It is a fantasy game in which futuristic armies bring bloody destruction to each other to seize control of their world – but PETA has lashed out at Warhammer 40,000 because its figurines appear to be wearing fur. As well as possessing guns, swords and axes, the tiny models also come equipped with painted-on ‘fur’ pelts that the animal rights charity has taken offence to. PETA argues in an extensive statement that, despite being fictional and set 37,983 years in the future, the intense suffering that animals go through to have their fur plundered is unacceptable, in any era or context.
The group’s Director of International Programmes, Mimi Bekhechi, told MailOnline: ‘In the real world, every single fur coat, cuff, or collar is taken from living beings who feel pain and fear as acutely as any human – and spend their short lives scared out of their wits, crammed inside filthy cages, and denied everything that would make their lives worth living. ‘When they’ve grown large enough to be killed for their fur, they’re painfully electrocuted or strangled or their necks are broken. ‘Wild animals such as coyotes often languish for days, enduring intense pain, after they’re caught in steel-jaw traps – and if they aren’t suffocated, bludgeoned to death, or strangled by a trapper, they die from starvation, dehydration, disease, blood loss, or predation.
‘Some animals – especially mothers who have babies back in their dens – have been known to try to chew through their own limbs in a desperate attempt to escape. ‘Anyone with an ounce of empathy, ethics, or intelligence agrees that killing animals for their fur is totally unjustifiable. ‘Even though Warhammer characters are fictional, draping them in what looks like a piece of a dead animal sends the message that wearing fur is acceptable – when, in fact, it has no more place in 2017 than it would in the year 40,000.’ But their call for action did not appear to go down particularly well in public, with many ridiculing them for their stance. Some on social media claimed that they were losing credibility, and joked that they must have completed all their missions for suffering animals in the real world.
One user laughed that their campaign was unlikely to get much attention in the face of the heated protests around Donald Trump’s travel ban, saying: ‘And while all of this is going on, @peta is going after Warhammer 40k because the miniatures look like they’re wearing fur. Get a grip.’ Another quipped about the irony of fur protests about a game that revolves around bloodshed, saying: ‘Also stop using servoskulls (another Warhammer figure). It creates the impression that it’s ok to use your grandad’s skull a a remote control.’ He said: ‘@peta Warhammer is plastic miniatures. If it was REAL fur, fair enough. But it’s just PLASTIC. ‘Stop it.’