Target: Blake Shelton
Goal: Apologize for publicly endorsing the intentional killing of turtles
American country artist Blake Shelton recently bragged on Twitter about purposefully running over a box turtle in Oklahoma. While it cannot be proven that the incident actually occurred or was simply intended to be a joke, however tasteless, his public endorsement of animal cruelty provoked heated comments from fans and set a negative example for all. Despite Shelton’s supposed support for conservation efforts, this tweet reveals his lack of desire to conserve smaller creatures.
Without considering the ramifications, Shelton tweeted, “Does anyone know if the Eastern Box turtle is protected in Oklahoma? If so I didn’t just swerve to the shoulder of the road to smash one…” The problem at hand is not just the acclaimed action, but also the desensitizing effect it has on fans. While many response tweets voiced their disgust, others tweeted that fans were overreacting and that “it was just a turtle.” Shelton even told one fan who questioned his behavior to “shut up.” Such arrogance accompanied with a blasé attitude toward wildlife illustrates an overarching lack of concern for our planet’s creatures and an acceptance of animal cruelty as long as the victim is small and insignificant, like a turtle. If animals are ranked by size or subjective worth, it becomes acceptable to mistreat some, and this attitude is a dangerous one to espouse. NASA scientist Mark Rober has already proven that six percent of drivers will actually will swerve their vehicles to hit smaller animals, and Shelton’s contagious attitude certainly contributes to increasing the percentage. Making a sport out of killing animals for convenient fun is cruelty and should never be okay, regardless of how small the turtle.
Tell Blake Shelton to apologize for setting a negative example for his fans and for incongruously supporting wildlife conservation and animal cruelty at the same time. Ask him to set a better example in the future and to uphold the intrinsic value of living creatures.
Dear Blake Shelton,
I am disappointed by your recent behavior and your negative views toward wildlife. You should set a positive example for your fans, yet instead you adopt an attitude of arrogance and exploit the life of an innocent being for a 140-character laugh. Your joke about smashing the box turtle was not funny, and it only serves to desensitize the public about the intrinsic value of life. It encourages others to think that killing for the sake of a joke is an appropriate and acceptable thing to do.
Because you have great influence, you have the responsibility to espouse positive attitudes that your fans can look up to. You are responsible for valuing life and humility. The world is corrupt enough without you, and cruel jokes are for bullies, not American celebrities. Your fans expect better from you. Please correct this behavior by tweeting an apology to your fans and by refraining from cruel jokes in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Nick Scobel