As you might have heard, PETA released an online flash game called Pokemon Black & Blue which heavily parodies our beloved franchise. In short, you are play as a member of a team of Pokemon determined to become “free” from human tyranny by electrocuting, burning, and bashing humans.
According to PETA:
Much like animals in the real world, PokĂ©mon are treated as unfeeling objects and used for such things as human entertainment and as subjects in experiments. The way that PokĂ©mon are stuffed into pokĂ©balls is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods.
PETA. You are WRONG.
Pokemon is, and has always been, about a Pokemon trainer’s journey in a fantastic world with his or her Pokemon FRIENDS. Our journey. Our friends. Friends that we respect. Friends that we love. Friends that we fight for and… are willing to die for.
Play any Pokemon game and the message is clear. Pokemon are our companions, they fight for us because we fight for them. They stay with us because we stay with them. When mon and man meet, it is a bond of love created for life.
Ash Ketchum may have been a bit dense, but he loves his Pokemon. When Charmander’s tail was in danger of extinguishing (and thus resulting in his death), Ash rushed haphazardly through the pouring rain to save him. When trapped in a frozen cave, Ash removed his jacket and wrapped them around his Pokeballs so that his Pokemon would stay warm rather than himself. When his Butterfree fell in love, he let him go to pursue his dreams rather than force him to stay. Time and time again, Ash has demonstrated not only why he’s a good human, but also why Pokemon has never been about abuse, but love.
And that love is consistently reflected in the fandom:
“I just want you to know that you never need to change, if you don’t want to. I like you just the way you are.” ~NuzRooke
“Pokemon are not pets. They wonâ€™t roll over at your whim, they wonâ€™t depend on you for their livelihood… They are very much like people. Consider them soldiers who will fight by your side. That isâ€¦ if you can prove yourself a worthy general.” ~Secrets of the Timekeeper
“The only thing Baskerville was right about was when she said I cared about you. I mean, you know… not like that. But I do care… I care about all of you.” ~Kit’s Platinum Nuzlocke
I question PETA’s motives.
How dare they attack Pokemon to promote their own interests! How dare they use the release of Black & White 2 to draw attention to themselves! How dare they take the games we love, the characters we cherish, and twist them into something vile!
And most importantly, PETA, shame on you for getting wrong what kids across the world understand. That Pokemon is a saga of friendship, respect, and love. Not hate.
I only wished you remembered that before you began this vitriolic campaign.