Illogical, absurd arguments that make us look like self-righteous assholes, we choose you. That’s the impression animal rights group PETA is giving off by claiming the new Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 games promote animal abuse.
It’s really no surprise PETA will go to extreme, often tasteless lengths for attention — regardless of whether it’s positive or negative. Going nude to promote the idea that fur is murder, ridiculously quoting academic studies out of context to claim that milk consumption causes autism and comparing the slaughter of livestock to the horrific crimes of Jeffrey Dahmer are just some of the ways in which PETA has tried to nobly fight for the rights of animals. But this recent attack on a beloved — and entirely fictional — video game has done away with the very little amount of respect and credibility PETA had left.
“The amount of time that Pokémon spend stuffed in pokeballs is akin to how elephants are chained up in train carts, waiting to be let out to ‘perform’ in circuses,” PETA states on their website. PETA also tries to explain that the Pokémon universe serves to glorify staged animal fighting by making it seem less horrible than it is in reality.
Just in case it didn’t seem like PETA’s war of words against Pokémon was quite enough to drive the message home, they’ve come out with a version of their own game on the PETA website: Pokémon Black and Blue: Gotta Free ‘Em All! You play as a Pokémon fed up with the supposed abuse and neglect that you’ve endured at the hands of your trainer. The Pokémon fights their trainer by using such deadly moves as “group hug” and “protest,” which little by little causes damage to your trainer. After you’ve won against her, the Pokémon proudly exclaims that all Pokémon exist for a reason and are not meant to be abused. How cute. PETA would almost have a credible argument to stand on if it weren’t for the fact that Pokémon is fictional, and the player uses fighting — the thing that PETA takes issue with in the first place — against their trainer.
It really shouldn’t need to be said that animal abuse is bad. But unfortunately, it’s a reality. And although it seems like PETA’s heart is in the right place by trying to bring the issue of animal abuse and neglect to light, the overall lunacy of this campaign overshadows this message.
Instead of taking time to ponder and perhaps do something productive to help abused animals, PETA’s crusade against Pokémon only serves to make people laugh and question their legitimacy as an advocator of animal rights — the correct response to this situation.
Although Pokémon is a franchise adored by people of all ages and walks of life, it’s ultimately a series marketed towards younger people — which makes the messages behind the show important. Although kids shouldn’t be learning and basing their moral code off a video game or TV show, young kids are highly impressionable. But it doesn’t seem like Pokémon is breeding a future generation of animal abusers or dog fighting enthusiasts. In fact, ask a Pokémon fan what the core themes of the show are, and it’s certain they’ll say it’s friendship and loyalty. After all, a trainer is only successful if his chosen Pokémon is at the top of its game by being trained and loved. The two depend on each other and there’s absolutely no semblance of abuse present in these games and shows.
Fighting to end animal abuse is a universally agreeable cause that everyone can get behind, but PETA is making a joke out of the whole issue with their tirade against fictional set of characters. Go out and take real action to help and hopefully prevent animal abuse instead of paying attention to PETA’s idiotic drivel.
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