"Heroic PETA Commandos Kill 49, Save Rabbit"
Animal rights' groups in television shows are frequently portrayed as complete lunatics, often with names that form silly acronyms
. In many cases, they don't seem to care how many people get hurt – often by their own actions – as long as animals are okay
. Sometimes even animals may be sacrificed for the cause. They're more likely to fight Windmills
rather than actual
cruelty to animals.
Occasionally subverted, with the animal rights group used as a patsy for the true villains' plot, though the ignoramuses in the front organization usually believe in their own agenda whole-hog
while taking the Big Bad
A common role in fiction is to break into the lab of a Mad Scientist
and release his genetic aberration or terrible virus or upset his delicate experiments, with catastrophic results. In some cases, this will be accidental or the activists well-meaning but misinformed, but in some they will know they're releasing a monster, and do it anyway. Expect particularly clueless members of these organizations to react to these beasties (or, indeed, standard dangerous animals such as tigers) with fawning coos and an apparent belief that the animal will somehow recognize them as an Animal Rights activist and not harm them
. This belief
will inevitably be rewarded with a very painful death moments later
To some extent, Truth in Television
: Extremist animal rights groups do
exist, and have committed crimes ranging from the horrific to the merely petty in service of their views. This trope, however, is about fictional groups; we really don't need you to point out how X is "like PETA" or "like Greenpeace".
See also Free the Frogs
for a version set in schools. Most members of an Animal Wrongs Group will be Evil Vegetarians
. See Evil Luddite
for when they're motivated by a hatred of technology rather than a love of nature. A subtrope of Western Terrorists
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- The Space Warriors from the Cowboy Bebop episode "Gateway Shuffle" were once a legitimate environmentalist group, but were taken over by a more radical leader. They wanted to save a "rare" Ganymede sea rat, and were willing to turn everyone on Ganymede into monkeys to do so (and an orbiting restaurant into little more than bullet holes).
- The Elite Four in Pokémon Special planned on committing genocide in hopes of creating a Pokémon paradise. Ironically, Lance didn't even notice how much pain his Dragonite was in after it waited in lava for who knows how long while setting an ambush. Or how many Pokémon he and his group had injured/killed in the process.
- A group of protesters in Highschool of the Dead believe that they are still Human, and that the government is committing murder everytime they kill them off. They also believe the government is responsible for turning them in the first place. One of the main character's rich parents were using their estate as safe haven and refuge zone, where the protesters set up tents. Eventually though, even the estate's defenses were broken through and it was overrun. The other civilians listened to instructions on how to escape, while the leader of the protesters stayed behind and tried to reason with them. It was only when they finally knock her over and start biting her that she reaches for a nearby machete to fight back, but it was already too late.
- Haiyore! Nyarko-san has Space Tindalos, which appears in the second season and is entirely Played for Laughs. They actually steal an Artifact of Doom so they can create an endangered species to protect — a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of the Oozaru (giant Saiyan ape) from Dragon Ball Z, which casually kicks the group members into a pile of rubble imediately after being created.
- Wonder Girl had to deal with an animal rights group who thought that hydras were nice friendly critters.
- Polish superhero parody comic book series Likwidator intentionally embraces this trope and takes it to its logical extreme. The storyline consists mostly of the main hero wandering around killing evil people who mistreat nature — eg. cut trees, work in environment-polluting factories, hunt, buy meat in the store, keep their dog on a leash... Most readers get gravely offended, which is probably the point.
- The villain Ra's Al-Ghul, who, in the comics and animated series based on them, has tried multiple times to wipe out more than eighty percent of Earth's population, because it would allegedly return Earth to a more stable ecosystem. However, the moments at which he really shows his Animal Wrongs side are when dealing with the menagerie of endangered animals he collects and keeps. In one comic in particular, he was shown to have had a henchman murdered because he accidentally killed a rare sort of tiger cub by feeding it chocolate, dooming its species to extinction according to Ra's.
