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Trying to clarify


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Posted by MsTT on May 10, 2003 at 22:30:26:

In Reply to: I didn't want to........ posted by oreganus on May 10, 2003 at 18:13:42:

:say your name out of respect for you. I have taken alot of garbage for a few years and I have gotten my share from you as well as Bill, but I found it strange and still do, that you would buy a snake from me that was venomoided, when you have represented yourself as so opposed to the idea. I read your entire post and I am not going to flame, it was a very educated and well written post, but bottom line is I will still not understand how someone so opposed to venomoids would take the time to even consider buying one. I understand your reasons for wanting the snake, but am simply confused about the beliefs that have been expressed in the past.

Let me try to simplify it. From the ad, I thought that you might be a keeper I have bought copperheads from in Florida who is also named Kevin. This person also advertises occasionally in the classifieds, but he is a private keeper like me who just swaps around some surplus snakes now and then. The impression I got from the times I met this Kevin was that he was a skilled handler who was not interested in venomoids, not someone likely to make or commssion such an animal on purpose.

Consequently I thought that the animal in the ad might be a case like the venomoid black and white spitter that was offered to me by a keeper who had inherited the animal from another person who had died. I asked and found out that this wasn't true and you were not the Kevin I thought you were, so I declined.

I hooked up the person who offered me the venomoid spitter with another keeper who has bred siamensis, and this breeder was glad to receive the unfortunately crippled animal to add to his group. I don't see anything ethically wrong with this type of transaction. The original harm done to the animal (presumably by the deceased person) was wrong. But none of us live keepers who were currently involved in passing the snake around are venomoiders. We just wanted to find a good home for a crippled snake.

I suppose I could have taken the poor thing and put it up for auction and received a stupid amount of money for it from some idiot who wanted a venomoid because it was venomoid, but I much preferred to give it to an accomplished keeper and breeder. I feel very protective of a snake that has been crippled this way, and I would not want it to be sold to a novice who would stress it out with overhandling.

Now, if I wanted a siamensis for a breeding project and I came across this particular crippled animal, buying it or its offspring would not be supporting the practice of venomoiding snakes. The person who did the deed is either dead or is somebody we don't know who owned the snake in the past. It is currently owned by a responsible keeper who does not support venomoiding. The person who abused this snake would not be benefiting from the purchase, so the only thing that matters now about giving or selling this snake is a good home.

I do not hate venomoid snakes. I feel protective of them, and sorry that they have been hurt and crippled by human arrogance. The snakes do not deserve to be treated badly because of the harm that was done to them. The people who are doing the harm are the ones who should be punished. Not the snakes, and not the keepers who sometimes end up with a rescued venomoid even though they would not have chosen for the snake to be made that way.

I own an Eastern missing part of its tail to a shovel, and a green mamba missing part of its lower jawbone. Both of these snakes were hurt by people. I would never have hurt these snakes myself or paid anybody else to hurt them. I think that the people who hurt them are total jerks whom I'd really like to whack a few times with a shovel. But I don't mind caring for the snakes because it is not their fault that they were hurt. That's exactly the same way I feel about venomoids. I would never make one or encourage another person to make one by purchasing their deiberately crippled snakes. But if one turns up that is no longer financially connected to the person responsible for the injury, it's just another imperfect, scarred-up snake. No matter who buys it or keeps it, the animal abuser is not being rewarded for his bad deed.

I feel anger and contempt for people who have to cripple animals before they can handle them. I am nobody special; I am short and middle aged with bad knees and thick glasses. Yet I don't find anything hard about handling fully intact venomous snakes. Just moving them around for normal maintenance is a casual before-breakfast chore that I don't even have to think about. Getting my hands on them for veterinary or venom work just requires a little more concentration and good tools. If an ordinary person like me can learn do all this stuff effortlessly, what could possibly be so hard about it that it justifies animal mutilation?

I think that if you can't learn enough to surpass the handling skills of a little old lady with glasses, leave the venomous snakes alone until you can. It's not even that hard. Buying shortcuts with a snake's blood and pain is not nice and not necessary.

Regards,

TT



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