Artemiy R. Kurbanov

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia

Articles. Research

The article discusses relationship between humans and poisonous snakes in context of critical animal studies. For a long time, they developed mainly in the form of a conflict, which significantly escalated during the colonial expansion of Europeans into tropical and subtropical regions. However, the invention of antivenomes (anti-snake serums) at the beginning of the 20th century brings new aspects to the relationship between humans and poisonous snakes. Use of venom in obtaining sera allows humans to gain power over them, which no longer requires extermination. Serpentariums and laboratories necessary for the production of antivenomes are based on the model of exploitation of venomous snakes, as well as other animals involved in this process. As the general principles of the relationship between man and nature develop, this discourse becomes more complicated and modified. In the activities of serpentariums, installations are emerging that are associated with a careful attitude to objects of exploitation, prolonging their existence in captivity, and developing methods for breeding snakes in captivity. Using a critical approach allows us to consider the relationship between humans and venomous snakes as part of a continuum of power practices that they implement in relation to nature in general and specific biological species.


Keywords: venomous snakes, antivenoms, snake farms, serpentariums, human-animal conflicts, animal exploitation