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Ethical sourcing, what's the cost to our winged friends? Taxidermy bats and skeletons

Posted on May 16 2018

Ethical sourcing, what's the cost to our winged friends? Taxidermy bats and skeletons

In our infancy some years ago we had a small collection of the weird and wonderful and a great big plan to be the first macabre based oddities shop, in the world!

We had a host of items we could sell from taxidermy, specimens in jars, tribal pieces, and a whole host of human skulls for sale. We started to get inundated with pieces not everyone could find because we were good at finding things and we loved the hunt! Over time, however, the more "special" items we started dealing with the more we started questioning the ethical nature of the items we were selling. The first piece was a bat skeleton, it sold right off the..... bat! right away we started looking for a good source of skeletons so we could sell more, these beautiful bones were going to be a lovely little source of profit..... but at what cost, to the bat? 

My insane thirst for knowledge led me down the road of finding out exactly how these little guys come onto the market, and we found it absolutely heartbreaking!

First, take your poisoned net which will stun the little beastie or render it unable to fly away, you want to make sure you got that sucker. Spend a few hours catching as many as you can and then drop them into a vat of liquid which will dissolve their flesh and leave the bones intact, sure they might still be alive when you do this but hey, money is money right? 

When you have your prepared bones, grab your super glue and get sticking. 

Almost finished, now wrap them all up in white backing paper and plastic and send out to oddities shops, eBay sellers and the like. And don't forget you can also get creative, why not dipping one side in and drying the other side, this way you can still see the pure horror on the bats face as it was dipped into pure agonizing death!

And do you know what is really edgy? Mummification, hell, your options are so vast! 

If you really want to save a bit of cash, get your kids involved, poisoned nets for evvverryyybody. 

Where has the "sad emoji" gone when you need it? 

The fact is that you probably didn't know this when you bought your little boney dude, I can say wholeheartedly that I think the skeleton of a bat is absolutely beautiful, there are certain animal skeletons that a certain level of awe! But, is it worth it? It sure wasn't for the bat. 

"The bats are culled in poor countries, these people need to eat"

Some bats are culled, very little, but not humanely... this would be more expensive so it is done in the cheapest way possible and this means the bat loses out big time, no single shot to the head, just agonizing death on the cards. Most of these bats on the market were not culled, you need to swap the C for a K and the U for an I, these little souls were taken for the sole purpose of being encased into a shadow box tomb.

"My bat came from Europe" ......

Are you 100% sure about that, because most bats come from South America, Asia and other countries, I also hate to break it to you but it is mostly illegal to have a bat skeleton from Europe unless you have a license? and in that case, enjoy your little pal. 

One man remarked that a cave in Asia that once was the home to hundreds of thousands of bats, was now completely empty.

It is an almost certainty that if you see a bat advertised as "ethically sourced taxidermy" that it is not sustainably harvested, If a  bat died of natural causes it would be destroyed quickly by insects or eaten by a scavenger. There are a very few exceptions, and you are going to have to pay a lot more for a bat which is legit, and it will obtain a licence for legal trade, some of these rare bats are ones that have diseases which make them go blind and stop them from being able to hunt and they they die, there are taxidermists who collect these guys and this is when they come into the market. 

ps. There is no such thing as a bat breeding farm. Preserved bats, mummified bats, taxidermy bats..... they are killed and presented to you for your enjoyment. 


For most of you, this will come as a surprise, some won't care but there are a few that will and we honour you for considering that you have a choice to educate yourself in buying cool weird stuff, and knowing where it came from so you can make an informed decision on what you feel comfortable with and not so comfortable with, in your living room. 





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