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Thread: A little rant, I guess.

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    Cavy Slave
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    A little rant, I guess.

    I joined this site two months ago in hopes of learning how to care and enrich my pigs life. And in all honesty, I have learned quite a lot from some helpful users, from feeding, treats, housing and even bedding. So much that I apply it at work to people interested in owning guinea pigs.

    But...there is somewhat of a trend I've noticed on here, among the users. And it's reptiles.
    When I see someone even mention reptiles, or reptile owners I feel like they disdain them or dislike reptiles and the people who own them. I don't know if it's just me being silly or what, but I just found it...odd. Uncomfortable almost.

    I own reptiles myself. I own a lovely 3 year old ball python who's sweeter than pie, a Mexican Black Kingsnake who has quite the attitude but packs such a personality, and two leopard geckos. One who loves me unconditionally, probably more than my cat, and a female who's just a tad bit on the shy side.

    And you know what? I feed both my snakes live. I used to feed them frozen, but I switched them over to live; why? Faster growth, gives them the enrichment of hunting that they don't get in captivity, and because they love live over thawed. Do I like seeing the mouse die as its crushed to death, listening to its bones break as my python makes his kill? No, I don't. Do I get some weird thrill out of seeing my animals make a kill so they can continue going on? No I don't. But I love my snakes, and I know they have to eat.

    In the wild, my ball python would wait patiently in the bush for a small creature to stray close enough to him so he could make that killing blow; in the wild, my kingsnake would venture out from underneath a cool rock to look for a nighttime meal, such as a small lizard or even a rodent den. Do my snakes smell my guinea pigs? Oh yeah, especially when they're hungry. But do I keep them all in the same room? No, the reptiles get their own room while the piggies stay in mine. I love all my animals, I do the best I physically can for them, heck I sacrifice a large majority of my paycheck on them, just so my ball can have an 80+ gallon tank, so my gecko and his mate can be warm and have plenty of hiding space, so my king has plenty of bedding to make her tunnels, so my guinea pigs could have a cage that's almost ten feet in length.

    I'm a reptile lover, I love them with all my heart. To the point that if you get me started, you have to tell me to stop so I don't chew off your ear with all the information and talk I could give you on how to care for, say a pit viper, beardie, toad, frogs, insects even! I can tell you why people buy baby guinea pigs for five bucks on craigslist for their snake, and that's because sometimes companies that profit off of selling feeder mice don't keep them in good conditions, and are sometimes infested, and we don't want to introduce mites to our collection. Sometimes, someone will own a snake that will refuse to eat frozen and will only take live, and unfortunately people will make caring for their pet all about money...

    And as my snakes grow, I'll have to get them bigger things. But would I ever feed my snakes a baby guinea pig? No. Would I feed my ball a rabbit when he gets max size? Of course not! Not only do I love rabbits and have always wanted one, but the screams are dreadful. I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't categorize every snake owner as the same stereotype because some in the community take some kind of thrill out of "feeding time" with their snakes.

    Okay. Rants over; sorry for the long read and not making it really about guinea pigs.

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  3. #2
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    I can't say I've seen an overall trend of reptile dislike on here. I may have seen a few, but I've seen just as many people say they hate rats on here. If anything, I'd say in general not many users are that reptile knowledgeable on here because they don't own them. That's certainly the case for me.

    However, I am ethically opposed to feeding live. It is not natural, and it is cruel. In the wild, the prey would have a chance to escape. It's not right to put a mouse through that. They are wonderful creatures on their own. I understand that snakes have to eat, and I think frozen is the ethical way to do that. I can't say I know much about the edge cases, but I would have a moral dilemma about keeping a pet that in order to eat, had to constantly make other animals suffer. It's not about the fact that they eat rodents, but the live feeding aspect. When fed frozen, I don't think it's any different than feeding a dog.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Ditto @ThePigAlchemist. I think your rant would be better suited to a reptile forum. I'm sure everyone on here realizes that some reptile owners scour the ads for free small pets to feed their reptiles. I can't imagine why you'd bring up the subject unless it's to provoke a response from people on here.

