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Musings of a Student/ Why I'm a Milkman

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Posted by: captainjack0000 at Wed Jan 9 18:21:29 2013  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by captainjack0000 ]  

Has anyone given any thought to the idea that there may be differences among the groups of people in the snake keeping society? I have. It seems that there are differences between the Ball Python breeders and keepers, the Corn Snake group, and of the course the Milk lovers. There also seems to be differences between the hot snake keepers and the big snake keepers, though I am less familiar with them.
I regularly visit 3 different forums, one each for milks, corns, and BPS. There appeares to be differences between the general attitudes of the three. I noticed it mostly between corns and pythons because I also was able to visit their off topic forums and get a better sense of other differences between then. More importantly to me is why are there these differences?

Why are certain groups of people drawn to keep pythons over kingsnakes. Are there political differences, or differences in attitudes about nature and the environment or something seemingly unrelated like gun control and why do they exist? Are keepers of big snakes more conservative or liberal than keepers of small snakes? Are current and former members of the armed services more likely to keep some species over other species?

I cannot definitively say there are differences,as I have not run any tests, but it seems to me there are differences. Have any of you had similar experiences?

I say I am a Milkman because I feel most comfortable on this forum of the three. I have found that the folks on this forum are more polite, more engaged in the natural history of the animal and less likely to view the animal as part of a business operation. I'm not saying corn and python keepers are rude, but I am posting this message here because I fear what the reaction would be among the other forums. Which raises another question.

What are the implications of referring to our pets are a "collection". I have read a handful of threads about the quarantine process and many outspoken advocates argue that without such a procedure, their "collection" might suffer. Do any other pet keepers QT other pets? Do fish people QT new fish, or dog keepers? I've only ever heard of the QT process in snake husbandry, and seems like the primary concern is that their stock or overhead might be damaged because of some outside animal. It in some ways, to me, devalues the snake.

It seems weird to me to think of my snakes as colorful objects to be collected. People collect paintings, coins, stamps, and other 'things'. I like snakes, and I want lots of them, but they're not a collection to me. They're living breathing creatures that are my pets. They have personalities! Is there a risk in objectifying snakes? Does doing so limit the ability for a person to appreciate the creature? Is there a cascade of ideas? Are people who view snakes as objects more likely to use a tub and rack system?

And lastly, the division we impose upon milksnakes. Why do we do that? I understand for taxonomic reasons why genetic divisions are important, but are not all milk snakes Lampropeltis triangulum? The subspecies is just a locality? There might be some morphological differences, but does it really matter that much if its a Nelson's or Sinaloan? Or Honduran? Why is there such pressure to have pure stock? Does any of it really matter? An awesome snake is an awesome snake.

Feedback, thoughts, comments, critiques are welcome seeing how this is all conjecture.


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