Blog 7: The Unseen City

unseen city book

Since humans started to settle down from being nomadic creatures, cities have began to be built all across the world, and eventually started to grow rapidly, and now over half of humans live in cities I believe.  Cities were created to serve one singular species, humans.  These humans that live in their cities like to think they love and have reverence for nature; but only when that nature is far away and not affecting their daily lives.  On a daily basis, humans ignore the hundreds of synathropes that co-inhabit the world around them.  Synathropes are the species “that manage to live all around us, thriving along side humans” and are “rarely celebrated for their ingenuity” and adaptability [1].  Instead, humans see many of these creatures, especially rats, as pests and try to remove them from “their” environment.

The story of urban nature is what Nathaniel Johnson tries to open his readers’ eyes to in Unseen City:  The Majesty of Pigeons, the Discreet Charm of Snails & Other Wonders of the Urban Wilderness.  Johnson began to ask himself about the nature around him after taking his toddler daughter to daycare, in which during the walk over she would simply ask, “What’s that?”, to which Johnson could only offer simple answers at first, such as a tree [2].  However, he began to notice continuously more about nature that he has missed every single day on his commute.  Through this book, Johnson tries to show how there is beautiful nature around city dwellers that they simply take for granted every single day of their life.  While Nathaniel Johnson’s book focuses primarily on pigeons, snails, gingko trees, and snails, his ideas and practices of examining the common everyday nature of the city around him can be applied to all of urban life including rats.

Kate Aurthur, the former rat columnist for New York Magazine believed that rats were at the heart of life in the city [3].  The This American Life podcast has a very interesting interview in it, from a man who was born and raised in the streets of Brooklyn saying that growing up he had to learn street mentality to live and he sees that same mentality in rats in how they live and do what is necessary to survive in the cities.  Rats, as with all other wildlife mentioned by Nathaniel Johnson in Unseen City, have learned how to adapt to the conditions humans have set forth in cities and learned how to cope with these living conditions and be able to multiply rapidly.

During the 99% Invisible Podcast, Roman Mars and Nathaniel Johnson discuss how cities have become this way and how people have begun to naturally take for granted all the wildlife living around them [1].  Since moving to the city, such and Johnson did, people are no longer as exposed to what they perceive as nature as often, creating a sense of apathy for the synanthropes that do thrive alongside them.  A major problem in humans’ view of nature is their “biodiversity blindness” in which urban biodiversity goes virtually unseen by humans, such as what Johnson discusses [4].  This biodiversity blindness and apathetic view of urban nature work along with traditional views of rats as dirty, disgusting creatures that carry disease to create a sense of hatred of rats.

In conclusion of both this post and blog series as a whole, I want to discuss a few overlapping ideas that I believe are very important.  One major point is how humans try to control nature around them, especially with cities.  Humans have tried to push nature completely out of cities, which they consider their own private domain.  They label the unwanted nature as pests and try to find ways to either exterminate it or at least control the populations of these pests.  This can be seen in rats, pigeons, weeds, any common pest.  This point ties in along with my second major point, nature should not be labeled as pest, simply because it is not wanted in a certain area.  Certain animals are only viewed as pests in certain situations; squirrels are a major example being considered a pest to farmers and some city dwellers by adored by many people in cities.  Rats too can fit in this example; rats are extremely beneficial to humans in ways such as lab test animals and even as pets to some people.  Maybe like how Johnson’s Unseen City makes readers rethink nature around them, this blog series will get readers to rethink their view on rats.









For most of this blog series, I have focused on the interaction of rats in humans in only bad ways.  Which, for the average American, is a very commonly shared opinion.  However, rats and humans are able to coexist peacefully sometimes, especially with laboratory testing and some people even keep rats as pets.  For this post, I wanted to delve deeper into the human and rat interactions, especially in laboratory testing settings and people keeping rats as pets much like any other rodents (mice, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchillas, etc.).  In addition, I wanted to look more into if rats were part of the movement against animal testing that occurred in the 1970s and 1980s and continues to resurface occasionally.


