This site is more than a promotional tool for me.
Q- I was just looking at one of your photos while I was waiting for you and after about ten minutes I finally notice this huge snake. Are you afraid it's going to squeeze you?
A- Not at all.
Q- Can I squeeze you?
A- That could be fun! But really, these animals don't squeeze for fun. Snakes tend not to constrict things unless they are planning to eat it. But many times people mistake their holding on action as aggression. Think about it, you weigh 80 pounds and your wrapped around someone's neck you have to hold on tight to hold up you 80 pounds.
Q- Have you ever been bitten?
A- In my early years yes, a couple of times. But not recently. Except for when Steve (My husband, not one of my boyfriends) was feeding a snake in a box and I didn't know it. He sprung up and bit me on my butt. I jumped so high I didn't even know what happened Steve just laughed, the jerk. It scared me more than it hurt because I didn't know what hit me.
Q- Can I bite your butt?
A- Hmmm, I never heard that before.
Q- I understand you worked at Studio 54 for 9 years with you snakes. Did that atmosphere hurt the animals?
A- Some of my animals it would but the snakes are fine. Each snake is only on display for 20-30 minutes and then I switch off to a different one. Since I have so many snakes, each only works only a couple times per month. Also, snakes cannot hear like you and I do. They feel vibrations similar to the thumping on our chests when we hear a loud bass from a speaker but its not painful. I get many offers to bring Parrots to jobs like this but I refuse. To them it would be painful. Snakes are built different. We have been performing with snakes in atmospheres like Studio 54 for over 20 years and the snakes show no signs of ill health or anger.
(Update 2014: Several of these snakes are now over 20 years and going strong.)
Q- I understand you have about 40 exotic animals in your care. That's a lot of pets to have don't you think?
A- Yes, it is quite a handful. It's just so hard to say no. It's heartbreaking and shocking to see the sad state some of these animals are in. I think people can be unintentionally neglectful to reptiles because they don't whine and cry when they are in pain. If they could only talk.
Q- Do you keep every animal you get?
A- I'd like too, but of course I cannot keep every single animal so I'll adopt them back out to good homes after they are healthy again. And I'm very picky whom they go to.
Q- I take it some must die?
A- Yes, reptiles can hide illness very well so by the time they get to a vet or me they are too far-gone to do anything for. Unfortunately many of the neglected animals do not make it. It's very sad, but I love animals and hate to see them suffer so I try my best.
Q- I know someone that used to...
A- Stop right there...this is what I mean. I bet 90% of people that have purchased a reptile in the last year or two do not own it anymore or it died. I hope I'm wrong but you would not believe how often I hear "I used to, I used to..." Doesn't anyone ever keep their animals? This makes me so angry. A snake can be a 25-year commitment. Do not buy one unless you're prepared to care for it.
Q- Do snakes make good pets?
A- I didn’t always feel this way but I wish snakes were not allowed as pets. I support any law that makes ownership of these amazing animals illegal. This may sound hypocritical but let me explain. I start with the belief that if you love animals you won’t kill animals for your pleasure. Therefore, if you love animals why would you get a pet that requires the death of hundreds of other animals to keep that one single animal alive? I consider that hypocritical. Most sanctuaries, rescues, and shelters are all against breeding but try to take care of what already exists. I see what I do as more of a situation like a sanctuary. For example, a big cat or elephant rescue still allows people to come and visit the tigers and lions, even charges a fee to do that but they do not make the animals do tricks, they do not force them into performing unnatural behaviors like at a circus. They care for what they have but they don’t breed, train, or sell them or promote them as pets. Like me, a true sanctuary does not promote tigers as pets but they will utilize the rescues they have to care for the rescues that are in need. So that is my model for my rescue work. I rescue reptiles. Some never go on to do shows, others are healthy and able to get me attention so that I can tell people the dark side of snake ownership. They are not “Bad” pets because they are troublesome or evil or anything like that. I base my opinion on the ideal that I hold compassion for all animals, including rodents as a priority over my personal pleasure in ownership of a carnivorous pet. I am pleased that through both my family friendly shows and my adult displays I can communicate this and dissuade ownership of carnivorous pets.
As for my snakes, every snake I have is a rescue. I am dealing with a bad situation; I am not breeding them or buying them. I am only caring for the snakes that exist and that are in need.
