Z-Man
Lv 4
Z-Man asked in Science & MathematicsZoology · 1 decade ago

Snakes - Love them or hate them?

Some people love snakes, some people hate them. Fear of venomous snakes in humans is natural, because some can be harmful or even lethal, but even so, only a very small percent of snakes are poisonous, and most people forget that, because they are uneducated about them. The general hatred towards snakes is developed beyond fear. Those that hate them will either be afraid of snakes from birth, or become brainwashed by the media.

Stories and movies such as “The Jungle Book,” “Rikki Tikki Tavi” and Indiana Jones all have snakes playing an evil character, a bad guy. These are the common stereotypes for any kind of snake. Just think, if you called someone a “snake,” you were probably calling them cold and treacherous, and not a legless reptile. Rarely will you find a snake playing the part of a hero in a movie. And on the news, you only ever hear of big snakes such as anacondas swallowing children, which is quite rare and unlikely. They don’t ever tell you of shy snakes being scared away by humans. Of course, the earliest trace of snakes being portrayed this way goes back to the book of Genesis, in which Satan takes the form of a snake in the Garden of Eden and fools Adam and Eve into sampling the forbidden fruits of the Tree of Knowledge. But this can be interpreted several different ways, just as we have so many different branches of Christianity. Satan is of course evil, and takes on many forms in our life. So, if for example, Satan became a dog, that certainly doesn’t mean that all dogs are evil and wicked as is he.

There are many common misconceptions about snakes that lead people to the idea that they are malevolent killers:

1) Snakes are slimy – Snakes are not slimy, they have smooth and dry scales and they do not ooze some sort of slimy secretion as the word slimy suggests.

2) Snakes are cold-blooded killers – It is true that snakes are cold-blooded, but that just means that their bodies do not produce enough heat. They only kill as a necessity to live, unlike humans, which can kill for greed and power. All heterotrophs have methods of killing: snakes either poison or crush their prey, lions have sharp claws for stabbing and tearing flesh, and humans use tools to stab, slice, or blow up other animals. So what’s so wrong about that? You must be a hypocrite unless you are vegetarian.

3) Snakes have cold, lifeless eyes – So do teddy bears. Snakes don’t have eyelids, so how can they avoid staring at you?

They do play important roles, such as keeping the rodent population in check. (Not that rodents are bad either)

So now the question: what is your opinion? Many people who have ever owned a pet snake can tell you that they make wonderful pets. Snakes are beautiful, graceful creatures. Even the more dangerous kinds are wonderful and fascinating. And even if one bites, you should know that it was a lot more afraid of you than you were of it. They bite only as a matter of self-defense. And if you must answer, take care to give a well explained opinion, not just another stereotype. It is quite true that most people will never be able to overcome their fears of snakes, but they should try to be a little more open-minded and stop going to methods such as killing them or running them over on the road, because most roadkill events can be avoided.

Thank you, I respect your opinions.

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I love snakes. I think they are fascinating and beautiful creatures. I have a one as a pet - a royal python.

    In response to your comment about 'The Jungle Book' - in the original book by Rudyard Kipling, the snake, Kaa, is a good guy. He rescues Mowgli when he is kidnapped by monkeys, and teaches him things, like how to defeat the 'red dogs' (dholes). It's only in the Disney movie that he was made into a bad guy. That whole film is so far removed from the book that Mr. Kipling would turn in his grave.

    As you rightly say, most snakes are non-venomous, and only a small percentage of those that are venomous are harmful to humans. Even these are not out to get you as some people seem to think - they need their venom for killing their prey, and would prefer not to waste it on defence. They will bite only as a last resort, if threatened and unable to escape.

    Even the largest snakes in the world, the green anaconda and reticulated python (both can reach lengths of around 33 feet, but the anaconda is much heavier at up to 550lb) cannot eat a normally-sized adult human - the width of our shoulders makes it impossible. Ridiculous films like 'Anaconda' seem to convince people otherwise - the amount of factual errors in that piece of garbage is incredible. Films like this, and fairy-tales, are responsible for demonizing many animals besides snakes, for example wolves, rats, bats and so on. There are reported cases of reticulated pythons eating children, and even very small adults, but there are no verifiable records of anacondas doing so. Incidentally, constrictors like these snakes kill by suffocating their prey, not by crushing it as is commonly believed. They coil around their victim and tighten their coils each time it breathes out, until it can no longer draw breath and suffocates. (By the way, lions kill with their teeth, not their claws).

    I would just like to clarify what is meant by the term 'cold-blooded'. It does not necessarily mean that these animals have cold blood - they often have a higher body temperature than warm-blooded animals. A better term is 'ectothermic'. It simply means that these animals cannot regulate their temperature internally as endothermic (warm-blooded) animals can. Instead, they must rely on their environment to control their temperature, basking in the sun to warm up and moving to the shade or into water to cool down.

