Feeding Pets Live Food Is Cruelty

Updated on October 16, 2018
Melissa A Smith profile image

Melissa cares for a variety of exotic animals and has completed a certificate in veterinary assisting and a bachelor's degree in biology.

Frozen rodents
Frozen rodents | Source

Live feeding is animal cruelty, no matter how you dress it up, no matter how "happy" it may make another animal, and even when it is necessary for picky feeders (this is partially "justified" animal cruelty, but it has its own set of qualms). It is wrong, inhumane, unethical, and cruel to inflict a torturous death upon prey animals, regardless of whether or not they were "bred" for this purpose.

Cruelty:

1. deliberate infliction of pain or suffering

2. the quality or characteristic of being cruel

3. a cruel action

Therefore, feeding captive animals live vertebrate prey is animal cruelty. What leads people to defend these obvious acts of animal cruelty?

Common boa eating
Common boa eating | Source

Various Live Feeding Excuses—Some More Stupid Than Others

  • It's 'natural'
  • I want my animal to experience killing things (they need/ love it)
  • It's healthier because the vitamins are fresher.
  • "These feeder animals were BRED for this!"
  • "Don't you eat hamburgers?"
  • My animal won't eat anything else

The Absurd Excuses

There appears to be three types of live feeding supporters; people who genuinely care and think they are doing what’s best for the captive animal, people who justify their actions because it ‘occurs in nature’ but really are just making an excuse for their enjoyment of witnessing animals kill other animals, and people who are depraved individuals with anti-social disorder qualities yet have enough restraint to conform to society so they don't take their cruelty out on people (usually).

Sometimes these malicious latter individuals commit particularly vile and painful methods of live feeding just to stir a negative reaction, such as feeding mice to snapping turtles. Even a respected science teacher fed rats and even an allegedly dying puppy to a snapping turtle.

Worst Excuse: "Live Feeding Is Natural"

No, it isn't. In nature, cages do not exist, and the prey actually has a chance of escape. Also, to proclaim that "live feeding is natural" as an excuse suggests that everything natural is desirable— including everything from shorter lifespans, disease, exposure to predators, and other forms of negative stress.

It also suggests that the mission of keeping captive animals is to replicate every aspect of nature. In reality, when people keep animals, we select which aspects of nature we want to preserve for the health and wellness of the animal (nutrition, metal stimulation, adequate space) in the hopes of managing a happy and healthy specimen. It is similar to the life we design for ourselves.

Lions need raw meat, not live prey.
Lions need raw meat, not live prey. | Source

We omit many aspects of nature that are pointless, and the idea of keeping an animal captive is not natural from the start. Generally, nowhere in this objective is live feeding needed to achieve this goal.

The ethical animal caretaker should not cause any harm to any feeling being unnecessarily. Caring for a captive animal does not mean that the keeper doesn't owe welfare standards to the prey, and this should apply to the animals you choose to consume yourself as well. Your captive animal's environment is NOT nature—this is an environment you are managing.

Some people become so wrapped up in the ‘beauty and wonder of nature’ that they forget (or sugar coat) that pain and suffering is a part of it. Picture tragedies in the news and the sense of horror that goes through your mind when you learn that a person was attacked by an animal or person. Picture the solemn sadness experienced when a child dies of a terminal illness. Those are all real 'natural' life events that are inevitable. Why is predator-prey drama so beautiful and wondrous unless it’s happening to a human?

Encouraging a Tiger's Hunting Instincts With Non-Living Objects

Do Animals Enjoy Killing?

Animals in the wild must kill to obtain their nutrition, but does this equate to enjoyment? Yes and no; animals need an outlet for their energy, but that absolutely doesn’t need to be taken out on a live animal. Domesticated cats likely have 'fun' when torturing their prey, but the same level of enjoyment can be achieved with an unfeeling plastic mouse attached to a piece of string or a treat dispensing toy—this is hardly a tremendous inconvenience to the pet owner.

Dogs possess chase instincts that are retained from the prey drive of their ancestors, and a ball and a non-lazy owner will suffice over a living rabbit. Perhaps a living animal to play with will occasionally be a tad more exciting for some animals, but does this justify ignoring the welfare of the animal you are feeding it? It does not begin to approach ‘cruelty’ to disappoint an animal by disallowing them to kill, but causing the prey to suffer DOES.

Some disturbed people actually feed live prey to ferrets.
Some disturbed people actually feed live prey to ferrets. | Source

Live-feeding Reptile Owners Hurt Their Acceptance

It's confounding how basic ethical standards evaporate when it comes to the welfare of the prey animal. Even seemingly decent people are willing to forgo a painless or less painful death for an animal in the name of their pet’s enjoyment. This just adds insult to injury when it comes to the questionable status of captive animal ethics. If animal rights groups ever had a good reason to be anti-pet ownership, they can start with the attitudes some have regarding live feedings. Perhaps it would be easier for most people to see the horror of live feeding if it were done with puppies and kittens. Unfortunately, this sometimes becomes a reality.

If Your Pet Won' t Take Live...

If your pet (usually a snake) refuses to eat non-living prey, it might become necessary to feed live, but do not give up permanently. It’s your responsibility as a pet owner to continue the process of trying to get the animal to convert. Aside from the welfare of the prey, if you take no initiative to get the animal to eat dead food, in the case of snakes, once they reach an adult size you will be required to feed larger prey that are usually rats. Live rats can be good fighters and can maim a snake even if you are watching the entire time.

Two of my Ball Pythons
Two of my Ball Pythons

Don't Reptiles Enjoy Killing?

Reptiles (especially snakes) respond to stimuli and do not have 'fun' killing in a human-sense. Using ball pythons as an example, sometimes snake owners can 'harass' these reptiles into a feeding response by dangling the dead rodent and touching the snake's head forcefully. This method of getting a snake to eat frozen-thawed food can be potentially stressful, but effective. This can provide some insight into the snake's mental process. While eating is a necessity to them, it is an automatic response that can even be induced through undesirable actions. When a snake is successfully trained to accept dead food, it is unlikely that the 'killing' experience is any different than with a live rodent.

The Only Acceptable Excuse

Some people are concerned that the methods used by most frozen rodent dealers are inhumane, sometimes based on some studies that challenge whether or not CO2 methods of euthanasia are pain-free. If it is your actual belief (not wishful thinking to suit your own desires) that death by snake is a more humane death than some of the listed effects of CO2, that is understandable. There is evidence constrictor snakes cause their prey to lose consciousness rapidly and in some of these cases, it can be potentially acceptable.

In such cases, it would be ideal to (honestly) choose the death you would choose for yourself if you had to make the decision. If death by snake sounds more cruel than properly executed CO2 overdose, than you should choose the latter.

Insects/Arthropod Live Prey

There’s no data that confirms a ‘humane’ way of dispatching small arthropods (and limited data on whether or not they can experience pain or stress in the manner of vertebrates) so in those cases no manner of death can be promoted as ethically superior. Non-live bugs are available freeze-dried and canned, but there's no way to know if the treatment of those arthropods was any better than those fed live to reptiles.

