PETA faces Twitter wrath for slamming Steve Irwin on deceased star’s birthday
Google paid tribute to the famous zookeeper on its homepage on Friday by replacing its logo with a cartoon of Irwin holding a crocodile. It was the first in a series of illustrations depicting the famous Aussie’s adventures.
The homepage sparked a flood of searches relating to the TV star, who died after being pierced in the heart by a stingray in 2006. It also drew the ire of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), who accused the internet giant of sending a “dangerous fawning message.”
#SteveIrwin was killed while harassing a ray; he dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile & wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business. Today’s #GoogleDoodle sends a dangerous, fawning message. Wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats. https://t.co/9JfJiBhGLw— PETA (@peta) February 22, 2019
In an entirely predictable turn of events, those comments were not well received on Twitter, with thousands of people unleashing their fury at PETA. At the time of writing, the message has attracted around 1,600 retweets but it has inspired a staggering 40,000 responses.
The replies offer a severe analysis of PETA’s actions with many accusing the controversial lobby group of courting publicity at any price. YouTuber Ryan Magee accused the activists of “rage marketing” and “dragging a beloved dead man’s name through the mud”.
the thing is... you as a company don’t actually give a fuck about any of what you’re saying about Steve Irwin. You knew that by dragging a beloved dead man’s name through the mud, you’d get more eyes and clicks on your brand. Ya know what you’re doing. Rage marketing works.— Ryan Magee (@elirymagee) February 23, 2019
There have been few people who have done more for wildlife conservation and education than the Irwin family. You owe them an apology.— Dave Hogg (@stareagle) February 23, 2019
I supported @peta with a fixed amount of money every month.— TheFatRat (@ThisIsTheFatRat) February 23, 2019
That was until I read this tweet.
“Steve Irwin and his family reclaim land for animals and run a massive wildlife rescue,” author Maureen Johnson wrote. “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.”
Tweets mentioning PETA’s euthanasia stats also received thousands of likes and retweets. The group says it carries out euthanizations on compassionate grounds.
PETA later doubled down on its severely ratioed tweet, accusing Irwin of harassing animals and saying his actions were “not on target with his supposed message of protecting wildlife.”
It has not issued an apology and it doesn’t look like one will be forthcoming any time soon.
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.— PETA (@peta) February 23, 2019
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