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    Cavy Slave HollyLeaf's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThePigAlchemist View Post
    I can't say I've seen an overall trend of reptile dislike on here. I may have seen a few, but I've seen just as many people say they hate rats on here. If anything, I'd say in general not many users are that reptile knowledgeable on here because they don't own them. That's certainly the case for me.<br>
    <br>
    However, I am ethically opposed to feeding live. It is not natural, and it is cruel. In the wild, the prey would have a chance to escape. It's not right to put a mouse through that. They are wonderful creatures on their own. I understand that snakes have to eat, and I think frozen is the ethical way to do that. I can't say I know much about the edge cases, but I would have a moral dilemma about keeping a pet that in order to eat, had to constantly make other animals suffer. It's not about the fact that they eat rodents, but the live feeding aspect. When fed frozen, I don't think it's any different than feeding a dog.
    I have to agree on the live feeding aspect, only because I cannot stand watching an animal die in person, much less knowing I'm the one who caused it. But I understand for snake owners. I myself love snakes, and would very much love to have a ball python. But I could never do the live feeding aspect, and I don't even think I could stomach feeding frozen mice. Which is why I'll never have a snake. I can't speak for my boyfriend, he loves snakes as well, but I think he wants a rabbit more. Anyway, I have nothing against any way of feeding, except people who breed say guinea pigs or bunnies or mice in their homes just for profit. Or people selling their pigs on craigslist to someone who then feeds them to a snake. That makes me upset. If i were a snake owner, I would most likely buy food from the store or something. I don't know, I don't know much about snakes or their care. I've always been particular to furry critters. But as I said, I think it would be awesome to have a snake, but I couldn't stomach the feeding.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinky View Post
    Ditto @ThePigAlchemist. I think your rant would be better suited to a reptile forum. I'm sure everyone on here realizes that some reptile owners scour the ads for free small pets to feed their reptiles. I can't imagine why you'd bring up the subject unless it's to provoke a response from people on here.
    I don't really want a response from people really, rather I just wanted to say "hey, I feed live, I'm not bad about it like most people are," if that makes sense.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    And @ThePigAlchemist (sorry if it doesn't tag you or works like I hoped), I don't really enjoy live to be honest, after I buy the mouse I always feel a strong tinge of guilt, and I'll most likely switch back to frozen soon. I'd probably do live again if he has a bad shed, like he did this time around.
    @HollyLeaf, I noticed feeding with frozen, it gets kind of messy. Things start...coming out, or falling apart. I admit, when I gave him his first live, I almost cried. I think what keeps me from stopping the scene is because the way the mice are bred. They are so inbred, so genetically mutated and messed up, a lot of the time the babies don't make it the first few months; the adults sometimes wouldn't be able to have a normal and healthy life because of, say...liver shunts for example or something else brought on by inbreeding. And it's very sad. And don't get me started on people who have mice colonies; it makes my skin crawl.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpootyBooty View Post
    I don't really want a response from people really, rather I just wanted to say "hey, I feed live, I'm not bad about it like most people are," if that makes sense.
    Why post it on this forum then? This is a site about guinea pig cages and guinea pigs. I don't think the topic is related to what the forum is all about. It's really a reptile topic and would be better suited to a reptile forum where it's pertinent and subject to debate. You said yourself it's not related to guinea pigs. Posting this on a guinea pig site strikes me as odd.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by pinky View Post
    Why post it on this forum then? This is a site about guinea pig cages and guinea pigs. I don't think the topic is related to what the forum is all about. It's really a reptile topic and would be better suited to a reptile forum where it's pertinent and subject to debate. You said yourself it's not related to guinea pigs. Posting this on a guinea pig site strikes me as odd.
    Well, I apogize then

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner pinky's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpootyBooty View Post
    Well, I apogize then
    No need to apologize. I'm not judging you and it's a valid debate. It's a decision that all reptile owners have to make.

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    Cavy Slave HollyLeaf's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Maybe it would fit better in the cafe or the kitchen since its non-guinea pig?

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    Cavy Slave Saylavi's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    I think it's perfectly fine to feed reptiles live food. To be honest I would never own a reptile, personal preference, but if I had to babysit one I wouldn't mind feeding it live food. The thing is though pet vs Animal. Some people on here probably keep rats or mice as pets, and therefore see rats/mice as sentient pets instead of as food animals. I have owned chickens, and if you made me watch you kill a meat bird it wouldn't bother me, because I didn't own meat birds. Meat birds are killed for meat, egg birds lay eggs, and show birds are pretty. The same as feeder goldfish and lion head goldfish are two different things, I think feeder mice and "fancy mice" are two different things. Perhaps those with more morals than me can't ignore the feelings/consciousness of feeder animals as well as I can but then everyone is different.
    that being said if you showed me a cage of bunnies and said they were feeder bunnies, I wouldn't be able to see them as feeders. Or if you told me you raise guineas to feed to your reptiles, I wouldn't be thrilled.
    (And agreed this should be a cafe thread)

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    I think that since the vast majority of reptiles will do just fine on a frozen/thawed diet which provides much less suffering to the feeder animal, feeding live is simply cruel. Sure, the mouse or rat dies either way, but to have their last moments being strangled by a snake and fighting for their life is awful. And that's not even mentioning the potential for injury to the snake that comes with live feeding.

    A feeder mouse or rat and a fancy mouse or rat are the same species. They are no different in their intelligence or sentience. Just because a mouse or rat is white with red eyes doesn't mean that it's any less worthy of life, or at least as painless a death as possible.

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  17. #13
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Sorry for the delayed response, was working all day. And are there similar discussions such as this in the cafe/kitchen forums? I wasn't totally sure, and was a bit in a haze from exhaustion when in posted this.