Exo Terra Vivicator Vibrating Feeding Dish
Exo Terra Vivicator Vibrating Feeding Dish

Not all reptiles (such as panther chameleons) will eat with this product, but I have had success with bearded dragons.

 

Nutrition

Even if you are a food purist who believes that food should be consumed in its raw form to achieve optimal nutrition, you can still feed humanely pre-killed prey (this is also another option for finicky eaters). While there is evidence that some vitamins and other nutrients are lost in the freezing process, there doesn't appear to be any that show this will prove to be harmful to the animal. Dogs and cats are largely fed commercial diets with cooked meat that has not proven to be harmful. Even people who are feeding those pets raw food rarely do so with extremely fresh meat. If your snake or mammal is receiving whole prey, their diet is already much more fresh than is typically given to most pets.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        13 days ago from New York

        Update: Insanity Wolf / Potiphar S. Flagrum has been emailing and posting here with harassing comments (comments will not appear) for 7 weeks now. Just more evidence that ferret owners who feed live have mental deficiencies. Meanwhile, the article gains more popularity. Part two will address ferrets and those delusional owners specifically.

      • profile image

        I_Love_Snakes_and_Rodents 

        4 weeks ago

        Excuse me author and others in the moments, you are just making a fool of your self. I understand that you guys are passionate about this, but calling each other out this, "sick" "sadist" "loser" "stupid" "idiot", isn't helping your case. @author if you feel strongly about it then do something to stop it, don't go after this issue by just throwing insult around. Also have you ever heard of Puppy mills, the cruelty of chicken and cows that are slaughter, before even seeing the sun. You better things to fight for.

      • profile image

        Arif 

        5 weeks ago

        Listen. People eat meat in the U.S. all the time. I did y research and the way livestock and poultry is killed is very cruel. The pain a rodent gets when eaten by a sanke alive isn't that much more cruel that you eating a chicken parmesan. Both he chicken and rodent were cruelly killed. Unless you eat halal or kosher meat, which is killed in a humane quick way, you are honestly a hypocrite for even brining up the subject of feeding live prey.

      • profile image

        Positron 

        6 weeks ago

        Honestly snakes, spiders, any kind of animal that requires a live feeding is fucked up and is not natural. It's not natural to stick a live creature into an enclosure and feed the stupid thing. In nature this happens but there is yet a fair chance for getting away or defense. So people who keep pets like this are fucked up in there heads. I had a ball Python for one month and I couldn't do it no more it's just cruel. That's like taking my ball Python and putting in an enclosure with an eagle, he doesn't have a chance.

      • profile image

        Ella 

        7 weeks ago

        I feed live if I have to meaning my snake needs to eat and is refusing pre-killed. I also raise and euthanize my own feeder rodents because I like to know their history before I give them to my snakes. Death is painful regardless even with the co2 administered very slowly but obviously being squeezed to death is probably worse, though usually quicker in my experience. No need to risk harm to the snake with live prey or cause undue stress for the rat. Bottom line, if you have an animal you are responsible for feeding it and if it absolutely refuses to eat pre-killed then you cant starve it to death.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        7 weeks ago from New York

        Jormae Of course you "love" it. Sounds like you enjoy harming animals.

      • profile image

        Lily 

        7 weeks ago

        I always use frozen/thawed. I hate it when people try to justify live feeding by saying its "more natural". Because being fed in a plastic container lined with newspaper is "natural".All reptile owners are sickos

      • profile image

        Lily 

        7 weeks ago

        Jormae you are basicaly a sadist if you are that means that you're life is worthless and pathetic also you are disgusting

      • profile image

        Jormae 

        8 weeks ago

        I love feeding live mice to my snake, what gives you the right to tell me I can't or I'm dumb for doing so?

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        2 months ago from New York

        Insanity Wolf Found one of your comments on an OrthoChristianity site. Anyway, there's no difference between rats and so-called 'pet' rodents, although rats are too. Your comments will no longer be appearing here.

      • Insanity Wolf profile image

        Insanity Wolf 

        2 months ago from Vukojebina

        Umm...with a name like "Potiphar" with my avatar, and my email...how religious do you think I am...lol

        Now Attila gets 2 gerbils

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        2 months ago from New York

        Is this what Christians do? Try to harass people because they are desperate for attention and butt hurt that I called them out? 'Potiphar S. Flagrum', I'll give you that attention and quote you in my upcoming article about idiots that live feed to ferrets. I'll let you know when it's up.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        2 months ago from New York

        Insanity Wolf Just as it is in your nature to be a loser with a domesticated pet who feeds helpless pinkie rats that can't fight back to feel 'cool'.

      • profile image

        Mike 

        2 months ago

        People who say it's nature/cyrcle of life are dumbasses.

        They allways say that on live feeding videos.

        Every year they say that.

        They deserve to be throwed in cage with lions.

        These are the most stupid users who whrote this stupid excuse on youtube. they are a bunch of losers.

      • profile image

        Lily 

        2 months ago

        To Joesph Johnson, So I'm wondering if you buy live mice, rabbits, and quail for your puppy dog and kitty cat to hunt down? I can guarantee the dog or kitty would gain more enrichment from a live prey than your snake.

        Oh you don't? Huh...Not to mention, before they are strangled, they are being throttled by 6 rows of teeth the size of their own fingers. If you can imagine such a thing for yourself and still feel that is a peaceful death,now go educate you're self

      • profile image

        Nick 

        2 months ago

        I'm a snake owner myself and i hate the live feeding, you are right that only idiots say that it's nature,it even offends rodent lovers. The owners who only feed live are stupid and the owners who only feed thawed & prekill are not, the owners who feed live doesen't even care if they're snakes gets injured than dies. these owners like to make rodent lovers angry at them . Also the comments are full of idiots. And screw whoever came with the idea of live feeding

      • profile image

        Mike 

        2 months ago

        Wow i never realized how this article has toxic comments

      • profile image

        Joseph Johnson 

        2 months ago

        You liberal tree huggers know it all! I'm quite educated in reptiles. Further more. The snake is naturally engineered to stalk, strike and kill small mammals. It's more respectful of the snakes real eating habits. So snowflake, first off... Hillary lost, and your feed the world agenda is over. So drop dead Socialists.

      • profile image

        Raptor 

        2 months ago

        The people from youtube who say live feeding is nature are dumb cause they don't know what nature is. They are also vorephiles who like vore and if they enjoy a animal dying and say things ''because we like them killing things which is cool'' is sick, These vorephiles are disgusting

      • profile image

        Lily 

        2 months ago

        To Meldy , So I'm wondering if you buy live mice, rabbits, and quail for your puppy dog and kitty cat to hunt down? I can guarantee the dog or kitty would gain more enrichment from a live prey than your snake.

