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Animal torture lauded as 'public service' in Texas

By Cindy Steinle
Sun, March 20 2011 at 22:43

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If you had ever been to Sweetwater, Texas, you would know that there are always protesters, and letters to the editor in every surrounding county paper. You would also see that Sweetwater is a little spot in the nw Texas map that would otherwise go unnoticed. The bottom line, as always, is commerce. The annual roundup pours a ton of money into the local economy. That is as hard to stand up against as is pushing sympathy for rattlesnakes. The publicity is mostly true. They do milk the snakes for venom, they sell the skins and rattles, and the meat is sold and donated as food. I don't condone the way the snakes are gassed out of the dens. It exposes the lie that there are so many snakes that they pose danger to people and animals. That may have been true at one point, but poaching 1000s of them a year has pretty much solved that problem. I think it is a barbaric practice. I love reptiles and respect nature, but I am also a native Texan, one of many who finds this extremely distasteful, but who thinks this should be understood in the context of the culture.
#1 Lorelei Lantz on 2011-03-20 23:08 (Reply)
So far as justifying this with the understanding in context of culture, you're well aware then that it's quite alright for a public stoning of a human in certain cultures. Should we be willing to just "understand" that? It's never been helpful in any other way than to help some little town out financially. The fact that tens of thousands of them are killed (some possibly gravid) probably has hurt the Raptor birds that would naturally prey on the rattlers.

Ridiculous to even say they pose a danger to people and animals. There's no justifiable cause for it whatsoever.
#1.1 anonomous on 2011-03-21 20:42 (Reply)
We fully agree Anon. Which is why we referred to it as torture
#2 Cindy Steinle on 2011-03-21 20:47 (Reply)
As a born and raised Texan, I apologize on behalf of the Lonestar state and assure you that not all of us condone this barbaric tradition.
#3 Riley on 2011-03-22 09:41 (Reply)
Would it be "acceptable" or ok to do this to all of the dogs or cats that get euthanized every day because they dont have homes? I guarantee it would intiate a public uproar and extreme emotions... Well millions of people feel the same way about reptiles as most do digs or cats. They ALL feel pain and should be treated with a lot more respect! This is a disgusting practice and shows the true nature of people.
#4 Chad on 2011-03-23 03:14 (Reply)
Very sad thing that a grown mans only way to bond with his child is to capture snakes for such a stupid festival.If thats how people teach their kids about nature the world is in trouble.I live in Texas and there is alot better things to do outside than snake hunt just to kill them.Some people just dont have any sense.
#5 Louie on 2011-03-23 10:27 (Reply)
hate that ignorant people go out and just kill theses beautiful animals. they all should be injected with some rattle snake venom and "let them FEEL THE PAIN"
#6 jay on 2011-03-23 11:55 (Reply)
This is so ridiculous... All Im hoping for is that one of those "red neck, hillbilly" pageant contestants gets bit for being a fool...
#7 Ann on 2011-03-23 14:19 (Reply)
Once comment said "We saw this as a rite of passage to be able to bring your boys out here and let them see how you have good clean fun and learn something and appreciate nature," says Jeff Hulstein. "It's one of the ways we are going to raise these boys into men."

So appreciating nature is to kill it? To teach boys to be men is to teach them violence? No wounder we are the most hated nation in the world. We are violent, hypocrites, and destructive in force.
#8 Jake (Homepage) on 2011-03-27 19:01 (Reply)
"In the context of culture." What a load of crap. The only reason the milk the venom is because there is money it, plain and simple.

I've spent many, many field days in Texas and know plenty of great folk there - too bad the truly backwards, socially-retarded people of Texas are what most people associate with when Texas is mentioned.
#9 JF on 2011-04-02 14:00 (Reply)
Yeah, I remember my father bringing me as a kid. I guess I don't mind if people want to eat snakes, but this is just a nasty animal abuse thing -- kinda like "since they are deadly, they are the enemy and it's OK to do whatever we want to them." My fiancee (from the NE) asked "so they just round them up and let them go?" And I sighed and said, "no way, they kill them all, eat them and make every type of sellable item out of them."

Thanks for writing this article.
#10 Anonymous Texan on 2011-10-30 01:50 (Reply)

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