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"Tomorrow I get to skin snakes and chop their heads off, and I am super-excited about it,"
March 13, 2011 4:38 PM   Subscribe

Does this machete go with my tiara? "Pageant hopefuls decapitate, skin snakes at Rattlesnake Roundup: To win the Miss Snake Charmer beauty pageant requires beauty, grace, talent and a strong stomach. It's probably the only pageant in the country that requires the winner to decapitate and skin a snake."
posted by Fizz (82 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Absurd and disgusting. Where is PeTA when you need them?
posted by driley at 4:40 PM on March 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, I've seen this one already.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:43 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


FTA: "They bite livestock, they bite the animals, your pets. They'll bite kids, people. They're a very serious problem around here."

I smell a mashup.
posted by idiopath at 4:52 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


'Probably'?
posted by Catseye at 4:55 PM on March 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've always had a rabid dislike for this whole thing. Rattlesnakes aren't o.k. to slaughter just because they're venomous and reptilian. Now mosquitos, on the other arm....
posted by Redhush at 5:02 PM on March 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


There's a Rattlesnake Roundup in my hometown in central TX. The Jaycees run it as a fundraiser. Last I heard, there's no Miss Snake Charmer, and all I can remember from childhood visits is large men dangling snakes from looped quirts, and ladies trying to get you to eat fried rattlesnake, and lots of belts and purses for sale. No public carnage. I can't say it actually made my list of reasons to get out, but it's not something I miss.

Rattlesnakes can do damage and I sorta see the original yearly range-clearing get-together in the roundup. But when you have to bring in snakes, you're into Lottery territory.

Then again, we seem to be living in Lottery territory.
posted by dogrose at 5:06 PM on March 13, 2011


It's probably the only pageant in the country that requires the winner to decapitate and skin a snake.
Well, there's the High Desert Pageant out here in California where the winner gets to decapitate and skin the Emcee, which is kind of the same thing. ;)
posted by Celsius1414 at 5:16 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


you could waltz halfway across texas
turn your pedal steel upside down
sucker punch a fat policeman
over in the rich part of town
take your grandmother to the disco
let her show you how to shimmy and shake
but won't none of it mean a goddamn thing
until you sever the snake
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:19 PM on March 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I admire the way that they say it's "probably the only pageant in the country that requires the winner to decapitate and skin a snake." Because you don't want to risk finding out that this is actually pretty common.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:28 PM on March 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Absurd and disgusting. Where is PeTA when you need them?

Too busy killing cats and dogs.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 5:32 PM on March 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Miss Navajo was shown on Independent Lens a few years back. Contestants have to butcher a sheep.
posted by Killick at 5:41 PM on March 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


...with their teeth
posted by fuq at 5:51 PM on March 13, 2011


Here's the 2006 roundup [some gruesome pics] with this interesting explanation:
"How can you find 3500 pounds of snakes in a day?" I asked.

"Well, we strip mine the gypsum," one of the fellows told me. "Our boys just bulldoze up major parts of the earth. Every once in a while, one of these old boys will turn up a snake den," he said in a conspiratorial whisper. "They look around to make sure no one else has seen them, they mark the location, they cover it back up, and then when the Roundup rolls around, they know exactly where to go...""
posted by unliteral at 6:26 PM on March 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I understand the need for safety and population control of certain species, but you can do both of those things while still maintaining a respect for nature. Those people are disgusting.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:41 PM on March 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


"So now miss lady, what da you sahpose is the one thing yer most passionate about?"

"I'm just so gosh-darned concerned about the envayament, y'all!"

(This is satire: I know that nobody who would be participating in a Texan beauty queen pageant would care about the envayament.)
posted by tumid dahlia at 6:46 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Position paper on round-ups from the American Society of Icthyologists and Herpetologists.

Oh, snakes. You're not even my favorite reptiles, let alone my favorite animals, but man, you guys get the crap end of the stick from us, because by just not hating you for existing in the US, I feel like a great and benign supporter of serpent-kind.

Go forth and do your snake thing. Try not to get predated by people too much.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 7:03 PM on March 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Miss Snake Charmer? It explains a lot about West Texas that people see no difference between charming and decapitating.
posted by gingerest at 7:21 PM on March 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


It is a tragedy that Barry White is not around to help put a stop to this real-life Whacking Day.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 7:25 PM on March 13, 2011


Mmmmmm. Grilled rattler.... Delicious.