        Oh you don't? Huh...Not to mention, before they are strangled, they are being throttled by 6 rows of teeth the size of their own fingers. If you can imagine such a thing for yourself and still feel that is a peaceful death,now go educate you're self

      • profile image

        Lily 

        2 months ago

        This channel named Howcast made a video how to feed a snake live food it's his fault cause he came with the idea of live feeding

      • profile image

        Mohi 

        3 months ago

        Channel named Reptile Channel belongs to a person that goes by the name of jonah vore a sick individual that used to upload videos of his monitor lizards and snakes eating prey live of course with his human intervention, channel was shut down back in 2008/2009 and now its the called the reptile channel, Melissa A Smith this is a battle you cannot win unfortunately those voraphiles will come at you with everything to put u in place, there's another channel called (reptars rampage) i mean from the name alone we all know what that's about, i honestly feel extremely sorry for the rats and mice that go through this shit...And what really kills me are the people that laugh enjoy and want more of this shit.

        ITS NOT nature, in nature those monitors and snakes have predators of their own to worry about and prey animals have a chance of escaping, SOOO lets say for example if i bought a monitor and threw it in my leopards cage and uploaded it to youtube i would have the entire reptilian community up my ass flagging my shit calling me a cruel person but when a rat goes in there its totally ok and its nature, double standards as always....there is no fucking justifying it, you people who defend live feeding have a thing for small animals being devoured by lizards n snakes its a fetish....google it... vorarephilia

      • profile image

        Candypantsx 

        3 months ago

        Half these comments are people calling each other idiots and stupid for having a different opinion than their own. Insulting and name calling makes for an extremely poor debate and no ones mind will ever be changed, my ten year old daughter does a better job of respecting people’s points of view, whether they are wrong or not.

        Personally I have only ever fed pre-killed to my snakes and on the whole it seems most humane to me. I’ve kept mice and rats as pets and I’d struggle to put a live one in my tank.

        Although unless you are humanely killing mice yourself, it’s hard to know what their lives where like prior to them ending up in your freezer. If it was a choice between a mouse that had been kept in awful conditions, starved and cramped it’s whole life, just to one day be humanely killed or a mouse who had been well kept and happy it’s whole life to suffer a few mins of stress and pain, somehow the latter seems more humane.

        If my snake had to be fed live or die, being responsible for the snake, I’d feed it live, but only if I really really had to and had tried everything else.

        If a snake is thriving, healthy and eating well on pre-killed food there should be no reason at all for it to ever need a live mouse or rat.

        I feed live insects to my other reptiles, if I didn’t most of them would starve to death.

        But in my personal opinion it’s not upto humans to decide whether a mouse or rat is more viable than a cricket or worm, they are all living creatures.

      • profile image

        Lily 

        3 months ago

        Have you seen videos of china feeding live chickens and cattles at tigers and other predators

      • profile image

        JD 

        3 months ago

        To Victoria, your reasoning is flawed and doesn't make sense. A rodent, chicken, lagomorph or any other 'feeder' mammal is far more sentient and emotionally developed than a snake - Tube feeding a snake is more ethical than making countless creatures suffering for the sake of said snake.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 months ago from New York

        Raptor not sure why furries would want to torture animals, and squirrels are dangerous prey for the animals being fed as well. That is overall idiocy.

      • profile image

        Bidi 

        4 months ago

        Also Reptile Channel isn't educational cause that channel feeds live rodents

      • profile image

        Raptor 

        4 months ago

        That channel named Reptile Channel is the one who feed live squirrels to her python and monitor lizard, that woman actualy catches squirrels outside her house.and the comments say these excuses on every video and most of them ask to her to feed live rodents and thats just sick and most of supporters and people who are watcging the video are furries that like a fetish called vore

      • profile image

        Kitty Fan 4521789 

        4 months ago

        Meldy you should just shut up

      • profile image

        Meldy 

        5 months ago

        Well I think that you're being mean anyway by keeping them snakes in your cage against their will. Seriously. They want to eat live food, that's what they want and its natural. So stop and go somewhere else. Look I know nothing about snakes I have dog and two cats but look. You're doing nothing to help animals, they get killed anyway beforehand. The poor things die and they don't even choose how they die. My point is you're already being inhumane for them keeping them in terrariums. I know I'll get a lot of hate for this but I just had to say my opinion. You hate everyone that has different thinking from you. Not so humane, huh?

      • profile image

        Victoria 

        6 months ago

        I seriously can't fathom how you would rather FORCIBLY SHOVE A DEAD MOUSE DOWN A SNAKE'S THROAT than just let it eat what it obviously wants.

        I can all but guarantee that a snake will choose live over dead every single time.

        I think this is more of a case of you forcing your beliefs onto poor creatures that you're keeping against their will.

        I'm not saying it wouldn't make me sad to watch, but why reinvent the wheel?

        I'm certainly not going to lock up my cat so he doesn't hunt the mice in my house.

        Feeding him live prey has a direct effect on his mood. He is noticeably happier to eat crickets and catch mice. It is night and day. He is no longer moping around the house, or getting into trouble. He's fulfilled, because he's fulfilled his natural instincts.

        Please stop shoving things down snakes' throats.

      • profile image

        Jason 

        7 months ago

        uhmm. i just want to express how i feel about this article. i agree feeding live prey items is cruel, as it is painful. i think feeding live is a bit healthier to a reptile (snakes in particular) but still it's cruel. I agree with it. Even though i feed mine live, as for now, i feel bad for it and it stresses me out because of my conscience. feeding dead prey for me is still a bit cruel, as what i believe. but this would be less cruel, if so, than feeding live. what i believe is that there's no such thing as "not cruel" in all feeding methods, or let's say maybe there is no such thing as "not sinful" in feeding as we still kill these prey items(cruel or not) for these purposes - either we gas them, freeze, or directly place it alive in the snake's enclosure. feeding pets depends on us as keepers/owners.. so generally speaking, feeding live prey is cruel but feeding them either live or not is both sinful. so let nature do the thing. i think captive keeping (is my term correct?) must not be done in the first place. leave what is in the wild.

        well to think of it in shallow, feeding live is very natural. but let's see what's behind. it is not natural for a prey to be trapped in a cage or a cage itself doesnt exist in the wild as the prey can still escape if in nature. for me, maybe it is unnatural for a predator to easily find and catch a prey (they can easily eat if someone or something offers regularly which is not in the wild). as long as we keep them as PETS, everything's out -everything's unnatural.

        uhmm not an argument, just my opinion.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        9 months ago from New York

        Selah there is NO WAY it takes 30 minutes to kill rodents with CO2 or worst case scenario they will be rendered unconscious if it is done in an approved way. This method is approved by the AVMA. If this person has footage of inhumane treatment it should be turned over to authorities, not shown to random people.

