Recently, I traveled to The Land of Mixed Feelings. I say that as though I don’t have a punch card for this particular destination.
As a human who loves animals and nature, I strive to do my best to do right by both.
I started to type out all of the things that bother me about caring for another creature, particularly one that isn’t domesticated. But I started going down a rabbit hole of making all kinds of points and then trying to justify everything I was typing and decided, “Nope”.
Let’s try another angle.
I struggle with caring for animals out of their natural habitat. Yes, I absolutely wanted a jumping spider and Erlene manifested. But I kicked her out the first time and she came back!
I put her in an enclosure because I knew she wouldn’t get enough food on her own. Her abdomen was painfully thin.
If I am to be honest, though, I think she rescued me. But don’t tell her because it may go to her head.
As you can see below, it very well could. She is not a modest spood.
Moving to the country, as you know, I would love to have an indoor/outdoor dog. Because I want animal companionship snugs. Especially when I am off prancing around in my magical forest.
I can still have a dog. It just has to stay outside.
So I was trying to think of what I could maybe have inside. Sweet, skittish Erlene is a senior spood. And she doesn’t care to be handled. Which is fine!
I remembered there are a few people I know who have cared for leopard geckos. I never really paid much attention to reptiles until lately-ish (ie I watched a movie with an adorable tortoise and it all went from there). But after researching and spending way too much time on IG looking at leopard geckos, I knew I wanted to adopt one.
…however, I began to think about how I didn’t want to buy one from a pet store. Or a breeder. Because my purchase would only fuel the demand.
This is part of the mixed feelings.
I’ve been wondering if it’s selfish to keep one because I want a companion. It’s not a domestic creature. Who am I to keep another being in an enclosure?
But it’s not like I would be taking one out of the wild. And nature is a cruel mistress. At least with me, the gecko would be able to get the care it needed from a vet.
I’ve gone back and forth on this quite a bit. Would a leopard gecko be truly happy living in a 20 gallon enclosure when we weren’t hanging out together? I guess one born in captivity doesn’t know what it’s like to be a free roaming creature.
Which sounded awful and heartbreaking as I wrote it.
After multiple back and forths, and MANY rounds of feeling selfish, I decided I would like to adopt a rescue gecko. I found a few reptile rescues in KC via Facebook.
I MAY be pretty excited about it.
This way, I can give an animal who needs a home a great home. And lots of love. And plenty of noms.
As for the new baby spood I will be adopting soon-ish, I do feel a bit guilty. But I know the breeder is responsible and cares very much for the spiders. And, like the gecko, I’m not taking one from the wild.
But this leads me to something I hadn’t thought of.
I posted a frog loaf picture, along with sweet baby leopard geckos, on my private IG account. A friend told me she wanted a frog to care for when she was little. She, too, loves animals (as in she has a farm with chickens, puppers, and tiny cows!), so I asked if she thought she’d get one as an adult.
Because she is an awesome human and caretaker of all the creatures.
She told me she and her husband try to use only the amount of energy necessary because they, too, care about the environment. So adding a frog to their diverse family was probably not going to happen.
I HAD NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THE ENERGY CONSUMPTION THAT COMES WITH CARING FOR A REPTILE!
On top of feeling selfish and guilty for wanting to expand my family with a few new companions, I now had environmental guilt.
Because I have ALL THE CARES!
Reminds me of the time I was vegan and tried to not buy leather shoes; however, faux leather is bad for the environment (although I know some companies have found way better alternatives and I hope to buy some soon).
Do you buy the non-leather shoes because they aren’t made from the skin of a murdered animal? Or do you buy leather because they’re made of durable skin and therefore, biodegradable?
…now that I think about it, I’m sure the leather manufacturing process isn’t great for the planet, either.
I wish there was a way to have it all and everyone and everything wins.
The planet. The Animals. Humans.
But it seems someone, something, always loses and you have to choose what you feel is the lesser of the evils.
For me, it’s giving an abandoned leopard gecko a home. Purchasing a captive bred jumping spider from a breeder who cares whole heartedly about what home it is sent to.
And it looks like me finding new ways to be more environmentally friendly.
More posts to come.