WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Irwin’s actions muddled his message

Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.

Posted

Re: “ Did PETA finally go too far?” by Bill Howard, Friday:

By all accounts, Steve Irwin was a genuinely nice guy. But his natural charm cannot disguise the fact that he made his name harassing wildlife.

Irwin’s television program typically involved invading animals’ natural environments to agitate, harangue, upset and disturb them. He also subjected animals to the stress of public appearances, including on television shows, where they could not understand what was going on. It’s important to keep in mind that when wild animals appear on television shows or are used in photo ops, they’re typically being forced into frightening, loud and stressful situations for no reason other than to bring publicity to an animal trainer or handler.

Although Irwin’s verbal message of animal conservation was often on target, his actions spoke louder than his words.

Jennifer O’Connor

Norfolk, Va.

The writer is employed as senior writer for the PETA Foundation.

Comments