weak due to starvation, making them easier preys themselves. The best I can see happen is friendships with individual humans, like Crisis with Léa, Subeta with Marken, and Aurora with Seliky. Even Fiona, who's no longer really around since Cliff left, understood that her policy to not eat humans had to slide occasionally if it meant just surviving in the absence of other suitable preys.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Sun Nov 02, 2014 2:29 am

The question is not whether all of predator-kind will become friends with the prey, but whether an individual predator could be accepted in a community. Now, how do we accept someone into a community? How do we know if a person is here to settle and not hurt us?

If the prey has a way to control her, to feel secure in her presence, then I think it could happen. And I am not talking about some mind-control of shock neckband, but emotional control. They could provide her with live stock, goods, or services, to trade in return for her services. As soon as she would become attached to this luxury, then each party has something the other needs.


Nyaha wrote:
Actually, I don't think Safe Harbor's Jade counts in this one, since she never ate humans to begin with.

Then why does she do what she does?
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:29 am

If you want to find out why Jade does what she does, you'll just have to read Ravana3k's stories. He recently rebooted some of them and Jade is among those. He's not at the part where Safe Harbor has been founded yet, but it should still tell you all you need to know.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Sun Nov 02, 2014 6:04 am

I've got no idea why, but for some reason what I wrote seems cold. Still, as long as prey and pred can meet as civilized beings, which can be hard for the prey's side as well, then I think they could work out a relationship. However, it might break the poor pred's bond with others of her kind and that is just sad. Sad

You have to admit, the sugar farm idea would have worked. Laughing I really like the possibility of a Kortiki Town, but as it is written it's just not realistic;

Shady Knight wrote:
If you want to find out why Jade does what she does, you'll just have to read Ravana3k's stories.  He recently rebooted some of them and Jade is among those.  He's not at the part where Safe Harbor has been founded yet, but it should still tell you all you need to know.

Hey thanks, I shall do so.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:13 am

Scryangi wrote:
Of course, couldn't the predators simply live as before? Humans are only a small part of her diet, with fish, fruit, or what else still being available to her.

Well no, not really. The issue for the predators isn't so much going up to them and telling them what they are doing is wrong (they won't understand, all they know is the law of the jungle) In order to make them change they must value humanity...if they arn't getting any benifits and still living in the wild, and still struggling the same conflicts as before, they will therefore fail to understand what's so speical about humans and will start to wonder why the humans expect a free pass when she still struggles. She will feel exploited, even if it wasn't intentional on the human's part.

That's always been the problem with the 'human moral arguement' is that reeks of exceptionalism, not true Humanitarianism. Normally when you have a truce with someone, it has to have a mutal benifit, you scracth my back and I'll scracth yours. But normally pred and human relations just boil down to predators baby sitting humans and the humans getting all the benifits, it makes their moral arguement shallow and dishonest because it actually excludes the predator they are making it to. If this new "Lets be nice to everyone." moral value doesn't hold up to scrutiny, then the predators will reject it after a while. Really if a predator has decided to hang with humans, then they are on a trail period to see if the humans are worth it (there are pleanty of other races the predator could have befreinded, some of which could have been a better fit) so if the humans arn't even trying to do their part, then they are shooting themselves in the foot.  

Remember that the predator has always lived a 'survival of the fittest' lifestyle at this point, it's unfair to expect them to have christ-like acceptance and mercy straight from the offset, that will take many years of positive reenforcement to develop. If the humans start expecting special favors from her too quickly without giving anything in return she will start to see them as nothing but parasites, and treat them accordingly.

I think the only reason rare freindships happen because of the predator's hunting pack mentallty. Your either "part of the pack, or your not." And sometimes a predator will allow a human be part of the pack if they particulary like the human and therefore will make an exception for them. That doesn't mean their empathy extends to the whole of the human race though, (kinda like how some dogs love their owners, but will still attack the mailman) because 'soctiey' is a unknown concept to them. In order for a predator to accept true human morality, they have to understand the value of society. (or in cases like the faries, they need to learn the value of a multi-cultural socitey)


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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:52 am

@ Darkone, that's pretty much how the relations would form in a logical sense. Since predators are sentient, they do establish rules of their belief windows of what's right and what's wrong, the only reason why they look lowly on human or other creatures is because they had no establishment of "society" as Darkone said. Sure they might be bigger than you but not mentality is inherent if they can think like a human. It's just tearing down customs and fundamentals that they thought was ok and making new ones.

