Just to be clear, I don't object to ALL live feeding. It was unusual for the rat to be alive for more than 30 seconds after it hit the water (if it even made it that far). There were probably 5 or 6 adult alligators (the keeper said they were between 20 and 60 years old) in the enclosure, and their interest was immediately piqued by the sound of the stick being taken out of the tube for the rat to be dropped in. It was pretty much chomp, chomp, swallow. I'm sure it was less stressful/painful than a glue trap or poison, and I would think would be somewhat similar to death by barn cat or terrier, minus the ability to escape. I had more of an issue with the spirit in which it was done than the action itself. There was other live prey fed as normal meals--live ducks according to the keeper-that I could never do, I love ducks!