PETA, the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals, has sent a letter to Games Workshop CEO Kevin Rountree asking for fur garments to be removed from their “Warhammer characters.” Warhammer is two games and settings Warhammer Fantasy/Warhammer: Age of Sigmar are fantasy based and Warhammer 40K is a futuristic grimdark world. Both games are tabletop miniature games where players build physical model kits creating an army to battle their opponents. Both games’ stories are violent featuring over the top violence, demons, fascist rules, xenophobia, and genocide. But, it’s the treatment of make believe animals that has PETA up in arms, not the Slaanesh hoards wearing human skin.
The letter reads:
I’m writing to you on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to ask that you consider removing “fur” garments from your Warhammer characters at the next opportunity.
From the mighty Leman Russ and Horus Lupercal to Chaos Warriors and the Sisters of Silence, Warhammer features an abundance of characters who wear what appear to be animal pelts, which just doesn’t add up. These battle-hardened warriors are known for their martial prowess – but wearing the skins of dead animals doesn’t take any skill.
Indeed, nothing on the bloody battlefields of Warhammer’s war-torn world could match the horrific reality that foxes, minks, rabbits, and other living beings experience at the hands of the fur trade. Those killed for their fur typically first endure a bleak life inside a tiny, filthy wire cage before being electrocuted, drowned, or even skinned alive. Or they may be out minding their business and get caught in horrific bone-crushing steel-jaw traps – often languishing for days before eventually dying of hunger, thirst, or blood loss.
And while we appreciate that these are fictional characters, draping them in what looks to be a replica 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.
Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing from you.
While the letter is interesting it shows a lack of knowledge of the worlds Games Workshop has created, either ignoring the fantasy setting or conflating the two games, not to mention some of the claims… they clearly haven’t read any of Chaos’ tomes. Some of that makes what happens to animals fuzzy happy times.
The tabletop miniature game’s world has also been depicted in novels, animated film, and comic books. Currently, Titan Comics is publishing two series set in the world.
This isn’t the first time PETA has stepped into the world of geekdom. The organization has criticized various video games in the past and even used video games to help promote their cause. I look forward to their eventual tabletop miniature wargame rules set.