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View Poll Results: Does your snake love you?

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  • I know my snake loves me!

    774 46.38%
  • I know my snake doesn't care. It does not feel emotions.

    895 53.62%
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  1. #761
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: I think my snake loves me

    Quote Originally Posted by YungRasputin View Post
    i think snakes are much more intelligent than people realize - which is being confirmed with recent intelligence studies pertaining to them - i also think they’re capable of base emotions and are emotionally intelligent - i aim to do more research into this however i would point out anecdotally that there have been peer reviewed studies involving bees and arachnids which demonstrated that they are capable of experiencing base emotions eg: when subjected to negative stimuli they produced more chemicals that we typically associate with fear and stress in humans - insomuch as reptiles can be socialized and insomuch as humans can form bonds overtime with specific snakes who do indeed feel these base emotions i think i could say they love me in that sort of Star Trek Data “I’ve gotten use to you” sort of way you know
    Quote Originally Posted by Animallover3541 View Post
    The two main "emotions" I think most if not all animals can feel is stress and contentment. I believe reptiles also possess fear and familiarity, and some more may experience a food-associated or pseudo-companionship type of relationship. Many definitely enjoy the warmth from people too. I have owned frogs which, at the very least, can understand the behaviors and actions I took before I fed them and of course turtles often splash around and reach for their owners in their tanks if they think they are being fed. Its very cute
    I agree. Not based on any official study, but just my experience of many years living with & knowing so many snakes. And seeing that they remember & trust me, even when not handled often, & that trust carries over to others when I've shared them, even at the vet's office. None of my snakes have ever bit anyone else once tame with me- I'm not calling it love- more like trust- feeling safe. And it makes sense to me- in the wild, they learn their way around & learn where they are safe from predators- when they're captive pets, we're part of their environment that they learn to trust. If things change around them, they're instinctively unsettled until they learn they're still safe.

    I do remember reading that snakes that are rehomed are more likely to get sick- ie. their immune system responds to stress much as ours does- stress negatively affects health. That's why anytime I get a new snake, I try to treat them like a newborn in the ICU- lots of "TLC" while they settle in, & hands off for a while. New snakes- whether shipped from a breeder or from a store or an expo- have often been thru a LOT & exposed to other diseases along the way- so you want them to remain healthy & have their immune system work as well as possible.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 11-02-2022 at 01:50 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  2. #762
    Registered User YungRasputin's Avatar
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    Re: I think my snake loves me

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I agree. Not based on any official study, but just my experience of many years living with & knowing so many snakes. And seeing that they remember & trust me, even when not handled often, & that trust carries over to others when I've shared them, even at the vet's office. None of my snakes have ever bit anyone else once tame with me- I'm not calling it love- more like trust- feeling safe. And it makes sense to me- in the wild, they learn their way around & learn where they are safe from predators- when they're captive pets, we're part of their environment that they learn to trust. If things change around them, they're instinctively unsettled until they learn they're still safe.

    I do remember reading that snakes that are rehomed are more likely to get sick- ie. their immune system responds to stress much as ours does- stress negatively affects health. That's why anytime I get a new snake, I try to treat them like a newborn in the ICU- lots of "TLC" while they settle in, & hands off for a while. New snakes- whether shipped from a breeder or from a store or an expo- have often been thru a LOT & exposed to other diseases along the way- so you want them to remain healthy & have their immune system work as well as possible.
    iíve only had 1 non-arachnid/non-snake animal, which was my childhood dog, who was a female pure bred chow chow and i did research once and saw that she as an adult dog had the same cognitive and intellectual abilities of a human child aged 3-5 years old - so itís like with that, combined with observable behavior that we know eg: how Cuban boas will hunt like velociraptors for bats in caves or how retics will construct nests or how king cobras will mark their territories and recognize the markings of other snakes - i truly think their much more ďconsciousĒ than we often think - makes me wonder how things could be if we explored that more because another thing i think about is how our behavior effects their behavior and how if we act all closed off because we assume their mindless instinct machines how that probably adversely effects the relationship between keeper and snake
    het for nothing but groovy

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    Bogertophis (02-28-2023)

  4. #763
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    i also would say per your second paragraph - thatís the real struggle - my coastal carpets are as big as pencils and Iím *dying* to start handling them and taming them but i know itís best to wait 😩🤌
    het for nothing but groovy

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  6. #764
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    Re: I think my snake loves me

    Quote Originally Posted by YungRasputin View Post
    i also would say per your second paragraph - thatís the real struggle - my coastal carpets are as big as pencils and Iím *dying* to start handling them and taming them but i know itís best to wait 😩🤌
    How long has it been now? Sometimes you can take a cue from how "outgoing" (active) they are.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  8. #765
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    Re: I think my snake loves me

