Blake Shelton has a long, well documented drinking and tweeting problem, to the point where his wife Miranda Lambert has called herself a “twittow,” or Twitter widow. (I know, it’s stupid.) Blake’s latest Twitter controversy involves him bragging about running over a box turtle in Oklahoma and wondering aloud if they’re endangered in that state. (From what I could find, they’re not, they’re just threatened depending on the species.) When people tried to call Blake out for harming wildlife he got all defensive and angry, and ultimately tried to claim that he wasn’t even in Oklahoma and was making a joke. Weak. Put down the Barcadi and step away from the Blackberry.
On July 27, Shelton made the odd choice to boast about how he deliberately ran over a turtle with his car:
“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…”
Not surprisingly, the Twittersphere responded with concern and anger. NPR blogger Barbara J. King replied to Shelton’s tweet, asking if it was a bad joke:
“That turtle’s life meant something- was your tweet a bad joke? Why would you be so cruel to a living being?”
Shelton, in return, told her to “Shut up...”
After that remark, Shelton was inundated with angry tweets, most of which he flippantly responded to, but later he responded with increasing hostility to a user named @turtlefeed, who was repeatedly tweeting about Shelton’s perceived apathy toward animal life. Sheton wrote:
“Hey @turtlefeed. Before u make an even bigger dipshit of urself you should research on how much money I have raised to feed homeless animals,” adding, “Hey @turtlefeed.. I solely have raised over a million dollars in animal rescue/conservation alone… How much have you raised? Oh. Ok. Next!”
Watching a Twitter fight between a celebrity and their followers is always simultaneously amusing and depressing, but in a series of tweets, Shelton finally broke down and said he was joking about killing the turtle:
“The best part of all of this is that the dumb asses didn’t even look to see that I’m not even in Oklahoma today!! I’m in North Dakota!! Do they even have turtles in North Dakota?!!! God almighty!!! What’s wrong with people?! Get a life!! Get a job!! Get laid!! For once!!!” He later added, “For the last time I didn’t hit a turtle! I haven’t seen a turtle! So please all you turtle freaks go back to eating your boogers!! It’s ok.”
Shelton got so much flak, both for his joke and for the way that he responded to critics, that he was finally forced to apologize for having a poor sense of humor:
“Ok.. Now that “Turtle-Gate” is over I want to apologize for my ignorant joke.. I never ran over a turtle. It wasn’t even possible.“
[From Huffington Post]
I don’t get it. If he didn’t kill a turtle why was he acting like he did until people responded negatively? Sure he likes to hunt, but in my mind that’s different, that’s killing an animal for meat, not just because you can. Although a lot of people do it for sport of course. I never really hunted or understood the appeal of hunting, but I’m a meat eater and am not against it as long as the animal is used for meat.
I live in the country in Virginia, and I’ve “saved” a few box turtles who have wandered onto the road. If you’re driving and there aren’t any other cars around, it’s just the right thing to do to move them to the side. Box turtles don’t hurt anyone, and they’re actually kind of cute. Plus they move slow so it’s easy to rescue them. (I once even “saved” a snapping turtle, although all I really did was stop. The next dude who stopped had big protective gloves and a box and stuff. He was the one who moved it to the other side of the road. There’s no way I would have done that on my own.) I’ve never personally seen anyone swerve to deliberately hit a turtle, although a friend of mine claims to have seen people do it. It just seems like such a stupid, redneck thing to do, nonetheless brag about as if it were funny.
My dad saved this little guy below a couple of years ago, and I took these photos. My son loved this turtle and called him “boxy.” He hung out at my parents’ pond for a little while before he decided to head off into the woods nearby.