Thinking of getting a snake? First of all, it is never acceptable buy or sell another sentient being. Adopting a homeless animal is one thing depending on humans, but this is usually not the case with snakes. Many reptiles sold as “pets” are captured in their natural habitat, then shipped to other continents and sold by an industry that treats these delicate and fragile animals like car parts. Others are raised on collective farms where their needs are ignored and their instincts to engage in natural behavior are inhibited.
There’s no good reason to buy a snake, but there are nine good reasons not to. immortality do it :
The pet trade is terrible
Snakes sold as “pets” come from places like US Global Exotics (USGE), which – at the time of PETA’s investigation – is the world’s largest supplier of exotic animals to the company’s pet trade. The USGE has confined tens of thousands of animals to its facilities, with only a few staff working to “care” them. Many snakes were caught in the wild and shipped to the USGE around the world, where they are kept in shoebox-sized containers or overcrowded boxes. PETA USA revealed that many snakes die every day from diseases, infections or untreated injuries, and many suffer from epileptic seizures. They were confined to overcrowded and dirty enclosures and deprived of basic necessities including food, warmth, adequate space and even water. Workers put hundreds of snakes in the freezer and left them to die.
Suffering at the USGE is no exception. During the PETA US investigation of a California trader called Global Captive Breeders, snakes and other reptiles were so neglected that workers rarely noticed they died. The enclosures – little more than plastic shoe boxes – were littered with rotting carcasses filled with maggots.
Conditions are the same in Europe, as another investigation by PETA Germany into the country’s largest snake dealer shows. Many pet businesses still profit from the exploitation and suffering of such animals.
No captive environment can compete with snakes’ natural habitats.
These complex animals bask, burrow, swim, climb trees and travel long distances in their natural habitat. They mate whenever they want and stay alone when they want. It is impossible to adopt all such natural behavior in the very small, cramped and monotonous glass terrariums sold in pet stores.
Snakes are not “novice” pets
Although the captive reptile industry continues to falsely market snakes as “novice” animals, they are in fact high maintenance animals that deserve respect and affection.
There are 3,000 species of snakes in the world, and hundreds of thousands of snakes are kept in captivity as “pets” in France. Experts estimate that more than 70% of snakes and other exotic animals sold in the pet trade die before they even reach stores. According to one study, 75% of “domestic” reptiles, including snakes, die within a year, usually from the stress of captivity. This shows how difficult it is to meet their complex needs in captivity.
Snakes have special needs that are nearly impossible to meet in captivity.
Although for-profit snake traders underestimate the many needs of reptiles in captivity, these reptiles require spectrum lighting, specific temperatures and humidity levels, diets and feeding schedules, precise and lots of space. Proper care of a snake is an almost impossible and very expensive undertaking. In one survey, veterinarians estimated that 47% of exotic pets (including snakes) brought to them were unmet, and 89% of respondents said these animals often lacked a suitable environment.
Snakes will not accept your affections – they are cautious animals that do not like to be held, touched, petted or walked around. This is stressful for them and puts them at risk of illness and injury, and you may not realize they are hurt because they aren’t moaning or barking. (See reason #7.)
Buying small animals to feed the snake fuels the cruel pet trade, even if you own a snake.
Even if you do own a snake, there is no escaping the fact that it often eats rabbits, rats, rats and other small animals purchased from pet stores. Numerous studies by suppliers’ PETA organizations have revealed horrific situations where live rats are packed in plastic bags and placed in a freezer, where they are left to suffocate and freeze to death, and some frantically try to get out.
Many of these animals were later sold as food for snakes and other reptiles. Over the course of about three months at one facility, PETA USA’s watchdog found hundreds of small dead animals in garbage cans, often without water.
Having a snake doesn’t make you look trendy, it just makes you look stupid.
Salmonella, which can cause sepsis (blood poisoning), and other bacteria that can cause illness in humans are commonly found in snakes and other reptiles. Your snake can infect botulism (which can cause paralysis and death), campylobacteriosis (intestinal infection), trichinellosis (muscle, nervous system, heart and lung disease), and leptospirosis (liver disease). There’s nothing cool about getting diarrhea, stomachache, fever, or life-threatening illness from a reptile you choose to come into contact with for no good reason.
Sending the snake to a glass prison isn’t very impressive. Learn to play an instrument, make your own vegan cheese or speak another language, he is influential.
Captivity harms the health of snakes
Contagious stomatitis (mouth rot), internal and external parasites, skin infections, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, inclusion body disease, regurgitation, vomiting, organ swelling, anemia, weight loss, respiratory disease or sepsis of snakes in captivity. Do you know what symptoms to look for? Can you afford the treatment?
Snakes have feelings
In many species of snakes, mothers are protective and some do not take their eyes off their young for three weeks after birth or hatching, but baby snakes are highly skilled at hunting and defending themselves.
Imagine having to spend your life in a compartment shorter than your body length. Snakes cause suffering and trauma when held in this way. Just like humans and other animals, they need to be able to stretch at least to their full length, and they need space to exercise and move.
Snakes have rights
Animals don’t want to be your “pet”. They are conscious, free individuals who can form meaningful relationships and have thoughts, preferences, memories and problem-solving abilities. Putting your desire to “own” a snake before your need for freedom is speciesism. Every animal has the right to live free from human exploitation.
Animal companions should be treated with respect and have the right to a fulfilling and dignified life where all their needs are met – this means not buying snakes or other animals against your will.
You can help snakes and other reptiles.
Never buy snakes or any other animal from a pet store or breeder, and ask your friends and family not to support this deadly industry either.
Learn more about the pet trade and how it treats animals as profitable goods that are mass produced and sold for profit: