There is an old saying that people (or groups) get into trouble when they start to believe their own press. In other words, they start to take themselves too seriously and assume everyone else does as well.
It seems that notorious animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been falling into that trap a little too often lately.
They have been criticized for their over-the-top tacky letter to the estate of Aretha Franklin asking that her vast fur collection be donated to – PETA. Their celebrity spokeswoman, Natalie Portman, compared meat-eaters to Nazis. The list goes on.
It seems the wacky group bit off more than it could chew when it attacked Google’s tribute to the beloved wildlife conservationist Steve Irwin on what would have been his 57th birthday, said a Fox News report.
PETA accused Google of sending a “dangerous, fawning message” with its “Google Doodle” featuring illustrations of Irwin with crocodiles and other animals.
In a tweet, PETA said “Steve Irwin 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 Google Doodle sends a dangerous, fawning message. Wild animals are entitled to be left alone in their natural habitats.”
The internet erupted in a tweet-storm with many pointing out Irwin’s popularity in raising funds for conservation efforts.
One Irwin supporter tweeted, “I live near and take many backpackers to Australia Zoo, Steve's legacy, a rehabilitation center for sick animals and a home for animals who can’t fend for themselves in the wild. Disgusting tweet.”
Another tweeted, “It's okay guys, leave the animals in their natural habitat, that way when poachers, or deforestation kills them, PETA can complain about “why didn't anyone attempt to help these creatures.”
In response, PETA doubled down and issued a statement from founder and president, Ingrid Newkirk:
“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. 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.”