I am writing in regards to your recent internet article: “Steve Irwin: Not a True Wildlife Warrior” in addition to Vice President Dan Mathews related comments. My wife and I are fond supporters of your organization, but you have crossed the line on this one. These outrageous claims are disturbing and alienating to those who support the endeavors of both PETA and Steve Irwin. One can not insult the deceased without insulting the masses of people influenced and taught by Irwin, many of whom are also supporters of PETA, many others who are potential supporters. This story is insulting, ignorant of the facts, and appears to be a cheap publicity stunt by your vice president, which is now threatening the reputation of PETA.
I demand an apology and call for the resignation of Dan Mathews.
Yes, while Irwin did come uncomfortably close to some species throughout his career, he did always stress the importance of others not doing so on their own. He emphasized education and conservation, and influenced millions of children to have a fondness of animals. Furthermore, he never hurt an animal in his entire career. The only one he ever hurt was himself, as he was aware that stepping into the wild to educate others involved dangerous and sometimes fatal risks. Irwin’s final message for us was that not even “The Crocodile Hunter” is invincible from the forces of wildlife and nature. You can’t take that or any of his accomplishments away from him just because you rushed to judge and didn’t think through your statement or do the appropriate research.
Speaking of accomplishments, let me educate you. Steve Irwin founded the Steve Irwin Conservation Foundation, which protects habitats and wildlife, creates rescue programs, and leads in scientific research that will help save endangered species for generations to come. Irwin also helped found the International Crocodile Rescue.
Irwin also founded the Lyn Irwin Memorial Fund, in which all donations go directly to the Iron Bark Station Wildlife Rehabilitation Center with 3,450 acres of wildlife sanctuary.
Irwin used the profits from his show to buy 83,000 acres of endangered Acacia Woodland in southwestern Queensland, in addition to other portions of Australia, all for the sole purpose of conserving habitats for wildlife.
Steve Irwin is responsible for starting endangered species breeding programs for the Southern Cassowary, Koalas, Fijian Crested Iguanas, Bilby Rhinoceros Iguanas, Galapagos Giant Land Tortoises, Aldabran Giant Land Tortoises, Mary River Turtles, Peregrine Falcons, Komodo Dragons, and Irwins Turtles -- a newly-discovered breed named after Steve himself. He has also established breeding programs for such vulnerable species as Tasmanian Devils, Wombats, Echidnas, Red Kangaroos, Asian Small-Clawed Otters, Queensland Womas, Death Adders, Rusty Monitors, Canopy Goannas, Yakka Skinks, Reticulated Pythons, Burmese Pythons, Australian Green Pythons, Sea Snakes, Black Cockatoos, Jabirus, Curlews, and his beloved Saltwater Crocodiles. Steve Irwin’s devotion to wildlife and conservation can not be questioned. His legacy will live on and his mission of wildlife conservation will march on stronger than ever. On the contrary, what has Dan Mathew’s personal and professional contribution been?
Dan Mathew’s comments are distasteful and disrespectful. While these comments do call more attention to the late Steve Irwin and keep his mission vitalized, of which we are thankful, these comments are also hurting the PETA image. This is not the way to recruit members and spread our message of animal liberation. Wouldn’t it have been better to pay tribute to Irwin and draw in new PETA supporters in that manner? Instead, you have turned away potential supporters. I must now question your intentions and credibility.
I demand a public apology for these malicious statements, in addition to the resignation of Dan Mathews.
I hope we can all move forward and continue the battle to protect all animals.
SIGN THE PETITION HERE: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/191553641
I applaud Bill Lawrence and encourage all to sign this petition, PeTA has grown to a destructive monster and its time to let them know people are sick of them and those people donate.