Had a busy birthday weekend and week; catching up on the news!
PETA, which stands for “People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals,” is a large international organization infamous for their radical attempts to defend animal rights. When Black and White came out, many people thought Team Plasma might have been inspired by PETA since, like PETA, Team Plasma wants to liberate Pokemon from their Trainers. Welp, it seems PETA has responded to their portrayal in Unova by creating a mini-game to tie in with Black 2 and White 2‘s release where they can tell the world what they themselves actually think.
The game features you as Pikachu, Tepig, Snivy, and Oshawott attacking Cheren, Professor Juniper, Ghetsis, and Ash. Before and after you battle them, you have discussions about animal ethics (using Pokemon and Pokemon terminology, of course).
While it may appear at first that PETA is attacking the Pokemon franchise with this game, it seems more like they’re using Pokemon’s popularity as an opportunity to educate children about animal cruelty. As you play the game, you unlock raw videos of animals getting beaten and they use Pokemon examples for what you shouldn’t do in real life to your animals (like constrain your animals in cages). There is also a point where you battle Ash and he tells you, as Pikachu, that he doesn’t care for you, never cared to ask you if you wanted to battle other Pokemon, and never cared whether you were stuffed in a Poke Ball or not. This may be meant to make fans say “That’s the exact opposite of the truth” and think about all the times Ash has cared for Pikachu (which makes you think about how to treat animals), while making non-fans think that what Ash is saying is cruel and that they would never treat animals like that. This disconnect is where the moral message is generated (at least that’s my interpretation!). Or it could just be that PETA is crazy and blindly attacking the franchise… who knows…