People like Rob Laidlaw and his followers should have their heads examined. It disgusts me to no end to think that someone could be so stupid and live this long. He has probably reproduced, too.
Imagine what an asset he would be to humanity if he were to concentrate his efforts on something more important. His crusades have been successful in spite of the stupidity that drives them. If he were to address the school system, the child welfare, lack of affordable housing, unemployment rates, drug abuse and prostitution with the same zeal, our country might be in a better place.
Dont get me wrong - I love animals as much as the next guy (right next to the mashed potatoes, preferably) but I am wiling to shoot, kill, skin, gut and cut up and eat deer, fish, beef, chicken and such. I grew up in a no nonsense farming/ranching community where people lived off the land, and are good custodians of the land and livestock. We are practical people, with values different from 'city folk'.
Certainly there is consideration for the wild caught pet trade, but I think it is best left to the people with expertise in the hobby and indusrty to promote the regulation of such, rather than someone with more opinions than experience. We, as reptile and exotic enthusiasts need to work together to keep poeople like Laidlaw from capitalizing on the publicity of his crusades. The origin of the animal is not as important as where it ends up, and as captive breeders, I think we are making headway in changing this .
When people get all upset over the choices of pets we keep, I wonder how closely they really look at the world around them. Everywhere there is child poverty, sexual abuse and neglect. It does not matter if we are rich or poor, smart or stupid, this is serious stuff happening in our own back yards.
Lets worry about our children and fellow man first, and when we have solved the major issues surrounding humanity, and we are not exhausted with the effort, lets throw ourselves headlong into the petty crap! When we are as concerned for the homeless man dying in the street, as we are for the reptiles and animals people choose to keep, I might understand the mentality (or lack thereof) behind this type of crusade.
I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, stranger, I am ungrateful to these teachers.