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What snake is a vegetarian


Day after day we get requests for recommendations for vegetarian snakes. Day after day we respond by telling people that there is no such thing. So we figured we’d just write a quick little article giving everyone who cares to read it the answer. In a word, no. We can’t recommend a vegetarian snake because there is no such animal. They just do not exist.

Snakes, like cats and like ferrets are obligated carnivores. In other words in order to live they must eat meat. Cats and ferrets have their meat processed into more user friendly commercial chunks but it is still meat. A snakes knows instinctively it isn’t meant to eat vegetables and won’t.

Some people when asked about vegetarian snakes will recommend ones such as Rough Green Snakes and Ring Necked Snakes that eat insects. While a bug might not be a furry little mouse it is a far cry from a vegetable. If you want an animal that eats vegetables a snake is NOT the pet for you. There are several lizards that would be more appropriate.

If you still want a snake but are unable to bring yourself to throw a living animal in with it then your only other option is pre-killed or frozen/thawed. Either way you will be feeding the snake meat and not vegetables.

  • Mitch

    But is it possible like can a snake be able to Digest certain Fruit and Vegtables because I know my cat can eat Fruit and once in a while eat Vegtables but can a snakes body digest and absorb the Nutrients from a Vegtable or Fruit with out any ill effects

  • PetSnakes

    Mitch,

    Sure, a snake could swallow a piece of fruit or vegetable and it’s stomach acids would digest it but the snake would get absolutely no nutritional value from it. As far as no ill effects I’m not aware of anyone convincing a snake to eat fruit (or vegetables) so can’t say on that one.

  • Kit

    THANK YOU for posting this!! I work at a pet store and someone came in asking for vegetarian snakes, and I tried very hard not to palmface or laugh at the customer. Really? Isn't it just basic knowledge that snakes are carnivores?
    I held my tongue before I answered “right there next to the vegetarian lions and the man-eating hamsters.” Then I'd get fired.
    But seriously, how do people not know this? *fume*

  • PetSnakes

    Wish I knew, but it seems like common sense to me.

  • Hafsa

    Good Report .I needed veggie snake info! Hafsa (snake lover)

  • Younoneedthis

    The attitude is unnecessary. Jeez. Nobody has to know that you're irritated at answering the same question over and over.

  • Clive Anderson787

    Dear reptile lovers

    There is a vegetarian snake (I used to own one) called Dasypeltis Scabra or egg eating snake. As the name suggests, this species lives on birds eggs – mine was fed ordinary small chicken eggs. As most veggies regard eggs as non-meat, I think D.S. gets by on a technicality!

    Clive

  • Ciaobella12

    There is no need to be horrible.
    For one thing, saying man-eating hamsters is stupid as a sarcastic comment because they do eat meat.
    The only reason they would not eat a human is due to the fact that they're too small to.
    Also at Clive mentioned, there is an egg eating snake.
    This would be VEGETARIAN as it is eating eggs, nothing that is alive.
    Therefore there is a vegetarian snake, just no vegan snakes.
    Vegetarians eat eggs, so if a snake eats only that or other vegetables that would make it a vegetarian snake.
    Maybe you should do some research before you act like just because you work in a pet store you know everything there is to know about Snakes.
    Someone should face-palm you.

  • Mark

    Ciaobella12, in the midst of telling others that there is no need to be horrible, and spitefully stating that someone needs to research what they are saying before they say it, you have done exactly that. You have stated “This would be VEGETARIAN as it is eating eggs, nothing that is alive.”; however, http://www.dictionary.reference.com defines a vegiterian as the following:
    veg·e·tar·i·an? [vej-i-tair-ee-uhn]

    –noun
    1. a person who does not eat or does not believe in eating meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.

    By this definition, how could a snake, incapable of making a lifestyle choice, not believe in eating meat? Over a lengthy period of time, Dasypeltis Scabra has adapted to its heavily bird inhabited habitat and taken to eating eggs. It is unclear whether Dasypeltis Scabra would be classified as a herbiviore, omniviore, or carnivoire; but it is definitive that, contrary to what you have said, there is no such animal as a vegitarian snake. Consider yourself face-palmed.

  • Enchantedsun

    I am a vegetarian, and i agree with Clive. Ive also heard of this snake before. (I love snakes but never owned one as i seriously couldnt deal with it.. id bond with the mice too! and if i fed it a micesicle id prolly feel guilty as it would prolly prefer something a little fresher..) isnt it true though, that the ‘ D.S. ‘ is very hard to get?

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  • Ctlfreak

    Clive and Enchantedsun, you two need to do some reading. EGGS are NOT FRUITS AND VEGETABLES. If you seriously think an egg is the same as a tomato you need your head examined. You would think a vegetarian would know that.

  • CN

    I’m quite sure. Eggs are considered vegetarian… why has no one acknowledged that?

  • http://pet-snakes.com Pet Snakes

    By who?

  • Ciafer

    For anyone who stumbles on this page reading previous comments, eggs are vegetarian.  There are variants of vegetarian that exclude things such as egg and dairy (e.g. vegan).  Fish and meat of any kind would not be vegetarian. 

    If there is a snake that consumes no meat or insects, but eggs, it would be a vegetarian snake.

  • http://pet-snakes.com Pet Snakes

    Wrong.

  • snkpks

    Vegetarians often eat more than just fruits and
    vegetables–vegetarianism may include the consumption of eggs. Unfertilized/Undeveloped eggs
    are not meat. Meat is the flesh of an animal, whereas milk and eggs are
    animal byproducts.   The most common type of vegetarianism is ovo-lacto-vegetarianism; it is usually assumed that when someone refers to themselves as vegetarian rather than vegan, that they eat animal byproducts.[1]

    If there is a snake that can healthily survive on
    unfertilized eggs and no meat (it looks like Dasypeltis scabra, or the
    egg-eating snake, is a candidate), [2] then it would be considered a
    vegetarian snake.

    Also note that fertilized eggs sold for human consumption have little
    nutritional difference then unfertilized eggs. The embryos do not
    develop unless they are incubated; in the U.S. food industry it is required that they are kept
    refrigerated. [3] I’m unsure at what point a developing embryo inside of an
    egg would be considered meat, but perhaps one delineation would be once it has developed muscle
    fibers.

    [1] http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vegetarian-diet/HQ01596
    [2] http://www.repvet.co.za/snakes_caresheet_eggeaters_dasypeltisscabra.php
    [3] http://www.chow.com/food-news/54729/whats-the-difference-between-fertilized-and-unfertilized-eggs/

  • Adam_Rocholl

    Non fertilized eggs are vegitarian

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