For a majority of history, animals have been the subjects of tests for varying scientific purposes, whether it is testing a new medication, cosmetics, or for psychological testing.  Animal testing dates back to the Greeks, Romans, and Arabs who each had scientists that conducted some kind of research on animals, especially in the fields of anatomy, physiology, and psychology [1].  In more modern times, the more common use of animal testing is for pharmaceutical drug testing.  Drug testing was even required by the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, partially due to a product called sulfanilamide, that was used to treat streptococcal infections, turned out to be poisonous to humans.  During the 1970s and 1980s, a rise in viewing animal testing as cruelty to animals led to reform of using animals as test subjects and the adoption of “the three Rs” which are replacement (of animals with non-living models), reduction (in use of animals as test subjects), and refinement (of animal use practices) [2].  Animal testing was not completely removed, but it improved tremendously.  Rats were a very common source of animal testing, accounting along with mice for about two-thirds of the total number of test animals [3].  It seems that with the new guidelines, testing on other species of animals decreased much more than it did on rats and mice.  However, rats were still a major part of the movement to reform animal testing.  This 1985 New York Times article discusses the fundamental clash that was occurring between animal rights activists and medical scientists and it discusses both viewpoints well [4].

While researching this topic I learned that the rats used in laboratories are typically not the same Norway rats found commonly in cities.  Instead, they use Norway rats that have been specifically bred to be tested and typically come from specific strains of DNA, primarily the Sprague-Dawly rat (which is an albino rat with a long narrow head, high reproduction rat, and low tumor rates) and the Wistar rat (another albino rat and is typically considered as a base model rat)[5].  I remember reading while researching rat control and rat fighting that many rat catcher, such as Jack Black, would often sell the rats they caught to scientists and other researchers as test subjects.  While laboratory testing is a common human-rat interaction, rats sometimes are kept as pets by some people.


Why someone would want a rat as a pet is beyond me, however, rodents are traditionally a common pet, more so with other species such as mice, hamsters, guinea pigs, and chinchillas.  However, like lab rats, pet rats are not typically the common Norwegian rats found in cities, but instead are a different breed of rats called fancy rats, which is a domesticated subspecies of  [6].  A short guide on how to keep pet rats can be found here for anyone who is more interested.  According to a pet rat website, domesticated rats are just as different from wild rats as dogs are from wolves.  Domestic rats are social and personable, extremely intelligent, playful, keep themselves clean by grooming themselves, and rarely bite [7].

While pet rats are not for everyone, myself included, rat and human interaction is not always a negative interaction, and can be very beneficial to humans such as in lab testing.  Although many view animal testing as animal cruelty, which in many cases it is, lab testing on rats and mice still is a very common practice today.  Many pharmaceutical drugs are tested on rats prior to being released to humans, preventing accidental poisoning such as with sulfanilamide.  Whether we like it or not, human and rats will coexist until one or both are extinct.








[6] Langton, Jerry (2007). “Entertainer, Test Subject, and Family Friend”Rat: How the World’s Most Notorious Rodent Clawed Its Way to the Top. Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-36384-2.




Rats are a major pest in many cities all across the world, including the United States; most people who live in urban areas are unable to escape these vermin.  However, rats seem to live much more prevalently in some areas more than in other areas.  Areas in which the poor are highly concentrated are a major area rats seem to infest.  This especially holds true in the very poor, majority African-American urban residential areas in many major American cities.  Rats can affect the lives of people, especially the poor, in many different ways, most of which are very negative.

Before going further, one question that I believe that needs to be addressed is where are rats commonly found?  Rats are found in or near homes, alleys, sewers, and zoos, and are strongly associated with areas of high concentrations of people with low socioeconomic status [1].  In addition, areas where there is a higher amount of trash, such as subways, waste stations, and parks have higher populations of rats and many areas near the noisy railway stations and waste centers, are areas in which persons of lower socioeconomic status are more prevalent.  In the United States, there are several cities that have significantly large populations of rats in their cities.  According to an article on Bloomberg, New York City and Austin, TX had the highest number of rat sightings, with several other cities having significant rat, mice, and cockroach problems as well such as, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, and Miami [2].  The chart below shows the percentage of occupied houses that have had evidence of rats in the past year according to an American Housing Survey conducted during the 2013 U.S. Census.  Six of the top 10 worst rat cities in the world are in the United States, including New York, Boston, New Orleans, Atlanta, and others [3].  This shows that no matter the socioeconomic status, many Americans have to deal with the problem of rats and the problems they create.  However, one thing all these cities that have major rat problems have in common are a large number of extremely poor citizens living in the poorer areas of the city, a majority of these areas being areas primarily occupied by African-Americans.


