Friday, June 6, 2008

For the love of snakes

A few days ago, a gentleman in Texas had his beautiful boa contrictor stolen from his car. After searching high and low, and offering a reward for her return, he received an anonymous phone call that led him to her destroyed body. She had been bludgeoned with rocks, then torn in half.

I'd imagine that whoever swiped her had no idea what they were stealing when they grabbed the bag from the seat of the man's car. He'd left the window open as he went into the Circle K to get a coffee. Less than two minutes passed betweent the time he parked and the time he came back to his vehicle. It was probably some stupid piece of shit looking for guns, money, or drugs. Instead, the thief opens a bag containing an 8-foot-long albino boa constrictor. I suppose for a non-snake-lover, that is probably shocking.

However, no matter how much you fear snakes, the entitlement a person feels to kill someone else's beloved pet simply because they didn't know what they were getting into when they ROBBED that someone's car, is really galling. They had choices they could have made at that point--they could have closed the bag and dropped it somewhere, snake intact. They could have anonymously left it on the doorstep of a pet store. Instead, they CHOSE to torture and kill it, for no reason except perhaps their own fear, or their own amusement.

I know that many people do not understand that some of us really love and have relationships with our snakes. Maybe you're afraid of them, and you don't like them, but we do not feel the same way you do. We have invested time, and love, and care into making these animals a part of our lives. We know their individual quirks, their personalities (yes, they DO have personalities), and the physical things that make them different from others of their kind. I look into Julian's yellow eyes, and watch his black tongue flicking, and I feel warm and fuzzy inside. I watch someone hold Tez, my Honduran milk snake, and they soften from anxiety to delight, as they enjoy his gentle movements over their arms, and they realize that they have overcome some of their deepest fears. I have seen Gregor go from terrified face-biter to simply wary and mildly trusting, after he learned that we, unlike his previous owners, meant him no harm.

They do have personalities. We DO love them. Even if you can't imagine that, at least respect it--snakes don't deserve abuse and destruction any more than other, more "charismatic" pets, and their owners don't deserve to suffer their loss, no matter how weird or creepy you think liking snakes is.

11 comments:

integgy said...

That has to be one of the most awful things I've read. I too, am a snake lover, thought my current living situation doesn't allow me to own them. But I have owned one in the past, and have passionately loved snakes from a young age. To think that someone would do that to a snake (or any animal, really), sickens and disgusts me.

Scattered Marbles said...

I am not a snake lover, they terrify me to no end, even pictures of them. But even for me hearing this tore t my heart, to think someone could do that to another persons pet... no animal deserves that .. even if they terrify me and make me shudder... I know people love them.. and they give them the same feeling my cat does when he cuddles with me. It was just so sad to hear.. I feel so bad for that owner.

violet_yoshi said...

I was thinking, Slash from Guns N Roses really loves snakes. He had 80 of them, but got rid of them when he had kids.

So perhaps there should be a t-shirt with Slash's face on it, with a teardrop coming off of one of his eyes, that says "Everytime a snake is killed, you make Slash cry."

Vickyann said...

I love snakes, they are fascinating and I don't know how anyone could harm another living thing. I'm sickened at the thought of what they did to the snake.

Vicky X

nuckingfutz said...

I'll be honest: I hate snakes.

But if I were in that thief's shoes (which I hope I would never be, but...), torture and killing would be the last thing I would ever even think of doing. I've had pets before, and I know how important they become (some people are like parents to their pet-children!) so regardless of my personal feelings towards snakes, I would NEVER do something like that.

I think it takes a special kind of sick to even consider doing something like that, let alone to actually carry it out.

I have to admit, though... I really like violet_yoshi's idea! :)

Sheathen said...

This is horrible. I can't wrap my mind around how uncaring and downright brutal people can be.

violet_yoshi said...

Nuckingfutz, thanks. I think it's especially powerful, because nobody wants to be hit over the head with a guitar by Slash. LoL

Mermatriarch said...

I am not a fan of snakes, but I don't understand the senseless brutality of the person who killed that man's pet. It's horrible. But I tell you, this situation would make me think twice about ever leaving my pet alone in the car. And I do a lot of traveling, and sometimes, you just have to leave your pet in the car while you run into the convenience store to pay for gas.

Kate said...

Oh god. I'm in tears reading this post. Far too often individuals' circle of compassion stops with cute, furry animals, and this is an attitude that is inculcated by society. In my vegan circle, we call these hypocrites cuddlytarians. RIP little snake.

That reminds me. I recently read a comment or something that went something like this: "Nobody really knows whether lobsters are sentient, but blah blah blah." Really? Nobody knows? Do they have central nervous systems or some apparatus along the same lines? Wouldn't it behoove all mobile creatures to evolve sensitivity to pain, to as to avoid death-inducing situations? Am I off track here? But yet, that kind of assumption is very common.

buffpuff said...

This upset me so much I'm beyond saying anything beyond wishing whoever perpetrated this atrocity in the worst kind of hell they can personally imagine; times a hundred.

buffpuff said...

This upset me so much I'm beyond saying anything beyond wishing whoever perpetrated this atrocity in the worst kind of hell they can personally imagine; times a hundred.