There is a Facebook group called “Veganism” that has over 30,000 members (this original Facebook page no longer exists but you should join Veganism for All. From time to time I like to post comments or questions, share my vegan point of view, or get feedback from fellow vegans.
This past weekend I posted an image of a video game, Big Buck Safari (this link is to the trailer and worth watching before finishing this post), that I saw at our local mall, with the following caption:
… unbelievable. This is an actual arcade game? In addition to the “Big Buck” you can also kill elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, and … ostriches. Really?
I’m worried about the kids who enjoy playing this.
I clicked “post” and expected overwhelming support, encouragement, and understanding about why I was disgusted by this video game featuring elaborate, gorgeous, detailed animations of wild animals frolicking in their virtual habitat — with a target on their back.
What I didn’t expect (in the 150+ comments) was:
It´s just a game! I prefer that people kill animals in a game rather than in real life.
… and …
Eric get a reality check. It’s NOT REAL. Every gamer knows this. Do you think people get possessed by Satan just because they like heavy metal too?
… or, this winner …
Anyone who thinks this way is a fucking idiot. I’m more worried about oppressive fuckstains than about kids playing hunting games. Those games are harmless fun.
Keep in mind, I posted this on a vegan page.
Now I’m all for video games. In fact, I used to spend hours playing Doom over a 9600 baud modem and loved grabbing the BFG (Big Fucking Gun) and blasting away all the bad guys. Or my opponent.
At bad guys or my opponent.
Not wildlife. Elephants and ostriches. Animals.
As each comment was posted I felt my point drifting further and further away. I started to feel like I discovered the dark underbelly of some people’s idea of veganism. Ahimsa, anyone? Again, I am not ignorant in thinking that this is real life but I am clear in my thinking that these comments are being made by vegans. Vegans who apparently enjoy (and will spend money on) lifting a rifle, pointing it toward a running animal and pulling the trigger. I wonder if this is where Kendall Jones got started?
Want to know what these “vegans” might look like? Click here. Notice how before each round the player is reminded to aim for vital areas: HEAD and HEART.
As I continued to try to make my point (as well as fuel the content for this blog post), one other phrase kept coming up by my opposition: you need to separate reality from fantasy.
One of the last comments on this post pretty much summed up my entire experience and my point about the disconnect between some vegans and video games promoting the killing of animals:
Well, Eric C Lindstrom, it’s too bad you thought this kind of oppressive and classist bullshit was welcome here. Next time you think that you have any business expressing this sort of shit opinion, maybe just shove a handful of rocks in your mouth instead.
Spoken like a true vegan.
Look for my forthcoming book, The Skeptical Vegan from Skyhorse Publishing coming out August 2017.