Some people hunt for sport. Some people hunt for food. And some people run over with their car an Eastern Box turtle walking across the road. One of those people is country music star The Voice coach Blake Shelton, who tweeted yesterday, "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..." Cue a Nelson Muntz "HA HA."
An NPR blogger, Barbara J. King, at-replied Shelton and asked, "That turtle's life meant something - was your tweet a bad jke? Why would you be so cruel to a living being?" Shelton then at-replied — doubly confirming his asshole status — her "Shut up." He dodged dozens of angry tweeters dismissively and later tweeted, "For the last time I didn't hit a turtle! I haven't seen a turtle. I haven't seen a turtle! So please all you turtle freaks go back to eating your boogers! It's OK!" And of course, he didn't stop there: "What's wrong with people!!! Get a job! Get laid! For once!"
Shelton claims that making his own roadkill was a joke and was not even in Oklahoma; he also tweeted about having raised money for "homeless animals." Because that's a thing people who love animals do, apparently? Joke about killing protected animals on Twitter? Yeah, I joke about disemboweling panda bears all the time!
Regardless of whether he killed a turtle or just showed poor judgment, the fact remains that Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert, also a country star, are both big hunters. They served venison they shot themselves at their wedding and went fishing on their honeymoon. Whether you agree eating meat is ethical or not, hopefully people who eat animals they kill show some honor and respect at the animal's sacrifice; killing animals for no other reason than for your own amusement shows, in my opinion, no respect at all. A random act of violence against an animal he didn't intend to eat is indefensibly disrespectful and telling that NPR blogger "Shut up" is even more so. It makes me wonder whether Shelton has respect for the lives he and his wife take.
And I hate to say it, but this incident does nothing to improve the ignorant hick stereotype of some country music stars.