    Quote Originally Posted by YungRasputin View Post
    iíve only had 1 non-arachnid/non-snake animal, which was my childhood dog, who was a female pure bred chow chow and i did research once and saw that she as an adult dog had the same cognitive and intellectual abilities of a human child aged 3-5 years old - so itís like with that, combined with observable behavior that we know eg: how Cuban boas will hunt like velociraptors for bats in caves or how retics will construct nests or how king cobras will mark their territories and recognize the markings of other snakes - i truly think their much more ďconsciousĒ than we often think - makes me wonder how things could be if we explored that more because another thing i think about is how our behavior effects their behavior and how if we act all closed off because we assume their mindless instinct machines how that probably adversely effects the relationship between keeper and snake
    Of course it often colors the relationship- when people assume what animals are capable of, it's very easy to miss what's really there- we're most likely to see what we expect to see- it's more of a challenge to keep an open mind. It's a bigger problem to assume what they're incapable of- and when they're referred to as "dumb animals" (as in agriculture & bred for monetary gain) then many feel that "anything goes" for treatment, use & abuse- after all, they're "only animals". I'd rather assume too much than too little.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  10. #766
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    Re: I think my snake loves me

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    How long has it been now? Sometimes you can take a cue from how "outgoing" (active) they are.
    i have had them for over a month and the female has shed once and i am unsure if the male has yet because their enclosures are actually p complicated lol rn theyíre extremely defensive, and will often run up to the front of the enclosure when i open then front opening window doors and will also attack the water stream when i give them water (which is honestly something i havenít seen outside of my Feather-Leg + Togo Starburst baboon tarantulas) - so needless to say theyíre Łber active lol
    het for nothing but groovy

  11. #767
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    Re: I think my snake loves me

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Of course it often colors the relationship- when people assume what animals are capable of, it's very easy to miss what's really there- we're most likely to see what we expect to see- it's more of a challenge to keep an open mind. It's a bigger problem to assume what they're incapable of- and when they're referred to as "dumb animals" (as in agriculture & bred for monetary gain) then many feel that "anything goes" for treatment, use & abuse- after all, they're "only animals". I'd rather assume too much than too little.

    I know a lot of farmers and animal breeders (I show rabbits) and just wanted to clarify that most farmers and breeders do actually care about their animals. Less stress=better quality products whether it be meat, wool, eggs, milk, etc. as stress can negatively impact that and more, plus the risk of diseases spreading is higher with stressed animals. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely people who do abuse the fact that animals will survive and breed in less than ideal conditions and I have seen that, as well as poor handling at various livestock shows but the majority of people raising livestock, poultry, or rabbits for food and show are not neglecting and/or abusing them. However, I don't know enough to say that about people breeding animals like dogs, cats, goldfish, etc. since I'm mostly around livestock breeders and farmers, although I do definitely disagree with the lack of any type of mental stimulation I see in the enclosures of some "pet" breeders' enclosures.
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  13. #768
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    Re: I think my snake loves me

    Quote Originally Posted by Animallover3541 View Post
    I know a lot of farmers and animal breeders (I show rabbits) and just wanted to clarify that most farmers and breeders do actually care about their animals. Less stress=better quality products whether it be meat, wool, eggs, milk, etc. as stress can negatively impact that and more, plus the risk of diseases spreading is higher with stressed animals. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely people who do abuse the fact that animals will survive and breed in less than ideal conditions and I have seen that, as well as poor handling at various livestock shows but the majority of people raising livestock, poultry, or rabbits for food and show are not neglecting and/or abusing them. However, I don't know enough to say that about people breeding animals like dogs, cats, goldfish, etc. since I'm mostly around livestock breeders and farmers, although I do definitely disagree with the lack of any type of mental stimulation I see in the enclosures of some "pet" breeders' enclosures.
    Yes, I agree- & it's really too big of a subject to generalize- I was thinking more about cattle feed lots, & puppy mill types- & even some reptile wholesalers- & the fact that many people buying just would rather not know what goes on & therefore they tacitly accept it by continuing to purchase. But yes, on the local level you mean, many DO care a great deal & provide excellent care. Part of the problem is that in such a big world with animals marketed far from where they originated, we don't always see the sources to know- & that's the problem.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  15. #769
    Registered User YungRasputin's Avatar
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    this is about bees but i think it only stands to reason - if this is true of bees then what about other, more complex life forms, like snakes?

    study:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...03347222002366
    Last edited by YungRasputin; 02-25-2023 at 08:25 PM.
    het for nothing but groovy

  16. #770
    BPnet Veteran Caitlin's Avatar
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    I feel like I should chime in because this is such a longstanding thread here!

    I didn't answer the questions in the original post because neither option worked for me. The current science is absolutely clear - snakes definitely feel emotions. But love? We have no way of knowing that. Heck, we can't even know for sure if the particular combination of mental and physical responses that one person calls 'love' are really the same thing as what another person labels as 'love'. So I just don't think we have the capacity, language, or understanding of their cognitive processes to know about other species' experiences of emotion.

    I can't judge keepers who believe their snakes love them; I can't judge keepers who believe their snakes don't love them (I will admit to being a little judgmental about those who claim that snakes are basically just instinct-driven tubes with no emotional responses - only because the science that claimed that is so, so outdated and disproven). But I do know that my snakes recognize me and trust me. A few of them (not all) actually seem to seek out some contact with me.

    Achieving that degree of trust not only across species, but with an animal that is not domesticated, is an incredible experience. And it's enough for me.
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