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Debate... CB Vs WC

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by fire2225ems, Sep 15, 2008.

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  1. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    Well then we have a difference of opinion. I don't think hypocrisy is such a harsh word. It's something we ALL are probably guilty of to some small degree. And this debate here embodies just such a degree.
    My original statement, back when that word was first thrown out, was directed at someone who said that animals should never be taken from the wild. It was directed at those people sitting to the extreme left side of that camp, and designed only to force such people to acknowledge a gray area.

    We can reference obscure studies all day long if we want to. I am a chemist, not a psychologist, but in any realm you are going to have to cite some sources before making such a claim. I did get some psychology background during my undergrad, and if memory serves me correctly any and all imprinting claims had little to nothing to do with environmental conditions. Now, can one pull a "stretch and apply" move, so-to-speak, and say that if we have any imprinting at all that it must encompass environment to some degree. I see 2 distinct problems with this argument however.

    1. CB animals constantly test their boundaries looking for an out. How many corn snake owners have freaked out because they thought their new baby had escaped only to find him in that irritating gap between the lid and that little lip on the tank? Jack tried pushing his way out here until he was too fat to get up there anymore (which was an irritating few months since he would fall down with a thud and wake me up)

    Even CB animals know there is a bigger world out there. Take any argument you want. Intrinsic knowledge, the ability to see outside the viv, glimpses of freedom during handling, whatever. Knows you cannot escape to the vast expanses of the world necessarily much worse than knowing you can't escape to the vast expanses of a basement? Trapped is trapped.

    2. I haven’t seen your studies. But I HAVE seen those that seem to point in the opposite direction.

    If imprinting was such a big deal, wouldn't the infant chimp recognize his mother before a month old? This study has been done with all manner of social animals including humans with the same results. Now, I'm applying a study into a different context in the same way that you were. So I cannot presume to know 100% if this applies to the current discussion, but I can tell you what I think. I think that the more primitive you go the less imprinting (or whatever) of any kind there is and the more hardwiring we get. An animal capable of going into feeding mode and latching on and trying to constrict something 100x its size probably doesn't have very complicated thought processes.

    We tend to personify these animals to a degree that is a little excessive. Even my own girlfriend (bless her heart.... and I have to be nice since she's on these boards too :)) will tell me about her geckos "I gave Toby a bath and now he's mad at me! Look at him lying in his hide pouting” but honestly, the next day it's "Oh look at how happy he is sleeping in there :)!" And to tell you the truth.... there is no measurable difference between the poses.

    It's something we all do to enjoy our pets a little more. We attribute human emotions to them; we talk to them, heck... I even talk to my snakes and they can’t hear a single thing I say. But do you think that will stop me?

    Getting back on topic: I tend to believe these animals are highly instinctual, and there is very little we can do to change what they are, whether cb or wc.
    I follow a single theory of nurture: an old wild snake, which has survived the trials and tribulations of wild life (particularly predation), is not going to be very receptive of handling.

    I have caught a plethora of red eared sliders when I was younger (summers in northern MN, they do turtle races ;)) and I can tell you, the adults are awfully bitey. Babies however, not so much. It's hardly scientific, but at least for me it helps to affirm my belief.

    I feel a little like we are losing the scope of this discussion. I in no way would advocate anybody just going through the wilderness and capturing every animal in sight. I caught an eastern garter (a young one too, which is rare) just last week. Checked him out for a bit, and then put him out in the deep grass so the dogs wouldn’t find him. If I were to happen upon something that is just really cool, if there is a possibility of domesticating it I'd take it home with me.

    We all have our own rules governing this topic. Anyone who condemns someone else for actively capturing animals and giving them proper care IS a little hypocritical in my book. I'm not saying to you all "go grab you nets! We're going hunting'!" I'm just saying I should not be criticized for leaving my options open. It's a lot like a vegetarian chastising someone because of the ordeals of the cow that ended up in his burger, or a hybrid-electric driver going after someone else because of the pollutants their car is spewing. It's a little self righteous (and I've actually witnessed both of those things).

