Here's a Challenge for Everyone This Year

We all know that reptile keeping and breeding is one of the most misunderstood hobbies/activities and is often frowned upon by others. Education is the main way to fix this so people understand just how fascinating reptiles are. So I’m challenging everybody to educate at least one person a month that reptiles are not bad (for people who hated reptiles) or are fascinating and intriguing (for people who originally disliked them or were indifferent). If everybody participates we will move the hobby in the right direction. Everybody who enjoys the hobby should take steps in protecting and preserving it. If you want to you, you can reply to this thread every time you educate someone and help the hobby further. At the end we can find out how many people we can all educate together.
Here are some ideas for how you can educate people. The best way will be to have a program with demonstrations. You can talk to different places like schools, parks, and relevant stores. If you try this follow safety precautions and be sure to check laws about it (especially if it’s across state lines). Another way to do this is if you have friends or family at your house. If they’re interested you can show them and educate them about reptiles (if possible starting with geckos might help, who doesn’t love geckos). When talking to people you could also fit it into a conversation, if they’re interested give them more facts and information. Showing pictures might also help since most people think they’re boring and there’s nothing interesting about keeping them. With all of these if someone isn’t interested it’s best not to annoy them, that doesn’t help anything.
So, look for opportunities to teach and we’ll see how much we can all help the hobby. If we all do our part we can make a huge difference in the future of the hobby.

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I already do this! I don’t take pictures but I do try to bring the negative tint off of reptiles and even more importantly snakes.

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I’m definitely going to try to do this, though I feel like I already do it by mistake because I talk about them so much lmao

Actually what was really cool recently was being able to talk to some family about reptiles and having someone poke into the conversation, who happened to be a pathologist and say they enjoyed overhearing about reptiles and mentioned that they got into pathology originally because they wanted to be a veterinarian!

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One good way to help preserve our rights to keep the reptiles we love is supporting USARK. Everyone should definitely check them out if they haven’t already. Our animals are definitely misunderstood by most and we can use all the help we can get to shed some light on why we love reptiles and get others interested as well

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I agree, I would love to support USARK but right now I can’t afford it. Once I have enough revenue to start paying for expenses I will definitely support them.

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I’ve been doing this ever since I got into reptiles.
And now my parents talk to their friends about them as well.

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Yep, I do this as well! I honestly enjoy educating people about reptiles, because everybody’s view is different and I guess I am just obsessed with learning and teaching lol

Whenever somebody comes to pick up roaches or isopods I love to teach them something.

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I’ve done this most of my life. When I was much younger, I worked at a nature center of a state park where I would go out and catch local reptiles and amphibians to educate the public before releasing them. I especially enjoyed teaching kids which is where it all starts.

Currently, though, my present challenge is educating my wife! :smiley: She not quite on board just yet.

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The main reason that we got into reptiles, was to teach an animal education class as part of an employer’s outdoor education program. So over the last 10+ years we have had hundreds of elementary school kids and parents come through our classes. Its pretty awesome when a kid that hasn’t even ever been to a zoo, gets to touch and/or hold a snake and the look in their eyes when they get to. Every time that we are interested in getting a new reptile ( or mammal, etc) we ask each other how we would use it in the classroom.

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That’s how I am. I was fortunate enough to get a cheaper membership to help a little but I’ll have to wait on some snakes to start paying more rent before I can start donating lol

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Great idea @erie-herps !

We all should be trying to educate others when the opportunity presents itself.
My girlfriend is one that had the misconception about snakes. That they were evil and looking to bite you whenever they could. Now she is right in there with me cleaning and handling them. She even has a few of her own now. I often come home to find her sitting on the sofa holding one while watching TV.
One of her favorites to hold is our 900 gram female Enchi Blade.

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Yep! If you take the correct route in educating others, their fear can turn into passion quickly. I am still in High school, so when somebody who hear that I am the “bug boy” (as many call me), they are super anxious to ask questions. Rather than creeping them out by starting out saying that I have a whole room in my basement dedicated to roaches and snakes, I start by educating them on the subject. You can change almost any person’s point of view this way. (Except for my mom. Still working on that. But super thankful to her for letting my business even start. It took over a year for her to allow me to even buy roaches as feeders, and now I have almost 30 species of Roly Polies.)

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And sometimes I don’t usually come off as someone in High school. I have done countless hours (100s if not more like 1000+) of research and experimenting (ethical of course :slight_smile:). It seems sort of impossible to put in that much time in High school but Covid quarantine makes you end up with A LOT of time :rofl:

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I might be a little obsessed with this stuff haha. I spend at least 4 hours each day on the computer looking to improve my husbandry or catch the new taxonomical name changes lol

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I never shut up about them and everyone is annoyed with me now

My boss to my client(s) “whatever you do, don’t mention snakes”

Client “snakes…?”

Me “we’ll since you asked!…”

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:joy:
Don’t let them get to you!

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I’m trying to spread the knowledge (and links to) of the Foundation Genetics project here in the Nordic countries and make the breeders here understand that cresties are not random and unpredictable like kinder eggs.

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I am unfortunately very socially inept so I can’t relate to much of this unless I’m with other fellow enthusiasts. However my husband pleasantly surprised me today. He thinks my snakes are cool and asks questions sometimes but mostly just supports me and thats it. He had a coworker over today to kick his butt at a video game apparently and somehow ended up talking about my snakes. This guy who is terrified of snakes was okay with my husband showing him Draco my wonderful little ball python of a hognose. I was quite proud.

Obligatory picture of course because who can say no to that face.

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I will say it’s awesome to show people pictures and get them around snakes, we do have to remember that people are scared and possibly terrified of our pets. We have to be extremely conscientious of the snakes that we choose to share with people. They must be not prone to biting or being defensive in any way, and preferably slow moving, as to scare people with fast movements. As a person that has boas, I will only use small (less the 5’) and calm boas because I don’t want to intimidate people with ‘monster snakes’. True story, someone has actually said that in not a nice way. 🥲

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[quote=“lumpy, post:19, topic:26746, full:true”] I don’t want to intimidate people with ‘monster snakes’. True story, someone has actually said that in not a nice way. 🥲
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I’m sorry they said that to you. I understand that people don’t like them, but they don’t need to speak cruelly to the owners. I had a former coworker speak ill of me and my hobby after I had to leave work to take one of my hoggies to the vet. And this being mere days after a work mandatory lecture on acceptance and not judging. It even asked how you would react if a coworker had a reptile and she said supportive! Sorry not trying to derail, I might be a bit sore over that still.

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