Let’s paint a picture of my evening: after a long day of stress I wind down and begin browsing IGN before I drift to sleep. Then I find this article about PETA’s new publicity target. From then-on-in any thought of sleep I had before was to be lost until I could spit out this post. Even as a teenager I didn’t care for PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), and now I just fucking hate them. Before I get to the meat of this issue let me explain why I disdain an organization which stands up for the mistreatment and slaughter of innocent animals. My first experience with the boarder-line hate group was at a festival concert in the summer of 2005. It was bad enough GWAR was there jizzing on everyone! The last thing I had wanted to see were pictures of skinned rabbits and geese being pulled apart for down comforters. I have stopped purchasing products that test on animals. Especially products, like down, which profit from torturing animals while they’re still alive. Still, a concert is just not the place to be shoving that in people’s faces! (They were right next to the pulled-pork sandwich stand too… and yes, I did buy a pork sandwich.)
I’d like to interrupt your good time to hand you these pamphlets on animal torture.
The next time I saw PETA… was during an impromptu protest. As I am not a spokesperson for PETA or a member– So I cannot say for sure that these people were officially from PETA the organization rather than a few loose members…I also will not say whether I was or was not there for one of these protests as an extremely uncomfortable invitee, but this is what went down. Some wacko looked up the personal addresses people employed under a few companies which test on animals. Guess what happens next. (If you guessed that they’d protested in front of the houses you’d be correct! + 10 points!) Some were on megaphones, they were chanting and screaming on the streets of these people’s homes while they were with their families! Now, I don’t know if you can or can’t see anything wrong with that– but if you can’t then there’s something fucking wrong with you– seriously, get help. If you are wondering what would happen when the cops were called– they’d all move on to the next person on the list and do it again!… YEAH, I KNOW!
Now that we’ve established my feelings on the group, we’ll move on. The bone PETA is picking: Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag and it’s glorification of harpooning majestic whales. That’s right kids– whales are majestic and PETA would rather have you forget any historic occurrences where whales were harpooned. Note that all AC games are set in the past, Black Flag in particular is set during the American Revolution. For those of you who don’t know anything about the 18th c. just understand that colonial Americans hunted whales regularly and used the animal (mainly its blubber) to make many products.
May I suggest a Whale Soap Tutorial as a Pre-Order Bonus?
PETA is implying that AC and Ubisoft are promoting killing whales for sport rather than for what it really is: historical context. Like they’re planning a mass indoctrination of our children’s malleable minds. PETA seems to fear that our youth will play AC and all of a sudden set sail for the Coast of Monte Carlo with dreams of adventure and an unquenchable lust for whale carcass. Not only is it ludicrous to assume that children now-a-days aspire to do anything physically straining when they grow-up or well, ever– but this game is based on 18th century pirates for Christ’s sake! I don’t see how it’s such a stretch that they’d be shooting whale while out on the open sea! (I bet they even shoot sharks to be fair!)
I’ve found a portion of the actual PETA statement for this Assassins Creed game via VentureBeat:
Whaling—that is, shooting whales with harpoons and leaving them to struggle for an hour or more before they die or are hacked apart while they are still alive—may seem like something out of the history books, but this bloody industry still goes on today in the face of international condemnation, and it’s disgraceful for any game to glorify it. PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals—not games that promote hurting and killing them.
We don’t even hunt whales at the rate we used to. I’ve killed bears and wolves for example in many games that haven’t been put under the PETA scope… probably because we have Americans who actually hunt those beasts regularly so PETA focuses on the real deaths instead of the imaginary ones. But, as a comical contrast, I do recall them attacking Cooking Mama because there was no vegan mode... (See video below)
You see, the problem that PETA has, is the same problem every overly sensitive group has with the media and its popular figures. Feeling like it’s there mission to make an example of every little detail. They yearn to sway the more sensitive individuals who care enough to listen… or maybe are just passing by. It’s admirable, focusing on treating creatures with no voices with legitimate dignity. But make no mistake about it, if a bear was threatened or hungry it’d kill you– it wouldn’t care about your voice. I’m not saying that gives anyone the moral justification to lock it in a box all it’s life so its meat stays tender. I’m attempting to put things into perspective.(did I do a good job?) PETA’s place isn’t telling a whole industry where to set the bar on standards and moral codes, especially when representing a historic timeframe. PETA isn’t fooling me when they ride in like white-knights, here to save the horses and to see the chickens mate in ‘free range’ farms. Because that’s not who they are– and if it ever was that image is lost to lunatics throwing blood on fur coats. PETA has become that guy who calls animal control for a homeless man’s dog in the winter– while leaving the homeless man outside to die. I’m all for ethical treatment of living things (you know– not just animals), however, the virtual hunting of whale in a video game isn’t unethical or cruel.