Sunday 23 November 2008

Reptiles - The New Dogs

Can this really be true? As it's the British Federation of Herpetologists making the calculations (no doubt on the back of a torpid iguana), they're likely to be on the generous side - but the trend is probably real enough. I suspect that growth in reptile ownership (like the ownership of certain canine fighting machines) follows in line with growth in what might loosely be called the underclass or welfariat. The growth graph would follow growth in obestiy and mirror decline in physical activity. Reptiles, spending so much of their time in a condition of torpor, are the perfect, undemanding couch potato pets. They require no more than the kind of minimal attention even the most dedicated career layabout might manage - thawing out a reptile every few days, lobbing the odd locust... If we are indeed a nation of reptile owners, it is, I fear, another index of our national decline. A nation of dog owners is a sturdy, active, mobile nation, its emotional needs taken care of and social interaction guaranteed (the English being far too reserved to get emotionally involved with non-canines, and unable to talk to each other without a dog on a lead). A nation of reptile owners, on the other hand, is a craven, immobile, atomised and emotionally incontinent society. Is this what we've come to?


  1. I'm sure you're correct but imho this also has a lot to do with PC. Keeping mammals or birds is increasingly seen as cruel and unnatural as well as downright dangerous. Local authorities probably now spend more money on the James Bondish pursuit of "dog dirt" in public places than they do on animal welfare. Even so, the claim that reptiles in general need less looking after is somewhat dubious. OK, the owner may only have to chuck in a deceased mouse or some lettuce leaves once a week but many of these creatures have to live in expensive climate-controlled tanks. If the tank goes wrong or there is a power cut, it's goodbye. Give me a sturdy moggie or beautiful German Shepherd any day.

  2. Bloody nuisance those alligators, cost a small fortune in Tidysan.

    Did I mention The Plan, check it out on Boris Johnsons website.