When I was in the California Conservation Corps, the craziest of us (yes, me too) would go grab MacLeods, which us diehard types kept filed razor sharp and would wander off on rattler duty sometimes on the grade, trusting in good boots and quick reflexes. See a snake, pop off the beggar's head. Provided a safe environment for the other guys and we could take the carcass back to the center, skin it, dry the skin (not my thing) and the center cook would grill it up for us (my thing) ever so deliciously (since our dorm style housing didn't have cooking facilities).
posted by Samizdata at 7:31 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reveling in killing, even danerous animals, is just wrong. Having the most comely young virgins do it while everybody watches brings it to a whole new level.
posted by longsleeves at 7:41 PM on March 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Reveling in killing, even danerous animals, is just wrong. Having the most comely young virgins do it while everybody watches brings it to a whole new much hotter level.

FTFY.
posted by Samizdata at 7:50 PM on March 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


The US version of shark finning, with no soup.
posted by snofoam at 7:56 PM on March 13, 2011


I understand the need for safety and population control of certain species.

Absolutely. You round up the pageant contestants, and I'll get the machetes.
posted by FelliniBlank at 7:58 PM on March 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Mmmmmm. Grilled contestant.... Delicious.
posted by Samizdata at 8:04 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


as someone who has charmed a few snakes, i thought this was going to be about blowjobs. but really, it's about handjobs. hot chicks holding snakes? i'd be surprised if this were not already a line of porn.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 8:09 PM on March 13, 2011


May they dream of rattlesnakes slithering out from all of their orifices in an endless torrent.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:15 PM on March 13, 2011


[the snakes] are weighed and measured and their venom is milked into glass beakers where it will be used for research and to make anti-venom.

It goes down hill from here. Next comes the chopping block where their heads are cut off. They are then skinned and gutted. The meat is fried up and the skins are used for boots and wallets


So the participants protect livestock while producing food, useful things, and medicine. Sounds good to me.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:17 PM on March 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


Well, I came into this thread thinking there would be a lot of positive comments about this event - at least they're doing SOMETHING, and not just parading around in a bathing suit. Snakes are good eating, and I just don't really see a problem here. They're snakes. that can kill you. Why not kill them first?
posted by bradth27 at 8:21 PM on March 13, 2011


Reveling in killing, even danerous animals, is just wrong. Having the most comely young virgins do it while everybody watches brings it to a whole new level.

Virgins?

I doubt it.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:40 PM on March 13, 2011


"Sweetwater? I'd hate to call that stinking piece of desert Sweetwater."
posted by perhapses at 8:42 PM on March 13, 2011


They're snakes. that can kill you. Why not kill them first?

I feel that way about chimpanzees, myself.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:49 PM on March 13, 2011


What the hell.
posted by nola at 8:59 PM on March 13, 2011


Well, I came into this thread thinking there would be a lot of positive comments

This video does a better job of portraying the Rattlesnake Roundup, more respectful.
posted by stbalbach at 8:59 PM on March 13, 2011


Well, I came into this thread thinking there would be a lot of positive comments about this event - at least they're doing SOMETHING, and not just parading around in a bathing suit. Snakes are good eating, and I just don't really see a problem here. They're snakes. that can kill you. Why not kill them first?

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 1 - 2 people die from snake bites each year just in Texas. If you include the rest of the U.S., it would bring it up to about 14. According to the National Weather Service, 29 people died from being struck by lightning in 2010. And according to this website, there were 34 deaths due to dog bites.

Your chances of dying from a dog attack or lightning strike are twice as high than death by snake bite.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:59 PM on March 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


I understand the need for safety and population control of certain species, but you can do both of those things while still maintaining a respect for nature.

Mind if I ask what you are picturing? A slow, somber sort of version of this? Enthusiasm might be psychologically necessary for human beings to do a thing efficiently and thoroughly.

Also, is it really wrong if you kill something for a reason and use the carcass productively?
posted by Xezlec at 9:03 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


They're reptiles. People can have fun at crawfish boils eating their mudbugs so, eh.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:06 PM on March 13, 2011


You people make me sick.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:10 PM on March 13, 2011


Your chances of dying from a dog attack or lightning strike are twice as high than death by snake bite.

That same site also states that approximately 7,000 people per year in the US are bitten by venomous snakes. But half of those bites are "dry", meaning no venom is injected. So that's about 3,500 people poisoned by snakebite.