      • profile image

        Selah 

        9 months ago

        Here's my problem with frozen feeding- it's incredibly inhumane. I have snakes, frogs, hamsters, a cat, and hopefully more some day. I fed frozen for a while, thinking it was the kind thing to do. However, when I adopted my 3rd snake from a local reptile rehabilitation shop, I got to talking to the owner who breeds rats in a lovely enclosure to feed. She showed me a video she took, from her time working in a place that commercially bred and froze mice. To say it was horrific was an understatement. Their conditions where deplorable, they had to walk over each other and other dead rats in small, disgusting cages if they could move at all. They were dumped in big batches, blasted for about 30 seconds with CO2 which appeared to kill them, but in reality just immobilized them and they were struggling to move throughout the duration of the video. The freezing process then began, first their ears and tails frosted up, you could see them trying to move and the pain was evident. It took about 30 minutes to upwards of an hour for the process to be completed. Absolutely terrible. When my snake feeds, she kills in about 3-5 seconds. The rat more often than not walks right up to her face, there is no fear or pain involved. I would not feel comfortable killing the rat myself, and the same woman advised against it because it is very easy to do incorrectly and cause massive amounts of pain before death. Feeding live, in my opinion, will always be the most humane way I can feed the snakes I have grown to love and care for.In fact, they used to toy with their dead food, leaving a mess and eating it piece by piece. But with live it is always swift and clean, I truly believe there is a level of empathy in them as well.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        9 months ago from New York

        Drifter: Damn right

      • profile image

        Tiny 

        9 months ago

        Hiya, I own reptiles myself and so does my partner. Most of our reptiles are carnivorous and therefore we feed them accordingly. I understand that some might think live feeding is barbaric. In all honesty what's the difference of a mouse being humanly killed and fed to another animal in the first place? Most feeder mice have been bred out of their instinctive way to sense predators just to be fed to them. Ball pythons- more often than not, can not consume live prey because sometimes the prey will chew holes through the snakes body. That would be one good reason not to feed live prey. Most other times many reptiles will even reject frozen-thawed prey and will have to be given live prey as a last resort. So yes, I think you're article is pointless to say the least but I respect your opinion. Just don't go calling other people's opinions "stupid", it makes you look very unconvincing.

      • profile image

        JD 

        12 months ago

        Great article, especially taking into account that you own snakes yourself.

        It's funny how these knee jerk reaction responses presume you are a militant vegan just because they don't want to confront the fact that they are zoo sadists. What is especially ridiculous is how these people anthropomorphise their snakes and project human like emotions onto them but then talk about rats as if they were oysters, alive but conscious even though all these 'feeder' animals are obviously far more intelligent than snakes.

      • profile image

        Robert 

        12 months ago

        All I'm going to say is...if you have a problem with feeding your snake, you probably shouldn't own one. Who cares how the rodent dies, because either way someone or something killed it to be consumed.

      • profile image

        Drifter 

        14 months ago

        Agreed 100%.

        Fully aware of the cruelty of reality. So I call it as it is. Lots of psychos with reptiles and we know the truth of why they own them. Sickos.

        Even read a bullshit thread today espousing the same old flawed rhetoric you called them out for and by the end of the thread some were blatantly admitting their sickness, while the others made no attempt to counter those sentiments.

        They're transparent and still think they've fooled people when they're just lying to themselves.

        Sociopaths, the lot of them.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        17 months ago from New York

        Jon Honeycutt: chimpanzees, tigers, wolves, macaws, and panther chameleons are all examples of animals that can live longer in captivity. What does your ignorance have to do with this article?

      • profile image

        Carly H 

        17 months ago

        This is something I was thinking about today and I understand where you are coming from. I would never feed a live animal to another larger predator if that predator didn't need it. Feeding your house pet a live animal for fun is an example of senseless violence. But then there's the times when it's necessary. I tried for months to get my 3 yr old BP to take frozen, I moved the mouse and tried variation upon variation to get my already underweight snake to eat. I feed her live mice, I don't enjoy doing it, but it's either that or she starves. She kills within minutes, it's quick, and she needs to eat. I'm not going to stress her out by making her into something she's not. Live feeding for no other reason besides entertainment is wrong, but I've got no other choice here. So, don't paint everything in black and white, at times there are situations where there is no other option.

      • profile image

        GalaxyRat 

        17 months ago

        Rats won't and cannot eat everything. My rats cannot eat certain items or they can die, as with most... I give them grass, if you consider that live food. ;)

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        17 months ago from New York

        Rats will eat anything. They don't need live food.

      • profile image

        GalaxyRat 

        18 months ago

        My Rat Scabbers is an efficient predator... but this is what my brothers do, not me. They'll take Scabbers and set him in front of an insect that is almost dead. Scabbers will pounce, then bite the head off (or legs, if he can't get the head). The insect always dies... My other pets aren't interested in the hunting thing, so I'm thinking of feeding Scabbers already dead mealworms and attach them to strings.

        I am against the live feeding, however.

        Melissa, I think the feeding of live animals to PETS is wrong. Just think, what I felt that animal was your pet and your other one was eating it??? Who cares if your pet needs to develop survival skills... it's wrong! I agree with this post.

        And Lyhue, WHEN IS YOUR SNAKE EVER GUNNA BE WILD???

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        19 months ago from New York

        Rando1ph: I have no choice but to conclude that you are an idiot if you think any part of this article is anti-meat feeding. Read it with your brain turned on.

      • profile image

        Rando1ph 

        19 months ago

        Nature doesn't care what you think. Nature is impartial and relentless. You can white knight all you want and carnivores are still going to eat other animals. Nature doesn't need us and it doesn't care if you, me, or that mouse lives or dies. The snake is higher on the food chain, let it live there.

        You can call people that don't agree with you names like "depraved individuals." It doesn't make your opinion reality.

        What it boils down to is you have a bleeding heart and think everyone that doesn't have one is somehow emotionally disfigured.

        Not all that long ago (100 years or so) and still in less developed countries people go out in their yard and kill there supper before they eat it. And are thankful to have it. This is a first world problem brought on by convenience.

        I'm sure I am biased because I grew up in the country around farms. I hunted a lot when I was young. I now work in industrial supply and closely with several rendering plants. So the circle of life has been right in front of me my entire life.

        I'm sure the shock you felt when you realized your meat wasn't grown at a supermarket was tragic.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        20 months ago from New York

        "Do you want to know biggest reason we feed him live food? In case he escapes somehow, I would rather him be accustomed to hunting and killing on his own terms of survival. If a snake that was manipulated by a human into eating pre-killed food escapes into the wild, he will probably fail at sustaining himself and starve to death."

        Probably the silliest thing about your post. I see you are beyond help.

      • profile image

        Lyhue 

        20 months ago

        Melissa, I am a reptile owner and caretaker. My girlfriend is also an animal lover that specialised in keeping snakes many more years than I have.

        That being said, our Ball Python "Monty" rejected frozen pre-killed mice time after time. Rather than starve the fella, we turned to live feeders and instantly his natural instinct to hunt and devour the live prey kicked back into gear. He is very very happy and social to human touch, and we have no moral qualms with giving him the live mice. Its how nature designed him to receive nutrition.

        Keeping him in a closed habitat may not be natural but we humans are on top of the ladder (food chain) and since recorded time began we've kept animal companions in closed environs.

        I simply don't understand your angle that live feeding rodents to snakes is cruel. The animal kingdom, not just his species, is rife with predators that have been and will continue to attack-kill-devour their prey for millions of years.

        In fact many of us feel that manipulating a serpent into eating pre-killed food is quite unnatural.

        God or nature, your choice, didn't create ball pythons to scavenge dead meat.

