I wouldn't particularly say only derision...
It seems as if our industry is imploding from the inside, and due to people not being able to be professional, courteous and polite.
I would like to say that I try my hardest to be all of those things, and when I don't get it back, it tends to rub me the wrong way.
It also bothers me when I see others back-biting, talking trash, and just being mean...
So when USARK and Andrew Wyatt and all of the hullaballoo happened, I just sat back and watched, agasp.
What is the story, you say?
Well, the long and short of it is that (if true) Andrew did some things to a fellow herper that was libelous, and was let go from being President of USARK due to his actions.
I don't have a dog in this fight really, so I don't want to spread more gossip than is necessary, but the issue really stems from the idea that now Andrew has started his own non-profit herpetological group, United States Herpetoculture Alliance,with ideals much like that of USARK. The idea is that he is now running his own group. He also took e-mail addresses from those people who supported USARK and mailed them information about Herp Alliance without their consent.
Many people were upset about this, considering they did not solicit any e-mails from said organization.
So add all of these things up, and a large group of people were upset and distraught about what has been happening within our industry and within groups that should be working together.
For myself, I just got tired and sad.
It is really difficult to see people that I know get involved in things that should have been handled better... The thought is, "I thought they would know better than that.."
And it is prevalent all over the internet, especially on Facebook, which of course is the one place where things should not be taken at first glance.
So what does one do?
Well, soul searching first...
And then the realization that this is an issue that should not take away from supporting the groups that support the industry itself.
USARK has always been there, PIJAC has always been there.. I have supported them thru out my career as a breeder thru donations and auctions at shows.
Whether or not you feel it is appropriate to support Herp Alliance is on you, with the idea that the funds that would be funnelled into several groups will now be spread out into many more buckets.
Will this help, or hurt?
Again, this blog is not here to help convince you of who to support. Because honestly, I'm not even sure myself. I know who I will continue to support, and will never waver from that.
The problem begins with the new groups trying to be the next big thing... Will it even help our cause of being able to own reptiles and amphibians?
THAT is the real question.
Will it help us as a community being able to still own, breed and support our industry with having so many groups?
Do the actions of the President of the group reflect the intent of the group as a whole?
I intend to continue doing what I'm doing, supporting who I know has our backs. It's up to the other groups to prove themselves to me as being team players and a group worth supporting.
And hopefully, the derision, the division within the industry, the backbiting and gossip will fade and things will move forward knowing that we are all still here to do the same thing, which is to enjoy owning reptiles and other exotic animals.
Until then, I will watch and wait.
What about you? How do you feel about it?