PETA has a little problem with Mafia Wars, and it’s not about the social game clogging up its Facebook stream.
Zynga plans to debut animals as a “fully-fledged combat item class” and is offering two limited edition versions—an African Lion and a Pit Bull.
PETA takes issue with the use of the latter, writing on its blog that:
… perpetuating the image of pit bulls as fighting machines is reckless and wrong. Pit bulls already face a public relations battle and are the most abused breed of dog. PETA’s fieldworkers see pit bulls in horrific conditions every day. They are frequently kept chained or penned, they are taunted and trained to be aggressive, and they are beaten and starved—sometimes to death.
The animal rights activists do note that another Zynga game (YoVille) allows users to purchase bulldogs, from which some of the proceeds are sent to the San Francisco SPCA, so it dubbed the Pit Bull broohaha a “rare” misstep for the social developer.
PETA is encouraging readers to petition Zynga with polite comments in order to get animals removed from Mafia Wars.