    To sum up (sorry, I realize this was a long one) to say that capturing wild animals is in some way morally wrong IS hypocritical. I'm sorry if that offends you. You can say it's not for you, but there is so much wrong with calling it wrong.
  2. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    This reply will probably get some of you a little tee'd off! The animals,(reptiles), don't care where their food comes from, where their 'bed' is, or what tomorrow may bring! They are animals and they react upon instinct. It is in their genetic code, in their DNA. In Thread #16, Merlin was quoted on the subject of opening the cage for 24 hours and see how many are left when you come back. Animals will roam if given the chance. They could care less if you came back. They will react upon instinct and do the animal thing. They don't know the meaning of love and caring,that is what we do. Animals released back into the wild will adapt and react quicker than you realize. That is what they are programed to do. It's in the genetic code. Reptiles do not think, they react on instinct for their survival. Pass a shadow over the enclosure quickly and see what happens. The animal will retreat, pull back, hide, try to escape! It is instinct to pull back from possible danger. We humans have very complicated thought processes. It is very rare that we react instinctively now. We used to when we were evolving 20,000 years ago. Our instinct will take over when we are confronted with saving our children from imminent danger or for saving our own life. It doesn't matter, CB or WC, if given the chance the animal will survive or sucumb on it's own. If we own them, it is our duty to care for them, or let them go! Have a great day and a better tomorrow. Semper fi
  3. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Ahhh,but on 2 different occasions I have had reptiles escape, and instead of me finding them, they found their way back to their tank. And not the typical hey there is food in there that I want either, one was a frog that I hadn't even had a chance to go out to get food to try to lure back for. The other was a house gecko that again, some how had escaped, saw it on the ceiling one day but couldn't catch it, finally gave it up as a free roamer and then about a week later it was back in the cage. And on many occasions I would leave the doors on my old frog tank open, but they were content to stay put. Occasionally Greeny would come out to explore and climb a bit, but she would make her way back in. I understand that this isn't true for everything, but you can't use extremes in either argument.
  4. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    I know that Harlow did an experiment with chimps and if they would choose comfort over food. Up to this point it was always assumed that the reason babies would become attached to mom was because she was the one that fed them. However Harlow's results seem to show that the baby becomes attached more for the comfort than the food. They had an infant chimp that had in it's cage a nipple where it could get food one one side and then on the other side of the cage was a soft blanket or material covering a piece of wood. While the chimp would go to the nipple to get food, if it was tired or scared it would run to the soft comfort side. I do not remember any of the other names that we have discussed in class about the imprinting, but will see what I can dig up.

    Do you know for a fact that this is the snake attempting to get out, or just the snake liking the spot because it feels hidden and secure? We can't read snake's mind so we can NOT say for sure either way.

    I never disagreed with this. My point is, will they feel more comfortable in a setting that they know or in a vast area they don't? Again, there is no way to truly be able to answer this we can't read their minds.

    seeing a 2D picture is a lot different than a 3D living being. My best friend just got back from Iraq. She was deployed when her daughter was only 6 months old and came back 6 months later. While she was gone, the baby got attached to me. So attached that if I was in the room she would be screaming if I wasn't the one holding her. After 6 months of this Annelise comes back and Julia is attached to her again after the first night. I also would like to point out that since Julia was born, Annelise was never her primary caregiver, her dad was.

    I have not once tried to put emotions on my animals, I do know what I see though and I can see the visible signs of stress vs a healthy animal. I can tell by the way my Crested acts when I take him out that he is more nervous/alert/stressed than when he is in his tank.

    Ok now, you are contradicting yourself. You say that animals are highly instinctual but that it all depends on their nurturing. Nurturing isn't instinct it's the environmental factors....

    Where did anyone say condemn anyone else here? Like said in the opening post, not supposed to be personal just EVERYONE able to state their own opinions. I don't think a single person has yet to say "I can't believe you would do that" or in anyway put down someone else. Oh except for being called hypocritical. Yes, that offends me, but ya know what, I'll get over it, because I'm not trying to shove my beliefs down someone's throat. I'm just sharing what my beliefs are and why I feel the way I do.
  5. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    [smacks head] Crap! Now I have to chime in again.

    My iguana, who used to bask in a tree in our yard for years, decided to run away one time. After 8 days or so, he was found and brought back "home".

