Celebrating the late Steve Irwin’s birthday on Feb. 22, many people rejoiced in the Crocodile Hunter’s memory while organizations such as PETA only demonized him. With a bit of research, many have found evidence exposing the dark underbelly of this animal rights organization.
PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has been very open about its ideas and operations. However, although they have spoken briefly about it, they have been less than candid about their stance on euthanasia in their shelters.
The Washington Post reported that the PETA shelter located in Norfolk, Va., the percentage of animal euthanasia has remained at a steady 80 percent of animals it takes in. In numbers, this means roughly 2,500 animals are unjustly euthanized each year. The number only rises and has not fallen past that initial percentage.
Though their website says otherwise, many former PETA employees have come forward to out the organization’s real policy on euthanasia. The page states that they only euthanize unhealthy and unadoptable animals. On the same page, they reference how they don’t bring healthy, adoptable animals through their door, they send them to other shelters.
In 2017 alone, out of the nearly 2,000 animals that came to their shelter, only 44 were adopted. The others were killed. The year before that out of the same amount of animals, only 57 found homes. There is something a little off about there being over 1,800 unhealthy animals in one central region.
There have been many lawsuits against PETA. One includes a family whose chihuahua, Maya, was taken out of their front yard and another is from a former employee who claims that the organization is a front for a slaughterhouse. The issue with each of these is that they violate the Virginia state law that requires a five-day grace period before animals are put down. Even then, that grace period is only in emergency situations.
Now, I know you are wondering how this connects to Steve Irwin. In the past few weeks, there has been an influx of Steve Irwin-related memes circulating the internet. This came about as PETA criticized Google’s decision to dedicate the search bar doodle to the wildlife warrior in celebration of his 57th birthday.
They stated that he was killed “harassing a ray” and that it sent a “dangerous, fawning message” to viewers. This is seemingly hypocritical since there is plenty of evidence and statistics published about PETA’s aforementioned wrongdoings.
This is not the first time that the organization has gotten into hot water over social media. A few months previous, they suggested that we as a society change the way we use idioms. Instead of “don’t beat a dead horse” the alternate phrase would say “don’t feed a fed horse.” This, of course, did not take to internet users. That may have also had something to do with the fact that PETA likened the plight of animal kind to racism.
The organization tweeted, “Just as it became unacceptable to use racist, homophobic or ableist language, phrases that trivialize cruelty to animals will vanish.” Aren’t we still working on racist statements in mainstream media?
I’m not saying that we don’t need to support animal rights, but there is no reason to villainize the people in the world that do everything they can to teach the world about animal life and the way they live among us.
photo courtesy PETA on Twitter