The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals organisation — better known for their acronym PETA — have picked a fight with Nintendo, squaring up to the organisation over the cow milking minigame in launch title 1-2-Switch.
This comes from a letter to Nintendo from the head of PETA, Ingrid E. Newkirk, made its way to Facebook. In it, Newkirk claims:
"Our staffers and activists have recently played the cow-milking minigame for Nintendo Switch and realised you’ve taken all the cruelty out of milking,” Newkirk wrote. “We have more than 35 years of experience investigating dairy farms where cows are exploited for their milk, and it is NEVER that pleasant for these animals. Can we have some realism here, please?"
There’s not a lot realistic about 1-2-Switch, but this isn’t the first time PETA have attacked a game developer, previously targeting Warhammer 40k. By targeting these extreme abstractions, and not titles like The Hunter, it’s possible this is being done solely for the attention.
That makes writing this news story a bit of a dilemma. Covering the story is worthwhile, animal abuse is a bad thing and developers being targetted by big activist groups is relevant to the games industry, and we’ve covered similar stories before.
Evidence suggests that PETA isn’t always as friendly to animals as they might claim to be, with several of their animal shelters being not so great. There’s also the issue that PETA’s overly militant stance could alienate other games outfits, making them less likely to listen to requests from lighter-handed rights organisations.
This is unlikely to come to anything, although we’ve reached out to Nintendo for comment.