PETA Is Now Trying to "Cancel" Video Game Characters in 'Animal Crossing'

Sara Belcher - Author

May 20 2020, Updated 7:09 p.m. ET

animal crossing
Source: Twitter

It's no secret that animal-rights group PETA takes things just a little too far... most of the time. Between a tone-deaf Superbowl ad to downright bad billboards, the group has gotten itself into hot water on more than one occasion for their animal rights claims.

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So really, no one should be surprised that PETA believes a lot of the video games out there don't support a vegan-friendly lifestyle. But despite no animals actually being harmed, the group has its own guidelines for animal-friendly gameplay. And, apparently, they really don't like Animal Crossing.

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PETA wanted to "cancel" the 'Animal Crossing' character Blathers.

We know cancel culture is kind of nuts and all, but canceling an animated video game character seems like the strangest cancellation we've seen in a while. On May 19, PETA posted a TikTok of their team "storming" Blathers' museum in Animal Crossing while their characters cried and screamed, "Empty the tanks!"

The TikTok then announces, "Blathers encourages villagers to take fish out of their natural habitats so he can trap them in tiny tanks — CANCELLED." They then shared the hashtag #BlathersIsOverParty, likely in the hopes of getting it trending. PETA did indeed trend on Twitter, but their hashtag was definitely not the reason why.

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They mainly trended because thousands of people pointed out that Blathers only has fish in his museum if you take them out and give it to him — meaning that the PETA team had to create an island, take fish out of video game water, give them to Blathers, and then make a TikTok complaining that Blathers has fish.

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Many others pointed out that essentially PETA is attempting to cancel a video game animal. Which is strange for an animal activist group.

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PETA says most of 'Animal Crossing: New Horizons' isn't vegan — but you can make the video game vegan.

According to an article on PETA's website, fishing, bug catching, and most of the other day-to-day tasks in Animal Crossing: New Horizons are not supportive of a vegan-friendly lifestyle.

"Fishing isn’t vegan! You shouldn’t fish in real life, so you shouldn’t do so in the game, either," the article reads, continuing to blame the poor owl Blathers for this apparent exploitation. "Blathers would like to build a museum of fish and insects on your island. Don’t let him do it!" Just a reminder, they had to allow Blathers to do this on their island to making their widely-mocked TikTok.

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And while most would criticize Tom Nook first and foremost for the capitalist empire he's amassed throughout the game, PETA actually recommends you shouldn't be so hard on him.

animal crossing
Source: Instagram
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"Tom Nook is a tanuki, or a raccoon dog, who are often killed for their fur," the group wrote. "Others like him in the real world are beaten, anally electrocuted, gassed, or skinned alive. Cut him some slack."

How exactly can you make your island vegan-friendly? Well, the only things you can really do are eat fruit, crop down trees, and use the game to spread the message of veganism.

"Give your island an animal-friendly name like Veganville," PETA writes. "Customize your passport with a phrase like #EndSpeciesism or 'Adopt, don’t shop' or 'Go vegan!'"

Or, you know, you could just enjoy the game — like most people do.

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safe zone
Source: Twitter

Pokémon is also definitely not animal-friendly.

While we understand the organization's logic behind this one a little better, we're still not entirely on board here. When the mobile app Pokémon GO was released, PETA took it as an opportunity to "educate" players on "how people should treat real animals."

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"We’ve designated the Los Angeles office as a 'safe zone' where trainers may not capture or fight Pokémon," their website reads. Below it is a picture of a sign that reads "Torn from their families and held captive in Pokéballs. Pokémon deserve freedom too!" with their campaign's hashtag #GottaFreeEmAll.

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Sure, the premise of Pokémon is to capture Pokémon in the wild and pit them against each other in battle — but it's also just a game. 

"Catching Pokémon really isn’t much different from taking animals out of the wild and putting them in zoos, circuses, and other places that exploit and abuse them," the group wrote.

What video games are PETA-approved?

If you really are about what games PETA considers to be animal-friendly, they have an entire page dedicated to their own parody games that you can play on their website.

Some of the more ridiculous options include Mario Kills Tanooki, Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals, and the Pokémon parody, Pokémon vs McDonald's. No, seriously, there's a game in which, after the Pokémon free themselves, they decide to take down McDonald's.

All of these require flash player if you're interested in playing, but we don't know why you would be.

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