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Chias: A Lupe’s Perspective


by butterflybandage

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As we near Chocolate Chia Day (don’t worry, we’ll celebrate the thousands of other Chias that aren’t edible!), I thought long and hard about one peculiar thing: what makes these Chias so doggone popular with Lupes?

Looking back through the ages, there’s been infamy clouding the relationship between Chias and Lupes, but it’s not clear whether there was any distinct moment in time where this stereotyping began … or is there? After numerous attempts of delving through archives, taking extensive notes on famous Neopians, and interviewing a handful of Lupes and Chias alike, I’ve come to the tentative conclusion that there is no specific point in history when this “feud” began; there’s just always been tension. In fact, if you visit a Lupe’s petpage you’ll see this statement: “Many of the exciting exploits of the Lupe species are well documented, including much of the debate between Lupes and Chias”. However, if you visit a Chia’s there is nothing to indicate they fear Lupes—so does this become a question of if Chias fear Lupes, if Lupes eat Chias, or is each Neopet born different?

Is there something in a Lupe’s genetic code that predisposes them to Chia Fever? Do Chias present characteristics that are inherently attractive to Lupes? While it may seem like a simple joke, or a long-running gag, the idea that Lupes are prone to eating their neighbors is actually extremely detrimental to society. While it’s true many Neopian heroes have been Lupes, how many have lost opportunities due to the stigma they’ll eat potential customers or students? There needs to be a revolution—or in the least, a revitalizing of the Lupe-Chia relationship!

While it’s no lie Lupes enjoy eating Chia-shaped treats, it’s impossible to predict that a civilized Lupe will attack their Chia counterparts. Neopia Central is a proper place where Neopets are raised with respect and honor, and eating their friends certainly wouldn’t help the reputation! It seems contradictory, but many of these Neopets are not only on good terms, but friendly with each other. If we raise Lupes with the idea that “Lupes will be Lupes”, then it supports the notion Lupes are allowed to be bullies and provide harm to Chias around them; some may grow out of it, but others may turn a darker corner. If we raise Chias with the idea that “Lupes will be Lupes”, then it encourages a long-dormant fear of potential bodily harm, increasing risk in both species as Chias will seek self-defense and safety as Lupes will seek understanding and respect.

The real question we need to be asking is, “What can we do to understand the relationship between these two species, and what can we do as a preventative measure?” A pledge to change the status quo is a pledge to save much suffering!

As we all know, Chias are prehistoric Neopet; meaning, they were created for archives were put into place, something that’s unique to them and only sixteen other species! From information I’ve gathered, they’re native to Neopia Central and are beloved by many. Lupes, on the other hand, come from an unknown land and weren’t introduced to Neopia Central until 13 January 2000. If Lupes came from a rugged lifestyle, learning to fight for survival and eat what’s given, isn’t it possible Lupes from long ago thrived on foodstuffs resembling Chias, or perhaps even ancestral Chias? Though civilized now, if a pack of Lupes were transported from their native lands to a completely foreign territory it’s not at all impossible to believe they followed their natural instincts and attacked what they saw as threats and ate what they saw as food.

In all fairness, Chias can take the form of 25 different fruits and vegetables and two desserts! To a creature that knows no different, it’s easy to mistake a pet for dinner. These springy pets also love to jump, so perhaps there’s a build-in instinct within all Lupes that teach them small, jumping creatures equal snacks.

Maybe Lupes are simply jokesters who realize the questionable relationship, and play on that fear—an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” type of attitude. But if you knew there was a palpable tension between “your kind” and others, would you feed into that? Lupes are known for being brave and adventurous, something that’s easily gotten a handful of them into a bit of trouble … but there’s no saying they’re jokesters, or sly.

Strangely enough, I believe there’s more evidence to support the idea that Chias are more prone to turning evil than Lupes are—can you name one famous Chia that’s good?

Probably not. What about a Lupe?

… See my point?

Now, flip side. I’m sure you can name an evil Chia, or two … perhaps even three.

While I’m not attempting to turn the blame of this so-called distrust between the species on either side (seeing as Neopets of all shapes and sizes have made great strides in keeping peace in the land, as well as turned to the dark side and worked hard to create stife), I’m simply pointing out that the facts can easily be muddled to make one person look like the bad guy. Lupes have sharp teeth, long claws, and enviable speed. Chias are soft, round, and can jump. Of the two, who’s more likely to cause damage to the other? Of the two, who’s more likely to look guilt if there’s a fallout? Lupes, due to their appearance and appearance alone, give off an “aggressor” vibe, while Chias due to their looks give off a “prey” vibe. They have little defense and couldn’t move very fast even if they wanted to. Lupes travel in packs, hunt at night, and have both speed and defense on their side.

All Neopet species have a spotty past—before there was any domestication, Neopets had to fight for survival. There are many other predator-type Neopets, including Krawks, Gelerts, and Jetsams, yet you never see any news of Krawks or Gelerts or Jetsams attacking their neighbors, do you? And you never see civilized Lupes attacking their neighbors—because it doesn’t happen, you’re just coached into believing it COULD happen.

There are also a number of prey-type Neopets; JubJubs, Lennies, Nimmos … none of them fear one SPECIFIC species is going to harm them on their way to school.

It’s absolutely true there are packs of Werelupes stalking the dark woods, waiting for an unsuspecting traveler to meet their end … but there’s also a grotesque Chia who feeds on nothing but petpets and fear. Telling others to watch out solely for the former is dangerous and outright ignorant! And assuming the Desert Arms dealer is going to bite you when you aren’t looking breeds unnecessary fear and prejudice.

This Chocolate Chia Day, let’s celebrate the amazing Neopet that is the loveable, round Chia! Let’s dance and sing and eat lots of chocolate, remembering how wonderful these little guys are. But let’s not make nasty remarks about those nefarious Lupes who like to get them alone and eat them … because it’s just not true. Think about brave King Altador, and how he protects his people of all species—Lupes and Chias alike.

 
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