Before there was Hot Dish, Cooking Academy and Top Chef, there was Cooking Mama, a popular cooking game for the Nintendo Wii that let players chop and sizzle up dozens of mouth-watering dishes using the Wii’s motion-sensitive controller. However, animal rights group PETA isn’t happy about the fact that some of the dishes in Cooking Mama include meat, and the organization has released a gruesome parody called Cooking Mama: Mama Kills Animals.
In PETA’s parody, players get to see everything that goes into preparing a Thanksgiving turkey, including the more unpleasant tasks like plucking the turkey’s feathers and pulling out the bird’s intestines while a "demonic, cleaver-wielding Mama takes delight in the agony."
"If you’re wondering why we’re picking on poor Mama," said a PETA spokesperson, "it’s probably because you’ve never played the original games. They are so heavy on dishes made from dead animals that the only things missing are the blood and the slaughterhouse. So in the name of accuracy and honesty, PETA decided to introduce a little horror into Mama’s kitchen!"
According to PETA, the "good news" is that if you beat the game you might be able to give Mama a change of heart and replace her bloodlust with a craving for tofu-turkey.
Play PETA’s parody if you dare. WARNING: it’s extremely graphic and some players might find it upsetting (which seems to be what PETA wants).
The timing of the parody puts Cooking Mama‘s publisher Majesco in a particularly awkward position given that the next Cooking Mama game, Cooking Mama World Kitchen, was also released the same week.
Today, Cooking Mama‘s publisher Majesco issued an official response to PETA’s parody:
"Food lover and culinary cutie Cooking Mama is a virtual chef who believes that good home cooked food, properly prepared from the best ingredients, can bring people together around the table and make the world a happier place," the statement began. "That’s why Mama is taking a stand with oven mitts raised high against the latest PETA objection targeting her freshly released videogame."
Majesco noted that roughly half of the 51 recipes in Cooking Mama World Kitchen are vegetarian-friendly. "And," the statement added, "while Mama is not a vegetarian, she fully supports the humane treatment of animals, particularly for her canine protégé Max who makes his doggie debut in World Kitchen."
What do you think? Do you wish that cooking games would include more vegetarian dishes? If you’re a vegetarian, are you offended by the meat dishes in your favorite cooking games? Or do you think PETA is simply going too far?