During his “War on Poverty”, Lyndon B. Johnson tried to have the Rat Extermination and Control Bill passed in Congress in 1967, however, it was rejected which sparked much political debate [4].  Many slums in America had become infested with rats, which was both a huge environmental health issue and social injustice.  Many families struggled to even protect their children and from being bitten by rats.  During this time, most trash was simply thrown into the streets and left there due to the lack of a system of waste removal.  This also allowed the rat populations to thrive in the poorer parts of the cities.

While most would associate the presence of rats bringing down the quality of life, a new study has some very profound results.  A study by Danielle German and Carl Latkin found that in low-income areas with rat problems increased disorder in the neighborhood and had higher rates of depression.  The study showed that the presence of rats increased stress in the residents and had a significant negative effect on the people’s mental well-being and their physical health.  Rats were found to be more prevalent in areas of low income, higher population of African Americans, higher populations of people with STDs, lower education levels.  This data shows another way that “bad neighborhoods” are even worse than one would think.  While total eradication is implausible, as mentioned before, there are several methods rat populations can be attempted to be controlled.  However, in since they are more prevalent in poorer communities, many of the people affected have other expenses that take up a majority of their income that are much more dire, such as food and housing, leaving them less able to deal with the rat infestations as compared to how a more affluent neighborhood could.

Poverty and rat infestations in cities are both two very prevalent problems in many American cities that are extremely correlated.  Many residents in the more rat infested areas are unable to afford to deal with the problem of rats, which creates many health problems for those affected by the presence of rat populations.  A major debate arises from this, which is whose responsibility is it to deal with this problem?  The government’s?  This question may not have a definitive answer currently, but should be one law makers discuss.  In closing, I have added a very familar poem below that I found on a couple of the sources I used that discusses the problem of rats for the poor.



They fought the dogs,

and killed the cats,

And bit the babies in the cradles,

nd ate the cheeses out of the vats,

And licked the soup from the cook’s own ladles,

Split open the kegs of salted sprats,

Made nests inside men’s Sunday hats,

And even spoiled the women’s chats,

By drowning their speaking

With shrieking and squeaking

In fifty different sharps and flats.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Robert Browning, 1849 [5]






[4] McLaughlin, M, The Pied Piper of the Ghetto: Lyndon Johnson, Environmental Justice, and the Politics of Rat Control, Journ Urban Hist, 37(4) 541-561. Doi:  10.1177/0096144211403085




Part Four: Rat Fights

People all over the world have always had a fascination with death and killing.  It has been a sport to people for most of history, whether it is human or animal being the killer or the killed.  Animal fighting has been a common sport for much of modern history, one typically associates dog or chicken fighting with this violent sport, but rats too have found their share of “fame” in the pits.  While no longer a common animal used in sport fighting, during the Victorian period, rat fighting was a common sport among the poor of England as well as with immigrants in the Americas.

Rats naturally often fight, whether it is for food, fun, or mating.  From about 18 days after birth until death, rats fight each other, often for play [1].  However, there is a big difference in play fighting and actual fighting among rats.  In play fighting, rats typically target the nape, the back of the neck, whereas in actual fights there is more targeting and defending of the romp, the lower end, of the rat.  An interesting occurrence happens in rats, the rats who typically initiate the play fight when younger tend to become the more submissive rats of the group, whereas those who are attacked the most tend to become the more dominant males of the group.  This is due to the rats that are attacked more learning better counter-attacked techniques and by the time they reach sexual maturity, they are able to have the upper hand.  This nature of fighting lets Norway rats become perfect animals for baiting.

The London pub is “a social arena like no other: a place of both conflict and comfort – rivalry and camaraderie – and where all troubles can be washed down with a pint of ale” [2].  In these pubs, gaming and gambling were common practices for many to participate in, such as skittles and cribbage.  However, there is also another common past time for many upper and lower class citizens, ratting.  In this sport, people would place bets on how many rats a dog could kill in a given amount of time or how long it took the dog, usually a  to kill all the rats in the pit.  The record is held by a terrier named Billy that supposedly killed 100 rats in five minutes and thirty seconds, equating to a rat every 3.3 seconds.

