Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Let's Ban Snakes and Everything Else That Makes a Headline

To Whom It May Concern,

I am writing this letter in response to an article about the python that strangled two boys in Canada, and to address some comments and concerns that I found on this article.

This incident is, without a doubt, a complete tragedy in every sense of the word and was completely preventable. However, this does not mean we need to demonize the animal, or the people who own snakes.

I am an animal lover, and in particular a snake lover. I am working a decently paying office job and going to school to get a degree in Business Administration. I also own three snakes: a Ball Python, a Kenyan Sand Boa and a Green Tree Python. I am not a “freak” as some have said, nor am I as one commenter stated, “a generally stupid person with low intelligence,” or someone who “only owns snakes to be cool.”

Those of us in the reptile community frown upon those who buy these animals just to show off and be cool: it gives all of us a bad and unwarranted reputation when something goes wrong so I would like to address a couple notable comments. Unfortunately I cannot respond to all of them because some are simply too ignorant to warrant a response.

Number one: Snakes are a passion and a hobby in the same way that racing cars, playing an instrument or keeping any other type of pet is a passion and hobby.

No we do not need them, you cannot cuddle with them, or teach them tricks, but most people are not going to be in the Indy 500 or playing music in front of a sold out crowd. And a cat or dog is not a necessity most of the time either, with the exception of seeing-eye dogs. But we love our animals, our cars and our instruments all the same.

Making sweeping generalizations of how people who own snakes are dumb and stupid is just an example of ignorance and stupidity. How many fatal car crashes occur every day? Does this mean that all of the people involved are idiots? No. Can they be? Sure. But typically something simply went wrong at the wrong time and place. Does this mean that we should ban all cars? No, because they serve a purpose. What about banning all sports cars? What practical use do they have? Aren’t they just for show so that people think you’re cool? Let’s ban those.

How about cats and dogs? How many dog attacks occur every day? And not just from so-called ‘aggressive’ breeds. My cousin suffered an attack from a Dalmatian. It’s quite a common occurrence, so let’s ban dogs too. There are hundreds of thousands of snakes kept in the United States and we only hear about these cases once a year, if that. Dog attacks on the other hand are such a common event, they rarely even make the news. So let’s ban them. Cats can transmit fatal diseases like rabies and toxoplasmosis so let’s ban them too.

Heck, people have been electrocuted from their electric guitars, microphones and other instruments so we should ban those as well.

Of course these ideas are ridiculous. 

Cases like these are the very rare exception and not the norm. Justin Bieber is responsible for more media outcry than snakes are and he won’t be banned anytime soon.

Snakes are typically a calm and docile animal with very few exceptions. The details are not entirely clear yet as to how this happened, but, so far there are two things that are clear: number one; the snake killed the two boys by constricting them. Snakes ONLY do this when they are hunting for prey when they are hungry. Second, the snake escaped from its cage. These two things seem very obvious to state, but the significance cannot be denied. Rock Pythons typically only need to eat every two to three weeks. The fact that it was willing to attack and kill a person, something that it would not normally feed on, leads me to believe that it was willing to escape and look for food because it missed one or more meals. This is not the animals fault: it is POTENTIALLY the owner’s fault. 

However, it does not seem like everything adds up here. More facts need to come out before we have any true idea of what happened. 

There will be plenty more details to emerge later, but the media loves to jump on these stories before all the facts are revealed. We cannot pass blame or judgment until we know ALL of the facts.

Now, in response to the people who believe that wild animals should be left in the wild—cats, dogs, and birds are all wild animals. They are simply perceived as domestic. If you were to let your cats or dogs out to run free in the wild, they would revert right back to their natural instincts most of the time. They can love us and trust us but they are still animals. They are ‘domestic’ animals only because we brought them in from the wild because we liked them, and over the years have become more docile.

I am not in any way implying that more people should buy these much larger species of snakes as pets. In fact, I am urging the exact opposite.

The Burmese Python problem is a huge problem in Florida because of irresponsible owners who could not handle an animal that large. Large snakes should be left to highly experienced snake keepers only, and the trained people who do own these snakes almost never have any problems.

