Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dr. Doolittle What's Your Secret? Some Animals That Get As High As We Do Eating Stuff That Grows Right In Our Backyard!

Almost everyone loves drugs. Whether it's a cigarette break after a high-powered business meeting, a cold beer after a hot day on the job or a half-ounce of heroin injected directly into the scrotum to ease the stress of writing Internet comedy, people love their intoxicants.
But that's not a human invention. Experts have found that animals also seek out a quick chemical high from plants, bugs and, well, wherever they can find it. Here are seven animals that love the magic of intoxication even more than we do.

Elephants Are Angry Drunks

Drug of Choice:
Liquor and opiates.
Throughout history, elephants have been worshiped as gods, lauded for their wisdom and memory, and made into mascots for the Republican Party. Like people, elephants are very complex, social animals. This means they exhibit a lot of humanlike behavior. They nurture their young, mourn their dead and love to get absolutely fucked up.
In October of 2007, six young elephants charged into an Indian village, broke into their beer supply, got drunk, uprooted an electrical pole and died horribly. In 2002, another squadron of alcoholic elephants rampaged through a different village, killing six people.
No, we're not making that up. We have video. Below is the elephant equivalent of a raging kegger, complete with dry-humping at 1:12.
How Common Is It?
Alcoholism in elephants is an increasing problem in India and Africa. Being, generally, clever as fuck, it hasn't taken elephants long to realize that--because of increasing occurrences of interaction with us--where there are people, there's liquor.
We at Cracked don't want to be accused of inciting a panic, but our sources suggest that these raids aren't isolated events. It's only a matter of time before the elephantine hordes descend upon mankind like a plague of tusked, four-ton locusts with a penchant for rice wine and forced sexual congress.

Horses Love the Locoweed

Drug of Choice:
Spotted locoweed, a type of legume that acts as a mind-altering drug.
Apparently locoweed is to horses what nicotine is to people: an extremely addictive drug that kills them slowly over the course of several years. During the lean winter months, locoweed is the only green plant available in some pastures. Horses first seek it out for its nutritious goodness, but keep coming back for its psychoactive effects.

But it does make them look cool.
How Common Is It?
Because it is so dangerous to herds, ranchers are constantly on guard for signs of locoweed use. But, like marijuana, locoweed grows everywhere and is virtually impossible to fully eradicate. Educational literature distributed to warn horses of the dangers of locoweed has, so far, been ineffective.

They just don't listen.

Bighorn Sheep Suck Rocks for Lichen

Drug of Choice:
Narcotic lichen.
In the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rockies lives a unique species of yellow-green lichen that will fuck you right up.
The lichen are extremely rare (it can take decades for them to grow over a single rock) and only grow in very inhospitable regions of the Rockies. Despite the fact that it is dangerous to get at and contains no nutritional value, the sheep will risk life and limb to get some.
Once they reach the lichen, they will rub their teeth down to the gum line to scrape off every last bit of it. Experts describe the disturbing scene as, "... like the earth itself was a dealer, forcing the sheep to suck its dick for the next hit." The Cracked staff qualifies as experts, right?
How Common Is It?
Not very. Narcotic lichen is rare and only grows in some desolate parts of the Rockies. Barring the creation of some sort of sheep-based drug cartel, addiction rates should remain low.

Reindeer Love 'Shrooms

Drug of Choice:
Amanita muscaria mushrooms.
Let's talk about urine for a moment.
The body does not actually metabolize psychedelic mushrooms, so most of the psychoactive compounds get washed out with the user's pee. If you collect that urine and drink it, you will trip almost as hard as if you'd eaten the mushrooms yourself. Many native Alaskan tribes stretch out their supply of mushrooms this way. The priests eat the 'shrooms and the followers drink their urine.

"There's probably a better, less urine-themed way to get high..."
How does this tie into reindeer? Like most wild herbivores, reindeer have a very firm constitution that allows them to eat all manner of nasty plants and fungi without getting sick. Many strains of hallucinogenic mushrooms are toxic to human beings, but not toxic to reindeer. Native shamans noticed this when they observed the deer seeking out poisonous mushrooms, eating them and then capering about like characters in a Disney cartoon.

One of those really trippy, uncomfortable Disney cartoons.
Being the practical sort of fellows that primitive shamans were, the priests started collecting reindeer urine and drinking it to get high. But the piss train didn't stop there. The reindeer discovered that they could get the same high off of human urine. Thus was born...
1. Reindeer eat mushrooms and pee.
2. Humans collect the pee and get high.
3. Humans pee, and reindeer drink their own people-filtered-urine to get high again.
4. The reindeer pee, and the circle begins anew.
How Common Is It?
Sadly, the glorious human/reindeer urine exchange is less common today than it once was. Experts speculate this may be due to the decline in mystical shamans and the invention of drugs that can get you high without forcing you to drink reindeer piss.

Somehow it just never caught on.
The deer, however, still love to get fucked up on poisonous mushrooms.

Here is some reading music to go with this very educational story! 

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