    We didn't learn our lesson and continued to let him bask (yeah, I know, beat me up in another thread, this one is already way too long). The second time he ran away, he was gone for over 30 days. We searched everywhere, but could not find him. We knew he was close (he would eat the flowers on the patio), but they are masters of disguise and we could not see him, ever. After 30-days or so, I came around the back of the house one day and there he was, on the back porch, at the screen door he would have scratched at to get in. Did he run from me? No. In fact, when I picked him up, he clung to me like a long-lost mate.

    So, I suppose there can be an argument made that he had his chance to return "to the wild", but after a while, decided that his captive home was far better than fending for himself, which his instinct should have dictated.
  6. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    It's not impossible to believe that an iguana would choose to return to somewhere it felt secure, The house to the iguana would be much like a hide where a smaller gecko could feel secure.

    They will leave the hide, roam around their enclosure, but if they feel threatened, or when they want to sleep feeling secure, they will return to their hide.

    I also think its logical to assume a house gecko when given the chance to escape, would in a heartbeat, however, when they go to find somewhere to hide, if they can't find somewhere secure and warm, wouldn't it then be logical for them to return to somewhere where they can feel warm and secure.

    Now, place that cage in their natural habitat, and I seriously doubt you would ever see them again.

    There they would be able to find somewhere warm (proper temperature per species) and secure (as anyone who has ever done any field herping can attest), no matter how cluttured your room may be, outside there are so many more places to hide.

    Oh, and also, for the record, I'm a complete Hypocrite, chances are, We all are...
  7. Dominick

    Dominick Founding Member

    No, not impossible at all, but unlikely if we agree that creatures have a natural instinct to escape captivity and would choose the "wild" to a captive environment.

    Iguanas are tree-dwelling florivores. Rex lived in the tall trees in our backyard for that month. He foraged on the ground, eating neighbors plant and flowers. All very natural instincts. But, in the end, he chose the captive environment where there are no trees or foraging.

    He may be the exception to the rule (he's a highly socialized male iguana), but we were discussing creatures wanting to escape and never return. I believe some will choose the easy life of captivity.
  8. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    I would say pushing his snout into the screen is a good indicator. But you’re right; I cannot claim to know his mind.
    Completely irrelevant. Heartfelt yes, but irrelevant. You are currently in school yes? (Maybe I'm confusing you with someone else that is taking psych classes) I can't put this any more bluntly: his credentials > your credentials. You are completely splitting hairs here, and to what effect? The infants in that paper began preferentially choosing their mother's image after a couple months, not so different then huh?

    Actually no, I didn't contradict myself. You are just being rude now, and once again splitting hairs (although now incorrectly.) It's insulting that you would suggest I do not know the difference in nature and nurture. The very context of the way I used them demonstrates understanding.

    I can rephrase for you though. I think the animals' behavior is dominated by instinct. However, when it comes to nurture I do not believe we can apply fancy new-aged humanistic psychology because the nurture side of this comes down to basic conditioning.

    Once again, read please. I don't mean to sound arrogant here but I have wasted a good deal of time here trying to explain to you the hypocritical statement. It was not aimed at you and honestly, it’s a stretch for you to try to apply the statement to yourself now that it has been explained. Even when I first used the word here I made it very conditional to the point that you being upset by it are... well... disappointing.

    As far as not taking things personally, I believe you are the most excited person in the thread....this was a good and challenging discussion, let’s not get all bent out of shape here.
  9. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    Thank you! I've never been dogged so hard for a flippant comment before.

    But in response to your post, I agree completely. I think we are taking a very subjective approach here. There is a very good chance that the ONLY place in any of our houses that is warm enough for our more tropical pets is the viv itself. I know I dont keep my room at 85 degrees, but that's where Neo likes to sleep, I bet if he escaped he would realize that the 70 is just a little bit cold and want back under the only hot light in the apartment. I was just told by a colleague of mine that I cannot presume to know the mind of my snakes. Following the same logic I don't think we can attribute every returned animal to security, or any other feeling. There is always a very real chance that they were just cold.
  10. SpecterGT260

    SpecterGT260 Elite Member

    First of all, sorry for the multiple posts.... I didnt read through everything otherwise I would have multi-quoted. Bad internet etiquette, I know :(

