PETA Vs. Pokemon

from the wrongosaur-i-choose-you dept

It feels like it should be a strange dichotomy, my love for animals coupled with my absolute disdain for PETA, but it isn’t. It essentially boils down to this: PETA has a good premise, anti-cruelty to animals, but the organization seems to like to ensure it won’t be relevant by doubling down on the stupid and crazy. One needs only to look toward their recent foray into the .XXX domain world should one require a head-shaking exercise. They’ve also had occasion in the past to delve into the world of video games, such as when they created a parody of Cooking Mama, focused on having “Mama” kill animals for food.

But now, in an apparent attempt to win both the “Petty Award” and the first annual “We Don’t Know The Video Games We’re Protesting Award”, PETA is now coming out against Pokemon, claiming that the game franchise teaches children to see real world animals as objects that should fight one another for our amusement.
In other words, PETA has decided that Pokemon’s upcoming release of two new games is just grand enough to stand upon.

Much like animals in the real world, Pokémon are treated as unfeeling objects and used for such things as human entertainment and as subjects in experiments. The way that Pokémon are stuffed into pokéballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods …if PETA existed in Unova, our motto would be: Pokémon are not ours to use or abuse. They exist for their own reasons. We believe that this is the message that should be sent to children.

It would be very easy to simply write this off as an attempt by PETA to put themselves in the headlines on the backs of a popular game franchise’s latest release. Indeed, that is exactly what they’re doing here, though they may want to recognize that there is such a thing as bad attention. However, it seems impossible not to call PETA out on the blatant stupidity of this move. First of all, at best, nobody cares. Anyone with half a brain knows that there is zero reason to correlate cartoonish animal universes like Pokemon to real-world cruelty. PETA might as well come out against the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for fear that kids will go down to their local ponds, see a snapping turtle, and karate kick its face off for fear that the animal is going to steal their double-crust pizza. As a child of the 80’s I can assure you that it only takes two or three times roundhousing helpless turtles to realize that they really aren’t so bad and it’s in fact you, said karate kicker, who is the jackass.

Second, it’s brutally clear that nobody at PETA has bothered to actually play the Pokemon games. As Forbes notes, if they had, they would realize that the core theme of the universe is largely in line with their own views.

PETA seems to have missed the single biggest theme of the Pokémon series: That Pokémon should be treated humanely and live as our equals. The games are loaded with an endless stream of characters who go on and on about true friendship between man and Pokémon. It’s so saccharine and so completely the opposite of what PETA suggests that it boggles the mind.

So here’s to you, PETA. You’ve managed to waste everybody’s time while simultaneously proving you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about. Again. For ever and ever. Amen.

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Comments on “PETA Vs. Pokemon”

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60 Comments
Jay (profile) says:

And of course, you can’t forget that Pok?PETA were basically the bad guys of the last game. It’s just so many mis-firings in their brains it goes straight through horrifying and comes out hilarious. As a good friend of mine put it, the irony of this is so delicious she wants to dip it in chocolate and slowly eat it while lying on silk sheets.

My friend is kind of weird. And I love that.

Anonymous Coward says:

well

Did anyone notice that a MAJOR backer of PETA is Nintendo?

Basically this is just an advert for Pokemon…..
This is why PETA is always about the crazy…because crazy draws attention when corporate market-speak won’t.
They’ve been bankrolled by Mcdonalds, various oil companies and a whole bunch of other corporate interests for years and used as cheap advertising.

Hell the Cooking Mama / Wii U advert has been all over the net for days now…….far more advertising that ANY game nintendo is releasing at this point.

Anonymous Coward says:

well

Did anyone notice that a MAJOR backer of PETA is Nintendo?

Basically this is just an advert for Pokemon…..
This is why PETA is always about the crazy…because crazy draws attention when corporate market-speak won’t.
They’ve been bankrolled by Mcdonalds, various oil companies and a whole bunch of other corporate interests for years and used as cheap advertising.

Hell the Cooking Mama / Wii U advert has been all over the net for days now…….far more advertising that ANY game nintendo is releasing at this point.

DannyB (profile) says:

Re: Re:

> PETA has to fight cruelty to animals wherever it can create it!

Hopefully PETA doesn’t create cruelty to animals.

Yes, they must fight cruelty to animals. Nothing wrong with that.

But this story, involving Pokemon, isn’t even about real animals, nor real cruelty for that matter. It’s fiction, and animated fiction at that.