So I assume some of those 3,500 people were both bit by rattlers and lived due to access to antivenom made from venom collected from rattlesnakes.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:12 PM on March 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Mind if I ask what you are picturing? A slow, somber sort of version of this? Enthusiasm might be psychologically necessary for human beings to do a thing efficiently and thoroughly."

The sadistic assholes of the world seem to have such a knack whipping up people's enthusiasm.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:30 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


The sadistic assholes of the world seem to have such a knack whipping up people's enthusiasm.

People certainly seem enthusiastic about making a show of their disgust on threads like this, so I guess you're right about that.
posted by Xezlec at 9:37 PM on March 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, is it really wrong if you kill something for a reason and use the carcass productively?

Ok, then why not round up all the feral cats and dogs and make dinner or clothing out of them? And while they're at it, they can have a whole event centered around it. Dog bites kill more people each year than snake bites, so there would be a safety angle to it too.

those 3,500 people were both bit by rattlers and lived due to access to antivenom made from venom collected from rattlesnakes.

These roundups are inhumane and you can get venom from snakes for antivenom without the gruesome show. From the Humane Society:

"Most rattlesnakes in roundups are driven out of their dens with gasoline, then stored without water or food in unhygienic conditions, and crammed tightly into containers for transport to and display at roundup events. Many snakes arrive at these events starved, dehydrated, or crushed to death. Those who survive may be used in public demonstrations and daredevil acts."

On environmental damage:

"Rattlesnake collection methods are highly destructive to the habitats of rattlesnakes and other burrow dwellers such as gopher tortoises, indigo snakes, box turtles, coachwhip snakes, pine snakes, southern toads, and gopher frogs, along with burrowing owls, raccoons, opossums, and at least 32 species of invertebrates. The most popular collection method is to spray gasoline or other toxic chemicals into rattlesnake dens and resting places, which can render a burrow uninhabitable for years. Once introduced into the soil, gasoline could contaminate groundwater—the primary water source for many rural communities—thus poisoning wildlife, livestock, and humans."

On antivenom:

"Organizers often attempt to legitimize roundups by claiming that they provide a supply of venom for antivenin, but their venom collection methods may not meet the strict guidelines for antivenin production required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

This isn't just about public safety. These snakes aren't just rounded up and killed. They are used in competitive events and tortured. Go read all the information out there on the web from the experts and come back in here and tell me you still think that the events and show centered around rattlesnake roundups is okay with you.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:38 PM on March 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Not Sure.... Probably
posted by vinujadhav at 9:43 PM on March 13, 2011


tell me you still think that the events and show centered around rattlesnake roundups is okay with you.

Where did I say that?

their venom collection methods may not meet the strict guidelines for antivenin production required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

And the venison I get every year from my deer-hunting buddies probably doesn't meet FDA spec either, but it sure does make for a tasty spaghetti sauce.

Is none of the venom gathered in rattlesnake rodeos usable in antivenin production? Seems unlikely.

I agree that polluting snake burrows with gasoline and other toxins is stupid and wrong. I'd like that to stop, and if that ends the "tradition" of rattlesnake rodeos, well, I won't shed a tear.

I've owned several (non-venomous) snakes. I've owned an iguana. I've owned turtles and frogs and
geckos and lizards. I am not anti-slithery-scaly-critter by any means.

I've also had a copperhead bite my hiking boot and fortunately not break the skin. I stomped him to death. I've had a cottonmouth drop from a tree into my canoe. I thwacked him with a paddle and tossed him onto the bank. So I can't really point an accusing finger at people killing poisonous snakes.

Are we running out of rattlesnakes? Is this practice endangering them? If so, then by all means let's not do it. If not, well, I find the whole thing distasteful, particularly the despoiling of the environment, but I have a hard time getting too upset about it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:09 PM on March 13, 2011


Are we running out of rattlesnakes? Is this practice endangering them? If so, then by all means let's not do it.

The eastern diamondback is close to becoming endangered. I'm not against defense of yourself with an encounter in the wild with a snake. What I am against is condoning cruelty to wildlife as an acceptable practice which is what these rattlesnake roundups are doing. I didn't mean to make you think that I singled you out when I said "tell me you still think that the events and show centered around rattlesnake roundups is okay with you." I meant that in general, to everyone who thinks that these rattlesnake roundups are somehow okay. I know a lot of people aren't informed about the details. What I want is for people to research everything that happens at these events and then make a decision about it.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:23 PM on March 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Your chances of dying from a dog attack or lightning strike are twice as high than death by snake bite.

