Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rattlesnake Round-Up Day

Unlike most of the holidays I blog about, this one is not a cause for celebration. For those of you not familiar with rattlesnake round-ups, I’ll give you a quick breakdown.
Round-ups usually take place in the Southwest, most in Texas. In the winter, rattlesnakes den together in underground caves, going into a sort of hibernation. Round-up participants take advantage of the snakes’ drowsy demeanor and condensed numbers to slaughter them by the thousands, using gas, shotguns, machetes—whatever they have at hand.
Rattlesnake round-ups aren’t safe for human participants, either. At least one or two people are bitten severely during round-up season. However, I have dredged the bottom of my emotional cabinet and am unable to find any sympathy for them.
Rattlers aren’t nature’s most cuddly creatures, and therein lies the problem. Those fighting to end round-ups often say if snakes had fur, this would be an easy win. But they’re snakes. They’re cold-blooded and venomous. They also play an important part in our ecosystem, by controlling vermin numbers, like mice and rats. You can thank them for not catching yourself a case of hantavirus or bubonic plague. What to do? Write to your congressman, and tell them that this dangerous, inhumane practice has to end now. And keep writing. The snakes may not say thank you, but I do.

Beware the sound of crying children, watch out for the barmaids, and whatever you do, don't let the Pegasus spit on you.
Surviving Serendipity--

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