People Are Slaughtering Thousands Of Animals For A "Contest" And No One Is Talking About It

Andrea A.
29/4/2017

(Caution: graphic images)A tradition as absurd as it is cruel.

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Source: Jo-Anne McArthur

That's the best way to describe the festivals that take place every year in multiple cities in states like Texas and Oklahoma. Thousands of rattlesnakes are being massacred there in front of hundreds of spectators.

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Source: Jo-Anne McArthur

The animals are enclosed in a small space, where, frightened, they emit their distinct rattling sound. This sound is not threatening: it is, above all else, a sign of fear. Jo-Anne McArthur, a journalist, explainedto The Dodo:

It doesn't mean, 'I'm about to attack.' It means, 'I'm afraid. Don't step near me.' It's the sound of a thousand snakes screaming.
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Source: Jo-Anne McArthur

These festivals, which started around 50 years ago, were created to control the rattlesnake populations and to protect livestock. However, Melissa Amarello, founder and director of the association, Advocates for Snake Preservation (ASP),explained:

The roundup proponents say that the snakes are overpopulated, and that they're overrunning towns, so they had to do something about the snakes, but they're in no danger of being overpopulated. There's no science to suggest that there are too many rattlesnakes, or that we need roundups to control them.
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Source: Jo-Anne McArthur

In reality, these gatherings are just an excuse to make a profit. One of these festivals, located in Sweetwater, Texas, attracts close to 30,000 visitors. A real boost for tourism in participating towns.

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Source: Jo-Anne McArthur

Prizes are given out to those who capture the largest snakes. They are then thrown into enclosures where someonewill walk through them, kicking them to turn them over. The snakes will then begin shaking their "rattles." Some of them are even brought to a so-called education zone. Melissa Amarello continued:

A lot of the roundups really push that they're all about educating the public about snakes, but it looks like more of a show. 
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Source: Jo-Anne McArthur

The animals are also forced to spit their venom, which is then collected. The organizers pretend that it's to help medical research, even though many enterprisesrefuse to except donations from these events.The snakes are then finally brought into another enclosure where they're decapitated. However, this death is not instantaneous for them, explained Amarello:

Because of their very slow metabolisms, they basically remain alive, and can probably feel things for minutes to hours after decapitation. And when you're there, you can see this — the mouth is still gasping for breath, the body is still writhing around.
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Sourc : Jo-Anne McArthur

After the decapitation, the snakes are skinned, and certain organizers even urge the public to participate. Children, after having removed the animals' skins, can even leave a bloody hand print on a white wall. The skin is then used to make objects like wallets or bags, while the meat is cooked and eaten onsite.Snakes are complex beings and don't deserve this treatment, confirmed Amarello:

It's surprising how similar they are to us. Rattlesnakes give birth to live babies, and they take care of their babies for the first couple weeks of their lives, keeping them warm and safe from predators. In some rattlesnakes, the mothers will come together in the latter parts of their pregnancies and gestate together. And then they'll give birth at the same spot and they'll help take care of each other's babies.
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Source : Jo-Anne McArthur

To help end these cruel practices, you can sign the petition by clicking, here.

H/t: The Dodo

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