Venomous animals have been a symbol of evil and death ever since the dawn of mankind. If mankind can control an aspect of nature it becomes our slave for use and abuse as we see fit. However, if we cannot control an aspect of nature, it becomes an object to be persecuted and feared. The seemingly magical capabilities of venom, and the historical inability to understand its action and function, has led to these animals being associated with evil, witchcraft and black magic - even today these perceptions exist. But should we be afraid?
It’s interesting to note that those people who are afraid of venomous animals are the same people who know the least about them. Because of a lack of knowledge, individuals become susceptible to the misinformation that we see on social media, newspapers and television, and are open to neighbourhood gossip, speculation and fear mongering. This creates a cycle of perpetual fear which can only be broken through understanding and knowledge.
Venomous animals are impartial aspects of the environment. They are not out “to get us” nor are they lurking in dark corners waiting for us to walk past. In fact, the want as little to do with humans as possible.
In order for us to understand our relationship with these creatures we have to remember that they are vital for a healthy ecosystem, our actions towards the animal determines the reaction, and we can live in harmony in areas where these creatures abound.
French writer Anais Nin said “we don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are” Only with education and an understanding can we rationales our relationship with venomous animals. We have nothing to fear from venomous animals except a world where they do not exist.