PETA is under fire after the animal rights organization criticized Google’s Doodle tribute to Steve Irwin.
Today (Fri, Feb. 22) marks what would have been Irwin’s 57th birthday, and Google honored him by giving him a Google Doodle on the search engine giant’s front page. The Doodle featured an animated slideshow showing the Crocodile Hunter’s life, work, family and dedication to the protection of Australian wildlife.
Legendary wildlife conservationist and television personality Steve Irwin is being remembered on what would have been his 57th birthday. https://t.co/dMUSKERyLW
— Twitter Moments Australia (@MomentsAU) February 21, 2019
PETA, however, had thoughts about Google’s Steve Irwin Doodle tribute. And not good ones either. The group said in a statement via Twitter that Google’s animation honoring Irwin sent a “dangerous, fawning message” because they didn’t approve of Irwin’s work with animals.
“Steve Irwin was killed while harassing a [stingray],” PETA wrote. “He dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile and wrestled wild animals who were minding their own business. Today’s Google Doodle sends a dangerous, fawning message. Wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habits.”
#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
The comments from the group, which is known for being very outspoken when it comes to their views against any form of animal cruelty, sparked backlash on social media and made “PETA” a worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
“Saw PETA was trending and I figured that couldn’t be good,” one Twitter user wrote. “But I was not prepared for them to be disrespecting Steve Irwin. The Irwin family are angels and Steve’s death was a tragedy. Also a tragedy: the continued existence of PETA.”
Saw PETA was trending and I figured that couldn't be good. But I was not prepared for them to be disrespecting Steve Irwin. The Irwin family are angels and Steve's death was a tragedy. Also a tragedy: the continued existence of PETA. pic.twitter.com/ymD4qxvIXa
— Keila (@xdancing4rainnx) February 23, 2019
“I can love animals and hate PETA at the same time. I’m a multitasker,” wrote comedian Marie Connor.
I can love animals and hate PETA at the same time. I'm a multitasker. https://t.co/q53PufvieX
— Marie Connor (@thistallawkgirl) February 23, 2019
“The hatred I have for PETA has SKYROCKETED after the Steve Irwin tweet. F**k yall,” wrote another Twitter user.
Other users pointed out that Steve Irwin has helped more animals than PETA has.
Where is your habitat for saving animals? You have a wildlife preserve anywhere? Do you have 1,000's of acres preserving animals from extinction?
Steve Irwin spent his whole life wanting to save animals. Ya'll are becoming "progressively" pathetic.
What a croc.
— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) 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
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. https://t.co/m4fdNymjao
— Maureen Johnson (@maureenjohnson) February 23, 2019
Never mind what charity work he did for endangered animals, the funds he raised, animals he helped, the people he educated.. he was a brilliant person who did so much for so many people and animals. @peta you are wrong to disrespect such a wonderful man.
— Silkie Allen (@Silkie_Allen) February 22, 2019
Steve Irwin taught me more about animals than PETA. He also you know, protected them and took them places to keep them safe.
— Nathan Martin (@Editwithmouse) February 22, 2019
PETA didn’t back down from their comments either.
PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement to Daily Mail Australia Friday: “PETA must ask who commissioned these dangerous, hagiographic cartoons of a man who died while harassing a stingray, dangled his baby while feeding a crocodile, and ‘wrestled’ wild animals who were minding their own business.”
She added: “This fawning, ignorant tribute is a slap in the face to the vast majority of people who acknowledge that wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats.”
The group also maintained their stance against Irwin on Twitter, writing: “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 continued: “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.”
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.
— PETA (@peta) February 23, 2019
Folks still weren’t trying to hear all that noise, and promptly let PETA know.
See more Twitter reactions below:
— Kyle Wren (@KwrenGT) February 23, 2019
ok peta what we're not gonna do is anything you're currently doing
— panorama hype train (@pistol_kitten) February 23, 2019
Peta thinking theyre doing good but actually they're embarrassing the very community they try to appeal to pic.twitter.com/g9Ufc5nP7U
— pierre (@asihavesuffered) February 23, 2019
wtf with Peta? i love animals but Peta…. dont ever…. pic.twitter.com/83QxcZL5us
— ( ? ³?) (@varlessinity) February 23, 2019
Wait a second… you’re telling me that PETA had a bad take? pic.twitter.com/BQHeEmhYFT
— mikey lax. (@mikeylaxraps) February 23, 2019
— MaitreyaP (@maitreya_VocaP) February 23, 2019
Don't you have puppies to kill? pic.twitter.com/RkbGlAoVUE
— Avi The Demon (@avi_demon) February 23, 2019
The tweets that made PETA block me pic.twitter.com/hovQ02WKDZ
— Nerdz (@lps_Nerdz) February 23, 2019
Go ahead and talk bad about a man who never killed, by these numbers it seems that you don’t believe that animals should live as they want to either. You say that looking at a dog wrong is animal abuse while you euthanized over 70% of the animals you took in. pic.twitter.com/7ppxxfLwF0
— Dillon “Third-Eye” Buck (@buck_the_babe) February 23, 2019