Most arrive at my facility in terrible health due to improper caging, diets or just general lack of basics because some people are idiots. They get a pet and rarely read up on the requirements of their care. Then they dump them when they get bored or can’t afford the medical treatments or a host of other selfish reasons. This leaves a living, breathing sentient life in jeopardy. The snake was bred into being for human pleasure and is now unwanted and in need. I can’t help them all but I can help a few. Should I euthanize it? I wish I knew what was best. It’s not the snakes fault that it is a carnivore. It is also not the snakes fault it even exists. So in dealing with a bad situation I made a decision to help snakes in need but I will not add more to the problem by breeding or promoting them as pets. It’s just not a compassionate pet to have. Every one of these snakes bred is a death sentence to hundreds of other animals. I know it is natural for snakes to eat animals. In the wild this happens everyday and if that’s what God wants who am I to disagree but really, is a glass, temperature controlled cage in your house the “Wild”? If you have a pet snake it is obviously for your personal pleasure and that pleasure requires the death of many animals that only want to live. I love snakes, I am passionate about their well being but I put the needs of ALL animals before my pleasure. I would gladly give them all up if it was made illegal.
I’d also like to address how I feed my snakes. Basically, no additional rodents are killed than the snakes would kill if it was a wild snake living in its natural habitat. I go about this on my care page on this and my family friendly website about the benefits of frozen/thawed rodents. Please take a moment and read that if you care to understand how you can eliminate needless suffering to the animals they eat. The bottom line is I am trying to make the best of a bad situation and really do not have a better answer. If you have one, please, let me know but I have said it before, snakes are not a compassionate pet to own and I am an animal lover. If I was to promote snakes as pets then that is what would make me a hypocrite. Sorry, I can babble on about this stuff forever.
Please think about it before you buy a death sentence to hundreds of rabbits, rats and mice. Let nature be nature but in your home let compassion be your goal. Thanks.
Q- Are you concerned that children will go to your site for animal information?
A- I did not design my site for children and my opening page says so. I designed it for people of legal age. That legal age is also the age I believe that adults should be to own such exotic pets although I wish they would not get a carnivorous pet in the first place. But regarding children, reptiles are not good pets for kids and I strongly recommend that you advise your kids to hold off until they are older and then if they really really want one find one to adopt that needs a home. Your teen may soon be going off to college (hopefully) so who will take care of the snake or iguana? The parents who never wanted one in the first place will get stuck. You may have a 20 year commitment and he will be to busy with studies and most dorms will not allow a pet. How about when they get a new boyfriend or girlfriend. Pets often become the parent's leftover nightmare and get neglected. Youth is full of many exciting and drastic life changing situations, a reptile is a voiceless ball and chain that will be forgotten too quickly. Remember that when you are buying a reptile for your kids, you the adult parent are responsible.
The Internet is a great information resource but can also be a dangerous place. If you are a parent I encourage you to help protect your kids from having access to adult material and pets they should not have until they are mature enough to handle it responsibly.
I have a family friendly website as well at www.reptilerescue.com.
Q- You are just using animals to make money.
A- First I have to say that the money I actually make with the animals is good but only brings in a fraction of what it takes to care for all the rescue efforts. Many of my shows with animals are educational schools and birthday parties. This market does not warrant a high ticket price so income from just mainstream animal jobs does not come close to supporting their needs. Thankfully I have perky tits and guys like to see them but I don't make any extra money off animls. These photos and my adult website do not bring in enought income to cover their needs. It is my other successful businesses that bring in plenty to take care of these critters and support my lifestyle.
I would be financially much better off to dump the snakes completely but I love my animals and will work as much as I have too to support them as I would if they were my children. This is a choice and a commitment.
I turn down work when it's too cold or too hot outside, when it puts the snakes in dangerous situations such as on Fear Factor whom I turned down, when the client wants the snakes for photo ops around all the guests necks, renting my snakes out to visiting snake performers, yada yada, you get the idea.
Q- I am told your are a Vegan but you use animals for entertainment. Isn't that wrong for vegans?