        Anyone who reads this article can see you are making an argument based on your personal code of ethics and morals.

        I'd much rather let our sweet, gentle cold-blooded killing machine (Monty)work his own magic than risk getting myself bitten by the mouse while i try to kill it for a snake. That simply makes no sense.

        Do you want to know biggest reason we feed him live food? In case he escapes somehow, I would rather him be accustomed to hunting and killing on his own terms of survival. If a snake that was manipulated by a human into eating pre-killed food escapes into the wild, he will probably fail at sustaining himself and starve to death.

        Now That is the definition of cruelty.

        Altering an animal's natural eating habits is quite disturbing to be quite honest.

        Cats hunt live prey naturally but scavenge when times are desperate. Dogs mostly scavenge naturally but hunt when starving

        Snakes... they hunt living prey or they succumb to a long painful death that is far more viscous than a mouse being squeezed into having cardiac arrest within seconds.

        Mice are not very high on the food chain in fact they are near bottom as far as vertebrates are concerned. No moral quest can change that Melissa.

        My own thoughts? Gassing mice is simply ridiculous. Placing them in a sock and dashing them against a hard surface would probably be painless in comparison to a gassy suffocation.

        And yes i tried that method with Monty. It failed. And i have no interest in trying again.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        Jane, pet keeping is NOT nature. Thousands of years ago no one had the luxury of keeping these types of pets for simple pleasure. None of what you say is any type of adequate rebuttal. Your comment is rationally-challenged.

      • profile image

        Jane 

        3 years ago

        Your thinking is wrong. I agree that some live feedings are sad but nature its self is cruel. You should've been born thousands of years ago when times were much harder. Then you wouldn't be saying all kinds of nonsense like "its animal cruelty because the animals don't have any chance of escape like they do in the wild." Some animals are used as pets for human entertainment. And some of those animals need to eat like they would in the wild because its natural. Stop being a negitive Nancy and go on with your life. Stand up for something that is of worth. Like racism or world hunger. Not this waste of time.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        You're not too bright bob.

      • profile image

        bob 

        3 years ago

        live feeds are more natural then drowning the mouse myself.... i don't care if there is a wall in the cage and not in nature... did u stop to think there is no cO2 tank in nature... there is no hand of god killing this mouse and feeding it to a reptile... hunter and hunted... that's is it. granted it is still supplied by my hand in a cage... but isn't that the point of habitat? to be as natural as POSSIBLE? why is it any better for someone to drown a mouse with co2 then what happens in the wild? blood can b spilled? go hug a tree and kiss a bee. you mouse murderer... god only a sick mind would think killing a mouse with your own hands is better then letting nature take its course... i step on insects every chance i get... i call it enviromentally friendly pesticide

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        Honor Scholtes-- I was in a similar situation with a pied ball python. The seller told me it ate frozen too, and I believe that was just to get a sale. Mine didn't eat for far, far, longer than a month...

        I would start with small, furred, *warmed* prey. If the snake is a baby, use a small furred mouse (hopper). If the prey isn't warm, forget it. let it sit under a heat lamp (but not too long, or the stomach will leach out...ew...plus the snakes hate that). If you feel that the snake needs nourishment NOW you can assist feed critical care carnivore (or you can use a very small mouse, hold the sides of the snake's jaw to open the mouth and push the rodent in, then gently put it down and immediately but delicately place a pillow case over it and leave it alone). This is very stressful so be very efficient and keep it short, then let the snake rest in a dark area (if you have a cheap plastic hide, put a pillow case in so it has the option of hiding in there) and leave it alone for a week, then try again.

        Remember that I'm not against the 'circle of life', I'm against the suffering. Feed you and yourself meat, but dispatch animals humanely. Nature is cruel. Snakes die all the time for various reasons with no one to assist them.

      • profile image

        Honor Scholtes 

        3 years ago

        I hate the idea of feeding live mice/rats. My to older snakes both take F/T though the male has been off for a few months, he is big though. My new female pied is just a little girl though. Only 140 grams, she didn't eat for nearly a month after we bought her and I offered her quite a few rat pups. We had bought her from I guy who said she ate F/T, however when we called him back he said no she had been eating live. I wanted to wait and try her with more F/T, but she wouldn't eat even though I tried every trick I could find. My dad talked to an experienced breeder who confirmed that if she didn't eat soon her health would begin to deteriorate. So she sadly had to get a live mouse and may have to have another as I try to convert her. So sometimes it is necessary, circle of life, I mean I would rather not let my snake starve, trapped in a bin where in the wild she would be able to go and get her own food.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        3 years ago from New York

        This is why I'm a lone wolf. I have problems with nearly every 'community'. The reptile community has a very sadistic attitude toward rodents, which are much more likely to be far more 'intelligent' than their pets. There are bans against live feeding in some European countries but I doubt it can happen here.

      • ZookeeperByNature profile image

        ZookeeperByNature 

        3 years ago

        Is there a possible way to get legislation enacted which cover what you discuss here in this article? As an active member of many reptile and exotic pet-centric groups on Facebook, it disheartens me to see the outrageous amounts of animals being inhumanely fed off without proper justification, and the invalid excuses people to use to defend themselves for committing apparently legal acts of animal cruelty. Furthermore, the people who typically do such things are disgustingly sadistic themselves, many openly agreeing that they would use cats or dogs if they could get away with it and how they hostile they will behave if anyone dares to speak out against them, regardless of how polite a response was. Many fail to realize it's not about being offended - I'm personally rather desensitized to the images and videos themselves - but about the responsible and actual proper treatment of the animals.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        No banana, it has to do with the victim being a species we are used to seeing as prey for a specific animal. People will turn away to the predation of cats all the time, even cute baby rabbits, because they are, how can I put this simply? Brainwashed. Cat people are some of the most mentally perplexing (putting that nicely) people you will ever deal with. This is not a generalization. You can't make them feel sorry for what a cat kills, but if a CENTIPEDE kills that same prey, most people are not use to a bug killing vertebrates and most people also hate centipedes or are afraid of them (I think they are the cutest animals ever). Feeding rodents to centipedes is not only radically unnecessary but it must be very painful. Humans that get bitten from these animals describe it as one of the most painful events of their lives. It is cruel to do this to a mouse, or sadistic, period. I would support efforts to make it illegal in a heart beat, but I guess most people are just focused on making sure great owners can't own exotics, that is their priority.

        Feeding live vertebrates to animals is an inhumane way to kill them. I believe it is animal cruelty so I will "judge" this decision.

      • profile image

        Banana 

        4 years ago

        Just wanna say something about how no one cares about some herps or carnivorous pet fish eating live feeder fish while they suddenly become so protective about live feeding mouse.

        I mean, I would never do it. I love animals and I could never look into a mouse's eyes and throw to a python for it to eat the mouse. But I understand why people use live feeders and I don't judge what they do. It their choice to make, not mine, and I don't have the right to prevent one from doing it (unless its something absolutely needs to be stopped). Even though I feel kinda sad for the prey animal, I don't feel so terrible or anything (unless the person is laughing about how stupid the rat is and is clearly enjoying the feeding sadistically) by watching one of those live feeding vids.

