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Old 12-25-03, 01:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is it just me or...

Does anyone else find the recent abundance of ready made herp food disturbing?

It seems that everytime I pick up a magazine, go online, or visit the local pet store somebody else is trying to sell me a new product specifically formulated to meet the exact needs of my animals. Its either that or the apparently enormous inconvenience of feeding insects or rodents to my herps that would normally prey upon these items. Now I need freeze dried crickets and of course the vibrating boogie bowl to animate them so the reptile thinks they're still alive.

Of course if I keep snakes, I'm now supposed to be feeding them processed, nutrient enriched, conveniently wrapped sausages that, if whiskers and a tail were attached at the appropriate ends, I suppose sort of resemble the prey they're designed to replace. There's also premade happy meals for beardies, day geckos, crested geckos, iguanas, uromastyx, skinks, and on and on and on...

I wonder if this is such a great idea to have keepers, especially newer ones, so totally dependent upon the marketing machine when it comes to the lives of their animals. It seems to me that this approach only downplays the need for prospective herpers to adequately research the husbandry requirements for their pets. Why bother with all that reading and Q & A when someone else has already done the legwork for you? Not to mention are these Mcnuggets really all an animal needs? How would I know? The only person telling me that they are is the one selling them.

I don't mean this to sound arrogant, but I try to learn as much as I can about an animal's habitat, dietary needs, etc. and attempt to replicate that as closely as possible with available resources. I can't imagine keeping them in the virtual reality that some advertisers want me to think is the only right way.

Any thoughts? Or perhaps suggestions on which orifice to insert these views?

WM
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Old 12-25-03, 02:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Unfortunately, I can only say that I agree 100% on every point. It bothers me deeply that the "marketing machine" as you put it, can't leave well enough alone, especially when feeding is probably the EASIEST part of captive husbandry. In most cases, the choice you're faced with is "should I dust these crickets or not?" Like, how freakin' hard is this? Cricket boogie machine with freeze dried crickets????? Aren't the real thing like 20 bucks for 1000? It's gone too far.
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Old 12-25-03, 02:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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One thing i've heard about a certain brand of "snake sausage" is that they contain no meat.

Why would I want to feed snakes something else when rodents are the perfect food? I guess they're for vegans that want to inflict their lifestyle on their snakes.
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Old 12-25-03, 03:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I also agree 100 percent. They have jelly water now!! Its like big blue blocks that the animal can take chunks out of and its good causs it doesnt evaporate..gimme a break, one of the dumbest things ever. The Can'o'crix or something like that is a bunch of crix in a tiny container. You are probably paying 100 times as much more for those..its like 9.99 for 3 dozen dead crix
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Old 12-25-03, 03:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm with you guys. These diets are just not natural enough for me.
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Old 12-25-03, 03:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I guess they figure that we eat processed foods and it's not hurting us, right? Why not inflict the same diet on our reptiles?
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Old 12-25-03, 04:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
and it's not hurting us, right?
Oh but it is hurting us.

The only reason behind commercial diets is convenience. The easier it is to feed a herp the more likely a person is to buy one. So when Joe Shmoe walks into a pet shop and is told how easy and convenient it is to feed a herp they are much more likely to buy one than they would be if they were told they would have to keep live crickets around the house. Pet shops know that their biggest challenge they face when it comes to selling herps is convincing the customer that they can touch a live cricket or mealworm. Now the clerk can offer an alternative to their customer who can't get over their fear of bugs or mice or what ever they would need to feed their herp. I'm sure that stores that carry a wide range of commercial diets sell more herps to newbies than those who don't carry them.
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Old 12-25-03, 04:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry, but I think jelly water rocks! Less drowned insects!

Note we give jelly water to feeder insects only.
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Old 12-25-03, 04:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Many petshops locally here sell dried pellet forms of iguana food, which I find seriously misleading as a diet. Many other processed foods, marketable and convenient foods instill the need to not research propor diets, etc, etc.

