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Taking the Charm Out of Snake ‘Charmers’

Written by PETA | August 5, 2008

Snake charmers, fairies, and leprechauns…if you thought all three only existed in the pages of fairytales, here’s a surprise. Snake charmers have been and still are entrancing villagers into believing the myth that the sounds from their instrument can hypnotize a snake, who will “dance”—for money, of course.

Sound a little slippery? That’s because it is. There is no magic involved, only cruelty. Here’s how:

Snakes are trapped and taken from their natural habitats. Their teeth are yanked out without any painkillers, their mouths are often sewn shut (leaving a little gap to pour water or milk down), and their venom ducts are often pierced with a hot needle, causing the glands to burst and incapacitating this animals’ most effective defense mechanism. None of the snakes lives very long, and death comes slowly and painfully.

The “dance” these snakes perform is actually a terrified reactive sway to the snake charmer’s movements—as a means of self-defense from “attack” by the pipe. Snake charming is so violent, in fact, that the Indian Wildlife Act of 1972 actually banned it. But snake charmers show their disregard for the law and these animals by continuing their cruel ways.

With the upcoming holiday of Naga Panchami, which is held in honor of the Serpent God, PETA India decided to do a little charming of their own by releasing a brand-new ad urging people to boycott snake shows. The ad tells the story of a snake and a snake charmer, played by supermodel Jesse Randhawa and Hollywood/Bollywood dance instructor Sandip Soparrkar, and features the tagline “Snakes Are Not Natural Performers—We Are.”

Jesse Randhawa and Sandip Soparrkar say, “Snakes Are Not Natural Performers—We Are,” in a new PETA India ad.
snake_ad.jpg

The ad sends out a great message to people in India. It points out that a country that has worshipped snakes throughout its history can’t “honor” the reptiles with acts of cruelty. Check out PETA India’s new mesmerizing ad here!

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  • Grace says:

    Snakes aren’t deaf they just hear differently than humans do. They pick up vibrations or something like that. I knew snakes weren’t charmed since I was little but I never knew it was this cruel! Thanks for spreading awareness Peta

  • lynda downie says:

    I thought taking snakes out of their natural habitat to perform was bad enough. I had no idea they were mutilated as well. Thank you Peta India for taking up their cause!

  • wncbrooks says:

    Great Post..Great AD

  • vegancoin says:

    To quote Homer Simpson “Just because I don’t care doesn’t mean I don’t understand.” god that is so wrong on so many levels.

  • vegancoin says:

    That is supremely dumb. This is without a doubt a loathsome and sickening display of moral decadence. Yet another example of point blank animal cruelty i am never surprised how obnoxious and greedy some people can be.

  • Holly says:

    Steve Irwin brought this to our attention a few years before his death. He said that only through education and awareness would this abuse stop. Way to Go PETA for keeping the awareness going to save the beautiful snakes from all human inflected suffering. Go Vegan live Vegan. Don’t let your body become a graveyard for farm animals.

  • farah says:

    never knew it was so awful.

  • erika says:

    wow that is a great ad and it is well said. awesome PETA India.

  • Rex's Mom says:

    Snakes are deaf anyway so they can’t even hear the music. I never realized how cruel snake charming really was. I know PETA is always praising some of the clothes designers who don’t use fur anymore or never have but do they still use reptile skins? If so you shouldn’t be praising them at all!

  • Eye Witness says:

    Beautiful just beautiful! once again my compliments to PETA India!!!!!!!!

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Gorgeous PSA and eye catching! I would definetly stop to read this if I were walking by. Bless you for protecting the snakes they are one of our Earth’s most beautiful creatures shy and they almost never bother people. Thank you.

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