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  1. #1
    eternalvoyage
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    Ethics of Adopting a Touring Rat or Two?

    If the rats are being purchased from a pet store, and their chances of otherwise ending up in a good home are slim, while their chances of being bought by owners of boa constrictors (or other reptiles) are high, aren't the rats better off coming along with a bike tourist, even though there may be some risks involved? At least the odds are better, it seems to me, given a reasonable level of care and affection and attention to comfort (including something like a shock-absorbing system for handling bumps, and avoiding terribly bumpy rides).

    Does touring have to be a zero-risk affair for them?

    And couldn't a similar thing be said for certain other animals, including those adopted from animal shelters that have low graduation rates?

    Two rats seem better than one, and younger animals seem better than older ones because they can probably better adjust to touring, to experiencing it as normal, or to taking it in stride and enjoying it.

    Given the choice between an 85+% chance of becoming snake food, for example, and going on a bike tour despite some risks (and perhaps even some occasional discomforts), which would most rats choose (if they could make the choices, or if we could know their choices, or if we could know their minds or hearts, or if we could communicate with them or have a dialogue with them)? -- or which would you choose if you were in their positions?
    Last edited by Niles H.; 05-06-11 at 08:18 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member chiroptile's Avatar
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    I absolutely love rats as pets.. They're like little dogs stuck in perpetual puppy mode. They are very affectionate animals and form great bonds with their humans.. One thing about rats is that they enjoy the company of other rats, and they enjoy space and shade. So.. While it's a noble idea, execution might prove very tricky. But hey. Somebody here is trying to tour with a ferret, so.. Mm.. Bob trailer with a nice cage?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    What are the snakes supposed to eat?
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  4. #4
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    You need to get Sarah McLachlan to do a new tear-jerker commercial to save rats from the 85+% chance of being eaten alive by naughty snakes. I can just see their pleading little rat eyes now, begging to go on your next tour, while indifferent humans change the channel.

  5. #5
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Just make sure you end up with two rats of the same gender, otherwise you might end up needing a larger trailer.

  6. #6
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    Just make sure you end up with two rats of the same gender, otherwise you might end up needing a larger trailer.
    Or tour with a cat.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bktourer1's Avatar
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    You need to get together with the guy who wants to take his ferret on a trip. If you use campgrounds, others might not like the idea of rats at the next site they will see allthe time. You know animals come out at night but to see days roaming around during the day?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    wow, what a stimulating conversation...

  9. #9
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    ...which would most rats choose (if they could make the choices, or if we could know their choices, or if we could know their minds or hearts, or if we could communicate with them or have a dialogue with them)? -- or which would you choose if you were in their positions?
    Why don't you become a rat whisperer and then ask them? Then you can report your findings to us.
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  10. #10
    Occasional poster countrydirt's Avatar
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    My son has a rat for a pet. We have taken it in the car on one trip. Never again. The drive made him nervous, all of the time and I got so tired of smelling him. But, as a pet, I think rats are just about the best.

  11. #11
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    Wow. How selfsish of you! I'd love to put you in a dark cage and take you on a tour!

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niles H. View Post
    If the rats are being purchased from a pet store, and their chances of otherwise ending up in a good home are slim, while their chances of being bought by owners of boa constrictors (or other reptiles) are high, aren't the rats better off coming along with a bike tourist, even though there may be some risks involved?
    The prices on pet store rats are high enough that they're unlikely to be used as snake food.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    The prices on pet store rats are high enough that they're unlikely to be used as snake food.
    Well, my friend just sent out a notice a few days ago notifying us of the demise of his pet of 30 years: Eddie the boa constrictor.
    Almost every dinner Eddie ever had, came from the pet store.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Oh, I thought you were taking in a couple Grunge Cycletourists.

  15. #15
    Heretic Caretaker's Avatar
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    This is one for Crazyratonabike.
    History is the future

  16. #16
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    One possible risk of taking pet rodents outdoors:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTt7pSav8ts

  17. #17
    Senior Member chiroptile's Avatar
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    I actually just remembered how a couple of years back I went to visit my friend in Nicaragua. We were walking through a little town, and there was a bicycle parked outside of an autoshop. The guy had affixed a cage to his rear rack, and had a couple of rats chilling in there. Actually, chilling is probably not the word, since it was around noon time, and there was no shade in cage. I doubt the owner did much touring, but he seemed really happy with his company, and found a way to make it work.

  18. #18
    Senior Member bktourer1's Avatar
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    The youtube video gives a new meaning to " up , up & away"

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shimagnolo View Post
    Well, my friend just sent out a notice a few days ago notifying us of the demise of his pet of 30 years: Eddie the boa constrictor.
    Almost every dinner Eddie ever had, came from the pet store.
    Sounds like your buddy either had a terrific, perhaps reptile-oriented pet shop, or he wasn't a very good shopper.

    When I kept snakes, I bought frozen rodents in bulk for one-quarter (or less) of the price of pet store rodents. Most (responsible) reptile owners feed thawed rodents these days. Less risk of the reptile getting injured by their prey, and lab-raised animals tend to be healthier than their pet store counterparts.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Shimagnolo's Avatar
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    Do you really thing my buddy was dumb enough to tell the pet shops what awaited the rat?
    This is the *Boulder* area, for chrissake!

    IIRC, he tried dead rodents, and Eddie flatly refused to eat them.

    Eddie did have a meal that fought back once, and he had to get antibiotics to clear up an infection from the wounds.

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