The solution to this problem, along with the problems of car crashes and dog attacks, is not to ban everything that makes a news story. The solution is education. Potential buyers of these animals need to know just how large and powerful an 8-15 foot snake really is. They also need to know how expensive and time consuming it is to feed and house such an animal. Unfortunately, many of these animals are for sale at prices I believe are far too inexpensive to deter unprepared buyers which is another issue entirely. But more times than not, a little education can prevent an unprepared person, with the money to spend, from buying one of these animals. Of course, there will be those few exceptions and we can hope that they do their research and care for their animals properly.

Just like with sports cars, fatal accidents happen because something goes wrong. This does not mean we should ban them or that the people who buy them are “stupid and generally of low intelligence,” or that they “just want to have one because it’s cool.”

To the Barthe family, my God, I am incredibly sorry for what happened to you. I cannot even begin to fathom the pain you must be feeling and you have my deepest and heartfelt condolences.

To those of you looking to buy an exotic and large snake, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your homework. If you do not have several years of experience with snakes, you should NOT buy one. I don’t want my passion and hobby impacted because of your inexperience and stupidity.

Owning snakes is not stupid, but, unprepared or stupid people owning gigantic snakes creates problems for all of us. Please do your research and be safe.



I believe I have been very reasonable and rational with this article. If you have opposing views, I welcome discussion. However, to anyone who thinks I am making light of this situation, or that I do not care about the victims of this tragedy: 

Fuck you. You are not welcome to open your mouth around me or this blog.

I do not harass you for your hobbies or beliefs even if they sometimes kill people. Problems are not solved from harassment and name calling, they are solved through discussion. Thank you in advance for being considerate.


If any of you whose name is in the comments I took snap shots of read this and get upset that you're being mentioned, I really do not give a shit. If you have the right to make stupid ignorant comments on public forum, then I have the right to put you on blast and counter those comments.


  1. Pssh, this is total crap - snakes are no more than the serpent known as Satan's cock and where made to be intrusive and ruin good Christian's lives. Get out of here with your wishey washey liberalized media bullshit.

    1. Ah, thank you for being first example of someone that the "Fuck you. You are not welcome to open your mouth around me or this blog" statement applies to. For anyone who is about to read this response, please note that I am only replying to this person with the same level of respect that he/she showed me.

      With that being said, I'll reply to an otherwise ignorant and ridiculous claim; it's Wednesday night and I don't have anything else going on right now.

      First off, it is absolutely shocking news to me that snakes are Satan's cock. I am very curious as to how you came up with this brilliant deduction. Surely you must be some sort of scientist that specializes in either Satan, cocks, or both, because you clearly cannot be a scientist in any sort of rational thought or comprehension (I'll keep a note of this in case you do decide to respond to me.)

      So snakes "where made to be intrusive and ruin good Christian's lives." This is clearly a well constructed rebuttal... First off, "where" refers to a place, I believe you WERE looking for the verb "were." On what basis do you make this most intriguing of observations? Snakes eat mice, rats and other pests that have caused plenty of wide spread destruction (Black Plague in Europe ring any bells? Yeah, rats did that.) And really, "made to be intrusive?" An animal whose typical response is to run from humans is made to be intrusive... So a SHY animal... Is made to be intrusive... And specifically seeks out Christians... Fascinating... I'm learning already.

      Second, I'm not too sure WHERE you got the idea of "wishey washey liberalized media bullshit." Number one, nothing in my article is wishey washey, it's actually very to the point and on one side of the argument. Second, I made no mention of "liberal" anything in my article. I simply said, "the media loves to jump on these stories before all the facts are revealed." This means that news outlets love stories like this, aka unusual tragedies, because they sell. News outlets are businesses... Businesses need to make money... But I'm not going to give you an economics lesson, I'm pretty sure it would go way over your head.

      So, I hope you have learned something in this response because I surely learned some interesting facts from you. If nothing else, I do sincerely hope you learned to keep your mouth shut if you cannot make any kind of sensible or intelligent comment. However, I am not expecting this from you.

      Oh, and by the way, in case you read this article based on the title and assumed I was being serious, that's actually called "satire." You can look up the definition if you want.

      In case you do actually respond to this, please approach the sacred comment box with something a little more intelligent or at least make your remark interesting. I'd be utterly disappointed with a simple "fuck you," or "suck a dick" kind of comment.

