Animal rights organization PETA has staged a protest within Animal Crossing: New Horizons. In a video posted to the group's official TikTok channel, the organization showed its members storming Blathers' museum in-game and repeating the phrase "empty the tanks".
The video depicts multiple New Horizons villagers dressed in custom PETA shirts running rampant through owl curator Blathers' museum and using the in-game chat to say "EMPTY THE TANKS". Blathers quite naturally doesn't react to any of this (largely because he can't). Another villager is seen saying "fish are friends". The video closes with a shot of four easels outside Blathers' museum bearing the phrases "fish belong in the ocean" and "empty the tanks". According to PETA, Blathers "encourages villagers to take fish out of their natural habitats" in order to trap them in tanks.
This isn't the first time PETA has gotten involved with Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Yesterday, the organization tweeted its stance on the game in response to perceived hostility towards New Horizons on its part. The tweet states the group's hopes that New Horizons will bring people closer to animals and that the existence of different animal villager species indicates Nintendo's belief that "animals are individuals". Around the time of New Horizons' release, PETA also published a guide on whether or not the game was suitable for vegan players. Surprise: they don't think it is. Apparently, fishing, catching bugs, and digging for clams are all unacceptable activities for island living.
Given the controversial group's stance on fish in this new Blathers protest, it's a little strange they don't demand the release of the many bugs Blathers also collects. Maybe there's another Animal Crossing: New Horizons museum protest on the way dedicated to the insects. We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, if you're a PETA supporter, you've got your official word from the group: you can't catch bugs. Or fish. Or dig for clams. You can still wear silly hats though (just not ones made of fur, leather or silk).
What do you think of PETA's Animal Crossing: New Horizons protest? Let us know in the comments below!