Changing Humans' Perception of Reptiles and Amphibians
This Easter break I was pleasantly surprised. My better half and I went to visit the family in the countryside of England. While strolling around the farmer's market, we noticed a little commotion outside the town's local pet shop. The local pet shop owners had prepared a special Easter display for the kids with a few animals for them to see and interact with - and I must say that despite the cold, the adults seemed to be enjoying it too.
You must be thinking - that doesn't sound all that surprising. You may have actually seen something similar before. The surprise came in the shape of a beautiful adult 'candycane' corn snake. And that was only the initial surprise. They also had additional reptile vivariums set up (although when I stopped by, they seemed to have been empty) and a giant african land snail. I was definitely chuffed that the kids got to have a look at these amazing animals. However, my exaggerated happiness was actually due to the fact that the pet shop owners had included such animals in their display at all.
Humans tend to see certain creatures in a terrible light - herptiles included. Be that because they believe the creatures to be evil or simply 'yuck'. Either way, these reactions lead to a lack of respect towards many animals. Sometimes, the lack of respect can have catastrophic effects on the species - and let's face it, snakes know all about being perceived as evil.
Although the little stall outside of the pet shop may not mean much, it could be a start to a more informed generation. It could mean one less child likely to kill a snake on sight simply because they fear it or think it's evil. It could be the start of a generation better informed about the importance of wildlife. It could even be the beginning to a time when most people won't react with horror and disgust when you mention herptiles! Hey, don't knock the idea off, one can dream.
Regardless of the religious aspect of Easter, I see it as a time of happiness. A little time of the year that I get to spend with my loved ones and appreciate how lucky I am. Therefore, I was glad to have seen the little stall. I am glad that this could be a sign of change - a sign of better things to come. After all, in my world, this is what Easter is all about.