It’s not just humans that like to alter their state of mind. Nature offers a wide range of stimulating, narcotic and psychoactive substances. Animals like to eat them as well.
Eleven animals that like to get high:
1. Monkeys eat fermented fruit, which makes them drunk. In addition, capuchin monkeys and lemurs in South America discovered that certain millipedes secrete a hallucinogenic poison. If they lubricate their skin with it they go tripping.
2. Elephants like to eat fermented fruit too. More remarkable is that they also enjoy feasting on iboga. They often take iboga with the whole flock together, as a kind of ceremony.
3. Kangaroos on the island of Tasmania know exactly where to find opium fields. Sometimes they go completely crazy on it and start creating crop circles, lying on their backs.
4. Cats adore catnip. This plant contains a hormone-like substance that gets them in heat by rolling through it.
5. Jaguars regularly consume yagé. This plant is the basis for the ayahuasca brew. In mythology plants and animals are linked too: Peruvian Indians say that ayahuasca evokes a jaguar instinct.
6. Reindeer trip on the fly agaric. It seems they do this to persevere the boring winters.
7. When he saw his friend lying dead, a mongoose decided to consume morning glory. Probably he did so to numb his feelings. Researchers had previously observed that the mongoose avoided the plant. Now that he was sad, he suddenly changed his mind.
8. In Canada grows a kind of lichen that contains no nutritional value, but that will surely make you high. Bighorn sheep sometimes even risk their lives to eat this rare moss.
9. Bears are seen scurrying around at airports in Russia, seeking barrels of kerosene. Once found they hang above them and inhale deeply. Subsequently they fall to the ground, blissfully enjoying their trip.
10. Some snakes eat psychedelic mushrooms.
11. Goats love coffee beans. The stimulating effect of the beans actually has been discovered by looking at the behaviour of goats. To them we owe our cup of coffee!
So, human beings aren’t that special when it comes to substance use...
Written by: Sofie