The Smiths & PETA Launch Meat Is Murder Videogame

For many of us, the ’80s were largely defined by the Smiths and 8-bit video games, but it’s been quite rare to see those two things overlap … until now!

I don’t know that I have adequate words to describe this particular convergence, so I’m lucky the accompanying press release (via PETA) covers everything, somehow managing to capture exactly the level of incredulity I’d be attempting to nail (and they pull it off without even a trace of irony):

The Smiths’ 1985 classic “Meat Is Murder” is back in 8-bit form for This Beautiful Creature Must Die, PETA’s new online game that features an instrumental arcade-style version of the song on loop. Players must act quickly to save chickens, cows, pigs, and turkeys from being slaughtered by tapping the animals before they fall to the bottom of the screen — while avoiding game-ending bombs.

WHY BOMBS?! Is it not enough that these poor animals have to avoid the vicious machinery of this horrible 8-bit slaughterhouse? Must they also dodge fucking BOMBS, which are generally not seen as a threat even in the worst examples of factory farming?

(As I write this, it occurs to me that, if one were being generous, one might wonder if the bombs are a reference to the Smiths’ classic song “Ask,” in which Morrissey repeats the line, “If it’s not love, then it’s the bomb that will keep us together.” But this seems to me a RATHER generous interpretation.)

More from the press release:

In addition to its vintage style, what sets This Beautiful Creature Must Die apart from other online games is the urgent message underlying its quest, as noted by the Smiths’ lead singer and longtime vegan Morrissey: “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.”

Look, don’t @ me here BECAUSE I’M NOT GONNA GET INTO IT. Let’s all just try to find some joy in the fact that Morrissey is making a Pokémon Go reference. As an animal lover, Morrissey disciple, and self-hating carnivore, I’m never gonna play this game, but if you want, you can do so right here.