People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have criticised Google for celebrating what would have been the late Steve Irwin’s 57th birthday.
The animal rights organisation lambasted the TV personality and conservationist, calling out Google for what PETA believe to be a ‘dangerous, fawning message’ of appreciation for Irwin and his work.
To be honest, it wreaks of rage marketing.
Irwin was killed aged 44 after being stabbed through the heart by a short-tailed stingray on 4 September 2006 while filming on Batt Reef, Australia.
The person running PETA’s Twitter account wrote:
Steve Irwin was killed while harassing a ray; 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 habitats.
#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 doodle was designed and illustrated to depict Irwin and his love for animals.
However, the tweet thread continued:
Steve Irwin’s actions were not on target with his supposed message of protecting wildlife.
A real wildlife expert and someone who respects animals for the individuals they are leaves them to their own business in their natural homes.
The Crocodile Hunter, as he was known on the telly, in fact did a lot of work behind the scenes to help wildlife which wasn’t necessarily conveyed through his ‘blokey’ on screen persona.
Irwin and his wife Terri set up the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation – now operating as Wildlife Warriors – in 2002 and it continues to this day.
His children have continued Irwin’s conservation work since his death.
Yet PETA, fixating on their narrative, concluded:
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 Google Doodle should represent that.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.