The German division of PETA has issued a statement denouncing Far Cry 5‘s portrayal of fishing.
“Fishing means luring fish into a trap, exposing them to fear and shortness of breath for minutes to hours, as well as to an agonizing death struggle before being killed or often cut alive,” reads the statement according to a translation by Newsweek. “Today we know that a fish is somebody, not something, and it is an indictment to promote fishing. Fish are curious vertebrates with individual personalities.” The statement then asks Ubisoft and other studios to cease the development of any content that “glorify killing as a pastime.”
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Without diving too far into the validity of this particular argument, it must be said that this statement is odd for a few reasons. As noted in the statement itself, previous Far Cry games encouraged the killing of fish with explosives and other such over-the-top devices. Comparatively, Far Cry 5‘s method of catching fish with poles and traps feels grounded and even tame.
This plea is also odd in that it focuses almost entirely on the act of catching fish. There’s no mention of being able to do things in Far Cry 5 like chase turkeys down with flamethrowers or throw grenades at deer. There’s also no mention of the animal companions in the game, one of which was a caged bear that was force-fed cheeseburgers. Finally, there’s no word on how the German division of PETA feels about the waves of digital humans that are killed during the game.
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This is far from the first time that PETA has spoken out against a video game for its treatment of animals. Call of Duty: World at War and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag were both called out by the organization for allowing players to kills dogs, whales, and other animals. The protests were not successful in the sense that they resulted in any change whatsoever in the games themselves.
If you’re curious, you can find a collection of “approved” flash games on the PETA website. A few of them are actually intentionally absurd parodies of existing games that PETA considers to be unethical. So, if you’ve ever wanted to beat Pikachu with a baseball bat while he tries to hug you, we recommend that you spend an afternoon enjoying their selection.