Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
9 July 2000 Issue

Rattlesnake Roundups
By [email protected]

Rattlesnake Roundups are advertised across the US as educational and fun for the entire family. This is far from the truth. These roundups are detrimental not only to the rattlesnakes involved, but to their habitat, other animals in the habitat, and humans.

Rattlesnakes are "rounded up" by use of a gas that forces them from their dens. This gas harms not only the snakes, but other animals living in the area. The gassed den is then unusable for months to come. Gases are detrimental to animals as well as their habitats.

Once at a roundup, snakes are forced to participate in outlandish contests. There are snake tossing contests, snake bagging contests, and sack races. Instead of sleeping or catching prey in their natural habitats snakes are subjected to what could be called torture. People actually pay money to see frightened snakes tossed around like playthings. Snakes, once feared and admired by man are now laughed at as they try desperately to escape torture, stares and laughter.

Once the roundup festivities are over, many people pay extra money to see rattlesnakes beheaded or killed in other horrible ways. People watch in amusement as the snakes open their majestic jaws and make one last futile attempt to shoot venom at the cruel world. And as the blade separates the snake's head from its body, unfeeling humans, criminals, unaware of the murder they have committed not only to snakes, but to human compassion, raise the blade, and slam another snake down on the block.

"So what," one might say, "They're only snakes, man's enemy."

Every life is precious. By supporting the torturing and killing rattlesnakes, one is demeaning the quality of life. Rattlesnakes have just as much right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as any chicken, cow, or human. Using innocent animals for entertainment is not only wrong, it sends a subliminal message that life is worth nothing, and that it can be utilized and taken in the name of fun.

Please urge your senators and representatives to take action against these barbaric festivals. I am, as of now looking for e-mail addresses and organizing a petition to end Rattlesnake Roundups. Please boycott Anheuser Bush as they support Rattlesnake Roundups.

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