Snakes will eat anything they can get their mouth around. And they have an articulated jaw that allows them to eat things far bigger than their heads. They aren’t picky.  Other reptiles, like alligators, are the same way. If it is moving, it is food. A mouse, a rat, a fish, a frog, a cat or a dog–all of these things are the natural menu items for a snake. The bigger the snake, the bigger the animals it can–and will–eat. Now, suppose you are the owner of a large snake. Does it really make any difference to the snake whether you feet it lots of mice or one small puppy? Nope. Is there anything inherently more worthy about a small dog than a large rat? Nope. Yet a fellow in Phoenix is under arrest and faces felony animal cruelty charges for giving his snake a larger snack. He’s also being charged with neglect of the snake. That doesn’t make sense. Snakes don’t want or need much attention. They can go a long time between meals. And it seems like this one was well fed.

5 thoughts on “Snakes

  1. Of all these, I pick your Snakes post to reply to. 🙂 Probably because it is the least intimidating entry point for me.

    This does bring up an interesting point. Is there a hierarchy of animals? Is a rat “lower” in being than a horse, for example? I’m showing my lack of education in this regard, I know. My understanding is that although they are essentially equal, the difference is derived from how we, as humans interact with and understand them. For me to put out rat poison to take care of a rat infestation problem would be different than putting out puppy poison to kill some puppies. Why? Although some cultural norms come into play, I hope I’m not being too relativistic. Ultimately, it is about where the human is coming from in this interaction. We need to treat animals humanely because we are human, not because they have inherent rights or because dogs are higher on a chain of being than rats. We keep dogs as pets, our children play with them, they sit in our laps as we watch TV. That is the difference.

  2. Some people keep rats and mice as pets although none of my children did! One of our boys kept snakes and one day while he was at school one of them got loose! Mom wasn’t too pleased was she Bill?

  3. I just had garter snakes. I kept them in an aquarium with a lid … and they pushed their way out. I think I had three in the cage. It seems my mother went upstairs with the laundry and saw these snakes curled up in hallway. 🙂

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