“Hahaha … look Daddy, this one is staring up my balls!” Screams a little boy from Cambodia.
He sits facing a pile of living snakes that are gliding on top of each other. These are his father’s reward after a day of hard work in the flooded grasslands. The youngest daughter, around five years of age, picks up the snake before it can slither into his brothers shorts.
It bites one of her fingers.
“Aaaw, I think it is hungry. Papa, let me keep it… “She cries.
Their father looks at her, smiles and lifts a sack of snakes onto a weighing scale.
“Look, look, look, look papa… papaaaa…. Paaaaaaapaaaaaa!” she nags.
“I can wear the snake as a bracelet!!!”
She says letting the snake coil around her tiny wrist, up to her shoulder. Her father laughs, quickly snatches the snake away from the little girl and throws it back onto the pile. Their mother picks it up, cuts off the head of the snake and throws it into a sisal basket full of decapitated snakes.
“Sweetheart, this is a good catch, we are going to make good sales at the market tomorrow.” The man of the house says to the wife as he leaves to get the other pile of snakes from the boat.
One word to sum this scenario up…. Saitan!
The devil is a freaking liar.
However, as bizarre as it sounds, snake meat is an irresistible delicacy in some parts of the world and there are so many people that risk it all to hunt snakes for food.
Rattle snakes, pythons and even cobras are commonly eaten. Many snake dishes originate from Asia although the practices may have diffused globally.
Snakes are generally believed to have medicinal significance in most Asian communities from curing hair loss to increasing sexual performance. Snake meat, commonly considered a last resort for many survivors in the wild, prevents starvation. It is not so much meat, as it is muscle. It is light pink in color and, commonly said to be between chicken and fish in texture and flavor.
It is preferred finger food in some countries; and some also enjoy it as snake soup. Traditional Chinese medical books highlight a couple of medicinal value for snake soup including, cure of body ailments, blood nourishment, skin quality improvement and increase in energy levels(also known as ‘qi’).
Snake wine in Vietnam, made of venomous snakes and parts of other animals is claimed to improve health and cure ailment like back pain, rheumatism and lumbago.
There have been several reports of snakes in rice wine bottles coming back from their drunken sleep and biting people, immediately after opening the wine bottle. This is because snakes can hibernate for months in extreme conditions. Exporting of snake products is also regulated or banned in many countries to reduce the ultimate risk of extinction of endangered snake species. Rachel Bale, a reporter for wildlife crimes and exploitations from the National Geographic’s Special Investigations Unit, advises travelers to avoid buying snake wines as the snakes are sometimes treated in cruel and inhumane ways (they are literally drowned alive in liquor). She goes on to say that claims made on the medicinal value of snakes are not true.