    I actually bought a feeder rat as a pet once. She was kind of rude, but she was a good rat and lived a full life. I see them as sentient beings, and I'll probably put my ball back on frozen, even if it is messier.

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    Cavy Slave PeanutnCookie's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    I get what you're saying @ThePigAlchemist, but like @SpootyBooty said, with many "feeder-bred" animals, there is so much inbreeding that at times there is no possible way the mouse/rat/whatever would be able to live an normal life. If you are looking at the perspective of "fancy" mice and "feeder" mice from pet stores, I would definitely agree that there is little to no difference between the origin/upbringing of the mice. But however, there are specific breeders for animals, not necessarily mice, and there is a large difference between the feeder animal and the "fancy" animal.

    No one is going to stop breeding "feeder" animals, though, just because some people don't like the idea of feeding live.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    If you wouldn't feed your snakes a guinea pig or a rabbit, why do you feed them mice?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Comely Guineas View Post
    If you wouldn't feed your snakes a guinea pig or a rabbit, why do you feed them mice?
    Because they need to eat as well? And mice are what's offered?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    What if baby guinea pigs or rabbits was the thing offered. You said you'd feel bad about feeding the snake those animals because you love them so why don't you love mice? Mice scream when they are being eaten as well. One of the reasons people dislike feeding live mice to snakes would be because they have owned/love mice. It's not hard to see why people don't agree with feeding live animals, especially on a guinea pigs forum. Guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, rats they are all the same. If you think it's okay to feed mice for whatever reason, you can't say it's cruel to feed others. It's like when people eat cows then say killing a dog is cruel.

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  23. #18
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Comely Guineas View Post
    What if baby guinea pigs or rabbits was the thing offered. You said you'd feel bad about feeding the snake those animals because you love them so why don't you love mice? Mice scream when they are being eaten as well. One of the reasons people dislike feeding live mice to snakes would be because they have owned/love mice. It's not hard to see why people don't agree with feeding live animals, especially on a guinea pigs forum. Guinea pigs, rabbits, mice, rats they are all the same. If you think it's okay to feed mice for whatever reason, you can't say it's cruel to feed others. It's like when people eat cows then say killing a dog is cruel.
    I never said I didn't love mice. I've owned mice before, rats and currently right now, guinea pigs. Would I offer guinea pigs to them? No I would not. If I had to choose, I favor guinea pigs over mice, but that doesn't mean I don't love them. I've done live twice now, and it'll probably be the last because I personally can't handle seeing the life fade away in the mouse's face. I wanted to try live to try and give them that enrichment they don't get in captivity that they would get in the wild because I love my pets. And to be quite honest, I'm probably risking health complications by feeding live to them. When I got my ball python, he had stomach parasites, and I didn't find out until he started getting mouth rot; he got them because the breeder had a big mouse and rat colony in the back of the store, and they weren't kept in great condition. Although I now get them from an excellent breeder, who keeps all of his animals, including feeders, in excellent condition. Heck, I mean he even sells them as pets; he has fancies he keeps back there so people who want feeders don't come in and say, "I want this dumbo rat," then take it home and feed it to their constrictor.

    Feeders and "fancy" are both sentient beings, the upbringing isn't any different, but as stated before, the thing with feeders is that they're really, really inbred solely for the purpose to end up as food, or put into individual plastic bags and freeze dried. If I could, I probably would buy individual feeder mice and keep them as a pet and try to give them the best life they could possibly have, if they aren't already suffering from something brought on by the inbreeding.

    My snakes transition well between thawed and live, I just wanted to give them something for enrichment, as I would for any of my other animals.

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  25. #19
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutnCookie View Post
    I get what you're saying @ThePigAlchemist, but like @SpootyBooty said, with many "feeder-bred" animals, there is so much inbreeding that at times there is no possible way the mouse/rat/whatever would be able to live an normal life. If you are looking at the perspective of "fancy" mice and "feeder" mice from pet stores, I would definitely agree that there is little to no difference between the origin/upbringing of the mice. But however, there are specific breeders for animals, not necessarily mice, and there is a large difference between the feeder animal and the "fancy" animal.

    No one is going to stop breeding "feeder" animals, though, just because some people don't like the idea of feeding live.
    I never argued against the practice of feeding rodents. I argued against the practice of feeding live. Inbred or not, a mouse or rat can be pre-killed to spare it from last moments of panic and agony.

    And sure, it's unlikely I'll ever see the end of live feeding, but that doesn't mean I can't oppose it.

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    Cavy Slave CritterSlave's Avatar
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    Re: A little rant, I guess.

    There are many snakes especially ball pythons that are incredibly picky and will only eat live. If they don't get a live prey item they will literally starve themselves to death. It's great to say nobody should feed live but it's just not practical in all cases. I'd rather have a live only feeder than a dead pet.

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