A- First I don't really like that word "Vegan." No one can be 100% Vegan otherwise we would not even drive a car or have a computer.. I like to say I live as cruelty free a lifestyle as I can. That said, that is why there different kinds of vegans. Some won’t eat their veggies if cooked on the same grill as meat. Other vegans believe it is wrong to even have any pet, even dogs and cats. I know vegans that will not fuck another person unless they are vegan or even donate blood in fear it may go to a non-vegan. I am not that either. For easy conversation here I will use the term vegan but I would prefer people just understand that I do not wear or eat anything that is produced from animal abuse. Simple. As for the entertainment part we need to define animal abuse. I don't like this analogy but it's all I can come up with for now. I hear people say they treat their pets like their children. Well, so do I, and if I had kids I would have no problem having them help with chores around the house. I’d have them mow the lawn or help with the dishes, etc. An hour’s work once or twice a week is not abusive to our children and I apply that to my pets too. A snake being held in my arms at an educational school show for 10 minutes or 20 minutes or crawling on my boobs for a photo is not painful in any way. They just slither around as if they are on a tree. They are doing their natural movements, not tricks, and if a snake is hissy or shows any signs of agitation I just put him away and pick up a another one. For all I know he has a tummy ache and that is their only way to communicate it. Not at all like the daily torment lions, tigers and elephants go through for training at circuses or magic shows nor are they stuck in small transport cages every day of their miserable lives. Reptiles cnnot be trained so they do not go through what most animals have to to be used in a show. My animals just go about their natural behaviors when on display. I have so many rescued snakes now that each one only works once or maybe twice a month. This is just my hobby and the money earned goes right to the rescue efforts of these animals. Even with all shows they are in they do not earn me enough to cover their needs, the balance still comes out of my pocket from my magic shows. etc.
Q- Does it hurt the snakes at your shows?
A- Great Question. I would like to share with you how I investigated whether or not to use snakes in a show. I will use Fellatio as an example. My pet snake named Fellatio, not the act. This is a common boa that I have used about twice a month for over a year at Studio 54. He gets throat cultures done, blood samples taken fecal exams and I have even gone so far as to re-create a dance club atmosphere in my warehouse so that I may use a stethoscope to monitor his heart rate and to this day I have no ill health to report. Not in any snakes. No signs of aggression or increased heart rate due to stress and no change in their appetites. It seems that some snakes can be oblivious to this activity. I get the feeling that sometimes I am just a piece of furniture to them. As for petting I only allow this on the lower half of the snake during their time out, which is limited to 20-30 minutes at a time and even then only a few people actually want to touch it for some reason. No one pets the top third. This is not for fear of biting but I assume that if my body were one long muscle I would not mind being touched however, I do observe caution in the snakes body language near the face and head, so I do not allow it.
I do appreciate questions like this. It lets me know there are people out there that care. And I agree in part that SOME animals should not be used in entertainment. I detest Circuses and Rodeos. From my experience they are cruel. I beg people not to go. Elephants, lions and such are not made for circus life. There is not efficient caging for them to travel in. You can search the internet for plenty of hidden camera footage for more horrible details.
This leads me to animals that maybe do well in shows. Dogs and birds for example look like they have a great time performing. These are animlas that love to spend time with their owners and I believe they may enjoy showtime. But, how did the training happen? Is the training an enjoyable experience or is there abuse and brainwashing involved. For example, some people use food and water deprivation to train these animals. I don't much about tarining dogs and birds but I hope I am wrong. I do know though that in a dance club atmosphere my birds would be petrified. A lot depends on the owner/performer who is responsible for their care. This is what makes the difference.
Most shows are cruel but I would like you to look at each case individually.
I think you could find a lot of awesome loving relationships between people and their pets. I always encourage people that want to see animlas to patronize rescues and sanctuaries (not zoos) but real sanctuaries that do not breed their rescues.
Q- In an earlier question you stated you are a Christian and also a Vegan. Doesn't the bible allow you to eat animals?
A- This is another that could go on for pages. Many vegans that I have met or chat with are atheist and ask with all the animal cruelty in the bible how can I be a Christian and vegan? Well, atheists that are vegan for moral reasons confuse me as much as I confuse them.
I am no bible scholar and I can only share thoughts based on my limited knowledge. Thankfully, that is all God expects of us. So for you readers here goes.
For whatever reason God let animals eat other animals I begrudgingly accept it as the way it is for now in this current dispensation of Gods grace. Obviously this is not Gods original plan from the beginning. In Genesis 1:28 God gave man dominion over the animals and in the very next verse God said that humans and animals were to eat plants only. To me it seems pretty obvious to conclude in the perfect Garden of Eden that God’s original plan for man was being in charge and being vegan. Then sin entered the world via Adam’s disobedience and God killed an animal. What a shock that death must have been. Can you imagine the horror Adam and Eve experienced seeing an animal die and seeing blood for the first time? The pain, suffering, screams of the animal. Horrible, I’m sure. My guess is God had to give an example on just how terrible sin is and why to avoid it. That would have worked for me. I would wish there was a more compassionate way to illustrate this to Adam and Eve but God used this. I plan on yelling at God about it but I am sure by the time I see God I will understand he chose such a horrible example because there is no alternative.
