PETA’s Pokémon game reveals real animal rights issues

I am writing in response to Ronald Dixon’s Oct. 16 column, “PETA’s New Pokémon Campaign.” The game’s main message is that animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment or abuse in any other way. There are many similarities between how Pokémon are used in the game and how animals are abused in real life. The difference between reality and this fictional world full of organized animal fighting is that Pokémon games paint rosy pictures of things that are actually cruel. Humor is often a very useful tool for reaching people who may be put off by a more serious approach, and by sharing this game with others, we can educate people about the ways in which animals are abused. PETA often uses the gaming genre to reach new groups of people who might not seek out PETA’s more conventional materials. Millions of people have played PETA’s online games. They have fun and are also encouraged to think about how the games they have been playing have shaped the ways that they think about animals and how their choices can help animals. If people come away from the game both entertained and more compassionate, then we’ve accomplished our goal. We understand that our game is not to everyone’s taste. PETA does make a point of having something for all tastes, and this approach has proved amazingly successful — in the three decades since PETA was founded, it has grown to be the largest animal rights group in the world. We’ve had success in attracting the media’s attention through both serious and slapstick means.Kenneth Montville