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PETA is an animal charity. PETA stands for “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals”.  They try to protect animal rights. There are 6.5 million members of PETA. However, many people disagree with their methods. This includes a recent tweet from PETA about Steve Irwin on what would have been his 57th birthday.

Steve Irwin was an Australian zookeeper and animal protector. He helped many animals by moving them out of danger. He also made many documentaries to teach people about animals. He died in 2006 while making a documentary about ocean animals. A stingray became startled by his shadow and killed him by accident. The cameraman said he believed the stingray thought Steve’s shadow was a tiger shark. A tiger shark is a hunter of stingrays. Stingrays are not dangerous animals. Steve Irwin was only the second person to be killed by a Stingray in Australia.

PETA decided to criticise Steve Irwin because Google celebrated his birthday. The tweet said he was mean to animals and should not be celebrated. After this, there was an uproar across the internet. Many people became angry at PETA because Steve Irwin always helped animals and protected them. He also taught many people about animals and changed their thinking. Now, people don’t kill as many dangerous animals in Australia. If someone sees a snake or crocodile they ask for help to have it moved. Before Steve Irwin, they would have killed the animal.

People attacked PETA for treating animals badly. People against PETA have said the organisation cares more about money than animals. They have been criticised for killing as many as 95% of the animals they receive each year. In 2015, PETA spent 75% of its donations on their organisation. People are angry because PETA is not spending the donations on helping animals, but only on making their organisation bigger.

Animal activists have asked people to support other animal charities with a better history of caring for animals.

Difficult words

Charity: A group that works to help or raise money for something in need.

Ethical: Whether something is right or wrong.

Documentary: A film or tv show that describes a true event using facts and interviews.

Startle: To shocked or surprised.

Criticise: To say what you don’t like about something.

Uproar: Many people shouting or saying that they don’t like something

Organisation: A group.

Donations: Free money that is given to help.

Activists: People fighting to help or save one thing.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: 

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

 1. Ethical  A. Surprise
 2. Startle  B.  Outrage
 3.  Criticise  C. A group
 4. Uproar  D. Right and wrong
 5. Organisation  E.  Attack

True or False?

1.  Steve Irwin currently lives in Australia. T / F

2.   Stingrays are usually not dangerous to people. T / F

3.  PETA is a zoo for people to visit. T / F

4. Everyone agrees with PETA.  T / F

5. Google celebrated Steve Irwin’s birthday. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. animal / PETA / an / is / charity

2. making / He / while / documentary / in / 2006 / a / died

3. are / not / Stingrays / dangerous / animals

4. taught / people / many / about / animals / He / also

5. of / hunter / shark / a / is / stingrays / A / tiger

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: 

American English: 

Ocean Donations Rights
Protected Startled Criticised

PETA is an animal charity. PETA stands for “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals”.  They try to protect animal __________. There are 6.5 million members of PETA. However, many people disagree with their methods. This includes a recent tweet from PETA about Steve Irwin on what would have been his 57th birthday.

Steve Irwin was an Australian zookeeper and animal protector. He helped many animals by moving them out of danger. He also made many documentaries to teach people about animals. He died in 2006 while making a documentary about ___________ animals. A stingray became _____________ by his shadow and killed him by accident. The cameraman said he believed the stingray thought Steve’s shadow was a tiger shark. A tiger shark is a hunter of stingrays. Stingrays are not dangerous animals. Steve Irwin was only the second person to be killed by a Stingray in Australia.

PETA decided to criticise Steve Irwin because Google celebrated his birthday. The tweet said he was mean to animals and should not be celebrated. After this, there was an uproar across the internet. Many people became angry at PETA because Steve Irwin always helped animals and ______________ them. He also taught many people about animals and changed their thinking. Now, people don’t kill as many dangerous animals in Australia. If someone sees a snake or crocodile they ask for help to have it moved. Before Steve Irwin, they would have killed the animal.

People attacked PETA for treating animals badly. People against PETA have said the organisation cares more about money than animals. They have been _____________ for killing as many as 95% of the animals they receive each year. In 2015, PETA spent 75% of its _______________ on their organisation. People are angry because PETA is not spending the donations on helping animals, but only on making their organisation bigger.

Animal activists have asked people to support other animal charities with a better history of caring for animals.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think of this story?
4. Had you heard of Steve Irwin or PETA before reading this story?
5. How are animals treated in your country?
6. Are there any dangerous animals in your country?
7. Do you think animals need to be protected?
8. What do you think about PETA’s tweet?
9. What should normal people do to protect animals?
10. What do you think about PETA killing the animals it receives?
11. Are zoos good or bad for animals?
12. How are animal rights viewed in your country?
13. Have you ever given money to a charity?
14. Should people worry about how charities use donations?
15. Do you think charities make the world better?
16. Do you think we should all donate some of our salary to charity?
17. What are the most important areas regarding conservation in your country?
18. Is globalization making conservation efforts more difficult?
19. Is it our duty to keep the Earth in good condition?
20. Do you think our children will look after the Earth better than we have?