news\ Mar 11, 2013 at 3:44 pm

PETA: 'Zerglings have feelings, too'


PETA is using tomorrow's launch of StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, as a way to remind us that all creatures should be treated with compassion. Yes, even the Zerg. The same group who tried to make us feel bad for liking Pokémon is back.

In honor of the expansion pack's launch, PETA wil be temporarily renaming itself to TETZ, or Terrans for the Ethical Treatment of Zerglings. The group will be attending tonight's launch event in Irvine where it will distribute copies of its "Zerglings Have Feelings, Too" leaflets. Before you get all up in arms, let it be known that PETA isn't really attacking StarCraft 2. They are just using the game to spread "the reminder that gamers and nongamers alike should have compassion for all things -- even those who are different from us."

"To paraphrase a great philosopher, the question is not 'Can Zerg reason?' nor 'Can they talk?' but 'Can they suffer when attacked with a Perdition flamethrower?'" says PETA Director of Marketing Joel Bartlett. "PETA is full of StarCraft players, but we've always had empathy for the Zerg—and for anyone who is killed without consideration because they don't speak our language."

"Like the Zerg, many species on Earth are killed or abused simply because Terrans can't or won't understand them. Some are caged, poisoned, and cut up in cruel experiments. Others are chained and beaten into performing tricks for Terrans' amusement, and more are slaughtered en masse so that Terrans can eat them. PETA encourages everyone to greet all living beings with kindness, not violence," the press release concludes.

In a separate blog post, Joel Bartlett further clarified the issue.

So remember, 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.

And if we had to share our world with the Zerg in reality, I'd like to think that we'd make an effort to understand and respect them rather than sending out the battlecruisers—because the alternative to having empathy for other beings is about as grim as it gets, whether you're a Terran, a Zerg, or a Protoss. OK, whoa, that got kind of serious there. What I am saying is look at the cute Zergling! How could anyone ever want to hurt a Zergling?

I guess PETA has never seen a swarm of Zerg endlessly rush a Terran base. I've played as the zerg; I've been inside the hive mind; I know exactly what they are thinking. And for those who don't, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm should give us a better understanding with a new 20-mission campaign centering on the story of Sarah Kerrigan as she gathers the remnants of the zerg Swarm and plots her revenge against the treacherous dictator of the Koprulu sector, Arcturus Mengsk. I've seen a zerg up close, and it looks nothing like the image they are showing me. Still, I would never skin one and hang it on my wall.

If you're interested in what PETA has to say, you will find them at the GameStop in Irvine (by the fountain at the Giant Wheel Court at Irvine Spectrum Mall, 71 Fortune Dr.). I've got to give it to PETA; no matter how much hatred they may receive from the gaming industry, they continue to press for their cause. The most recent snafu came about when the group was quoted as calling Assassin's Creed 4 disgraceful for its whaling feature.

Remember, look beyond the StarCraft skin. They are merely using the game as a way to bridge the gap between the gamer and their message -- which is don't hurt animals. I still think killing Zerg is ok -- those bastards.

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