      Thanks for your kind consideration. Cheers!


  2. look kid, you obviously got hooked on the serpent's cock at some early age due to lack of good parenting. i would like to offer my condolences to you and pray for your eternal soul if you like. our lord and savior Jesus Christ does not advise this kind of talk from Satan's servants. it's shocking to me that one would condone the unholy ones pets to roam around in our garden that the one true and righteous god (praise you lord Jesus) made for us, let alone your own house. and i know plenty about the media son, i was around when nixon left office, you ever seen a grown man who's president weep on national television in front of an entire nation then quit being president; so don't tell me about media boy, i'll school you son.

    1. First off, thank you for at least making this interesting. I thought you might be a simple internet troll but alas, I was wrong. I think.

      Where to start...

      Ok, so the parenting comment... No, my interest in the "serpent's cock" (I thought it was Satan's cock?) had nothing to do with my parents, who are great parents. I don't remember where exactly I got hooked on snakes from I just know I've always liked them.

      I remember a heart warming memory from when I was in first grade and my teacher asked us to do a report on an animal of our choosing. She even drew the picture of the animal we picked! So when it was my turn, I picked a python. I didn't have the knowledge on specific species or anything like I do now but I still got an "A" on the assignment! Actually I think it was an "O" for "outstanding," we didn't have the "A,B,C" letter grades until later on in school so we had "O" for "outstanding," "G" for "good" and so on so forth.

      Anyways, I get distracted.

      I appreciate the condolences but none are required, however, I would like to offer my condolences to you. How old were you when you became brainwashed with ridiculous ideas like "serpents are Satan's cock?" (or is it serpent's cock, I can't keep track anymore.)

      I'm also not sure what you're referring to when you say "Jesus Christ does not advise this kind of talk from Satan's servants." Are you referring to me as Satan's servant? Or are the snakes Satan's servants? (or cock? cocks? I don't even know anymore.) Or do you mean the article in general? Or the language I use? I need some specifics here. If it's the language, I do believe you're the one who first brought up "cocks," I was simply trying to make sense of the cock's relevance to this discussion.

      Also, "it's shocking to me that one would condone the unholy ones pets to roam around in our garden that the one true and righteous god (praise you lord Jesus) made for us, let alone your own house." So if God made these "unholy" creatures, what exactly does that mean? Hmmm... Food for thought. I went through CCD school, first communion, Baptism and all that, (I have since changed my views to Agnostic because I'm not entirely sure what's out there, but I do like the idea of some kind of afterlife) but I don't remember God saying anywhere in the Bible, "Cats are cool, dogs are cool, but snakes... F#@! you guys snakes." I know Harrison Ford essentially said that in the Indiana Jones movies but I'm not sure how that's relevant.

      Speaking of relevance, I find it interesting that the only point you really chose to respond to (in a really non cohesive way... I'm sensing a pattern here) is the point on media. What exactly does Nixon crying on national TV have to do with the price of tea in China? This funny expression means, how does your statement have anything to do with anything? You'll school me in media? What does that have to do with snakes? I thought we were having a nice conversation about snakes? (or Satan's cock, serpent's cock, cocks... One of those. I think.)

      Anyways, in case you didn't pick up on what I was doing, I was going off on random tangents of irrelevance to demonstrate what it's like having this conversation with you. Confusing to say the least.

      I'm happy that you responded with something interesting enough to make a long and amusing (at least to me) response to but I'm kinda sad that you still didn't have anything relevant or intelligent to contribute to the discussion. Oh well, third time's the charm right? Let's see what happens.



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  3. Dear 460f6c04-ffdd-11e2-8f09-000bcdcb2996,

    You're such a peach of a human being (i.e. Ignorant dumb fuck and waste of space)! It's people like you that give God and Jesus a bad name. What you should do is shut your dumb-ass, stupid ignorant fuck mouth. Why don't you move to the Appalachian Mountains and go dance around with a rattle snake while you praise God, Jesus or whatever makes you all high and mighty, son. Hopefully it bites you and you get penetrated by "satan's or the serpents cock," and you have a slow and painful death. I know you're just a troll but I'm having a bad day and really enjoyed this. Thanks for the opportunity.

    Thanks Again! :D