For a moment I’d like to talk to my readers about the right way to represent yourself and other snake owners to the rest of the world. The sad fact of the matter is that the vast majority of people are terrified of snakes. More so than any other animal or possibly even any other “thing”. For whatever reason snakes carry a huge stigma with them wherever they go. A proverbial monkey on their back that only you as a faithful owner can help them overcome.
- When you have an opportunity to talk about your snakes
- Put your snake in the best possible light while being honest about it. Don’t embellish the story to sound cool. Snake’s have enough trouble on their own without your words doing more damage to their reputations. Tell people what they’re like as pets and why they make such great pets. You might mention some of the following:
- They don’t chew on the carpet or the furniture
- They don’t shed all over the place
- They don’t sit up all night barking
- You don’t have to change a litter pan every day
- They are 100% allergen free
- They eat once a week in most situations
More than one affinity towards snakes has been kindled when someone’s kid overhears you telling them that absolutely no one in the world has ever been allergic to snakes. And from personal experience I can tell you that people love to hear how snakes don’t chew things up.
Point is that you want to play the role of ambassador for your pet snake’s and the only way to do so is to talk about them when the opportunity is give in a suitable manner. As I said cast them in a pleasant light when you can, but don’t shy away from telling the ugly things as well. People will find out the truth either way so it might as well be in full instead of half-baked from someone else.
- Be respectful of other people when it involves your snake
- If someone tells you they are horrified of snakes the LAST thing you should do is to try and convince them it is harmless and if you’d just touch it you’d see it wouldn’t hurt a flea! While all that is very likely true they are not in a state of mind to receive that truth. They are in the classic fight or flight mode and more than one snake has been killed by a horrified person who was pushed too far too quick by a well intentioned snake owner.
If someone asks you to leave or get away from them because of your snake don’t try to reason with them. Just leave. Even if you have every right to be there, leave. You can always go back later. In short just respect the fact that not everyone likes snakes.
- Always look for a chance to educate people about snakes
- This goes beyond just talking about your snakes. This is about educating, as accurately as possible, people about snakes in general. Despite the fear so many people have towards snakes there is also a “morbid” curiosity about them. People will ask you question after question about your snakes. Take the opportunity and build up a relationship with that person. Answer their questions, tell them “extra” things about snakes so they’ll begin to see them in a different light.
I firmly believe most people are scared of snakes for one simple reason. No one in their entire lives has ever attempted to educate them in any meaningful way about snakes. So don’t be like the rest of the nobodies. Spread the knowledge!