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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:29 pm

@ DarkOne: I agree, and said so in two posts. Your original question was:
DarkOne wrote:
...Even if a gaint Predator was convinced to change it's ways.......would it be able to? Would the environment and the humans themselves even allow the predator to have such a opportunity?

I think the answer is "yes". The environment allows it, and while the humans may distrust her until they have a working alliance--a reason to trust her goodwill, usually by a mutually beneficial deal--it is possible.

Your other concern seems to be whether it would be harmful to her. The risks are to be shunned by her kind, and to be exploited, but both are dependent on the individual.

In fact, I always wondered just how predators manage to see sapients as food. At first I thought that there was a food shortage, but plenty of humans so they eat that and I wrote anti-predator tactics. However, now people tell me there is plenty of food and that predators should be sympathized with, because they are in fact slowly being exterminated by humans.

Anyway, that is why now I stick to pro-predator stuff, but write communities where they live in harmony. There is plenty that humans can do FOR the predators, and which they can use to pay for her services. I hope to see baby prey play with young preds, and have lots of cute and fun stuff.

It's as you said: the predators live according to the laws of the wild, so should eat what they need. If they join a community then they can not eat humans without it being murder, but should also gain the benefits of being a member.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:19 am

Scryangi wrote:


In fact, I always wondered just how predators manage to see sapients as food. At first I thought that there was a food shortage, but plenty of humans so they eat that and I wrote anti-predator tactics. However, now people tell me there is plenty of food and that predators should be sympathized with, because they are in fact slowly being exterminated by humans.  

Well that's kinda like wondering how "civilised" people of the 16th-18th centuries managed to see sapient african natives as a natural resource to claim, exploit and treat like property isn't it? They simply failed to see them as humans in the same way they were. The cilviliations at the time were simply not progressive enougth to understand that humans rights should apply to  indigenous people because they simply saw them as mindless savages. Heck, even to this day there are people who simply can't grasp the concept that human rights should apply to everyone, because they were raised in a bad home environment.

If people in civilization can have these issues due to lack of guidance, then it goes triple for anyone who isn't raised in civilization to creatures who had very little guidance (if any) at all. Now add on the fact that the Felarya creatures are predators built for a extremely hostile enviornment, which includes the instinct to hunt down prey, then you end up with a combination of the predators simplying following their inate urges and lacking the social restraint to resist. Plus they are sapient too, and this didn't stop the dangers of Felarya trying to eat them, so any creature growing up in this place is going to believe this the norm. They might socialize with anyone they identify with (their own kind) but otherwise everything else is either out to get them, or is food.

Scryangi wrote:

Anyway, that is why now I stick to pro-predator stuff, but write communities where they live in harmony. There is plenty that humans can do FOR the predators, and which they can use to pay for her services. I hope to see baby prey play with young preds, and have lots of cute and fun stuff.

I normally think which side to sympathize with really depends on the content itself (a story, a character, a drawing, an race idea and so on) because contributors will always depict things differently. As Vixens said, I am seeing this through a logical sense and so trying to think of how things would work from a more realistic standpoint. But ultimately not all ideas given to Felarya are going to be realistic and are sometimes are far too cartoony to properly take seriously, and therefore really hard to discuss from an ethical standpoint.

It really depends on the content of whatever is being contributed. Like when I read a story, or a character bio I look at what the idea behind it is, because that's the important part. Is it a comical idea or is a more serious idea? Because that will determine how seriously I treat it. But generally I don't have a preferance to humans or predators, both can be potentially engaging.


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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:05 pm

Found this video, thought it was an interesting real life demonstration of how a predator/prey relationship would be possible but extremely unlikely to last.

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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Thu Nov 27, 2014 2:32 am

It's an interesting question Smile
Personally i really think it's a case by case thing. But I would say that, yes, in most cases those kind of friendships don't ends so well.  The prey side most likely will firmly oppose the pred's eating habits and will ask of her to stop ( Think of Milly and Isham for example )
This in turn leads to tensions and strains in their relationship. One has to realize that eating humans is really a natural thing to do for a giant pred : they are of the right size, they have been used to see humans as food since they were young, the large majority of their friends do so as well and something in the nature of Felarya naturally beckons them to do so.  So asking a pred to just stop eating humans altogether is actually.. asking a lot.

To me the most likely scenario is the pred would refuse to completely drop their eating habits, which in turn would be most likely taken for selfishness and insensitivity by the human.

