On killing snakes, how to prevent it, and why it should be illegal
Do you ever see somebody stomping on a snake or running away screaming from one, even when it's just a little garter snake they find on their lawn? This in my opinion should be illegal! Snakes have value, which many people don't realize. Snakes eat creatures like rodents, insects and other pests, and they are eaten by creatures such as birds of prey and even certain amphibians! Killing snakes disrupts the ecosystem. Did you know that many Americans call themselves "animal lovers" but they only love animals they deem "cute" or "not scary"? Rattlesnakes are animals too, and any so-called "animal lover" should love, or at least tolerate them. Killing snakes also effects the education in this country about nature. The main age where people kill snakes is between the ages of 8 and 10, and this carries on into teenage years. We need to teach our children not to kill snakes! And one of the easiest ways to train somebody not to do something is to tell them that it's against the law. Almost everybody does not want to break the law. In many states, you can only kill a snake if it is threatening you. This is not enough. Anybody who wants to kill a snake can say that just because it looked at them cross-eyed, it was sizing them up to eat them, or it wanted to bite their children, or steal their cat, or some garbage like that. I think that these laws are a good idea but there should be a better definition of "threatening" which is something like "It carries an obvious and eminent threat to you, your family, or your lifestyle." This would prevent fear and death of snakes across America. And one of the easiest ways to prevent killing snakes in America would be to teach it in school. In many cases, people think that every snake, or everything in the world is a dangerous creature such as a copperhead, cottonmouth, or a rattlesnake. What we need to do is have a class in school where children learn about ecology, and how to tell whether or not a snake is venomous or non-venomous. And if an unwanted snake is on your property, there are better ways to remove it than killing it! Many zoos, pet stores, herpetologists, and the official Animal Control service can move snakes away from your property. If you remember your neighbors having pet snakes, see if the snake is their pet. And seeing if the snake is a neighbor's pet can keep your neighbor's heart from being broken because their pet is dead. If said snake is either a non-native species or a native species with coloring you do not see in the wild, it is usually somebody's pet. Keep watch in the news for any escaped snakes in your area to keep yourself from killing them if they are somebody's pet or an escaped zoo animal. But one of the main ways to keep Americans from killing snakes is to keep them informed. Teach in schools that snakes have value. Have articles in newspapers that don't just identify snakes as evil, man-eating creatures. This portrayal in the media is one of the reasons for snake fear across America. In even newspapers, every snake is usually a gigantic, man-eating rattle-cobra that can crush a person in its coils. Instead of these articles, write articles on the value of snakes and how to react if you see one in the wild! And stop having evil snakes in movies and books. Many people learn from what they read and if they accept something like a fictional story about a child being eaten by a cobra as fact, and then they see a hognose snake or other snake flattening its head to look like a cobra, if it's anywhere near a child, they will kill it. Instead of these stories, there should be more books on identifying snakes. More books with good snake characters! Did you know that many people no longer think bears are dangerous because of the teddy bear movement? We need something like that for snakes! Create a line of adorable stuffed animals of snakes in cute colors like pink and lavender! There is a need for good snakes in the world! Enter My Little Python. This is another blog/movement I run which is like My Little Pony, but with snakes. Direct your misinformed children to this blog! Bring out your ophidiophobic and expose them to this good portrayal of serpents! And when you ever get a chance, try to make killing snakes illegal. But the easiest way to prevent this is education. Pure education. Teach people that your pet snake is not dangerous. If you don't have a pet snake, teach them that snakes in general aren't dangerous. Direct them to My Little Python. Heed the movement. Have good snakes.