All persons and events in this post are fictional. Very few animals were harmed in the making of this post.

Brad Hubbard (profile) says:

Now to be fair, on the surface Pokemon is just a dogfighting simulator. You keep animals penned up until it’s time to fight, and then you hurtle them into battle, either because you happened to come across someone who gave you a dirty look or because you wanted to win some money in a tournament. You feed and train them so they can be better fighters.

If you never bother to play the game and only read a description of it like that, you can kinda see how they view the world.

But then again, these are people who think having pets of any kind is an affront to animal rights, yet have no problem exploiting women for their cause.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You keep animals penned up until it’s time to fight, and then you hurtle them into battle, either because you happened to come across someone who gave you a dirty look or because you wanted to win some money in a tournament.

All things considered, Pokemon is definitely better that what I had as a kid, which would be my brother and I standing in the yard throwing our Pet Rocks? at each other.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Don’t forget the ball further shrinks after use taking it to a great 1/16th of it’s initial size all for the convenience of the avid pokemon trainer that wants a wide array of pokemons (or his personal pokemon army to overthrow the US President.. but then again we’d have a terrorism issue here).

I might be getting old but it reminds me of the people leaving their kids in the cars and folding them in the past as shown in that TV series the Jetsons. Scary developments!

Anonymous Coward says:

Have they actually played the games?

The two games that are coming out are Pokemon Black and White 2.

The plot of Black and White, which are the direct prequels to these games, dealt with the whole morality of using Pokemon as pets.

A running theme throughout the series as a whole is that you treat your Pokemon as companions and friends, not as tools for battle. In fact, the trainers who treat their Pokemon as such are summarily beaten, over and over.

So in other words, get your hands off my childhood PETA, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

bob says:

not really in line with peta

I agree peta are nut jobs.
but, to say pokemon is in line with their view on animals is just ignorant.
yes, picachu is the kids best friends, which he sends into fights to get hurt on a regular basis.
it’s like loving your dog and participating in dog fights.
the premise of pokemon is “gotta catch them all” (pokemon) and the characters lead goal is to become the best trainer.
of what? of fighting animals in the arena.
so, peta craziness aside, anyone who thinks any mesage from pokemon is anything akin to ‘prevent animal cruelty’ just doesn’t know what they’re talking about.
No, I don’t think most kids will try to get their cat to fight their dog. well, they will, but they’ll tire of that pretty quick. so, real world effect is minimal, but that doesn’t mean the message is at all good to begin with. šŸ˜›

Wallow says:

Re: not really in line with peta

You should ask yourself that question as well ironically. Your argument works, if you purely look at pokemon on a more superficial based, pokemon’s lack of consent, and by pure gameplay standards where players often treat pokemon nothing more than just digital tools.
But thats because its gameplay.

And gotta catch em all is a marketing ploy and a game mechanic challenge and you are making the classic error and lack of understanding by dubbing pokemon as nothing more than real life animals.

For ethical purposes and canon the trainer in the games aren’t like that.

The fact you used anime shows you are mixing up. You think Ash could have forced Pikachu? The anime shows much better how pokemon/trainer is supposed to be done. Mutual consent, both wanting to get stronger which is linked to evolution.

If you don’t like the controlled violence that is similar to real life martial arts/boxing that is completely but at least understand how they operate unlike what you mostly did.

Anonymous Coward says:

PETA and the animal-rights Overton Window

PETA has to negotiate the practicalities of working with PETA supporters, which I expect is sometimes trying — but within that constraint, they are absolutely brilliant at gaming the media for the purpose of pulling the the animal-related Overton window towards better conditions for animals.

Simply put, PETA media stunts and radicalism works to create space for “normal” people (and politicians) to advocate for improved animal rights (in small ways) and still be very mainstream.

Over 30+ years (PETA founded 1980), this approach can have quite a large effect. Greenpeace, for example, now looks pretty uncontroversial by comparison.

Folks may disagree with PETA politics, but No True Scotsman (look it up, its a joke) will fail to recognize their political skill and media savvy.

/not affiliated, just an observer, etc.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

In other news

PETA are not hypocrites when you actually understand what their beliefs and goals are. PETA are an animal rights organisation which is not the same as animal welfare. They believe for example companion animals shouldn’t exist and is a form of slavery. There goal isn’t to make life better for those animals now it’s to makes sure animals like that don’t exist in the future.

