Sssssstop the Hate: Justice for Snakes as Warm Weather Approaches


Photo by Fleur Kelly

Eastern rat snake on a piece of driftwood

Fleur Kelly, Staff Writer

As warm weather approaches, snakes are returning to our backyards, and a problem is quickly becoming visible. Snakes are being wrongfully slaughtered.

“Not all snakes are bad,” said Ben Strattman. “They’re just hanging out, I don’t see a point in killing every snake that you see.”


Animals that scavenge or are thought of as tricksters are more likely to be portrayed as threats in our minds, such as snakes, spiders, rats, sharks, and so on. We are so used to seeing them as pests/minor threats that we cannot separate them from their reputation. Animals that we have domesticated or look similar to our domesticated pets are often seen as harmless or heroic because we think they’re cute.


“I do not like snakes,” said Sydney Rohdes. “I do not like them. I think they’re creepy like not all snakes are bad. I don’t hate all of them but like, especially like the poisonous ones.”


I have heard time and time again, a good snake is a dead snake. I believed it for awhile too. My opinion changed when I got to hold a Western Hognose Snake. It was not slimy and did not try to bite me like I expected it to. It just buried its head into my hair and neck. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen. I started to go to every snake event I saw, just so I could get a chance to hold another snake. My obsession with snakes has died down over time, but I still hold a love and respect for them.


Often what people do not mention about snakes is that they are an important part of the ecosystem. Snakes eat a variety of different pests and vermin. There have been times when snakes have been hunted out of an area only for rat populations to explode.


“They can keep pests, such as rats and mice, in check,” said PBS. “Some species that are harmless to people prey on poisonous snakes, reducing the chance of a deadly encounter. In some parts of the world, the benefits of snakes are now being recognized.”


More and more people are realizing that snakes are animals that deserve to be protected and this is the first step in a very important change in the way we treat animals. We cannot continue to decide if animals deserve to survive because of how cute they are, it is cruel and only helps to support how inhumane humanity has become. Snakes deserve love just as much as puppies or kittens.


“Just because I think snakes creepy doesn’t mean I think they should die,” said Rhodes. “As long as they stay away from me they’re perfectly fine.”