Ask nicely and ye shall receive – it really does work every so often!
PETA’s effort to contact Zynga CEO Mark Pincus and request that his wildly popular game Mafia Wars no longer feature pit bulls as weapons was actually met with a positive response.
Citing the sub-culture of dog fighting that exists in the United States along with the fact that pit bulls are continually used as personal protection, guarding devices and money-making pawns rather than as companions, the animal rights organization expressed concern that Zynga’s 25.9 million players might be inclined to think that what they’re doing with the dogs in their virtual game world might also be acceptable in the real world.
Many of us were first made aware of the prevalence of underground dog fighting when Philadelphia Eagles NFL quarterback Michael Vick was implicated in 2007 for his role in a five year long interstate dog fighting ring called Bad Newz Kennels that resulted in the seizure of 54 pit bulls from his property, 47 of which survived and were integrated into an ‘unprecedented rehabilitation’ program.
Despite being forced to live out their days chained to car axles, often without access to proper shelter or adequate food in order to make them hungry and angrier when facing their opponents, Vick’s rescued pit bulls were actually ‘lucky’ compared to the unfortunate predecessors that were hung, drowned, electrocuted and shot due to underperformance.
While Vick has completed his prison sentence and is trying to make amends with his BET show, The Michael Vick Project, Mafia Wars’ Pincus has wisely agreed as per PETA’s request to put the kibosh on all references to pit bulls in his game.
PETA is not generally accustomed to receiving happy endings when they campaign companies, so this is a huge coup and in response, they’ve sent the accommodating CEO a box of thank you vegan chocolates.
Their vice president praises Pincus’ prompt decision, not only because it “no longer perpetuat(es) the mindset that it’s acceptable to chain, neglect, and abuse real dogs” but also because pit bulls continue to face an uphill battle of unwarranted suffering at the hands of man.
Via PETA Press Release