PETA Article Suggests Vegan Playthrough of Animal Crossing: New Horizons

PETA Headline
The header for PETA's article PETA’s Vegan Guide to ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Yesterday, everyone’s favorite (heavy sarcasm) vegan organization, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, better known as PETA, put out their own article on the hottest video game in town, Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The article, titled “PETA’s Vegan Guide to ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’,” poses the question: Can you play New Horizons in a vegan playstyle without catching fish, bugs, and other critters?

The tweets in this article contain some strong language.

PETA Article Top
The top of the article on Photo: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Well, the answer is no, because you need to unlock the museum by donating critters in order to progress, but that would be a very short article, so let’s dive deeper into the mouth of madness.

PETA put out a tweet with a link to the article yesterday, and sparked a frenzy. The article is peppered with the hashtag #EndSpeciesism, in line with their ideology that we are all animals. PETA’s first argument is that fishing isn’t vegan in real life, and so vegans should not be fishing in ACNH, a fictional video game. Okay, fair enough if you believe so strongly. This goes for clams and hermit crabs as well.

PETA Do Clams Feel Pain?
PETA asks if clams feel pain Photo: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

What about bugs, though? Surely it’s okay to catch Wharf Roaches? Nope. “Just as fish don’t belong in tanks, insects don’t belong inside cramped cases in a museum for other villagers to gawk at. Your island should be a place where wild animals are free to live without being captured and exploited," PETA explained in their post. "In the real world, animals suffer in captivity at places like SeaWorld and roadside zoos. They’re deprived of everything that’s natural and important to them. In Animal Crossing, you have the choice to let the animals on your island live free from harm, so please, leave them alone!”

PETA went even further, mentioning that items such as the Doghouse shouldn’t be crafted because, “countless dogs are constrained outdoors in all weather conditions with chains just like the one pictured here, languishing alone and struggling to survive long days and nights without proper shelter from the elements... Dogs are individuals who belong in homes—not on a chain. Please, don’t mistreat them on your island.”

PETA: Should I Build a Doghouse
PETA explains how the decorative crafted item "Doghouse" is actually hurting dogs. Photo: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

It doesn’t end there, either. The next section of the article is headed, “Is Tom Nook Exploiting You?” (My thoughts on the matter are now public record, by the way.) “Tom Nook is a tanuki, or a raccoon dog, who are often killed for their fur," PETA explained in response to the running joke that Tom Nook is greedy or a loan shark. "Others like him in the real world are beaten, anally electrocuted, gassed, or skinned alive. Cut him some slack.” The author of this article must be fun at parties.

PETA Is Tom Nook Exploiting You
Article section on Tom Nook Photo: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

So without being able to advance the game, how exactly does PETA suggest you play your $60 critter-catching-game-but-without-the-critter-catching copy of Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Well, they have a few suggestions. You can sit under the stars, take a walk on the beach, or hang out by the bonfire. Which, just for the record, is basically suggesting walking around the starting area of the island. They also suggest you assert your veganism by naming your island something that clearly expresses your vegan play style, or posting to your community bulletin board warning visitors that they are on a vegan island. Oh, and they say you can eat fruit. All the fruit your heart desires.

PETA Vegan Island Names
PETA suggests vegans give their islands names like Veganville Photo: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

PETA Bulletin Board
PETA also suggests making bulletin board messages letting visitors know your island is strictly vegan. Photo: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

Naturally, Twitter had a strong reaction to the article:

Even a number of vegans weren’t too thrilled:

After scrolling for what felt like an eternity, but was definitely too long to spend searching, I did find one reply in the comments section supporting PETA’s tweet:

PETA is no stranger to controversy, from shocking ad campaigns, to a tweet claiming that the beloved late icon Steve Irwin shouldn’t have been honored by Google, to alleged ties to eco-terrorist groups, to allegations of rampant euthenasia (including paying out a girl’s family for killing her dog), so this article is nothing new from the organization. Honestly, it often feels as though PETA does these stunts intentionally for the attention, regardless of the level. If that’s the case, well, with me writing this article and so many retweeting the article, I guess their vegan Animal Crossing strategy did win. Oh well, where's my fishing pole?

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