Oh, man, if we could get a pageant where contestants hunt down and kill lightning, I would 100% support it.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:28 PM on March 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Oh, for fuksakkes... They rattlesnakes. They're harvested, milked, skinned, and made into goods. There is nothing wrong going on here from what we can tell.
posted by 2N2222 at 11:28 PM on March 13, 2011


Miss Navajo was shown on Independent Lens a few years back. Contestants have to butcher a sheep.


Killick - that was wonderful. Thank you for sharing.
posted by vac2003 at 1:16 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Rattlesnakes are fairly plentiful and decapitation seems sufficiently humane. I don't see why this is any worse than any other hunting or fishing. I can see myself killing and eating a snake, should the opportunity present itself.
posted by ryanrs at 3:04 AM on March 14, 2011


Rattlesnakes are fairly plentiful and decapitation seems sufficiently humane.

I agree. It's all the stuff preceding that that's the problem.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:06 AM on March 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Driving them from their burrows and putting them into boxes? Or milking them for venom? Neither seems particularly inhumane.
posted by ryanrs at 3:12 AM on March 14, 2011


The starving and the squishing, mostly.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:23 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


...And is nobody worried about the fact that American culture continues to be one that almost unconditionally condones violence against other living creatures, so long as it's not meeeh (ambiguous hand gesture) necessarily against the law?
posted by Mooseli at 4:25 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not quite the same thing, but one of my aunts was FFA Princess in high school, and aside from having beauty and poise, she had to successfully rope a calf.
posted by padraigin at 4:57 AM on March 14, 2011


Nah, most countries condone things that aren't against the law.
posted by ryanrs at 5:10 AM on March 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


May they dream of rattlesnakes slithering out from all of their orifices in an endless torrent.

The Dream of the Jaycees Wife
posted by ryanrs at 5:21 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Having the most comely young virgins do it while everybody watches brings it to a whole new level.

Please, please tell me what channel the show is on.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:16 AM on March 14, 2011


...And is nobody worried about the fact that American culture continues to be one that almost unconditionally condones violence against other living creatures, so long as it's not meeeh (ambiguous hand gesture) necessarily against the law?

No, no one is worried about this except you, yesyesyou.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:18 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, 1 - 2 people die from snake bites each year just in Texas. If you include the rest of the U.S., it would bring it up to about 14. According to the National Weather Service, 29 people died from being struck by lightning in 2010. And according to this website, there were 34 deaths due to dog bites.

Your chances of dying from a dog attack or lightning strike are twice as high than death by snake bite.


So? They taste good. And they are snakes that will bite you. I still see no problem.

Ok, then why not round up all the feral cats and dogs and make dinner or clothing out of them? And while they're at it, they can have a whole event centered around it. Dog bites kill more people each year than snake bites, so there would be a safety angle to it too.

I've been saying for years that all the feral cats and dogs should be used for food. Animal shelters? Putting animals to sleep? That's just a waste of meat. We could be eating them. I see no problem here.


This isn't just about public safety. These snakes aren't just rounded up and killed. They are used in competitive events and tortured. Go read all the information out there on the web from the experts and come back in here and tell me you still think that the events and show centered around rattlesnake roundups is okay with you.

Yeah, I'm ok with it. They're snakes.
posted by bradth27 at 6:58 AM on March 14, 2011


> They're snakes.

I don't really give much of a damn about rattlesnakes (sorry, guys, you should've evolved into cuddly constrictors instead of nasty ol' venomous injectors), but if what was mentioned about habitat destruction is true then these things need a whole lot more oversight. I'm not sure why people in this thread are having trouble separating the two.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:20 AM on March 14, 2011


There are plenty of rattlesnakes out at the barn where I keep my horse. Generally they don't bother anybody; they're after rabbits, squirrels, etc. They're good at keeping the rat population down, which is nice because the rats will eat tack, saddle leather, and horse hooves. (Yes, really. Putting tabasco on the hooves seems to discourage the rats somewhat, though). We can't keep cats there because of coyotes.

Occasionally a snake will get a little too close to the barn. Often one of the guys (who's done this a lot and knows how) will just pick it up, put it in a bag and move it back into the hills away from the barn.

