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Old 12-20-03, 04:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Attitude towards "commoners"

I was wondering what experiences people had with attitudes towards keepers of "common" herps? I have found myself on both ends of some pretty short-sighted behaviour.

When I first mention my savannah monitor, I find that experienced herpers tend to assume that I am keeping it incorrectly. I realize that this is statistically probable, but I still find that I have to go into my enclosure size, substrate choice, temperature gradient, diet etc. Even then, people usualy aren't convinced until they come and see my setup and monitor.

On the flip-side, I find that I am guilty of the same assumptions with people who keep green iguanas. I also find that when someone mentions corn snakes or leopard geckos (or even beardies these days) I automatically think "novice" in my head -- until I find out that they are knowledgable etc.

Anyhow, it is something I have been thinking about recently and trying to fight against in my own mind.

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Old 12-20-03, 05:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I too have encountered a snobbish attitude towards the "cheapie" snakes. I find myself slightly insulted when people care to inform me, that the would not waste their time on $20 snakes. I can understand if you are a breeder and rely on "high end" herps to keep yourself afloat, but for average keepers that's not an excuse.


I keep a lot of corns, but I'm not a barely hatched herper. They're just one of the species I really really enjoy having. I have other more "experienced required herps", but they're all snakes, and I love them all!

Take a look at the large corn breeders in the states. They work almost exclusively with corns, but no one would say, they are novices.

Just like all things, people like to pat themselves on the back and think they are "elite" b/c they keep rare indo/australian pythons, or bamboo ratsnakes or mangove snakes or glow in the dark snakes.
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Old 12-20-03, 06:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I agree. This hobby is strongly becomming an interest I care not to have much longer because of many of the people involved in the hobby. It no longer seems to be about the animals for the animals themselves. It seems, where I stand that its all about the dollars involved in the animals..
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Old 12-20-03, 08:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have it on both ends, I keep some animals (like Bitis) that some folks think is crazy, and others (my corns) that some folks think puts me into the novice class lol, starting a discussion on breeding and genetics ends those silly assumptions. I keep for myself so the opinions of others means diddly to me, the little contact I have with other herpers is usually me helping them so I ignore the aholes in the hobby.
 
Old 12-20-03, 08:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Some people got caught up in the popularity of reptiles. I mean just check the evolution.
When the iguana became popular, everyone had to have one. Same thing with cornsnakes.
Now it's surinames and chondro pythons...
Some people will only look at it as the popularity of the moment and try to get a buck out of it.
I too love the cornsnakes I have and leopard geckos, they aren't worth much money wise, but damn they are so fun to keep.
I didn't start keeping reptiles for money, and I never will. I spend well over 300$ of food for my reptiles a month and the minute I will think they cost more than they give me, I will not keep them anymore.
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Old 12-20-03, 10:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Not about herps but I don't see this problem in the invertebrate hobby. I think that even the most experienced keeper has at least one Chilean rose (Grammostola rosea) in his collection. Just taught I'd mention that.
On the other hand my favorite snake is the red tail boa and own a pair. Personnaly........they could be worth $20 or even $2000 each, they'd still be my favorite. I think there is also a hint of personnal taste in what you keep.
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Old 12-20-03, 10:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I find it depends on the number of animals a person has. If they have 1 corn or boa I'm more likely to think they're a novice off the bat.
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Old 12-20-03, 01:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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For the time being, my most expensive/exotic snake is my blood python.. but frankly I don't care what people think about that. Of course I do plan to get into the more rare and expensive snakes, but no matter what, I'm still going to enjoy my 6 common boas, my 8 corn snakes, etc., and in fact, I will NOT be stopping there. I have a deposit down on another common boa, and I'll be keeping these things as pets until the day I die, simply because I adore them.
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Old 12-20-03, 01:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Keep what you love and love what you keep.
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Old 12-20-03, 02:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by arachnomania
Not about herps but I don't see this problem in the invertebrate hobby
You are correct, but I have noticed another type of snobbery, if you will, in the invert world. The thing with inverts is that the prices never get THAT high and space and care requirements are rarely an issue. The result is that you end up with something of a "he with the most inverts wins" mentality among some. I have a fair number, so I am not a victim of this, but John (Kugellager on AP) had very few scorpions up until this point. Still knew twice that of almost any other board member, but others (no names) thought that they were the cat's meow because they had bought more inverts over the years.

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Old 12-20-03, 02:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Don't ya just hate it when one group of people thinks they are better than another group. How ironic that you should raise this kinda of complaint given the nature or your log in name and avtar pic.
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Old 12-20-03, 02:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I have noticed this problem myself as well to some degree.

