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20 May, 2020 19:51

Hoisted by their own PETArd? Activists stage baffling digital 'raid' on Animal Crossing fish museum

Hoisted by their own PETArd? Activists stage baffling digital 'raid' on Animal Crossing fish museum

Animal rights group PETA ‘stormed’ an in-game museum in Nintendo’s ‘Animal Crossing’, demanding its non-player character owner free the fish – which a PETA ally had caught. Gamers were baffled; don’t any real animals need saving?

Eight ‘Animal Crossing’ avatars clad in PETA t-shirts staged an in-game protest on Wednesday, running into a museum and screaming for its owner – an NPC, or non-player character, named Blathers – to release the fish (it’s a fish museum) from their captivity. Then they stood outside with placards reading “Fish belong in the ocean” and declared poor Blathers “cancelled.”

PETA’s “cultural reset” was apparently supposed to be a statement about how catching fish is wrong, and so is exhibiting them, even in computer games – standard protest fare for the militant vegan organization that has even tried to force people to stop using phrases like “beating a dead horse.” PETA recently posted a ‘Vegan Guide’ to the game, in case anyone was confused about whether exploiting animals on a screen ‘counted’ (spoiler alert: it does, but apparently not enough to not buy the game, because your character can just eat fruit instead).

But ‘Animal Crossing’ gamers quickly pointed out that, in order to stage the protest, PETA had to catch the fish themselves and donate them to the hapless Blathers – who’s an owl, by the way.

PETA insisted its players hadn’t caught the fish themselves, countering that they had raided another gamer’s “island” in order to free the aquatic prisoners. However, seasoned gamers maintained that it was impossible to “raid” another player’s territory without cooperation from that player – meaning their “cultural reset” had been an inside job.

Many on social media took a dim view of the attention-seeking stunt, even without knowing the details. Why, they wondered, had PETA – which stands for ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ – progressed to 'saving' computerized animals, when there were still plenty of real ones suffering various forms of abuse and captivity?

Others highlighted PETA’s unpleasant history of killing the animals it “rescues,” observing that the hypocrisy was totally in keeping with their track record of euthanizing shelter animals.

A few pointed out that PETA’s stunts were cringeworthy on purpose, pleading with gamers not to deliver the rage-clicks the organization so clearly wanted.

The PETA stunt does raise some interesting questions about how public activism is supposed to persist in the age of lockdowns. The group’s previous actions have often involved shock tactics, like splashing paint on fur coats or large groups of nude protesters covering themselves in fake blood in high-traffic areas – interspersed with bloopers like their attempt to relabel fish “sea kittens,” and one particularly odd commercial in which vegetables were used to suggest genitalia.

Also on rt.com PETA's take on the masculinity debate is a VIDEO of men with vegetables for private parts

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