The German division of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) isn’t happy with Far Cry 5’s portrayal of fishing. The animal rights organization claims that the game’s inclusion of fishing undermines the trauma experienced by fish in the real-world.
“Fishing means luring fish into a trap, exposing them to fear and shortness of breath for minutes to hours, as well as to an agonizing death struggle before being killed or often cut alive,” said Tanja Breining, a marine biologist and specialist for fish and marine animals at PETA. “Today we know that a fish is somebody, not something, and it is an indictment to promote fishing. Fish are curious vertebrates with individual personalities. “
PETA cites the numerous studies that highlight the complexity of social interaction in fish communities, as well as intelligence tests conduced on fish. They also suggest that fish are capable of experiencing trauma and fear when they are pulled from their aquatic habitats.
Reactions to the statement have been largely dismissive, with some gamers suggesting that the organization is being excessively politically correct. Others point to the other depictions of violence against both animals and humans in the game, which makes PETA’s focus on fishing seem a bit strange.
It’s not the first time PETA has come after Ubisoft—the organization also condemned Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag for its inclusion of whaling.
“There are so many creative minds at Ubisoft that are involved with the Assassin’s Creed series that we find it really disappointing that they feel the need to glorify whaling,” said Matt Bruce of PETA’s International Grassroots Campaigns. “PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals, not games that promote hurting and killing them.”
“This would be a different story if the game portrayed the cruelty and horror experienced when a whale is literally fleeing for her life and then shot with a harpoon — or even several harpoons — and forced to struggle for hours or be hacked apart while still alive aboard a ship,” he said.
“In Assassin’s Creed 4, you get ahead by killing. Joe Shmoe who plays this game in his mother’s basement in the safety and comfort of his home will feel a sense of accomplishment by killing this whale.”