It's a well known fact that, when it comes to inhumane practices, the exotic-skins market is one of the strongest bastions of cruelty. The methods depend on the source, but PETA reports that snakes are often skinned alive by unimaginably violent methods (if you want to learn more, watch this, at your own risk). Some people might say it's okay to do that to snakes because they're all scary and gross or whatever, but we're of the firm belief that if you're going to take an ethical stance on animal treatment, that should apply to everything with or without legs. But a new development down South is creating a gray area for even the most hard-line animal-rights activists.
Pythons have long been a major environmental issue in the Florida Everglades — where they slither free and multiply quick, unchecked by any of the predators that keep the balance in line in the species' native Asian environment. The state has previously offered cash bounties to anyone able to capture the rogue pythons, but now, both independent designers and the Florida Wildlife Commission are seeking to solve the problem and meet a market demand in one fell swoop. Alice Hines reports on the growing trend for The Cut, in an article that's left us thoroughly unsure what to think.
While reading Hines' article, we were surprised at how many people were all for it. We hate the thought of snakes being tortured for their skins. We also hate the thought of a fragile, unique environment like the Everglades being further damaged by non-native animals because humans couldn't be bothered to be responsible pet owners. It's not an ideal solution, but it is an option — one that, it appears, is currently being put to use. What do you think? Any ideas for a better way to solve this environmental conundrum? (The Cut)