It’s probably because Japanese bugs are awesome, while our bugs are tiny monsters.
Also, our grasshoppers are lazy and not prepared for emergencies, like the winter season.
When I was a kid I kept dozens of different types of insects in jars. I’d say a lot of them were “beloved pets”, at least as long as they lived. I’m not sure why I outgrew that. And I wonder if keeping aquaria is a Western version of that same desire to feel calm looking at “small things”, although the Japanese have aquaria and ponds too.
There’s also a Chinese tradition of keeping insects as pets, which I learned from reading George Selden’s A Cricket In Times Square as a kid.
But the “west” also has insects that are considered okay, or even cute: ladybugs, fireflies, butterflies, inch worms, to name a few.
One of the most popular insect pets in Japan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_rhinoceros_beetle
Would you prefer our bugs to be big monsters?
Ok, that is cute
Now I want bug pets.
With the wonders of genetic engineering, I anticipate rhinos the size of beetles as future pets.
That will be a happy day.
Yes, the ubiquitous drone of cicadas on summer evenings in Japan. Awesome. Or terrifying reminders of the thousands of bugs lurking in the trees above.
I tend to agree with Catherine Knight, as Japanese style harmony with nature tends to mean the ability to dominate and control nature. From tame deer, to concrete encased rivers and seashores, to bonsai trees and even the regulated satoyama human-nature border areas, Japanese seem to feel most comfortable when they are able to domesticate nature.
Genetic Engineering or no, that won’t happen. You can’t just scale a body plan up or down and have it be structurally stable. It’s also why Tinkerbell and Jack & the Beanstalk’s giant just couldn’t live. J.B.S. Haldane had a great essay about that - On Being the Right Size.
“they are beloved pets and sometimes even delicious food”
You mean like pigs?
Get an ant farm.
…or install Windows…
…though those are pet bugs…
…is there a difference between bug pets and pet bugs?..
…don’t ask me what I smoked, I won’t share anyway…
I got an ant farm one Christmas. The mail-order ants arrived in a plastic tube. It came in a plain brown envelope, and inside that envelope was another envelope marked “Cannot be mailed to…” followed by a list of states, including mine. I thought it was funny how easily they got around that.
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