As such they don’t claim or want to act as a shelter, they only take animals as a last resort and as such their rate of putting animals down is higher than other shelters because they claim they get a higher rate of animals that have to. They view no kill shelters as cruel prisons that are over full.

This is why they have an issue with pokemon, the people claiming peta don’t understand pokemon because it’s all about love and friendship are ironically not understanding peta. In petas view there should be no love or friendhsip with animals, they have equal rights and that includes the right to not be interfered with by humans as much as it’s possible for us to avoid.

Now of course there is a sliding scale from this core peta ideal down through it’s members and such. They even make a show of having members who have pets these days. But the fact is peta’s end game is not making the human world a better safer nicer place for animals, it’s about them not being involved in it at all.

A lot of people who talk about animal rights are often really just advocating animal welfare. Peta on the other hand are at the core a group who do honestly believe in animal right to be equal.

As such you can view a lot of what seems to be hypocrisy as simply the pragmatic expression of their core ideals. It’s almost admirable in fact that while they try and spin their views as much as they can for PR (they live on donations remember) that they still manage to actively express and act on their core values.

I hope I’ve not come across as bagging on the idea of animal “rights” as a whole. In fact I’ve recently managed to stop being hypocritical with my views and changed to a vegetarian diet. It’s just that I dislike peta and I find a lot of people dislike peta for the wrong reasons.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: In other news

So what you’re saying is, you’ve never played Pokemon either.

And PETA is messed up. Given that they think

A) Animals and people should have equal rights and

B) It’s better to kill animals than put them in “overfull cruel prisons” and

C) Animal ownership is equal to slavery, but they don’t have a goal of making life better for animals now, they’re worried about the future

then surely they should argue it’s better to kill criminals than put them in our overcrowded prisons, and that we should euthanize slaves to ensure that no one is enslaved in the future.

It’s full blown nutjob.

Pokebird says:

Pokemon illegal?

>Now to be fair, on the surface Pokemon is just a dogfighting
>simulator. You keep animals penned up until it’s time to
>fight, and then you hurtle them into battle, either because
>you happened to come across someone who gave you a dirty
>look or because you wanted to win some money in a
>tournament.

Which would be illegal in most states.

Pikachu says:

Re: Pokemon illegal?

O_o i really hope this is a quote if not then you are just stupid and never played the games. They point out on the games how pokemon are equals. Even in the pokemon books they made they pointed out how you should never do this to real animals for it is illegal and inhuman. You think it as that because you read into things that aren’t even there. All i see is a harmless video game that has been around for years and no incidents reported of animal abuse because of it.

Tim Griffiths (profile) says:

Peta

Peta does not and never wanted to act as a shelter. They do it as a last resort and will claim they have a higher put down rate because they only begrudgingly take in animals that are vastly more likely to have to be put down. They don’t think companion animals should exist so they are not making efforts to prop up a system they view as akin to slavery.

It’s a stupid awful view but peta are not looking to make life better for companion animals now, they are trying to make sure there are no companion animals in the future.

william (profile) says:

I am not sure about the history of Nintendo and their IP enforcement. However, I can see how Nintendo would object to seeing their characters be associated with blood and gore, especially for a children oriented game.

Another poster mentioned Nintendo is one of the backers for PETA. I can’t imagine Nintendo would actually authorize this.

On a separate note, I have always wanted to start PAUTPPETA, People Against the Unethical Treatment of People from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

PAUTPPETA’s view is that the actions of PETA is considered a physiological/visual abuse to humanity and should be stopped. We advocate the ethical treatment of people around the world.

Pikachu says:

ROFL

This made me laugh. They re going off on video games. Instead of putting pointless hours into a FRICTIONAL game they can be using that time to help REAL animals. This is just as bad as when they went bashing mario for being dressed as a raccoon. I love how they say “if we were in unova.” Well you are not because its fake. If they were they would most likely be part of team plasma under the idea of liberating pokemon , who i believe where trying to use pokemon to rule the world. I think thats about right correct me if im wrong please. Well yeah o u o thanks Peta for wasting time you can be helping real animals on trying t protest fake ones.

Staravia says:

PETA vs POKEMON

These PETA wackos never cease to amaze me at how stupid and rediculous they are i mean if they were suing of dairy cows and killer whales their pulling off all sorts of stupid stunts and still can get a bunch of suckers to send them money by getting the usial hollywood idiots like PAMELA ANDERSON or ALEC BALDWIN to appear in stupid ads PETA IS FOR IDIOTS ALONE

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