Henry Mayhew gives an account of vising a rat pit in his volume of London Labour and the London Poor [3].  In 1851, Mayhew visited with the famed “Queen’s Ratcatcher,” Jack Black who would catch rats for several pits and sell them to the proprietors of the pubs and other pits.  In which, Mayhew and Jack Black discuss the sport, and how Black raises ferrets for the sport.  James Wentworth Day, who followed the sport, described the rat pits as:


“This was a rather dirty, small place, in the middle of the Cambridge Circus, London.  You went down a rotten wooden stair and entered a large, underground cellar, which was created by combining the cellars of two houses.  The cellar was full of smoke, stench of rats, dogs, and dirty human beings as well.  The stale smell of flat beer was almost overpowering.  Gas lights illuminated the centre of the cellar, a ring enclosed by wood barriers similar to a small Roman circus arena, and wooden bleachers, arranged one over the other, rose stepwise above it nearly to the ceiling.  This was the pit for dog fights, cockfights, and rat killing.  A hundred rats were put in it; large wagers went back and forth on whose dog could kill the most rats within a minute.  The dogs worked in exemplary fashion, a grip, a toss, and it was all over for the rat.  With especially skillful dogs, two dead rats flew through the air at the same time…  [4]”

When immigrants arrived in America, they brought many customs, traditions, and sports with them, rat baiting was no exception.  One famous rat pit in American, Sportsman Hall, was owned and operated by a famous rat fighter named Christopher Keybourne, more commonly known as Kit Burns [5].  Kit Burns was born in Donegal, Ireland and moved to New York when he was a young boy around 1830.  Rat killing in the Sportsman’s hall consisted of dogs, weasels, ferrets, and sometimes humans.  When humans entered the pit, they were expected to bite the head off the rats.  As with most sports involving the death of an animal, there was a large amount of resistance to the sport.

Henry Bergh, who was the founder of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, began a campaign attacking animal cruelty in New York.  He set out and began shutting down all pits that involved rat and dog fighting.  Kit Burns was able to escape the raids by using an exit through a tunnel he designed in the basement of the Sportsman’s Hall.  However, Kit was eventually caught in a raid and arrested.  Kit eventually turned the Sportsman’s Hall into a mission and home for wayward women, named The Kit Burns Mission and opened another saloon for one last rat fight.







[5] Sullivan, Robert, Rats, New York:  Bloomsbury (2004).

Part 3: History of Urban Rat Control


For all of human history, people have had to deal with the problem of rats.  In the last post, I discussed how rats have had a very negative connotation associated with them and have been viewed as pests.  A few interesting questions came up throughout the research, how have rats been dealt with in the past?  How long have rats been viewed as a pest whose population needs to be controlled?  How are their populations controlled?  Why have rats not been eradicated if they were not naturally found in the Americas?  I believe the history of rat control, as well as pest control in general, is a vital part of the understanding of how rats have affected the environment of cities in the United States.

For most of human and rodent history, humans have tried to eliminate or at least control rat populations.  As early as the Mongolian nomads, people have associated rodents with disease and have tried to avoid them [1].  Rats were even killed in Europe due to belief they were spreading the Bubonic Plague.  This led to cities hiring rat catchers to try to handle the problem of exterminating the rats.  One such famous, and most likely exaggerated, tale that has been told in many stories and tales for children is that of Germany’s Pied Piper, who has hired to get rid of rats in the town of Hamelin [2].  As many people know, the Piper would play his pipe and would lure the rats away from the city.  While this story is most likely fictitious, it does represent the overarching theme the cities were trying to deal with their rat problems.

In Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats, Dawn Day Biehler disusses how since there was no public rat control in homes, the job fell to private households and hiring help [1].  Simple methods were often used such as keeping a cat, repairing the house, setting traps and poison, and simply killing rats with a weapon.  From this, rat-catcher businesses began to appear to either sell poison and traps or offer extermination sources.  One famous example of a rat-catcher is Jack Black [3].  Known as “the Queen’s ratcatcher,” Jack Black was probably the most famous rat-catcher of the 1800s in London.  Jack Black was hired by many to catch rats and is well documented, such as the encounter Henry Mayhew had with him in 1851.  In America, the first known professional rat-catcher was Walter “Sure Pop” Isaacsen [4].  Isaacsen opened a shop in Brooklyn in 1857 selling poison and using ferrets to hunt and kill rats.  Isaacsen even famously ended a rat infestation in Central Park Zoo, in which he caught over 475 rats in the first week.

