PETA Doesn't Want Animals In The Mafia

Reacting to yesterday's news that popular Facebook game Mafia Wars is adding animals as weapons, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals requests developer reconsider, using Zynga founder Mark Pincus's own beloved pet as ammunition.

Pit bulls, tigers and lions are among a few of the animals that Mafia Wars, a social game that's proven extremely popular on Facebook, will be adding to the game next week. This of course doesn't sit well with PETA, an organisation dedicated to making sure that animals are treated more like people, less like objects. According to the organisation, complaints have already begun pouring in, and that's when they leap into action.

In a letter to Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus, PETA explains why the inclusion of animals like the pit bull in Mafia Wars is wrong.

'Bully breeds' like your beloved late American bulldog, Zinga, are also the breeds of choice for dogfighters and thugs who want a 'macho' animal to intimidate others, guard their property, or make them money by winning fights. Every day, PETA staffers meet dogs who have been trapped for years at the end of heavy tractor-trailer chains with nothing but bare patches of dirt and plastic barrels for shelter. These dogs are usually full of heartworms, emaciated, and scarred all over. They are often physically abused and starved, sometimes to death, for losing in illegal dogfights or for being 'bad guards' or 'not mean enough.' The people who acquire them do so because they have been taught that having one of these dogs is 'cool' and 'tough,' but they have no idea about the care and feelings of the animal they have enslaved.

Notice the opener there? Appealing to the founder's love for the late pet he named the company after is a low blow. A crafty blow, but definitely aimed below the waist.

The letter ends with a plea to remove animals from Mafia Wars. Will it happen? I'm doubtful, but PETA played their part in opposing it, and that's just what they do.


    I don't know why all the US comments are so blatently against PETA's comments. I'm no fan of PETA and they are pretty much a bunch of morons, but that's not to so they aren't right here. They are responding to other people's complaints first of all (which, granted, doesn't always mean much in lieu of todays complaints standards, but anyway), as well as Mafia Wars being a facebook game that's easily accessible by younger kids who I believe could be impacted in certain ways by it. I think comparing it to killing people in the game is a bit void because, well, we're all used to that kind of violence in all sorts of variations in film, tv, games etc, but dog fighting isn't and I think anything that takes steps towards promoting it in any way is beginning to bring it into that spectrum of violence norm. Which I do think is a bit of a no-no.

      Ah PETA, a bunch of people with their hearts in the right place but without the capacity to do anything except whinge about how bad the world treats animals.

      It's not a simple click-fest grinding game that will teach people to treat a dog like a mere tool for a job or, worse still, entertainment, it's the parent's (or parental figure's) failure to ensure the kid knows that such behavior is wrong.

        Yeah it's true and I agree as a parent myself that I have the ultimate responsibility of guiding my son's ideas on what is right and wrong. The only problem is the world of parenting isn't as golden as it should be, not all parents are giving their children the best moral guidance, and kids get away with being around a lot of influences they shouldn't be near. With facebook being so common, I think this is one of those influences. At the end of the day, is it really that necessary to include something like this into the game considering that?

          Mmmm I do see your point, I just disagree with the idea of not putting something into a game because "it will turn our kids into psychotic murderers" (or in this case, animal abusers) even though they see and hear about these things on a daily basis at school or on TV. It's like the no passengers after 11pm for a red P-Plater in NSW, in theory it works well but what of the majority of red P-platers that were doing the right thing being the designated driver for their mates? They're getting punished for being responsible, it just doesnt make sense to me.


    People Eating Tasty Animals!

      Please, give that tired, old and rather unfunny meme a rest.

    facebook is a piece of shit anyway.

    Heh I own a German Shepherd who me and my wife walk every day and we come across a lot of people who are clearly very weary of the dog. It's almost as if some people expect our dog to turn around and bark or bite them. We also come across people at parks who think she is dangerous because shes big, and they use them as guard dogs.

    Well dogs shouldn't be used as guard dogs and thats what creates a damaged dog when you just dump it in the yard and expect it to stop people from coming in. Of course when that dog gets out one day it's going to bite someone.

    I have to agree with PETA on this one, those dogs have a bad reputation not because they are bad but because of their owners, and this doesn't do any good for the breed or the legit owners of the breed.

    Where us gamers are always trying to prove that our games aren't the reason for violence or for a certain incident, many of these dog owners are in the same situation where they get harassed and need to prove that their dogs breed isn't bad, but more perceived as bad, just like our video games are. I don't know how many times I've told people that german shepherds aren't bad dogs and that my dog won't bite if you pat her.

      I have the same issue with people and my Ridgeback. I cant count the times that I've seen people's eyes bulge out of their heads when I open the door and they see a dog that I dont have to lean over to grab the collar of haha. Such a beautiful temprement on her, though I would not want to piss her off too much!

    Seems a bit redundant really - this is a game where you play at organized crime and all that entails. You are not a good guy doing good things to start with: to me the idea of mafia using dogs as weapons in just another simulated wrongdoing on the level of everything else in the game. If people play it and then think it is a good idea irl then the same could be said of every other part of the game.
    Its not even a proper game its facebook, get over it.

      Firstly, you may not agree with the medium, but it is a video game.

      Secondly, I sort of agree that you are bad people in the game who do bad things... but is this necessary? I can actually see PETA's point on this (for the first time in years): I have dogs, and I feel this is just like using attack babies or attacking babies.

      Though, admittedly, attack babies would be awesome.

    Firstly I don't think they have any reason to be butting their noses in to this, they aren't real animals and I don't think anyone, even children, are that impressionable that they will carry out any acts that are present in mafia wars.

    However the main thing that really annoys me at this is the way that quote is written. Does it actually deal with the issue, does it talk about what mafia wars is, or how the animals will be incorporated. Does it talk about people being influenced by the game? Perhaps these points are touched on in the article, but they aren't present in that paragraph.

    No there is only 1 reason for the existence of that paragraph, its a pathetic attempt to gain sympathy and guilt you into thinking the way they do. Yes that is a sad story about poor treatment of animals, but the fact is it was happening regardless of what is happening in Mafia Wars, or any game for that matter, and to claim that this kind of treatment will increase due to the inclusion of animals in a game is incredibly far fetched. Go pluck a gullible person's heartstrings with your guilt laden BS PETA.

    Just look up the HSUS and which Mafia members work there. The American Mafia now is in the animal resuce world.

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