Note: I originally wrote this on March 25, 2009. I am re-posting because the fools at PETA are at it again, whining about video games where no animals are actually harmed. More on that idiocy in a few days.
Wolves and dogs have been a common enemy in video games for more than 20 years. In Altered Beast for the Sega Genesis, the player obtains power ups by killing dogs and picking up the orbs they leave behind. Wolves are a common enemy in role playing games such as the Final Fantasy and Dragonquest series. Dogs are far from the only animals that gamers have faced over the years, as players kill turtles, rhinos and moles in the Super Mario Brothers series. The list goes on and on, not to mention all of the humans players kill (or defeat) in various games.
Someone forgot to tell the extremists at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, who are in a tizzy because of the realistic killing of dogs in the latest Call of Duty first-person shooter. PETA sent the game’s publishers a “care package” with the hope that “perhaps the next Call of Duty game will have you unlock achievements for petting the dogs you encounter and going on walks or playing Frisbee with them.” No word on whether these proposed scenes will take place in a marijuana-induced haze complete with visions from the earth goddess Gaia.
Of course, the dishonesty and hypocrisy of this statement is obvious to anyone who is at all informed about PETA, since one of PETA’s long term goals is to eliminate pet ownership. PETA’s Ingrid Newkirk said “Pet ownership is slavery. Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or be entertained by.” Newkirk also said that “pet ownership is an absolutely abysmal situation brought about by human manipulation.”
I guess People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has morphed into People for the Ethical Treatment of Pixels. After all, no animals are actually harmed in Call of Duty, just as no humans are actually harmed despite the huge number of human characters the player is required to kill as he progresses through this game or similar first person shooters. News flash for PETA: video games are not real. Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which howled in protest over the fact that players of the Grand Theft Auto sequel released last year could get their character drunk and then attempt to drive, might want to learn the same lesson.
PETA’s idiotic letter is nothing more than an attention-grabbing LOOK AT ME moment that does absolutely nothing for animal “rights” or animal welfare. This circus distracts from real animal cruelty by whining about irrelevancies like a video game and promoting this circus-like atmosphere. This is why I say PETA is no different from the Westboro Baptist “Church” and that Ingrid Newkirk = Fred Phelps. The WBC pickets funerals because they’re attention whores. PETA is exactly the same.
PETA espouses an extremist, radical ideology that I am never going to agree with, especially as a cancer survivor who is alive today because of biomedical research. In cases where they are reasonable – such as campaigns against dog fighting and inhumane conditions for breeding pets – they could garner some support even among those who disagree with them on the more extreme views the organization holds. But PETA doesn’t care about animal rights or animal welfare. It’s all about getting as much attention as possible.