Back in 1985, The Smiths released an album called Meat is Murder. In the title song, frontman Morrissey sang:
And the calf that you carve with a smile
And the turkey you festively slice
Do you know how animals die ?
Today, the long-disbanded band lent their name and the song to a new game, released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Called This Beautiful Creature Must Die and available for mobiles and browsers, it requires the player to click on animals before they fall upon meat grinders. An 8-bit audio version of Meat is Murder plays in the background. PETA released an accompanying YouTube video, showing upsetting scenes of human cruelty to animals.
Morrissey, a long-standing advocate for veganism, said, “This game is the biggest social crusade of all, as we safeguard the weak and helpless from violent human aggression. You don’t get that from Pokémon Go.”
“This Beautiful Creature Must Die has a fun, nostalgic vibe but also calls out animal agriculture as the biggest threat to human health, animals, and the environment today,” said PETA’s Joel Bartlett. “After mastering the game, players can save animals and the Earth in real life by going vegan.”
PETA has long sought to publicize its efforts through videogames releasing various browser games that tackle animal rights by spoofing classic games. It has also regularly weighed in on the treatment of animals in games, such as the killing of whales in Assassin’s Creed 4, as well as setting up an animal safety area in Minecraft.