random thought: parallel universe in which humans domesticated bears instead of wolves

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just like wolves and dogs, wild bears still exist but we have a domestic version which has a distinct name

there are lap bears, herding bears, hunting bears, service bears, etc.

@ansuz Would wild bears be different to our wild bears?
Like, more social or something?

@Anke I was imagining that they would at least begin as the same bears, but I agree there are big differences between bears and wolves that would require a different path to domestication.

Maybe we offer some additional safety towards bears during hibernation and help nourish them after they emerge from their den. We get the benefit of a major omnivore deterring the presence of mesopredators?

@Anke it's a very interesting question, though. If we assume that there are no significant physiological differences in either humans or bears then something must be very different in the environment.

There's evidence of canines being domesticated several times in human history, so it's not as though one small coincidence would be likely to put us on an entirely different symbiotic trajectory.

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