Much like you see with the dog and cat foods and products, they are there to provide a service to those that like to spend money and feel like they are helping while adding convenience for the purchaser. Same thing with substrates, 'play toys' and husbandry 'gizmos' that fulfill the market with uneeded impulse items. Just a way to make a quick buck for the manufacturers. Not really proper, but heck, we as people like to spend money on 'neat' products over what is correct and otherwise 'boring.'

All in all, it is just silly, pointless, and in my opinion harmful to the overall hobby. Those that indulge in these products are usually those less informed, and therefore are only purchasing due to the convenience and lack of understanding herps as a whole. Plus, it helps shops with their need to pay for all the overhead by selling big priced, low quality products.
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Old 12-25-03, 04:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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BoidKeeper- I guess the tone of my "voice" didn't come across well in my post I am all to aware of how processed foods are hurting our health. There is no way I would feed one of my reptiles these "convenience" foods. Just thought I would clear that up.
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Old 12-25-03, 05:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I have to say I'm with you 100% as well. It never ceases to amaze me how many new products are at the local "pet" stores each week. All those pretty little containers, lined up side by side on the over-stocked shelves, pictures of the reptiles they are designed for labelling each one so neatly with all the "necessary dietary information" on the back. What a load of crap!

If anyone ever took the time to read those labels they would realize that none of them are adequate. No artificial diet could possibly replace the real deal. It's the equivalent to feeding your kinds Mc Up'n'Chucks and thinking they're getting everything they need.

Unfortunately, when a newby walks into a pet store they go on the advice of the person working there and have no idea that the person who is supposed to be the "expert" is just trying to make as much profit as possible. Makes me sick. What are you going to do though? At best we hope people find forums such as this, ask questions and learn. Before making a purchase.

And believe me, you don't sound anywhere near arrogant. Number one on my list when acquiring anything is to do research. Who in thier right mind wouldn't?! Ya sure, you could easily find bad info and use it as an exuse when everything you owns dies, but if you do enough research you'd be able to determine what info is accurate and which is not. Common sense people.

I really could go on and on, but today is Christmas and I need to make a kick a$$ turkey dinner That, and the family keeps calling and I can't maintain a thought long enough in between to keep typing. So to sum it up.............F/T Rodents=Good, Live Bugs=Good, everything else in a can or container or plastic wrapped tube=Bad

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Old 12-25-03, 06:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I agree totally Julie. Live=good. Dead=bad. Dead as in manufactured. I believe the best diet for a reptile is one that is controled by the keepers, and how their live diet alone is gut loaded. Enough of this snake sausage stuff. Crickets in a can? Bah...
Oh by the way, Merry Christmas to all of you and hope that Santa was good to you all.
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Old 12-25-03, 06:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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it is all about seperating you from your money, the "new and improved" and "convenient" lines has been used(or over used) for decades
 
Old 12-25-03, 09:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I guess the proverbial last straw for me happened a couple of days ago when I found a bottle of "leopard gecko food". I was always under the impression that my leos ate live insects. I've seen them ignore a dead cricket until it dried up to nothing, so how could anyone bottle their food? One quick scan of the label enlightened me.

Evidently if you raise flies in a lab environment, kill them and dry them out just so, then add some seasoning and the proper stink factor, your leopard gex will find them absolutely irresistable. Naturally there is supposed to be a transition period while you convince them that these inanimate little black specks are actually their dinner. I'm sure that employing the previously mentioned vibrating boogie bowl would aid in this transition. I can't remember the price on the dinky little bottle, but I guarantee if an adult leopard took a shine to these things, it would go through two bottles per week easy.

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Old 12-26-03, 12:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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My cousin runs a pet store out in california, and says that every snake he see's go in the store that has been fed those snake sausages end up having major bacterial infections because the "casing" is really really hard for them to digest. I say if you can't feed the animal your keeping properly, then why keep it? (unless it is a last resort type of thing!)
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