Vegan Guide To ‘Palworld’ Released Following PETA Comments

Vegans don't have to abuse their Pals


4 Minutes Read

Pals from Palworld, a popular video game Players of Palworld capture and use Pals - which vegans oppose - Media Credit: Patrick Scarsini / Alamy Stock Photo

A “survival” video game where players battle with and capture non-human creatures now has a vegan guide, following a call from animal rights organization PETA.

Created and published by Japanese developer Pocket Pair, Palworld is a wildly popular “open world” game.

Players wake up on an island and must find shelter and food. Doing so can involve capturing “Pals,” animal-like creatures who populate the island.

“PETA has already heard from many Palworld fans who have no interest in eating Pals and want a vegan guide created for the game,” said Elisa Allen, PETA’s Vice President of Programmes, in a statement last month.

What is Palworld?

Palworld video game, which now has a vegan guide
Patrick Scarsini / Alamy Stock Photo Palworld is a popular “open world” video game

Palworld is a hugely popular survival game, which sold eight million copies within a week of release.

The concept is simple: players find themselves on an island and try to survive and thrive in their new surroundings.

For many players, this involves capturing Pals. Players can tame and put Pals to work in order to progress through the levels and improve their position.

Every Pal has unique skills. Players choose how to “use” them: some are suited to transportation, while others can mine or lumber. Similar to Pokémon, seasoned gamers try to “catch them all.”

As well as capturing and exploiting the digital beasts, players can also breed Pals together to create new Pals.

Palworld and veganism

Killing animals and eating them is clearly not compatible with vegan values.

Vegans avoid contributing to non-human animal exploitation, which means vegans won’t eat, wear, or in any way use products made with or from animals. Vegans also avoid using animals for work or entertainment. This is because vegans see animals as here with us, not for us.

Of course, Palworld is a video game world – not the real world. And Pals are fictional animal-like creatures – not real creatures. Video games portray a representation of animal cruelty, rather than animal cruelty itself. So, playing Palworld is not itself a non-vegan activity.

Vegan guide to Palworld

Even so, many vegan players feel uncomfortable using and abusing animals, even of the digital sort.

PETA’s calls for a vegan guide to Palworld were heard by Game Sandwich. Last month, the gaming website released a specialist game guide to help vegan players navigate the online world without harming their Pals.

In the guide, Game Sandwich advises players how to gather materials, establish a base, and advance through the levels “with your morals intact.”

The guide tells vegan players to “make your way down the hill and over to some nearby berry bushes.” It also includes a list of “Vegan-approved Technologies you can use.”

PETA has since released a list of five updates it would like to see to improve the game for vegans. “Berries are great and all, but PETA now proposes that with just five updates, Palworld would be ready for a whole new audience,” the organization writes.

Pacts with Pals and vegan-friendly materials would make the game more inclusive, PETA says. It puts a question to the developer: “Can we count on you to turn Palworld into a game that compassionate players can really enjoy, or will you leave us to our sticks and berries?”

Video games reflect wider society

While some players may differentiate their desire to avoid harm to animals in real life with their actions in a video game, representations of reality can have a powerful psychological effect.

Researchers disagree over whether playing violent video games makes children more violent. However, it is less controversial to say that the type of content to which we are exposed has some influence on real-world behaviors.

Exposure to animal abuse in day-to-day life normalizes the suffering that humans inflict on animals for food, clothes, entertainment, and more. Video games, like all forms of media, help reinforce harmful power dynamics.

Last year, vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian showed off an early version of his animal rights video game in which players are tasked with liberating animals. He previously told Plant Based News: “With UNCAGE, I aim to instill compassion in players.”

Will the creators of Palworld heed PETA’s call and allow players to choose compassion?

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