As I see it, when a pred befriends a human, it's like they peer in a new world. A fascinating and very rich world but a complex one with which they will most likely end up clashing with at some points because theirs is so completely different.
For a solid, deep and durable friendship to work, I think one of the side has to embrace the other's completely. Either a pred that would live among humans and share so much with them she would see herself as just a bigger human. Or an human living with the pred and completely accepting their ways. A good example would be Lea ( but then again she is quite a special case )

When things stay in the middle...  I imagine it wouldn't set the basis for either a durable friendship or a deep one. Tensions and discomfort would arise eventually and the most likely scenario are the two deciding to go their separate ways after a while...

But again it's mostly a matter of case by case I think ^^

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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:22 pm

Interesting take on it Karbo, but then how do nekos fit into that? They live much like the humans do and for that matter tiny and neko villages are much alike.

So would it be easier for a neko to not view a tiny as food than it is for giant predators viewing humanoids?
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:20 pm

Grave wrote:
Interesting take on it Karbo, but then how do nekos fit into that? They live much like the humans do and for that matter tiny and neko villages are much alike.

So would it be easier for a neko to not view a tiny as food than it is for giant predators viewing humanoids?

I would have thought that a large majority of Nekos with their predator side intact would be mostly the undiscovered tribal ones running about the forest naked with spears. Essentialy wild, no different from the larger predators.

I think only a minority of Nekos living in towns and cities would continue their predator lifestyle, and probably only do so because of abnormalities within their own character or some kind of failing in their upbringing. (Some will fall through the cracks just like humans in our societies do)
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:19 am

Tribal is still miles different from living pretty much on your own.

Larger predators like nagas don't really know what a community is. Sure they have some friends, but for the most part they all hunt for themselves.

So it might stand to reason that nekos in tribal communities might be able to somewhat relate to tinies living the same way? And the more something is like you I imagine the harder it is to view it as food?
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:38 am

Grave wrote:
Tribal is still miles different from living pretty much on your own.

Tribalism is a poor man's version of civilization, it merely functions on the rule of "You either work towards the warefare of the tribe or you will be excluded." Rules are pretty much just guidelines that are agreed upon only by people who are part of the social ring, therefore are incredably bias in favour of their own kind. There is no real organization like police or government to properly enforce the people and every agreed upon rules can easily be overruled in a bloody conflict for role of leader.

Of course it really depends on how aggressive a tribe becomes, some tribes in history have been known to be peaceful, many though were voilent which can be attributed to many factors within their environment and how big the tribe is. Woulden't be surpised if many Neko tribes attack other Neko tribes for territorial reasons.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prehistoric_warfare

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exocannibalism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Before_Civilization

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/HG04Aa02.html

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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:09 pm

Grave wrote:

Larger predators like nagas don't really know what a community is. Sure they have some friends, but for the most part they all hunt for themselves.

Actually I think it's not that simple. I think some nagas like the idea of a community, as evidenced by some we've seen living with other beings or near them enough to make a daily commute, but it's not a popular belief enough to form a organized colony unlike most preds.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:37 am

Grave wrote:
Larger predators like nagas don't really know what a community is. Sure they have some friends, but for the most part they all hunt for themselves

So, to address this statement (again, its been brought up in the past) that Nagas and other larger predators (but nagas specifically for some reason) are loners, don't know what civilization is, all live solitary lives.

This couldn't be further from the truth if you tried.

All it takes is a good look at the chronology on the wiki. Its clearly implied that Nagas had a civilization, a big one at that. Nagas love community. Its like with cats - they like to go adventuring by themselves, but they need companionship, and in fact love it. The fact of the matter is, the only time Nagas lived solitary lives was when Queen Sineria of the Dridders backstabbed the Naga Leaders, to try and end a war that had already been pushing 130+ years of conflict. (You cant have a war last that long, especially against the dridders, without civilization of some kind.)

After the backstabbing, Queen Sineria forced the nagas to live by themselves, or at least to not live in large numbers. (living in large numbers as giant predators is not much of an issue considering how many giant dridders will live in an area, and still survive just fine, thinking otherwise leads me to believe in underestimating just how large felarya is, which is ironic.) However, after Sineria was taken down by the Guardians, a Neko King (Kerume) worked together with a Giant Naga to restore peace both nekos and nagas lived with relative safety for a couple hundred years. The Nagas rebuilt, and together they faced Demechrelle. After then, They had to rebuild once more, but generally speaking, Nagas all lived in large tribes, as inferred.

