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Old 04-19-17, 01:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

I don't know if its because I've been doing this too long or what and apologies for the mini-rant but why is it that every time someone does something differently or has a new idea do people feel the need to be rude and completely dismissive to any kind of idea or different way of doing things? Usually followed by someone regurgitating information from a caresheet.

Why is it that people believe that it's impossible to have an improvement or different method on <insert standard> with animals that are now more commonly kept?

Everyone used to do everything a little bit differently with varying levels of success. We exchanged ideas, theories, methodologies and I feel that has just completely stopped. Why is that?
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Old 04-19-17, 02:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

People are stuck in the past-myths have become fact, people don't want to learn, the reading of proper scientific papers is a lost art and people prefer anecdotes from their mates mum's uncle who's a breeder.

/rant mode off
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Old 04-19-17, 04:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

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Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
People are stuck in the past-myths have become fact, people don't want to learn, the reading of proper scientific papers is a lost art and people prefer anecdotes from their mates mum's uncle who's a breeder.

/rant mode off
My biggest pet peeve is "every caresheet says it". Yeah well if you look at most caresheets 90% of them are paraphrased or outright copy pasted versions of 1 or 2 of them.
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Old 04-19-17, 04:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

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My biggest pet peeve is "every caresheet says it". Yeah well if you look at most caresheets 90% of them are paraphrased or outright copy pasted versions of 1 or 2 of them.
Hence why myths turn into fact...
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Old 04-19-17, 04:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
My biggest pet peeve is "every caresheet says it". Yeah well if you look at most caresheets 90% of them are paraphrased or outright copy pasted versions of 1 or 2 of them.
Hence why myths turn into fact...
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Old 04-19-17, 06:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

I do most of my research from other keepers or breeder's. I don't think I've ever done a setup off a care sheet. I'd rather trust someone with experience. To many armchair experts out there, part of the reason I left fakebook
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Old 04-19-17, 06:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

The following statement is NOT aimed at anyone in particular.

I've bred multiple species for the last 15 years or so in the hobby, and out of those species, I have raised babies I produced successfully who have then bred and produced as well. I am all for new ways of doing things and embrace legitimate information backed by scientific studies...but there are SO MANY people online who have been keeping for less than 5 years and think they know more than me because they read something in a book or on google and can't wait to regurgitate that information somehow because it aligns with their opinion. Reading something is different from experiencing or doing it, and it could easily be argued that a lot of new things coming into the hobby are to appeal to or pacify the keeper and not enhance the lives of the kept. Time and time again new people will ask for advice and either someone who is just regurgitating info will weigh in with something off base or unrelated, or even something that could cause harm... or the newbie asking for the advice won't listen to advice given because they don't like what they hear...which gets old and definitely contributes to what you're saying...why bother with someone who already knows it all? That's why debate is rare in the hobby lately. I still debate/share ideas in person with those familiar to me...but strangers on the internet is a different ball game.

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Old 04-19-17, 07:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

The overwhelming amount of regurgitated "information" by relative newbies on the internet drives me insane. It's not just reptiles either. Any hobby you get into, it's the same. I think people just want to be experts. The easiest way to become an "expert" is to memorize a bunch of crap on the internet (right or wrong) and repeat it back to others.
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Old 04-19-17, 09:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

I'm a newbie, and I also do medical research, so gathering data and evidence has been really fun. One thing I've noticed with even the older keepers is their unwillingness to change, even when new scientific discoveries have been presented to them. It's like when someone says "I've been doing this longer than you've been alive". It seems more prolific in this industry that old habits are not easily changed.

Tried to have an enlightened discussion with "experts" and "newbies" alike is challenging. Coupled with the fact that there isn't a whole lot of research or information to back up any new ideas makes it even more difficult to have intelligent repertoire with others in the industry.

Newbies want to share their newbie-ness. Experts want to push their long standing ideas. But no one is bridging the gap with all of the latest research available to them.

From my perspective, being a newbie means I have absolutely no say in my own experience, research, etc from so-called experts because I just haven't been at this long enough. Which has been frustrating for me, because I have a medical degree, do medical research for a living, have plenty of mammalian experience, and can take a scientific study from the reptile community and understand it and apply it pretty quickly given my background. But that hasn't really meant its weight in gold apparently in this community, because I have the label of "newbie".

And it's not just Facebook where I've faced these challenges with aggressive "opinions" either. There have been posts on forums like this website that have also had similar reactions, which is unfortunate, because me as a "newbie" come to these places for open, engaging discussion to figure out the best possible solution from those with more experience, not to have it shoved down my throat more often than not, and made to feel bad when I actually have data to back up my disagreement.

I think all we can do as individuals is to ensure that we disseminate our information in the most respectful way possible, and if there is no productive communication, to smile, nod our heads, and move on.
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Old 04-19-17, 10:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

Personally, I would never discourage any "newbie" that has done her research and is actually thinking. The "newbie" stuff that I was referring to, and that frustrates me to no end, is like 10 years ago when someone somewhere said that mealworms cause impaction in leopard geckos, then it was spread all over the internet like gospel. You had 12 year olds telling professional breeders that feeding mealworms would kill their animals. This, despite the fact that many had fed mealworms exclusively for many years.

