Ben Siegel Contestant Dividing a Nonexistent Community?

Ben Siegel reptiles of Florida held a contest eating roaches. Eddie Barry (Archbold) sadly passed away after the contest for currently unknown reasons. I wasn’t going to join in the media shit storm but I have simply had enough of it already. The first thing I want to say is the contest was safe and followed the normal precautions of shows a la Fear Factor. When the story came across my social networks like a wildfire last night I didn’t read the story. I was saddened by the fact that we lost a friend of reptiles. No, I didn’t know Eddie Barry personally, nor do I know his family. I do know a couple of things though.

I know he has two daughters and a girlfriend that are mourning their loss. What amazes me, out of the 15-20 ‘news pieces’ I have read since 1 or 2 am this morning; 1 that’s right read that again 1 has had any decency to remember those that Eddie left behind. Joe Ellis someone else whom I don’t know personally posted something on Facebook which made me step back. You can read that momentarily, for now I want your full attention.

Those 15-20 news pieces all had comments on them. Not ones I will repeat here but the gist of them were claiming how foolish this was. Many even spoke of things such as and I am paraphrasing here “Another black-eye to the community at large”. To those I say the following.

ARE YOU (insert favorite expletive here) KIDDING ME? First of all it has been reported to me by someone who spoke to the family directly that Eddie was in the contest to win the snake for a someone else. Let me say that again, he was in the contest to win the snake for a another person. Now then, as far as the “community” goes what community? We are so vastly divided we will support any organization which claims to be fighting for our rights who has a big enough bullhorn. Then we will turn around and chant down the ONLY one who has been invited to congress. You want to talk to me about community?

So let me get this straight, you will share a “mugshot” and the media story that paints a bad picture of the so-called community and make what cannot be seen as anything but derogatory comments? But you won’ take a moment to reach out to those who lost a loved one to say that you’re sorry for their loss. Yeah that’s a community alright.

I have 597 people on a specific list called Herpetological Friends on Facebook alone and only one person had the decency to reach out and contact the family not knowing them personally and say the community mourns your loss with you and I would like to help. 1 out of 597! Moving forward I for one will not personally be referring to those who keep reptiles etc. as a community but as an industry for it is obvious we are an industrial complex that see’s our own members as numbers and dollar signs.

For those who wish to here is the link to the donation post for the family. How about we actually show some respect and act like the ‘community’ we all claim to be a part of today. Please leave your well thought comments and wishes below.

If you choose to donate and send a copy of your receipt to (replace the AT with @)we will send you a link to receive a FREE download Herpetoculture House Issue 5.