Karbo actually has been jugling Naga culture for quite some time now. Its very difficult to describe accurately, so he's held off on talking about it too much - but know for a fact (and once again, if you look over the chronology carefully) nagas have large communities.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Wed Dec 03, 2014 6:02 am

Archmage_Bael wrote:
had a civilization

Archmage_Bael wrote:
had a

Archmage_Bael wrote:
had

You just proved the opposite, bub. They HAD a civilization. Time has changed, and as far as we know, that war may have had something to do with it. Furthermore, do you have solid proof that nagas, both big and small, live in communities in this day and age? Let me remind you that 90% of the stuff on deviantArt and on this very forum is fan-content and speculation.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:20 am

"They had a civilization." you say?

As for proof and evidence, I'm citing the chronology page on the wiki, mentioning it several times. Nagas are highly dispositioned toward having a society - then again even nomads have a society so that isn't that far of a stretch. I've stated my reasons countless times, and Karbo has affirmed this in a thread I started a while back in the General discussions ("Oversight from years past"). I don't see why this keeps being such an issue. Its going to turn into the 'grenade thread'.

They had tribes before, they still do now.

P.S. - that was the first time I had seen Claire post in a while.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:28 am

Show me one of those currently existing tribes, and remember, most of what is out there is nothing but fan content.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:33 am

Anything dis proving the set trend, Shady? It happened several times, of NOTE. What broke it?
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Wed Dec 03, 2014 7:53 am

Da Chronology wrote:
119 A.U. – The great Treachery. Queen Sineria declares she wishes to make peace with the Naga Tribes at least, having pushed them far enough. She organizes a large meeting near the Giant tree with naga tribe leaders, in order to discuss the outline of new territories. In the midst of it, however, her Royal Guards murder them. The ambush is perfectly planned and very few nagas escape alive. Sineria declares that, from now on, any naga claiming to belong to a tribe shall be executed, and any claiming to lead a tribe shall be horribly tortured, then executed. After this point, the naga tribes virtually cease to exist, nagas regressing to mainly solitary lifestyles – this does not stop Sineria’s relentless hunting of them.

As it clearly states naga tribes in the present days are virtually non-existent.  There may be some here and there, but they would be the exception, not the rule, too few and far between to have any real influence.

A part of me also like the idea of nagas, or at least giant nagas being solitary creatures like the animal they are based on.  Of course, I'm not really one to talk since my own naga character is modeled after Crisis, who is supposed to be a special case, like many others.  I think things like that go a long way to help distinguish the giants from humans.

Anyway, sorry for the snarkiness I had earlier.  I'm still peeved of all those news on Twitter of dumb, toxic feminists making a mountain out of nothing this morning.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:50 am

I'd rather not have to get into an argument with you, but if you continue to insiste naga tribes no longer exist then there are several tidbits I have for you.

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150 A.U. – Many giant nagas take the opportunity of the demise of their enemies to move and hunt in central Felarya. The insects that devastated Supprozad vanish for the most part, but not all of them. They colonize part of the Dridder forest and Tolmeshal forest, clashing repeatedly with fairies.

746 A.U. – King Kerume orders a complex network of underground tunnels to be dug under where Negav will be built, as a hiding spot and defense against predator attacks. The threat from nagas especially is becoming critical.

769 A.U. – In an extraordinarily courageous and bold move, King Kerume meet with Chani, the leader of a neighboring giant naga tribe. The meeting is private and what happened exactly is unknown, but it is said Chani was impressed and charmed by Kerume's wit and sheer courage and took a liking to him. Afterwards, predation from nagas diminishes considerably and King Kerume is seen as a hero by many. Some nekos resent him for making deal with the enemy though.

1341 A.U. - King Kerume and Chani mount a joint effort with the best nekos and nagas shamans in order to stop the darkness from advancing in their region. It's a success but it makes some nekos resent even more Kerume, who seem to go along very well with Chani. Bawdy songs are sung in some taverns involving the two.
---

For one thing, if Nagas had such a culture before the war, why in the world wouldn't they get back together? There's no reason not to, even if they lost their stories and rituals (which I doubt) they'd still get back together to recover, just like humans would. These posts strongly suggest that Nagas recovered.
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PostSubject: Re: Can a leopard change its spots?   

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