Or the hysterics about sand. OMG sand will kill everything! Get your lizard, tortoise, horse, children, whatever off of it!

It's the lack of logical, rational discussion that gets me. Everything seems to be black and white because someone read something somewhere. It's usually not that simple.
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Old 04-19-17, 11:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

Agreed. I've had some 16 year olds tell me the what-for regarding snakes. I'm starting to work trade shows now, and I have a personality of a brown snake (shy and withdrawn, but will kill you when provoked), so I'm not entirely sure how I'll be able to handle it when some of these younger kids come over and spit out "did you know xyz? It's fact!". I may be banned from any and all trade shows after this next one.
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Old 04-19-17, 11:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

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Originally Posted by GyGbeetle View Post
Agreed. I've had some 16 year olds tell me the what-for regarding snakes. I'm starting to work trade shows now, and I have a personality of a brown snake (shy and withdrawn, but will kill you when provoked), so I'm not entirely sure how I'll be able to handle it when some of these younger kids come over and spit out "did you know xyz? It's fact!". I may be banned from any and all trade shows after this next one.
"Thats interesting but in my experience" practice that one in a mirror so you xon't get banned.
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Old 04-19-17, 01:11 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

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Originally Posted by jjhill001 View Post
I don't know if its because I've been doing this too long or what and apologies for the mini-rant but why is it that every time someone does something differently or has a new idea do people feel the need to be rude and completely dismissive to any kind of idea or different way of doing things? Usually followed by someone regurgitating information from a caresheet.

Why is it that people believe that it's impossible to have an improvement or different method on <insert standard> with animals that are now more commonly kept?

Everyone used to do everything a little bit differently with varying levels of success. We exchanged ideas, theories, methodologies and I feel that has just completely stopped. Why is that?
There is no quick and easy answer to your question. (It's a great one though!)

Some of it has been spoken about here already. To add, on the internet it gets difficult for reasons mentioned but in addition, it's fairly anonymous and you can say what you want and how you want it and not face any real consequences.

In addition I found there was far more exchange of information when the discussion was presented on very few general forum sites like this one. Then people started making species or geographical area specific forums. This went straight to facebook and making groups. This led to segregation. Where people who share similar views can talk to others with similar views and silence those opposing them or disagreeing with them.

Here you generally have to play nice.


I'll be the first to admit I can be a little harsh to new ideas from new people however I will listen and think on the idea for awhile. I don't believe in drastic changes when something is working but I'm open to listening and seeing and how the new idea works for a period of time before I jump on board and do it myself.

For example, I used to see the rack vs. tank debate in a black/white manner. I no longer do and haven't for years. My belief is I prefer racks for many reasons and if someone with a pet wants to modify a tank to suit/work for them then that's their choice. Is the animal well kept? If so then I don't care anymore. I'll point out pros and cons of both and then let them make the choice.
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Old 04-19-17, 01:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

I'll add an additional idea.

It's not just that "newbies" come in and buy 3 animals, produce some and call themselves a breeder then rattle out some care info like they know everything. It's partly the fault of the industry itself. It rotates FAST. If you've been here for 5 years then you're a veteran. Most people get in and out within 2 - 3 years. The passion fades during this time and either they stick to their own hobby or get out completely.

This leaves a lot of people to be "veterans" who don't have that much experience afterall.

My personal pet peeve is being quoted a "top breeder" who may have written a book (the dying medium that with enough dollars anyone can write one.) They can be wrong too and I've known many "top breeders" to suck or to give me differing experiences yet have same results. No one is infallible (except me of course).
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Old 04-19-17, 03:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: What happened to discussion/debate in the reptile community?

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I'll add an additional idea.

It's not just that "newbies" come in and buy 3 animals, produce some and call themselves a breeder then rattle out some care info like they know everything. It's partly the fault of the industry itself. It rotates FAST. If you've been here for 5 years then you're a veteran. Most people get in and out within 2 - 3 years. The passion fades during this time and either they stick to their own hobby or get out completely.

This leaves a lot of people to be "veterans" who don't have that much experience afterall.

My personal pet peeve is being quoted a "top breeder" who may have written a book (the dying medium that with enough dollars anyone can write one.) They can be wrong too and I've known many "top breeders" to suck or to give me differing experiences yet have same results. No one is infallible (except me of course).
Its the differing methods yielding the same results thing that doesn't bother me at all as long as someone can use a reasonable amount of logic to explain why they are doing it. If their animals are healthy who cares? It used to be every animal was kept on gravel or shavings. If we interviewed an average reptile keeper from 30-40 years ago that you could keep leopard geckos or snakes on paper they would have called you a nut (I'm sure some did keep them this way but I know most of them old *** books didn't recommend that.)

In reference to your other comment (no need to muddy up the thread more than I have by responding to everything lol). I think you may have hit the nail right on the head with the specific species forums/groups and people getting too ingrained into various hive minds.

It's very easy now to probably get into a group on facebook that would tell you that there are 0 cons to a naturalistic setup, just as easy as it is to get into a group that will tell you that if you don't keep your X on paper it will 100% die an immediate and horrible death and it will probably take the cat down with it. Probably could do this with every dang thing in the hobby.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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