From these smaller private businesses, more modern pest control began to evolve.  In 1936, the National Associatation of Exterminators and Fumigators officially changed the name of the position of rat exterminator to pest control operator, citing that the word extermiate was too high of an expectation [4].  In 1949, the city of New York founded the Rodent Control Unit as a method to provide public rat extermination.  Today, insecticide and pesticide use now dominate the modern pest control methods.  DDT, the most famous pesticide, was first synthesized in 1874, but was not known as an insecticide until 1939.  The first generation of pesticides consisted of kerosene, sulfer, arsenate of lead, and nicotine sulfate and were applied by Flit guns.  After WWII, more powerfore pesticides were developed and were used intensely until the 1970s when Rachel Carson published her famous book, Silent Spring, in which the environmentally dangerous side effects of pesticide use were discussed and how they were killing birds and other animals.

Today, numerous companies exist to help people deal with their pest problems, including rats.  There are now nationwide pest control companies, such as Orkin, Dodson, and many others who specialize in pest control for both commerical use and private homes [5].  These companies also try to teach people how to prevent pests in their home.

Rats have always been a problem that people have tried to exterminate or at least control.  The history of rat control does have some serious environmental implications, such as the problems caused by the extensive use of pesticides.  However, conventional methods seem to be able to control rat populations much more than playing a flute.



[1] Biehler, Dawn Day,  Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats, Seattle: University of Washington Press (2013).



[4] Sullivan, Robert, Rats, New York:  Bloomsbury (2004).





Part 2: Rats vs. Squirrels: Pests or not Pests

rat and squirrel

As mentioned in the introduction blog, rats are considered a pest that most people want to rid themselves of and do attempt to through various extermination methods.  However, another common urban rodent is not widely seen as a pest that needs to be exterminated, the squirrel.  After being suggested to research this topic, I found several interesting points brought up on the argument of pest or not a pest between these two rodents.  Why do most people seem to consider rats as pests, but not squirrels?  What exactly is the definition of a pest?  Are rats and squirrels viewed differently in different areas?  These are but a few questions I had when beginning to research this topic.  I wanted to look into why rats were considered more of a pest than other animals, especially than another closely related rodent.


One thing that I believe must be done before continuing is defining what a “pest” is.  Originally, when I made the first blog and discussed rats as being a pest, I associated the word more with pestilence, being of more regards to how rats are a common disease carrier.  Merriam-Webster defines a pest as “an animal or insect that causes problems for people especially by damaging crops.”  Which is a very broad and general definition, in which a multitude of animals would fall, including both rats and squirrels.  With this definition in mind, I began to research more into both rodents.



First, I decided to research more into rats and their common view as a pest.  Rats have been viewed as a pest for centuries, according to Dawn Biehler, rats have had a role in human suffering for centuries.  Rats have been known to cause problems for humans for all of history.  As early as the Mongols, people have avoided rats as fear of them carrying diseases.  Rat control has been an issue that has been discussed and attempted for centuries.  Rats destroy property, get into food and trash, chew through cables, and spread diseases, and for these reasons and many more, people see rats as a pest, and rightfully so.


Squirrels on the other hand are typically seen in a much better light.  Most people love squirrels, for whatever their own reasons are.  Even here at Virginia Tech, people love the squirrels, VT squirrels are even a very common topic on some social-medias, such as Yik Yak and snapchat.  Instead of seeing squirrels as a pest, most people seem to see squirrels as cute little animals they would like to (and sometimes try to) have as a pet.  However, there are some groups, especially farmers, which see squirrels as pests.  When researching this topic, I saw countless articles from farmer’s almanac websites and other farming websites discussing how squirrels would destroy crops and become a nuisance.  There are even websites discussing methods of keeping squirrels away from your property.