        Disturbing thing is that I would have no problem feeding live feeder crickets/worms to a rough green snake and live feeder fish to a garter snake. No one really screams how cruel it is to feed live fish to a garter snake in the YT comment section at all. Also, I've seen a centipede feed on a live hamster and everyone screamed their head off how cruel and psychotic he truly is to feed such an adorable and helpless hamster to some creepy and unintelligent creatures like centipedes. Other video showed a centipede eating an anole and mostly people were like "Ewww gross","Lol its eyes rolled out", "that's disgusting :P". Another vid showed a cat eating a live mouse, and few were like, "Poor mouse!", some were like, "Cute cat omg", while others were some derpy comments. So I think it really depends on which animals is eating and which is getting eaten to people (most, but not you ). As long as it is a cute and cuddly, it's terrible and horrifying to feed it to any kinds of animals.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        What do I think? I think it's painful and cruel and I'm glad we have better ways to dispatch animals. Snakes need to eat live prey about as much as you do. Your comment is one of the dumbest I've seen here.

      • profile image

        Martine 

        4 years ago

        You are insane. So what do you think of animals killing other animals and eating them live, like almost all predator animals do? NOT feeding snakes live prey is animal cruelty. that's what they would eat if they were free. Expecting a childish level of niceness from the world is sick. You need a psychiatrist.

      • Everyday Miracles profile image

        Becki Rizzuti 

        4 years ago from Indiana, USA

        It's been four weeks since Anthony posted the comment above, but I hope you don't mind me adding something, Melissa.

        Feeder rodents (and larger creatures as well) pose a threat to the well-kept captive reptile, mammal, or potentially bird. They have claws and teeth, and they will fight for their lives. If you are concerned about the health of your animal, live feeding is a mistake, regardless of your consideration for the well-being of the feeder animals.

        I've personally seen reptiles that were beaten up by their prey. It's terrible to look at those wounds.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Anthony, your pitifully stupid comment is unfortunately representative of the pro-live feeding brigade.

      • profile image

        Anthony 

        4 years ago

        i wish i could post a video of my ball python chewing on a live mouses face just to have you gag and foam at the mouth. you're self righteous and delusional. live feeding it happens in nature. stop over analyzing the situation! food will be food. as smart as we all like to think we are - there are animals out there that will snatch us up for lunch without thinking twice about whether or not we will suffer. just because we're humans does not mean were morally obliged to keep the peace in animal on animal feeding. in fact, the world doesn't owe anyone a sense of morality. take that home with you Melissa. You're no one to tell us how we should feed our own animals.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Are you trying to tell me that there's no science involved with morality? Well DUH. I don't actually expect to convince anyone hard-wired to carry on with their ways to change their mind, I just want to shut them down and make them aware that their beliefs are ridiculous. They deserve to get mad, that is a result of cognitive dissonance. Some people flat out don't mind being cruel to animals, others have deluded themselves into thinking it is somehow not cruel to prolong suffering. I'm mainly addressing those people, not the cretins that enjoy cruelty. Unfortunately, nothing can be done about them. Don't pretend that you never express your strongly held beliefs to others...you just did it to me. So it's nice that you can see the futility of advocating for a moral perspective when it is convenient for you.

        If convenience and fear or harm to your snake are more important to you than treating the prey humanely, you might be in the same camp with the group I'm addressing. It is sickening that you consider your snake's welfare and not the prey, which is likely far more intelligent. I guess I should be happy that you don't torture rodents because it's 'easier'.

      • profile image

        midnightsky 

        4 years ago

        None of the reasons I feed prekilled prey to my snake are actually in here. You might find that less emotional arguments have a better impact:

        - Snakes can be harmed by live prey. Rodents have sharp teeth and can wound your snake, so you keep it safer by providing prekilled prey.

        - Live prey can carry disease; the freezing process and length of time frozen for prekilled prey is usually enough to destroy harmful bacteria in the prey that might make a snake ill.

        - Prekilled is easier. Live prey requires feeding and care of its own, and rodent cages will take up more space, resources, time, and money than snake owners may want to support. Both breeding live prey yourself and constantly buying new feeder prey takes time and resources. On the other hand, you can buy prekilled prey in batches that will keep in a freezer.

        All of this is why I feed prekilled prey. With regards to your more emotional arguments, anything I would say has already been answered in a way that I still do not consider logically satisfying; it all boils down to certain "moral truths" that some people accept and some people do not. "It is cruel to allow animals to hunt live prey when they do not have to" is a belief, not a scientific fact, and it really can't be debated without attempting to convince someone to accept your morals. In the end, if they choose not to, there's really nothing you can do, because you can't logically convince someone to have or not have certain beliefs about what is right or wrong. It's just something people decide for themselves. Proselytizing, whether for a religion or not, doesn't work so well in the long term, and it annoys the crap out of people most of the time. Inform people and move on; passionate emotional arguments don't really fly. Those are why nobody likes PETA.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Nothing will change their minds, I suggest not giving them anymore views.

      • profile image

        rob 

        4 years ago

        Did you watch the video it's on YouTube I commented to the author of the video he said it was OK it's not OK would you please watch it and see what you think.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        No rob, such a video would be illegal in some areas in Europe, and I believe that is needed here.

      • profile image

        rob 

        4 years ago

        Yes I am disturbed by a video on YouTube showing somebody feeding live helpless newborn baby rabbit's to a Savannah water monitor. My question is can this be reported as animal cruelty??

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        No problem Johnny.

      • profile image

        Johnny 

        4 years ago

        Wow. You've really opened my eyes to the reality of live animal feeding. it truly is a horrible thing how accepting it is and this just proves that we have a lot of evolving to do. Thank you Melissa. ^^

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Can you show me what you're talking about? I've visited her site many times and have never seen that. Is this a recent change of thinking for her? I think her website is older, and that might account for some 'inaccurate' information. I don't think PETA would be pleased over her website which teaches people how to maintain exotic animals in a trade that they think should not exist, so if that's PETA thinking, maybe it's not as bad as I thought it was. If her views are not present in the website, I don't see why I shouldn't reference it. The live feeding page is very well done.

      • ZookeeperByNature profile image

        ZookeeperByNature 

        4 years ago

        In my attempt to spread this sort of word among the reptile community including by re-posting this very article, aside from being scrutinized as some sort of disgrace for disagreeing with their "preference", it was brought to my attention by reputable members of the herp community that Melissa Kaplan (who you referenced as a "Reputable source") is a non-credible source and a small amount of investigative work myself has revealed that her personal views are very much in line with animal rights groups such as PETA. Furthermore, many have noted the partial amount of inaccurate information she has given out and that, many of the times she has expressed her personal views, they are sometimes charged with an obvious anti-pet stigma. While I very much agree with your views, and disagree with the views of the some that pointed this out, I recommend that it would be best if Melissa Kaplan was removed as a reference as she is, in fact, a non-credible credible source and many will not take this article seriously because of this alone.

