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    Community Post: 50 Disturbing Tweets Inspired By Blake Shelton’s Animal Cruelty Comment

    On July 27, Blake Shelton, country singer and coach on NBC’s The Voice tweeted that he had intentionally swerved to crush an Eastern Box Turtle, a species protected in many states. I and others had two immediate concerns: Did Shelton intentionally harm a turtle? Also, was Shelton, as a celebrity and self-proclaimed animal activist, aware of the consequences of publicly endorsing animal cruelty?

    The tweet that started what Shelton and the media have dubbed “Turtlegate.”

    Shelton eventually indicated that his tweet was a joke, but only after outraging the herpetology community by mocking individuals who expressed concern about his behavior. Some of the people Shelton targeted included herpetologist John Taylor, Professor Barbara J. King, and myself.

    So here’s where we come back to consequences. Blake Shelton has thousands of impressionable fans following him on Twitter. Eager to get Shelton’s attention, his fans started tweeting about animal cruelty, claiming either that they had committed heinous acts in the past or that they were willing to kill turtles for him. Fans didn’t just tweet these comments at Shelton, but at anyone who questioned him. I personally received hundreds of tweets threatening to harm turtles or, more disturbingly, me. To say these tweets were unsettling is an understatement; I wish I could un-see most of what I saw.

    In sum, Blake Shelton’s irresponsible tweeting had downright terrifying results. This is a sampling of what his fans tweeted and, unfortunately, are still tweeting:


    @turtlefeed I’d like to shoot one of your nasty turtles!— Morgan Murry (@morgan_murry16) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton retweet this or my turtle GETS IT! You dont need any more turtle blood on your hands..>:)— hallie laterza. ツ(@hallielaterza) July 30, 2012


    Dear @blakeshelton I’d gladly let you run over my pet turtle… :)— Hannah Whitis (@hannahwhitis) July 30, 2012


    @blakeshelton @hmesserly04 I shot a turtle at the pond tonight just because you tweeted that to Blake, do it again…I dare you….— Matthew Puckett (@mpuckett88) July 30, 2012


    @turtlefeed did u know that gutting a snapping turtle is easier than it seems?— Chance Paul Vickers (@ChanceVickers42) July 30, 2012


    @blakeshelton you are the absolute sweetest <3 i am obsessed with you and would let you kill any turtle you’d like. 🙂 #replytome!!— saxon house (@saxonhouse) July 31, 2012


    @blakeshelton ignore the hate! Your a great artist and you should be proud. I’d kill a turtle to meet you! :)— kyra white (@kyra_shian) July 31, 2012


    If i hear @blakeshelton come out of @hallielaterza ‘s mouth one more time, I’m going to kill her turtle!— lisa laterza (@ljl723) July 31, 2012


    @blakeshelton @iballsbts maybe if we kill a turtleAn tweet him a pic!? LMAO— ☀Kristin Kelly☀ (@KristinK74) July 31, 2012


    @blakeshelton it’s ok i’ll kill the turtle for ya yum yum #turtlesoup— Ashley Murphy (@southernwvgirlx) July 28, 2012


    Hey @turtlefeed people intentionally kill cats and dogs by running over them all the time. Dont be so dramatic about a turtle @blakeshelton— Laura Wilcox (@laurakwilcox) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton tell that turtle man to go fuck himself… You can kill and eat whatever the hell you want… :)— tayler richard (@tryanrichard) July 28, 2012


    @blakesheltonYou are hilarious !!10 points for turtle road kill .. Need I not say more..— Bonnie Wolford (@bonniehd1200) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton Lmfao I would KILL – a turtle to have some beers with you one day! With @miranda_lambert too :)— Crystal Lynn (@tweetCrystal) July 27, 2012


    @blakeshelton I feel like you should run over a few turtles just to give them something to actually bitch about.— Leila Huls (@Leila21Ma) July 31, 2012


    @blakeshelton Buncha tree huggin, PETA promoting, liberalistic, democratic douche bags. If you ever do run over a turtle, I salute you.— Matthew Puckett (@mpuckett88) July 30, 2012


    I just want to get a turtle so @blakeshelton will come and try to run it over. Then I plan on woo-ing him— Felicia Antonio. (@FeliciaRLove) July 30, 2012


    @blakeshelton God also made turtles…and roads…and trucks…it’s kind of like they were meant to be run over— Jerron Kuehn (@JerronK) July 30, 2012


    is so excited to see @blakeshelton this weekend at #BVJ2012 I just might run over an endangered turtle!!— Steph Drysdale (@stephd7) July 30, 2012


    @blakeshelton you should write a song about a tree hugging turtle lover that got run over by a train. THAT may be the perfect country song!!— Geoff Swales (@gswales) July 30, 2012


    @blakeshelton We ran over a snapping turtle a couple weeks ago. Not purposely, of course, but it did feel kinda cool LMAO!— Gina Fleming (@Badsecret123) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton I’ll run over turtles with you. Hahah— Kallie Moores (@KallieMoores) July 29, 2012


