While the critters of  Pokémon are animal-like, you can't actually find Pikachu and his buddies in earth's animal kingdom.

Which is why PETA's recent attack on the popular Nintendo characters has many people scratching their heads.

According to a statement released today by the animal rights organization, Pokémon promotes animal cruelty because "Pokémon are treated as unfeeling objects and used for such things as human entertainment and as subjects in experiments."

The way that Pokémon are stuffed into pokéballs is similar to how circuses chain elephants inside railroad cars and let them out only to perform confusing and often painful tricks that were taught using sharp steel-tipped bullhooks and electric shock prods," the release continues.

In response to this opportunistic attack, which came on the same day that 'Pokemon Black 2' and 'Pokemon White 2' are released, fans of the franchise pointed out that Pokémon's overlaying theme is that the Pokémon should be treated humanely and live as our equals.

This is actually the second time in the past year that PETA has gone after Nintendo for their pixelated representations. Last November, the organization criticized the video game giant for having Mario wear a "fur" Tanooki Suit.

What do you think? Is Pokémon desensitizing the younger generation to animal cruelty? Or should PETA just stick to getting celebrities to take off their clothes for anti-fur ads?

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