        In the mean time, Melissa Kaplan aside, I do agree with this article. It saddens me the disregard for animal life many a self proclaimed "animal lover" will have for the life of the animals being used to feed their pets. Those that argue this stance will blindly accuse the other party of being completely for animal rights and that they must not support animals being used as food at all, but this is simply not the case. It is not about completely banning the usage of animals for what ever intentional service they are to serve, it is to reduce their suffering as much as we possibly can. And to those that argue Co2 gassing is inhumane, there are other options on the table as well, for example, such as cervical dislocation. It is not necessary to ignorantly forgo these other alternatives, and continue to inhumanely feed off feeder animals while alive where they are faced with a painful and cruel death.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Nice try Bryce, there is no acceptable way to perpetuate genocide and mass murder thousands of people. Would it have been better for the victims of the holocaust to be thrown to giant snakes? Does that sound less evil? The human comparison flounders no matter what way you look at it. You sound like a young person. Sane people don't care about how 'epic' it is to die, they care about pain and suffering. Adult ball pythons should have rats. You CAN feed mice but it is not optimal. A normal-sized adult will have to eat many mice when they should just have one prey item.

      • profile image

        Bryce 

        4 years ago

        Also your argument that ball pythons will need adult rats when they are grown is invalid because I know a licensed animal behaviorist with many animals who only feeds mice to his adult ball python be it they r frozen but it's all the same for this point and most bps will never be big enough to eat an adult rat could they swallow one yes is it good for them probably not on a regular basis. Most bps will eat small or medium rats which definitely not full grown

      • profile image

        Bryce 

        4 years ago

        I would never kill a rodent without good reason (feeding a snake for example), but my snake hasn't eaten in 4 months because he refuses frozen for some reason now I threw a live mouse in today and he instantly turned on. The mouse lived though cause I removed him anyway. I am pretty neutral on the subject and I was wondering how you can say that gassing is humane I mean that's what happened in the holocaust and I don't think that was very painless. Honestly I'd rather die by a snake than being gassed seems more epic to go out like that and if you think about it it's the same thing almost except one is done by a living thing both are suffocated and both ways kill relatively quickly. I can vouch for snakes being quick with their kill as my frien feeds exclusively live and even on a rat a little too big for him his bp kills it or at least knock it out within 10-20 seconds sometimes faster depending on the hold

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        "Theass", your pseudo-intellectual comment is no argument for live feeding because I never said I'm trying to 'end all suffering', just the suffering which is in my control, because it is MY decision to bring animals into my home. So I definitely "despise your assertion" that we should ignore all suffering and anyone else who thinks so idiotically. Recognize that.

      • profile image

        theass 

        4 years ago

        Cruelty is an integral part of the natural world in which we live.

        To try to end its existence is as futile as denying your own propensity for it.

        When confronted with the proper stimulus and justification you yourself would gleefully commit, or at least cheer for others as the commit acts of cruelty.

        You will not recognize this fact. You will despise my assertion and myself by extension.

        Forget this observation and continue to rage against nature, it is part of what makes you human.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Thanks for that Shaddie, I have also gotten animals to eat non-live things by attaching clear thread to one of the bug's appendages.

      • Shaddie profile image

        Shaddie 

        4 years ago from Washington state

        As a tarantula owner myself, I know that tarantulas will accept dead food. All 4 of mine, which are adults and 4 different species, have and will regularly eat the dead bugs that I give them. Their lack of pickiness comes in handy whenever one of my leaf bugs pass away. I don't like anything in my house to go to waste, so I feed the dead leaf bugs to my Ts. All I have to do is offer the food to them with a pair of feeding tongs, they go straight for whatever is in the tongs, be it alive or dead. I have even fed my largest tarantula one of my scorpions that passed away, she was eating him for a good 3 or 4 days before finally rolling him up and setting him aside for me to clean up.

        I have yet to meet an entire species that will not accept pre-killed food. Hawks, canines, felines, snakes, lizards, frogs...all these animals understand that meat is meat. When an animal turns its nose up at a pre-killed animal, it's not typically an issue of liveness vs. deadness, it usually has to do with the subtle temperature differences of the prey's body, the freshness or strength of the prey's scent, or a visual registration of movement. Yet even so, dead animals (such as mice) can be warmed, scented, or "wiggled" to garner the attention of any predator, if need be.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        Tyler if you had read the whole article you'd see that I don't judge people who feed live insects (not with mice, that is unnecessary), however feeding dead to tarantulas is not 'impossible'. Sounds like you never tried it.

      • profile image

        Tyler Wilson 

        4 years ago

        Tarantulas need live food. That is how they operate. Next to impossible to feed them dead crickets unless they are baby slings.

      • profile image

        desolatefox 

        4 years ago

        Ah, well that's good. I certainly support/recommend pre-killed, both because it's humane to the prey and more safe for the predator, but sometimes animals just won't do what we want them to do. (lol) I'm grateful my snakes aren't picky.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        4 years ago from New York

        I don't judge people if they actually gave a good try and the animal still doesn't accept it, otherwise I find it immoral. Plus there is also pre-killing the mouse, which is what snakes eat.

      • profile image

        desolatefox 

        4 years ago

        I'll admit, I haven't read all the comments, and I only skimmed the hub, but I wanted to point out one thing. Some snakes simply will not accept pre-killed food, either at all, or for a period of time that would unsafe. In cases like this, you have only two choices: force feed or feed live prey. Force feeding could do more harm than good, causing quite a bit of stress to the snake.

        Luckily all of my snakes accept pre-killed, but I would feed live if it became absolutely necessary. I don't think that is cruel or animal abuse, it's just the circle of life. Snakes aren't carrion eaters, so we're lucky so many are willing to eat dead food! ;)

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        Hi Janeen. Does logic defy you?

      • profile image

        Janeen 

        5 years ago

        "Lions need raw meat, not live prey"...under a photo of a lion taken in Kenya. Obviously, the raw meat was live prey before the lion killed it.

        Original photo source, captioned: "The lion sleep close to its prey."

        https://secure.flickr.com/photos/aiace/3213957088/...

      • profile image

        steimlem 

        5 years ago

        true, it's just been a big topic for me in all aspects.. personally, and with my various pets so i elaborated a bit more than i probably needed to. but it was a good read. i wish more people would do what they can to reduce pain and suffering to all creatures in the world. and i think there is a difference between killing 100 bugs, and 101 bugs, if that extra 1 is preventable, no matter how small it may seem to most. just the other day i saw an only car on the road speed up to intentionally run over a muskrat crossing the road. yeh the muskrat died instantly and probably felt no pain.. but was it that persons right to end the muskrats life for no reason besides its own enjoyment? i say no. anyway i'll stop getting off topic. thanks again !

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        It's not like you often see the ones you step on, the windshield just makes it easier. Bugs are numerous because they are 'meant' to die by multiple means. They are 'r-selective'. They are extremely fragile and have little defenses. Hopefully this also means they have limited pain capacity. This hub is really about vertebrate prey however.