After doing research on both rodents, it seems like both should be considered as pests by the definition I found.  I believe a common reason the average person does not see squirrels as pests, but do so with rats, is their public opinion.  Rats are just seen as a disgusting animal that is associated with trash, disease, and other awful things, whereas squirrels are still seen just as a cute little animal that eats nuts.  Not many people would consider a rat as a pet; however, many people continually try to domesticate squirrels.  In addition, rats would never be seen in such a good light such as squirrels are on social-medias, such as VT squirrels are.  While there are some efforts to limit squirrel populations, I do not believe it is nearly as big as the effort that cities put to exterminating their rat populations.


Based upon everything I was able to find, it seems that both rats and squirrels are equally as much of pests.  However, it is more of a public opinion on why rats are hated, while squirrels are loved by many.  I think this was an interesting topic to research during this series on rats, I believe it is able to compare and contrast common beliefs about an animal everyone sees as a pest, the rat, to one that not as many people see as a problem, squirrels.  After seeing the multitudes of articles on pest control, I believe the history pest control for rats in itself should be an entire discussion itself.




“Pest.” Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.


Biehler, Dawn. Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats. Seattle, Wash.: U of Washington, 2013. Print.



Part 1: Introduction to Rats in America

Norwegian Rat

Throughout most of American history, one typically would associate rats as the typical urban pest.  People typically associate rats with the dark, dirty parts of the cities, which for the most part is true.  Nevertheless, rats have become a part of the environment of urban landscape.  Which is not necessarily a good thing.  Rats are associated with carrying disease and causing damage.  For all of history rats have been a very negative part of city environments and have been primary hosts for countless diseases.


Through this blog, I will be exploring many different topics about rats and how they have affected, and continue to affect, the environments of the cities across America.  Rats have not always been in the Americas, how did they get here?  How have rats transmitted diseases in cities?  Why have they thrived in the Americas?  How did rats diffused so quickly across the world?  How are cities trying to combat the rat populations?  Who was the Rat King?  These are just a few of the questions I started with and I endeavor to answer by the conclusion of this blog series.


In class, we are pushing into the 20th century and have discussed on multiple occasions diseases and how they have affected America.  I remember on the first or second class it was briefly mentioned about how rats have been an interesting part of the environment, which originally sparked my interest.  However, we have not really touched upon how these diseases have been spread; a source for cities at least is mainly rats.  To me, it is interesting how a species, which originally was not present in the Americas, but now, is the most prominent pest in American cities.


Before I begin to answer the aforementioned questions, I believe rats need to be discussed more as a species in general.  According to Sullivan, the Rattus norvegicus, more commonly known as the Norway or brown rat, is the most common species of rat found in American cities, especially New York City.  The Norway rat is described as a stocky, grey or brown rat with two sharp yellow incisors.  These rats typically dig tunnels to their nests and to help them navigate around the city, while other rats are found typically where their name suggests, for example sewer rats and alley rats.  When not found digging, they are typically found gnawing or feeding on trash, wires, and plants.  This can cause many problems in an urban environment in which most of everything we use today runs off electricity, which requires wiring, a favorite of rats to gnaw on and destroy.


As mentioned previously, rats are not native to the Americas.  Their roots can be followed back to Asia where they then spread across Asia and then eventually to Europe.  By 1800, the Norway rat had settled most of Europe.  They were then brought to the Americas via ships bringing people and supplies, and by 1926, they were in every single state in the United States.  The Norway rat eventually pushed out almost every other type of rat from cities in the Americas, including the Black rat.  Now these two species of rats only cohabitate in certain areas; including Southern port cities and California, where they can nest in other places such as palm trees.


In the subsequent blog posts, I wish to delve deeper into the role rats pay in the environments of cities.  I want to explore the different kinds of diseases rats carry directly as well as indirectly.  How rats have diffused across the world so rapidly.  How much damage do rats cause in cities, as well as who is responsible for maintaining the things they destroy.  How cities try to monitor and reduce the rat populations as well as what has made the rat population the dominant species of rodent.  In addition, I wish to discuss the history of rat fights and the underground system of betting that was involved with the fights.  Another interesting topic that will be discussed is the difference in rats and squirrels, both of which are rodents, but one is considered a pest that needs to be killed while the latter is seen in a much better light.




Picture from:


Sullivan, Robert.  Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City’s Most Unwanted Inhabitants.  Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008.