    @blakeshelton , you run turtles over? wanna run mine over too? hahaha!— Taren :)(@c_taren) July 29, 2012


    @blakeshelton @mimimm_leaving Pensacola, FL tomorrow on my way back home to Arkansas, I’m gonna run over and eat all turtles #shellsUp— James Warren (@jameswarren04) July 29, 2012


    @blakeshelton I run over turtles too!— Kalcee Woodruff (@KLCWDRF) July 29, 2012


    @blakeshelton tonight I shall find a turtle, and run him over. Just for you, and all the turtle loving freaks out there. #turtlesoup— jeanie (@marissajeanie) July 29, 2012


    @blakeshelton @smuttysteff : if they really knew Oklahomans, they’d know we much prefer to shoot turtles not run over them…..— Trevor Parrington (@archryaddict75) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton they say that if you run over a turtle with a John Deere it tastes better ! Have you tried ?— ❤Andrea❤ (@IBALLSBTS) July 28, 2012


    If I had a turtle, I’d let @blakeshelton run it over— ChelseaNichole(@ccarb91) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton hey just got in my Jeep in NC and run over this turtle in Ga. Do you want me to send it to you?— John Autrey (@lnchbxrolling) July 28, 2012


    What do I have to do to get alittle luv back from @blakeshelton? Run over a turtle and then have it for dinner?— Diane Michel (@dianemchl8) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton we have red slider snapping turtles that r discusting so run over them all you want— danie keaveny (@daniemkeav) July 28, 2012


    @turtlefeed @blakeshelton I happen to run over animals on purpose. Also got a turtle&brought it home once too tho. Running over wildlife— BootsInTheMud (@BootsInTheMud) July 28, 2012


    Hey @turtlefeed @blakeshelton I like to run over animals. whats wrong with that? :-)— Jake Calhoun(@cowboyjake4414) July 28, 2012


    @kelseymindhamI’ll run turtles over all damn day with @blakeshelton— mason smolik (@mason_smolik) July 28, 2012


    I wonder if I put some turtles in the middle of the road @blakeshelton would come and run them over and then I could finally meet him.— Kaiti Brown (@kaitibrown15) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton @bjkingape don’t worry, a turtle but me a last month and I shot in the face with a 30-30.— Andrew Baggett (@AndrewJBaggett) July 27, 2012


    @blakeshelton we literally bring shotguns to the pond just to shoot turtles in Oklahoma. Lol big deal.— Alexander Haynes (@Alxndr_TheGreat) July 31, 2012


    @blakeshelton If you’re in Ga. next spring come down to the Farm and we’ll shoot some turtles off the big pine that’s laying in the pond.— Marc Cannon (@MarcCannon) July 30, 2012


    Omg the people that are still talking about @blakeshelton and that stupid turtle I wanna shoot those people like now!!!!!— nicole miller(@Nicolemil36) July 28, 2012


    @donnaromsteadt @blakeshelton I’m about to see where they live and slap them or do anything to them like shoot them— nicole miller(@Nicolemil36) July 28, 2012


    Ran over a turtle in honor of @blakeshelton and to piss off the liberals who are giving him hell. #liberalssuck— Chance Knight (@wchancek) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton can you start running over some squirrels while you’re at it? Bastards are everywhere. #turtlesoup— Jeff McHugh (@JSMcHugh13) July 28, 2012


    @sherrie00 @denisei2002 @donnaromsteadt @nicolemil36 @blakeshelton : Turtle crunch, just like peanut brittle. How much for a 1 lb. bag?— Sweet Sue (@musicfoot) July 28, 2012


    Now I’m getting the urge to go turtle swervin…….@blakeshelton @reptilesusa #turtlesoup— Greg Eddins (@gregeddins) July 28, 2012


    The turtle had to die some time. Maybe turtles should think twice before trying to cross the road in front of @blakeshelton #turtlesoup #aha— #KateGaines (@amberrose555) July 28, 2012


    @turtlefeed @blakeshelton was joking Jesus Christ get over it! You turtle crusading homos are about as intelligent as your beloved turtles— Mike Berg (@MikeBerg11) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton one time I shot a snapping turtle in the head. the bastard was killing all my blue gill. @turtlefeed is next.— chri5tinebreezy (@chri5tinebreezy) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton I just saw the same kind of turtle in Florida, so I let it cross the road, then ran it over, safe zone, not tonight— Chase Raymond (@chaseraymond) July 28, 2012


    @blakeshelton send those turtle freaks my way!!! #BANG…— Bryce Garner (@BryceGarner1) July 28, 2012

    This, by the way, is the picture attached to tweet #50.

    Blake Shelton continues to joke with his fans about Turtlegate. Considering Shelton is nominated for a Teen Choice award, I think it’s time for him to read these tweets and take responsibility for his turtle twittering.

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