      • profile image

        steimlem 

        5 years ago

        also here's an interesting article http://www.treehugger.com/cars/trillions-of-insect...

        when i make a simple trip on the highway to my favorite mall or restaurant 1 hour away on the highway i have to ask myself is it worth killing so many bugs/lives to please myself with material goods. like i said it's a very grey area. i'm not trying to sound too crazy here but these creatures that people kill without worry are indeed living.

      • profile image

        steimlem 

        5 years ago

        just simple things such as if humans weren't on earth that the earth would be covered with 3 feet of flies (myth?) .. or the overpopulation of cats and rats in australia etc where they were introduced to the area by humans and now people are killing them on sight.

        sadly we have tried the dead food with my gf's leopard gecko and she refuses to eat .. she barely even eats live food. her last owner didn't care for her properly and she's missing quite a bit of toes and has poor eye sight. though i might end up trying it with my own after a little further thought and research.

        yes it's impossible to kill bugs.. but you definitely kill more while driving. it's not about avoiding killing completely..but killing as little as possible. i may step on a few ants on my way to work when i walk.. but when i drive i can see a whole genocide on the front of my car. it's a grey area for me and i try to walk whenever possible (also for pollution reasons) but my only comfort is in knowing that hitting a car at that speed would be instant and painless.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        steimlem, you can try giving your geckos canned crickets (the 'mini' variety): https://pethelpful.com/reptiles-amphibians/cannedp

        If your pet is eating non-moving food it should take them, however, be aware that this if for your personal comfort and isn't sparing the lives of any animals. Be sure to use the crickets within 3 days or freeze them. I don't know how to humanely euthanize arthropods because I don't know what pains they feel. My best guess would be to refrigerate them (which kind of puts them into a 'sleep' mode such as what happens in the wild during cold snaps), than freeze them. So that's another option if the quality of canned food bothers you or if you don't think the bugs were treated well.

        Your gf's leopard gecko may take dead food with the use of a 'vibrating feeder dish', which is sold online, or it may not.

        Cats MUST eat meat or they will die. Use meats that were humanely raised from farms. Orijen appears to be one of the few kibble foods that does this: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/humanepetfood...

        Beware that it is expensive. Or you can feed a homemade diet.

        Giving up cars would make no sense as you even kill them when you walk. It's impossible to avoid. Hopefully they don't feel the same pain as mammals. Even Jain monks accidentally kill, despite wearing mouth covers to prevent breathing in lifeforms. I'm not sure what population control you're talking about.

      • profile image

        steimlem 

        5 years ago

        hi i enjoyed reading your hub. i am currently facing many moral dilemmas not only with my own consumption of animals but with my pet's and girlfriend's pet's as well. i have 2 crested geckos and have been told to feed them live crickets on occasion as a snack to promote growth in addition to their main staple "crested gecko diet" which is a powder that you mix with water. i feel it is wrong to feed them live crickets when they have this other option so i choose not to feed crickets though sometimes i wonder if they are getting full nutritional value. i then start to question why i even have the lizards as a pet. i am interfering with nature. they should be out in the wild and capturing their own food..but now if i were to release them the geckos would surely die so i must keep them and do my best.

        my girlfriend on the other hand has a leopard gecko and it will ONLY eat live crickets. it makes me sick to see it eat so many lives in what looks like a painful death, but i have no idea what else to do. she also loves animals and feels horrible doing it but she has no other choice. the leopard gecko was left behind to her from an ex boyfriend and she feels responsible to care for it and has a very strong bond with it.

        finally, we share a pet cat and volunteer at a cat shelter.. and i'm sure you know there is a lot of debate with what various cat foods contain and how the ingredients were acquired which is an issue in itself. and my own personal diet and struggles with being vegan or not. then it goes even further to things like every time i drive on the highway i slaughter countless bugs flying into my car. should i give up cars? what about population control? it just hurts my head thinking of it.

        i feel helpless and like no matter what i do in life innocent animals are going to suffer in some way. i feel all i can do at this point is do my best to not personally harm any animal, or to avoid harming any animal whenever possible, and to bring love and comfort to any animal whenever possible.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        Dafuk, read the article again: "There appears to be three types of live feeding supporters; people who genuinely care and think they are doing what’s best for the captive animal...". That must be you. Snakes don't know what they're 'built for', and neither do the rodents. I think you are focusing on everything you shouldn't be. Try focusing on the fact that your snake will need to eat rats in its adulthood, and training it to only eat live will make it harder to convert to f/t in the future. Rats are relatively intelligent animals.

      • profile image

        Dafuk 

        5 years ago

        You would be wrong not weird at all because i don't "prep" i don't know how you could prep . I like how your fine with people killing rats/mice but not a creature who is built for it. I don't think im doing right or wrong i think im feeding my pet .. I respect your opinion on the matter but i don't respect you making it out that feeding live makes your disturbed .

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        'Dafuk', I think this article states there are people who THINK they are doing the right thing for their animals. They are wrong though. Not only are you ignoring the welfare of the mouse, you are increasingly the likelihood that your snake will get bitten and it is completely unnecessary. Your ball python will eventually require full grown rats upon adulthood which are dangerous prey. It must be strange keeping them as pets while prepping others for execution by serpent.

      • profile image

        Dafuk 

        5 years ago

        This is stupid ..somethings wrong with me because snakes eat live mice/rats so that's what i give it ..the roadents don't even pay any mind to the snake ...ive have 2 pet rats and a ball python and love them all the same ..so do i feel bad this poor lil mouse is going to die yes . But for you to say we get sick enjoyment out of it really so people killing roadents ok snakes who are instinctly driven to do it not ok . You sound really one sided and not well rounded in life

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        What will happen if you break up with your boyfriend Julianna? Will you give up your snake? Perhaps it is not your fault, but there are other ways to try to get a snake to accept frozen/thawed. 'Wiggling it' is certainly is not the most you can do. First off, did you try heating it with a heat lamp? If not, you should do this pronto as it makes all the difference in the world. I don't know how old your snake is, but it will soon require full grown rats. How do you feel about killing something as big as a rat? These animals also pose a massive threat to your snake when they are live. Captivity obviously enhances the possibility that the animal will bite your snake, even if your boyfriend is watching. I think you should try f/t again.

      • profile image

        Julianna 

        5 years ago

        Hi,

        I own a ball python and I believe I commented on a different post earlier stating that fact. Anyway, I give my snake live prey. She won't eat prekilled even if we wiggle it around. I also don't feel comfortable with killing it myself like some people have suggested. In fact, I love every animal and even when I must feed her I care for the mouse and hope for a quick and painless death. So you see, I'm not a weirdo, I don't get any sick enjoyment from my snake eating in fact, I don't watch. My boyfriend does to make sure the mouse isn't attacking and hurting my snake. I don't like how this article paints me out to be. If I had another way I would. We've even tried force feeding which is bad for the snake and dangerous to you.

      • Melissa A Smith profile imageAUTHOR

        Melissa A Smith 

        5 years ago from New York

        "so wouldn't it be cruel when fisherman catch fish and they suffocate to death?"

        I think so, not sure if there's any way around this. I can't say I'm too pleased with crabs and lobsters being boiled alive, but it might be an instant death, at least I hope it is. I don't see people changing their methods regarding this.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)