The dogs have gone to snake avoidance clinics, which seem to work pretty well.

People get hysterical about snakes for no real reason. According to statistics, most people who are bitten are males between the ages of 20 and 40 who have been drinking and who have picked up snakes, which have generally been minding their own business.

Other species have a right to live too, and not to die just because some people enjoy killing things.
posted by OolooKitty at 10:24 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Other species have a right to live too, and not to die just because some people enjoy killing things.

These snakes are not killed "just because some people enjoy killing things," although I would not agree that other species have a "right" to live at all.
posted by bradth27 at 10:32 AM on March 14, 2011


If you're gonna have to kill a whole bunch of snakes, a community might as well make a pageant out of it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:41 AM on March 14, 2011


> although I would not agree that other species have a "right" to live at all.

"This ain't rock and roll rattlesnake roundup, this is genocide!"
posted by Burhanistan at 10:51 AM on March 14, 2011


We have a rattlesnake roundup here each year too, out in the sticks. There's no wild habitat destruction or anything like that, it's "go catch a mess of rattlers and let's see whose is biggest...and then let's eat them", which is fine by me.

I say this as someone who has sat on the board of well centered environmental protection board as we successfully sued a huge lumber company under the Endangered Species Protection Act because what they were doing was jeopardizing the habitat of the Flat Spired, Three Toothed Snail. (And the Allegheny Woodrat, and some birds of prey, etc. etc.)

This is one of the pulp companies that supplies the bulk of US paper products and chip-board (OSB) style materials, which I guarantee are in your home and on your desk right now.

MeFi's OMG RAGE sensors are a little bit oversensitive sometimes. I mean, raging because people are excavating for snakes in a quarry? You do know what they DO in a quarry, right?
posted by TomMelee at 10:58 AM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


> You do know what they DO in a quarry, right?

Slither and copulate?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:02 AM on March 14, 2011


Can't criticize; eat too much dubiously sourced meat.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:30 PM on March 14, 2011


Burhanistan, just because my subject verb agreement = fail and I didn't make it clear who "they" was, doesn't mean you should be snake-ist.

4rlz.
posted by TomMelee at 12:41 PM on March 14, 2011



These snakes are not killed "just because some people enjoy killing things,"


The spectacle they make of it would suggest that this is exactly what's going on.

I would not agree that other species have a "right" to live at all.


Wow. Okay, then.
posted by OolooKitty at 7:04 PM on March 14, 2011


I would not agree that other species have a "right" to live at all

Damn, man.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:11 PM on March 14, 2011


Wow. Okay, then.

well, you can't really reason with a snake, so I'm not sure it has rights.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:14 PM on March 14, 2011


Divine rights. Definitely has those.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:40 PM on March 14, 2011


I always find it weird that people act like it's news when someone clearly communicates a principle upon which our society is clearly based. So much of our lifestyle (here in the US but other parts of the world too) is based on animals being killed for food, tested upon and then killed...but when someone comes right out and says "animals don't have a right to live" people get upset. If you think animals have a right to live, then you should be flipping out every time someone eats meat for recreation because they're clearly demonstrating that they don't give a shit about that animal's rights.

Or, you're just upset because we all like to pretend like we respect animal rights but really we don't think they have the right to live unless they're certain kinds of animals in certain kinds of situations (what kinds vary based on who you ask).
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:45 PM on March 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, I'm well aware of what goes on every day as far as animals being killed and eaten. I eat plenty of animals myself. That doesn't mean that I don't think they have no "right" to live. I really meant what I said above, even though I am an agnostic, it's still the best way I know of putting it: they have a divine right to live, given that they were born here on the planet. But I'm fully willing to admit that I, as a consumer of meat, for example, am part of the system of life that takes away that right of theirs. But we all have to survive, animals eat other animals, etc.

I do have a particular problem with animals being killed purely for sport, though. Animals that will not be consumed. And yeah, that would be your "certain kind of situation" where I believe an animal's essential right to live is being violated egregiously and senselessly.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:58 PM on March 14, 2011


They do get consumed, though. They eat the rattlesnake meat and use the skins. So...what I wonder is whether it's just that they're doing something in public that we're supposed to hide in slaughterhouses so we don't have to think about it that really bothers people.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:01 PM on March 14, 2011


I get my meat from a guy who slaughters it fresh out behind the shed.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:22 PM on March 14, 2011


So...what I wonder is whether it's just that they're doing something in public that we're supposed to hide in slaughterhouses so we don't have to think about it that really bothers people.