    Snakes, like all animals, need to be respected for what they are, not feared or hated for what people erroneously believe them to be.

    Source(s): I used to be a zookeeper, where I looked after numerous snakes, and have kept and studied them for years.
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  • 1 decade ago

    I am completely 100% petrified of snakes. I cannot look at them in cages, I cannot look at them on TV and I cannot even think about them for very long at all. I was once not so afraid of them. As a child I could steer clear of them, but it was no where near as bad as it is now. I even took a class that dealt heavily with them when i was in Jr. High. I have no idea why I'm now so afraid of them. I would not kill them however, purposefully or on accident if I could avoid it. I will simply run the other way. I hate them, but they're in their natural environment which I am invading. Therefore they have more right to be there than I do. I just cannot abide any kind of snake, garter or rattle, it doesn't matter. I had a nightmare several years ago that I think led to this insane phobia. I had fallen into a pit of snakes much like Indiana Jones did a couple times and I could not get out. I think my fear of such a thing magnified an already existing fear into something unexplainable. It's irrational, but I cannot and will not try to overcome it. I will however avoid them whenever possible. I will not turn my children off to them, in fact we go to our local zoo, Henry Doorly quite often and they enjoy looking at the snakes with my husband. I look at other things while I wait.

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  • Lisa
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Well I honestly have to say I love snakes. I agree that people do have a fear of snakes that they think they will never overcome. However, I have experienced many people who fear snakes to death and once have been givin' the opportunity to touch them or be close to them in person...they usually become less afraid. I have 2 children and do not fear my snakes harming them. My husband and I have had snakes for over 20 years. Currently we have throughout our house a beautiful collection. We have the following. 1 Reticulated Python (13 feet long) 1 Reticulated Python (7 feet long) 1 Yellow Headed Reticulated Python (7 feet long) 1 Yellow Anaconda (4 feet long) 1 Morph California King (5 feet long) 1 Columbian Red-tail Boa (6 feet long) 1 Reversed striped California King (5 feet long) 1 Grey banded California King (4 feet long) 1 Albino Burmese Python (7 feet long) Our 13 foot Retic has an enclosure that is 7 feet wide, 4 feet deep & 8 feet tall. He loves it. All our animals are housed throughout our home. In the living room mostly. I have 2 spare bedrooms that will be soon turned into reptile rooms. I love the snakes....they do require proper care however are considered a high priority in our house. There's nothing like waking up to a snake bit in the morning! Love snakes endlessly!

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  • 1 decade ago

    I love em! I think they are so interesting and amazing, how they move ,their fangs/venom, how they prey & eat. I am a bit scared of them but I do not hate them.

    I got into an fight with a guy before because he put a snake in gas a lite it on fire, I was upset trying to save it and put the fire out. Sadly I had to watch the snake die. I was so mad at him, he just didn't understand how crewl that is. He went on to saying a Snake is a serpent, the devil in disguise, and telling me how the bible and God says snakes are "Bad".As I do beilive in God, I did not respect his decision (as it's not like it was apart of his religeon) to do what he had done.

    So i agree that the killings can be avoided and stopped. I also shared my story to point out yet another reson why some may not like snakes.

    Source(s): My opinion
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I like them. They're fascinating animals and should be respected as should all animals. The way they move and eat it's just so curious. I mean, I still don't get how they do it... well, I get how, but I just mean... mmm... proving rather difficult to explain... I don't know how they got so blessed to have such an unusal and awesome way to eat. They don't kill just to kill, rather it is to eat (which they use all their food up, so it isn't wasted or anything) or to protect themselves, unlike humans who do it for the fun of it or for wealth or other hideous reasons.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Damn, thats a loaded question heheh. but i respect your concern for your question. Its funny that you ask this because I just had multiple dreams last night where snakes were chasing me and my friend in the jungle and we had to kill them all. then i got bit by one of those water snakes somehow while i was on land. And I almost died.

    But anywho, those are just dreams. I think snakes are interesting, but if I ever encountered one in the wild, whether if it was poisonous or not, I would be scared shiteless ; )

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  • Todd
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    I don't *love* them, but I do have a pet black rat snake, prairie kingsnake, and a ball python, all very pretty creatures in my opinion. I do like them and handle them occasionally. I don't understand why so many people hate and fear them, my cat hurts me in play a whole lot more than my snakes do or even could.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I like them, they are not likely to harm anyone if they are left alone. But I still stay clear of them and if I want any closer contact, I'll just go to a Snake zoo exibit!

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  • i'm scared of snakes after a story i heard i will never never NEVER be in tha same house as a snake. but i'm not gonna say anything bad about them since you love and i respect that. i just dont like them at all

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  • 1 decade ago

    i'm not really fund of snakes, i don't hate em nour love em, and definitely not scared of them.

    i seem to just find them a bit creepy.

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