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Posted by MsTT on May 10, 2003 at 04:31:47:

In Reply to: Very nice and very well said........ posted by oreganus on May 09, 2003 at 23:54:28:

Go ahead and post the email I sent you if you like. It doesn't say anything that I wouldn't be willing to repeat in public.

I said that if you were not the person who was making and selling the venomoids, if she had been crippled in the past by someone you were not financially connected to and my purchase would NOT support the people profiting from this procedure in any way, I would consider looking at her as a breeder because her patterns matched my locality male.

You don't seem to understand how I look at this issue. It's not a macho thing for me. I don't feel the need to keep only fully hot snakes because it makes me a big macho keeper. I disagree with the procedure itself because it is inappropriate cosmetic surgery that causes unnecessary pain and loss of function to the animal, and most of the time it is performed in a very inhumane manner. I will not support or encourage the practice by purchasing animals from someone who profits from this type of animal cruelty, such as a reptile dealer who buys or commissions venomoids to sell.

My disapproval of the practice of venomoiding is not about me or my ego. It is about not wanting to do things that hurt snakes, and not wanting to encourage other people to hurt snakes. I consider a venomoid in the same category as a crippled snake missing an eye or part of its tail. It's not a characteristic I'd look for in an animal, but if another keeper happens to have an imperfect animal that would otherwise work out well for one of my breeding groups, it's okay. But I will not support deliberate animal cruelty by purchasing a venomoid from anyone financially connected to the operation. My money does not go to encourage snake abuse.

I already house a number of snakes that bear the scars of human mistreatment. A venomoid isn't any different from my green mamba who lost part of her lower jawbone due to capture trauma, or my Eastern who is missing the tip of his tail courtesy of some jerk with a shovel. I do want make sure that the people who hurt these snakes don't profit from their cruelty, but I don't blame the animal for what people did to it. The animals deserve good care and treatment regardless.

I still don't know whether or not you (Kevin from Oregon) are a dealer who commissions and sells venomoids for profit, but the person whom I thought you might be (Kevin from Florida) is just another keeper and occasionally passes along surplus stuff in the classifieds. The ad seemed to imply that this was a long term animal from a private collection being sold by a private keeper, and the name rang a bell, so I thought I'd send an email asking about the ethics of the situation. I wasn't 100% sure about the answers so I decided to decline despite my need for a well established orange throated female. The only way I'd have been okay with buying your snake is if you were the Kevin I knew locally and I was sure that the person I was buying the animal from had not commissioned the operation.

There are some venomoids floating around through no fault of their own and no fault of their current keepers. Somebody once gave me a venomoid spitter, which I passed along to another keeper as I have no use for such an animal. A crippled snake deserves the same care and treatment as any other. I just don't really want a snake that's crippled in that particular way. Unless it happens to have all of the other hard-to-find characteristics that I need in a breeder, in which case I do want it as long as I'm not supporting animal cruelty by purchasing it.

Yes, your snake is very pretty. Yes, I think she is probably my only decent chance if I want to reproduce my orange male with a matching female any time soon. As far as I know there are no other well established females of that color pattern for sale anywhere, and the wild female I just bought isn't likely to be well enough acclimated or large enough to breed with my male for some years. No, I still wouldn't buy your snake unless I was very, very sure that all the ethics were in order and that I was not supporting the harmful practice of venomoiding by giving you money for this particular animal. That's why we were playing Twenty Questions by email, and that's why I declined upon receiving your reply.

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