    We weren't really discussing animals never wishing to return. The more heated pages of this thread came to be over the statement that CB animals feel more secure in a smaller space and WC animals feel better in expansive spaces. We've had statements like "research has shown", I'm really waiting to see this research myself. I've looked around some. Google doesnt seem to know where it is either. To me it just sounds like a very convenient way to justify a personal belief.
  11. wgnelson

    wgnelson Elite Member

    I have no idea as to how much further this 'discussion' will go. However, I would like to congratulate all who participated. I had a good laugh and chuckles at some of the opinions, and some very thoughtful moments at others. Heck, I thought I was back in college at the debate forum or at some prof's lecture! I'm glad to see that Specter and Fire got their opinions and feelings out and had the civilness to congratulate each other. Good job! (I know, I sound like my father when he lectured me. Sorry) When I posted my thoughts on the subject of CB vs WC, and stated that instinct would take over after all was said and done, there was something still there in memory that didn't come out until Dominick related as to what happened to his charge. I hope I have this right. Pavlov's theory on conditioned response. He did it with dog's, (a higher step in the animal kingdom I know, but still relevant) The animal behavior described fit perfectly, with everyone's descriptions of their animals behavior. It's real late, and I have to get up early and get the children off to school, (5 of them!) Thanks everyone for the great debate and banter. Oh, I love veal, venison, canada goose, alligator, frog's legs, haddock spawn, sushi, calamari,, Heck, anything that swims, flies, crawls, or runs! Have a great day, and a better tomorrow. Semper fi
  12. notechistiger

    notechistiger Member

    I don't know how things work overseas, but in Western Australia, there are a few companies that have to take animals out of the wild because WA's laws and regulations are so strict, it would be impossible to get them any other way. It's even illegal to own pythons that are native there- how unfair is that?

    Once there are population stablizations and lots of animals in captivity, the laws and regulations will abate and allow for importation and exportation between states and territories- which will be great.

    In the other states, if someone has the licence, they are able to take animals out of the wild to bring new blood into their breeding lines. They keep these animals for a year or two for breeding, then release them again.

    In saying all of this, I'm rather against wild caught animals. I've seen and heard stories of too many people taking in one little coastal carpet python, or a little bearded dragon, and that animal being dead a month later because that person didn't bother doing the research before hand. It's kind of sad knowing that people can't be bothered filling out a two page form and paying $55 AU so they can get a licence and do things properly.
  13. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    I Can agree a bit here, like i stated "in the hands of a responsible keeper, there really isn't much of a difference (morally) between keeping a WC herp or a CB herp."

    I'm personally for legislation requiring permits to keep animals of any kind except maybe fish, though I'd probably support that if it was raised.

    I'd personally rather spend $50 on a Captive bred herp, then catch a Wild Caught herp, because I know it will adapt better, would have less parasites, and is safer overall, however the fact is I'm still keeping an animal against it's will.

    As for the iguana Dom, It sounds like he is a bit of a free roamer, and gets time outside to boot, there is always the chance he would not see your house as a cage, Especially if he also has a cage in the house, and is let out into the house, if you were to leave the cage door open, I bet he's leave the cage for the house.

    I'm also against the opinion that a smaller captive bred animal feels more secure in a smaller tank, than a larger tank.

    If you were to take two tanks, a 10 gallon tank, and a 55 gallon tank, and put the same number of decorations in each, I bet the 10 gallon tank would feel more secure to a small gecko.
    But fill the 55 gallon tank as much per Square inch as the 10 Gallon tank, give the gecko plenty of cover and things to hide in, and I'm sure it would like the 55 more, Why wouldn't this logic apply to being out of a cage?

    Take a gecko out of its tank full of hiding space, and hold it in the middle of a open room, and I bet it would feel more secure in its tank.
  14. untsmurf

    untsmurf Elite Member

    I just spent a really long time making a post that outlines a lot of points, then I accidentally hit the back button. So, I'm just going to summarize everything, and if you want clarification just ask.

    Someone pulled the 'we can't do better than nature' line from my post and I wanted to clarify what I meant. When I said that I meant that we can't duplicate the natural environment of an animal 100% and put it in a cage in our houses.