Now let’s move forward to the Kingdom age/end of the world and God is in rule over all. During this time Isaiah says we will all eat vegetation only, even carnivorous animals. So to tie this all up, in the perfect beginning we are vegan and in the end kingdom of God we are vegan. I can conclude that in God’s eyes while sin has it hold on the world he allows such a horrible activity but in his perfect realms (Eden & the Kingdom) being vegan seems to be his desire.
So a part of my veganism is based on being Christian.
I see myself in some way equal to animals because God said he created them as our counterpart. Interesting choice of words, not slaves, not food, but counterpart. So if I am a counterpart or equal and they can eat each other then it would seem permissible to eat them during this sin filled dispensation. If I were food to a cow it would eat me without a moments hesitation. So it may be ok to eat animals but is it really right? The pain, the death, harm to the environment and the damage to my own health. Even factor in how it is causing the starvation of kids in other countries just so people can eat meat. (80% of grains produced feeds livestock! Imagine if that were for people, we could end world hunger.) How selfish. Just because God allows things does not mean its good (1 Corinthians 10:23) It’s just not worth the costs.
So yes, it’s not a sin for animals to eat each other and if we are equal then we can too. But then I do see something God did in humans that is obvious and totally sets us apart. Our intelligence. Now we can easily use our human intelligence to get our food by killing animals or we can do as Jesus instructed us and live a life of compassion. We can use the gift of superior intelligence and eat with compassion rather than exploitation. It may not be wrong to eat animals but it is absolutely right to show mercy to the defenseless. To show love to creatures of lesser intelligence. There is nothing compassionate about factory farming. Yes, Jesus ate a fish. A net was cast in the water and a fish that lived a natural life, exercising its natural behaviors in its natural habitat suffocated. Compare that to years of pain pigs and cows experience in a factory farm (http://meatvideo.com/) so you can eat a hamburger. So I stand out a bit alone amongst my vegan brothers and sisters but our goal is the same. To end the needless suffering of animals.
We do not have to eat animals. Everything, yes EVERYTHING the human body needs to survive is available in plants. Add to that the destruction of the planet from eating meat and even end world hunger if we all went vegan. The majority of grain grown in the world is used to feed livestock. It takes an average of 16 lbs of grain and over 2,500 gallons of water to add one pound of steak to a cow. The grain and water used for that 1 steak dinner could feed a lot of hungry humans.
Moving on to the moral view of killing and eating animals being wrong for an unbeliever. Atheists that are vegan confuse me as much as I confuse them. Atheism does not argue that it is wrong for a snake to eat a rabbit, it is simply the path that evolution has brought the snake. There is no right or wrong, only chance. So logically, if human superior intelligence is left to survival of the fittest or “chance” point of view we should be able to use human superior intelligence to kill, rape and all sorts of other evils because there are no evils, only chance. I have read arguments from Sam Harris and the new atheists about right and wrong and see such contraction in their viewpoints that it makes me reject the belief of Atheism and further strengthens me as a Christian. It just seems that if evolution were true then on what grounds does the atheist determine something is “wrong”? If I evolved to a point where my superior intelligence can have me kill another sentient creature simply because I want to, then can’t I rape another human or just kill a human for fun? Animals do! It’s just survival of the fittest and I outsmarted them so I can if I choose, right? How can an atheist say its wrong? Maybe I just evolved superior to some other human animals and like the snake I can do as I wish with the rabbit, correct? Or maybe eat my child as a lion may eat its own cub? Of course everyone reading this sees rape, murder, enslavement, cannibalism as wrong. To me that is the strongest evidence that there is a God and he has his “Morals” written in our genetic code and we accept these things as wrong. So to me hurting any living thing for your own pleasure is immoral and wrong. I need to be a Christian to believe that being vegan is right. I need to be Christian to know killing for personal pleasure is wrong. I just don’t see how an atheist that believes we are all here by chance can say killing is wrong. Without God to define right and wrong then killing for pleasure is just natural for us as it is for a lion or a snake or a spider.