If we are dismissing survivorship as an indicator of "good", how then is nature better? I do agree that nature has an intrinsic tranquility that we can never hope to mimic, but I think a strictly idealistic approach to this question misses the vast majority of its point. As far as the hypocrite comment: if nobody is willing to actually read the context of its original use in this discussion then please don’t bring it up. IF you feel the need to come out and say "well if you think I am then that's your opinion", or any rendition of that statement, then you did not understand its context. There is a certain intrinsic irony in any one of us saying that it is wrong to harvest animals, i.e. none of us would have our own beloved pets if everyone on earth shared that point. Furthermore, irony and hypocrisy often go hand in hand. That's all that was said. To be blunt, nobody here has been called a hypocrite yet, so these vindicating self-affirming remarks on the subject really aren't helping anything. I also agree with Ryan. The act of keeping an animal caged, for any reason, regardless of circumstance, has a degree of selfishness to it. Aside from those of us who have rescued animals from bad owners, not many of us has gone into the pet store, looked at one of the animals and felt compelled to take the animal home for its own benefit. More likely, we go in, see a beautiful creature, impressive specimen, freaking awesome slither-dude, whatever, and say to ourselves, "self, I want to bring that animal home to my house and keep it as my pet. I realize that "selfish" has the same connotations and stigma as "hypocrite" but every one of us contains these traits to varying degrees, and we all express them to some degree by the very nature of human interaction. It's not to be taken as offensive. But it is what it is. Let’s get more hypothetical. We cannot seem to agree on how much of a degree the circumstance of a snake’s birth affects it. What about the eggs? Who are we to decide for these animals that they are to be born into captivity? IF we cannot hope to compete with nature (which btw, I still think is debatable) then why don't we rebury our eggs in their natural habitat? Aside from crocodilians’, very few herps have any interaction with their parents once born or hatched. Hatchlings can take quite a while to adjust even when born in captivity. If we cannot morally justify the stress on an animal caught in the wild, how do we morally justify the stress on a hatchling? Wouldn't it then be better to just release them neonatal? I don't think so. Just like I don't think the stress on a wild animal is something to pull out your hair over. He may be a little snappy now, but he will be fine, and in the exact same state as every one of our CB pets before long (And honestly, with the very rudimentary CNS that most reptiles have, probably no more the wiser). Obviously CB is better. If given the chance I will always buy a captive bred snake before trying to tame a wild one. This discussion, for a long time, has had an element that has just made things difficult. These animals are not even a fraction as sophisticated as we make them out to be. I before used the example of my girlfriend who tells me her Gecko is mad at her. How does she know? He's in his hide.... where he spends 90% of his time anyway.... Gun to my head, I don't think I could ever find any evidence that these animals are even capable of longing, which is a necessary emotion if one is going to make the moral argument with captivity. Can a snake really remember slithering through the open fields, wind through his scales, without "the man" keeping him down? Maybe for a little bit, but I don't think we will ever see any of our pets gazing out the window and wishing "if only". You have to go quite a ways up the evolutionary ladder before most experts even agree that we find simple emotions like sadness. There is only a single species on earth that can be definitively said to express altruism. Why is this all relevant? The arguments we make are based on personified qualities that don’t necessarily exist. If you choose not only to NOT take wild animals, but to openly oppose it, which is your choice. But the reality is that you do it for yourself. You leave nature as it is because that is what fits right into your own worldview. As said above, we take endangered animals in all the time, but how can we justify this since we can never hope to be as good as nature? We do it on survivorship, (so that argument, regardless of who here agrees or disagrees, must have SOME merit), and we do it often with animals that not only have much more developed brains, but also the ability to adapt back to a wild lifestyle. Whatever your stance, you do it because of what feels right to you, not the animal. In my opinion, there is going to be a lot of stress in his life no matter where he is. I don't know if anyone here can really say which is the lesser of two evils.