    And I didn't agree with the survival rate argument, that because more animals survive in captivity vs the wild proves that we're better than nature. Anyone that believes that we are better than nature shouldn't go outside when it's lightning outside, lol. The reason the survivor rates are so low in nature is to ensure survival of the fittest. Animals that don't care for their young generally give birth to lots of babies. That way the few strongest members survive. The animals that only give birth to one or two babies go to extended lengths to ensure the survival of their one baby. It's nature's way of ensuring the survival of every species. Until humans messed it all up (but that's besides the point).

    And about the hypocrite comment, call me one if you want. But if you want to make it black and white like that, then 99.9% of non-third world people are hypocrites. All animals, cats/dogs/birds/snakes/etc., were once wild. And the vast majority of us have had at least one animal in their charge in their life. But these animals are domesticated now. In some sense they are all still wild, and no my snake will not sit and do tricks like our dog, but they don't have the mental capacity for that. So the fact that they still fear humans, speaks to instinct, not their ability to be domesticated. And we can get into a separate argument about domestication, but for all intensive purposes I care for domesticated animals that need a good home. And, flat out, I believe it's wrong to take something out of the wild because you think it's pretty or cool. Observing the wild is a wonderful thing to do, but stealing an animal from it's natural surrounding and putting it in a cage so that you can look at it (then not feeling bad about it, because you're just as good if not better than nature) IMO is selfish. You're putting your needs and wants before the needs of the animal. And yes you can argue that all the animals need is to eat and feel safe and it will one day be able to do that with you, but WC animals are obviously stressed by being pulled into captivity. I don't believe that it is right to justify putting any undo stress on animals strictly for your own benefit.

    That's all I feel like retyping at the moment.
  15. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    Putting any animal in a cage so that you can look at it is selfish.
    And thats what most people who keep herps do, I have a few rescues, but about half of my animals are animals I own so I can watch and interact with them. Yes that is selfish, so I do my best to make them as comfortable and happy as possible. It still makes me selfish, but slightly less so.

    I agree Completely.
  16. untsmurf

    untsmurf Elite Member

    I understand what you're saying, and I see your point. But out of curiosity, what would you have done with all the captive animals if nobody kept them? Should we let them roam free around the house, because that's just a bigger cage. Should we just release them all outside?

    And I don't think I see keeping captive animals in cages as selfish. These animals were born in captivity and live in cages. By taking them and taking care of them properly, you're doing good by the snake. Yes you got it for selfish reasons, but the act of putting a captive born and bred animal in a cage, I don't think that's selfish. I think it's for the safety of the animal.
  17. MoogleBass

    MoogleBass Kittes are so nice! Premium Member

    So I guess no fish in tanks then?
  18. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    lol No, you fill the whole house with water so they can take over the whole house too!
  19. ryanpb

    ryanpb Elite Member

    First, A house full of water fish and other critters would be awsome...
    Any of you Marylanders been to the DC Zoo's Amazonia, I was definitly getting ideas for my next place...

    Second, I'm not against having Animals as pets, I just think they should be given adequate care, and plenty of space.
    I Wouldn't release all the animals back into their natural habitat, because who knows what else you could release with them (parasites, disease, so on)

    As for my rescues and adoptions, (I use My here to mean in My care, I personally find a problem refering to ANY living animal as a possession) My Boa, Python, Turtle, and one of my gecko's were all either adopted from a rescue, someone who could not care for them, or a Animal I rescued myself. But My Amazon Tree Boa, Schneider's Skink, One of the geckos and my pair of Sunbeams were acquired for selfish reasons, because I wanted them as pets. To watch them, interact with them and because I wanted them around.

    I think calling that anything else but selfish is just fooling yourself.

    The fact is that many captive born reptiles could actually survive in their native habitat, they wouldn't all survive, but neither do all of the ones born in the wild survive in the wild.
  20. I agree with your points, but I would argue that wild collecting to use in developing new morphs is a slippery philosophical position. The new morphs won't add any value to the genetics of the wild population, so is the breeding justified? Just my thoughts.

    Also, I am in favor of another aspect you didn't mention: Conservation. I believe that species that are in IMMINENT danger of being lost in the wild completely (like the blue iguana) are better served by being collected, captive bred, and held in protection until someday when they might be able to be reintroduced. If we can't stop habitat destruction fast enough, we can at least give species a "temporary vacation" so that when the habitat is gone, the animals are not all gone, as well. Who knows that we can't find a habitat for them in the future that is yet undiscovered at present.
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