It’s no secret that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has it out for anyone that harms animals. In fact, we have seen the animal advocacy group attack countless prominent members in our society simply for wearing a fur coat. Typically, this doesn’t warrant a response from the masses, that is, until they attacked the late Steve Irwin.
On Friday, Irwin, who would have been 57 years old, had his name dragged through the mud by PETA after he was honored with a Google Doodle on Google’s homepage. The illustration consisted of Irwin wrestling with an alligator, an event that was synonymous with his brand and name.
PETA quickly caught wind of this and didn’t waste any time attacking him and his family. “#SteveIrwin was killed while harassing a ray; he dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile & wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business,” the group wrote on their verified Twitter account.
They added: “Today’s #GoogleDoodle sends a dangerous, fawning message. Wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats.” Normally when the group attacks someone, very few people pay attention. But when they attacked Irwin, people apparently had quite a few things to say to the group that was attempting to tarnish the reputation of the iconic wildlife conservationist.
“Steve Irwin saved the lives of countless animals in his sanctuaries. He helped educate millions globally about animals’ needs and ways of life. He loved animals and cared for them greatly. You do some good work helping animals PETA, but how about some balance and more respect…,” one user on Twitter wrote.
Sensing the changing tides, PETA decided to double down on their previous rhetoric by stating: “Steve Irwin’s actions were not on target with his supposed message of protecting wildlife. A real wildlife expert & someone who respects animals for the individuals they are leaves them to their own business in their natural homes.”
In an additional tweet, the group added: “It is harassment to drag exotic animals, including babies taken from their mothers, around from TV talk shows to conferences & force them to perform as Steve Irwin did. Animals deserve to live as they want to, not as humans demand ––the #GoogleDoodle should represent that.”
Another Twitter user brought to PETA’s attention that the Irwin family did a lot of good for animals. “Steve Irwin and his family reclaim land for animals and run a massive wildlife rescue. His life mission was to save animals and educate people about them. I’m one of many vegetarians who rip out their hair when @peta weighs in. Shame on you.”
It’s apparent that PETA rocked the boat a little too much with this one. Perhaps the group will pick and choose their targets a little more carefully in the future.