Factory farm slaughterhouses are horrible places but I don't think most workers get up in the morning to head to work excited about killing a bunch of animals. Their day isn't filled with joy and delight over the torture of these animals before they're killed for for meat and leather. If anything, those workers are probably desensitized to the whole practice. I don't think you'll hear one say "Tomorrow I get to skin cows and chop their heads off and I'm super-excited about it." Do you think that people who get find pleasure in the torture of another living thing, that is able to feel pain, don't extend that mentality to other areas in their life? Do you think they draw the line at snakes? Probably not.

If you think animals have a right to live, then you should be flipping out every time someone eats meat for recreation because they're clearly demonstrating that they don't give a shit about that animal's rights.

You would be surprised at how many people don't exactly know what happens in factory farms. And I don't think anyone would be able to watch some of the awful videos of horrible living conditions at factory farms and laugh and get excited about the torture of those animals.

You can eat meat (I don't) and still care about animal rights.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 8:37 PM on March 14, 2011


It seems that there is absolutely no need for these rattlesnake roundups other than 'because we can'. Facile sociopathy is the antithesis of human achievement.
posted by asok at 2:57 AM on March 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


well, you can't really reason with a snake, so I'm not sure it has rights.

A snake can't reason with you, either. Ipso facto, by your own logic, you too have no rights whatsoever.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:19 AM on March 15, 2011


Oops. I forgot to check this thread.

Ok, then why not round up all the feral cats and dogs and make dinner or clothing out of them? And while they're at it, they can have a whole event centered around it. Dog bites kill more people each year than snake bites, so there would be a safety angle to it too.

I absolutely agree and I think it's a great idea. The problem is that many people seem to have a sentimental aversion to eating animals of any species commonly kept as pets in our culture. If we could overcome that, I think that idea would benefit the environment and public health in several different ways. But I'm not holding my breath. People are dumb and won't do smart things.

Oh, and also, I agree with your criticisms of many of the practices of rattlesnake roundups, I just happen to think that the "round up some snakes and kill them and do stuff with the skin and whatnot" part isn't the problem, and that distinction happens to be important to me.
posted by Xezlec at 11:35 AM on March 15, 2011


Do you think that people who get find pleasure in the torture of another living thing, that is able to feel pain, don't extend that mentality to other areas in their life? Do you think they draw the line at snakes? Probably not.

It sounds like you are objecting to people's feelings more than their actions. You want people to feel unhappy or at least "desensitized" when they kill something, and you're angry that some people don't. I don't think it makes sense to be upset with people's feelings. People's actions can be changed by shaming them, but I'm not so sure about feelings. Humans have been hunters for millennia and it shouldn't be surprising that we instinctively enjoy hunting.
posted by Xezlec at 11:43 AM on March 15, 2011


I said "These snakes are not killed "just because some people enjoy killing things,"

and then you replied "The spectacle they make of it would suggest that this is exactly what's going on."


You said "just because." These snakes, as the article states, are used for food and other purposes after the event. So they are not, in any way, killed "just because" people enjoy killing things, regardless of the nature of the killing in itself.

I said "I would not agree that other species have a "right" to live at all."

and then you said "Wow. Okay, then."


We are animals. Those of us who eat meat kill animals for food, or eat animals that have been killed. I don't have a problem with killing animals for food. At all. Other animals, when faced with the need for food, do not have a problem with killing us if they are able to do so.

Besides, this is a rattlesnake. It's not some precious little monkey or deer that we can all stare at and say "OMG THAT THING IS SO CUUUUTTTTTEEE!" - it's a rattlesnake. Yeah, it's pretty, and yeah, it tastes delicious. While some people would choose to starve while staring into the big eyes of the cute little monkey, I would grab a hatchet and start looking for spices.

It just doesn't bother me. I eat meat. Other animals are made of meat. Meat tastes good to me. If it is not illegal to eat that animal, it better get out of my way when I'm hungry.
posted by bradth27 at 1:19 AM on March 16, 2011


It seems that there is absolutely no need for these rattlesnake roundups other than 'because we can'. Facile sociopathy is the antithesis of human achievement.

Population control for the species in these areas is needed - why not have fun while doing it?
posted by bradth27 at 1:22 AM on March 16, 2011


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