My main love is kingsnakes. Now, they might be cheap, etc. But you must keep what you love the most. But often people don't even want to see or talk about my kings because they are just kings. Frankly, if I have my choice between a foreign GTP, or a native kingsnake who can kill a rattler, I am picking king! LOL. But because the "market" has put a cheap price on them and because they are so available, they are less desireable.

If kingsnakes laid only 2-4 eggs, suddenly, all use king/corn keepers would be on the other side. I believe most people truely do love what they keep but I feel what people want and love is HIGHLY dictated by others in the hobby. If something is desireable to big breeders, suddenly its desirable to everyone else in some cases.

When judging someones experience level I take lots into account. Some say numbers don't matter but I feel they most certainly do, numbers/and or years keeping. Someone with one corn just can't possibly have as large a range to draw info off of as someone who keeps 50. Just the way it is. BUT this has to go hand in hand with years of keeping and other types of experience. Someone may own 50 corns for a year, and another person owns 4 for ten years, I am talking to both but probably listening to the 4 for ten years.

Sucess over the long term, general knowledge and proper researching ,etc is what makes me decide if someone is novice or not.

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Old 12-20-03, 02:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Being experienced doesn't have to mean you work only with leucistic Boelens and albino blackheads.

I'm one of less than 6 herpers globally that have captively produced schneiders skinks. I also still breed Ocellated skinks, and in the past few years, have bred flying geckos, crocodile geckos and Bibron geckos, simply because I wanted to.
These animals have a near zero wholesale value.
This year I hope to produce my first House snakes, because as odd as it sounds, mine failed to produce in 03.
Are you laughing yet?
2004 will mark my 25th year of breeding reptiles.(with no years off)
You don't have to get caught up in ONLY the "high end" to enjoy herpetology, and mark your tenure.
The thrill should come from seeing stuff hatch, and finding new babies in a cage. For me that's what it's all about. The price should have no real bearing on the sure thrill one can get from captive breeding.
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Old 12-20-03, 02:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Snobbery...pffffft. There is a young lady that works near me, and runs part of the reptile section of her employer. I went in for feeder fish for my garters (and crickets for a toad), and she tried to give me a run down on how to feed my snakes...heh. "I know plenty about snakes" she says, "I can help you out, I own 3 snakes and am very experienced in keeping them. I started out 2 years ago...." She went on to add how she only buys "common" herps with good credentials and that are a higher cost (assuming they would be better animals).

So..I asked her if she had happen to know how much the anoles are..."Not sure, are you interested. You know your snakes wont eat them?" I says "Sure, I need to scent pinkies for a few neonate Crotes I have at home and it has been to cold out to catch wild Sceloporus and Urosaurus to use" A blank stare took her face...

She just assumed since I mentioned garters, that I was just keeping some common snakes I found in by backyard and just kept them a glass jar at home, and that she could try to pass her abundant amount of worthless information on to me. So now she and some of her co-workers bug me weekly about how big my boas are, and what I will do when they reach 20 ft. If I use my rattlesnakes for skins and belts...etc etc etc.....

All in all, I get the most flack from the folks that just started out with a few common herps and automatically firgure they are the next MK.... To me, the more experienced folk tend to be a bit wiser on how they address other folks and herpers.
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Old 12-20-03, 02:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Snobbery...pffffft. There is a young lady that works near me, and runs part of the reptile section of her employer. I went in for feeder fish for my garters (and crickets for a toad), and she tried to give me a run down on how to feed my snakes...heh. "I know plenty about snakes" she says, "I can help you out, I own 3 snakes and am very experienced in keeping them. I started out 2 years ago...." She went on to add how she only buys "common" herps with good credentials and that are a higher cost (assuming they would be better animals).

So..I asked her if she had happen to know how much the anoles are..."Not sure, are you interested. You know your snakes wont eat them?" I says "Sure, I need to scent pinkies for a few neonate Crotes I have at home and it has been to cold out to catch wild Sceloporus and Urosaurus to use" A blank stare took her face...

She just assumed since I mentioned garters, that I was just keeping some common snakes I found in by backyard and just kept them a glass jar at home, and that she could try to pass her abundant amount of worthless information on to me. So now she and some of her co-workers bug me weekly about how big my boas are, and what I will do when they reach 20 ft. If I use my rattlesnakes for skins and belts...etc etc etc.....

All in all, I get the most flack from the folks that just started out with a few common herps and automatically firgure they are the next MK.... To me, the more experienced folk tend to be a bit wiser on how they address other folks and herpers. I keep some common herps along with some not so common, and simply get what I prefer to have. It would be nice to see more folks follow the same route, and not feel as if they are in a popular contest race for the "Best Herper Award."
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