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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

PETA: People for the ethical treatment of aliens?

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: PETA)

PETA's (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) most recent parody campaign has set its sights on StarCraft: Heart of the Swarm.

We really do have to hand it to PETA. Even though the animal rights organisation's campaigns are completely silly, they're perfectly pitched for generating discussion and exposure. It sometimes even seems to know its material — for example, Pokémon Black & Blue was a well-made campaign, even if it was ludicrous.

This time, though, we're not entirely sure what's going on. The latest campaign, "PetaCraft: Heart for the Swarm" is centred around an adorable baby ... Zerg. It bears the tagline, "Zerglings have feelings, too".

PETA's Joel Bartlett said of the campaign, "We always root for the underdogs (and undermice and underpigeons, etc) at PETA. And when playing StarCraft, I had noticed how the Zerg were treated more like animals than like other people."

Just to be clear: this is a Zerg.
(Credit: Blizzard)

We're starting to worry about PETA. As fictional foes, the Zerg only have the feelings and motivations that their writers give them. Which is precisely none — individually, at least — thanks to the race's hive mind.

Bartlett went on to add, "While Zerglings are not real, there are many equally 'strange' and exotic animals we share this planet with who deserve our empathy. Just because crocodiles and snakes look alien to us, that doesn't make it OK to skin them alive for a handbag, shoes or a belt."

While it's an improvement on previous campaigns that indicated that PETA believes violence is the correct response, we remain unconvinced that Bartlett really understands much about the source material at all.

A swing and a miss, PETA. A swing and a miss.

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MichaelI3 posted a comment   

Can't help but feel that their deliberately quirky parody campaigns are going to dilute the perception of the important work they should be doing.


booboosix40 posted a comment   

Well they are weirdo's, I wouldn't expect anything less.

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