- Switch animals with plants, and Batman's other foe Poison Ivy fits pretty well. Depending on the Writer, though, she can be much more soft-hearted (for instance, creating an eco-friendly refuge for Gotham's orphans in the city park during the No Mans Land arc). On the other hand, on the same caliber, she can also be even more extreme than usual for this trope: several writers have actually depicted her engineering Man Eating Plants and feeding humans to them... sometimes not for any "crime" beyond simply being human, or even for her own entertainment/pleasure. This culminated in the "Harvest" storyline, where one of her man-eaters absorbed so many fragmented psyches from a year of ceaseless feedings (devouring Ivy's former lovers she tired of, henchmen she deemed incompetent, and even random passers by who smiled back at her) that it mutated into Harvest, a Plant Person that sought to kill her out of a drive for revenge.
- Subverted in Grant Morrison's run on Animal Man. Although Buddy Baker devotes his career to collaborating with like-minded individuals in disrupting fox hunts and freeing laboratory animals, he himself avoids the use of violence (except against a whaler and dolphin-hunter who dared him to do so). When one of his collaborators on a lab rescue mission blows it up with an incendiary bomb, killing a firefighter in the process, Buddy hangs up his costume and resigns from the Justice League. Conversely, Animal Man's big-business enemies, far from being the put-upon victims normally found in this trope, are far more brutal and lawless.
- Parodied in the German comic Rudi with a group which protests the inhuman killing of vegetables.
- The Authority is associated with a British secret service named 'Kev', a focus of a few comic books. Kev's buddy from his squad abandoned his post with a tame tiger instead of shooting it on orders. Later, both are implicated in the murder of a Japanese whaler.
- In one issue of Batman: The Brave and the Bold (as in the original comics), Aquaman once spotted a diver spearing a whale. In a fit of rage, he struck him, and as is to be expected with a guy with Super Strength, killed him. Turns out he was a marine scientist tagging the whale for research purposes. Whoops. The incident was used by his evil half-brother to spur a full-on Heroic Breakdown.
- In the first Venom volume, a SHIELD soldier standing guard over the Venom symbiote asks a coworker who in their right mind would let Eddie Brock and Mac Gargan remain bonded to it while in jail. His co-worker's answer? PETA.
- In Shadowchasers continuity, Red Feather (back when she called herself White Feather) had only good intentions for the environment in mind. In fact, to this day, she is repulsed by groups who take it to far. But back then, she was naďve to the ways of humans, and too reluctant to use technology to research new members thoroughly. This resulted in two eco-terrorists joining her group by mistake, and a disaster that she had to take responsibility for. In the present day, having been released on parole, she renamed herself Red Feather (as the purity her old name represented had been tarnished) and joined the title organization to defend nature with a more hands-on approach.
- This trope was the spark that lit things off in the Daria/Legion of Super Heroes series Legion of Lawndale Heroes, as three members of such a group snuck into a research lab to free the research animals (all of whom had been granted super-powers due to the efforts of the Corrupt Corporate Executive who owns the place, on behalf of one major group involved in an Ancient Conspiracy to keep up The Masquerade.) Not only did they die for their troubles (as only the smaller animals were able to escape before the place went into lockdown, but the larger animals saw them as prey), but their corpses ended up as specimens for experiments, their efforts only ended up making the lab add on much tighter security... and their actions started off a Mass Super-Empowering Event.
- Animal rights activists are responsible for starting the pseudo-zombie plague in 28 Days Later, as they forcibly release infected test animals despite the scientist observing them directly stating that the animals are both infected and highly contagious.
- Twelve Monkeys features a post-apocalyptic world in which a plague has wiped out most of humanity and forced the survivors to live underground. New York City is filled with zoo animals and graffiti of twelve monkeys stating "We Did It." It's discovered that this is the insignia of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, an animal liberation group headed by the insane son of a virologist. It turns out that the Twelve Monkeys are a complete red herring. It's purely coincidental that they scheduled a mass zoo liberation around the same time as the outbreak. Their leader and his father had no part in leaking the plague. Another virologist working at the same institute spread the virus for his own deranged reasons.
- In the film Black Sheep, the mutated sheep are released by one member of such a group. This may have had less to do with his loving sheep and more to do with his, ah, loving sheep.
- The four jewel thieves of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back pretend to be crazy animal rights activists in order to provide cover and patsies for a diamond heist. Oddly, the script puts the animal testing lab in Boulder, CO, which is home to many real animal rights groups.
- The protagonist of the horror movie Man's Best Friend is one of these. Against the wishes of her boyfriend, who tries to talk her out of it, she breaks into a legitimate scientist's lab and steals the titular genetically engineered killing machine in the shape of a dog, which goes on a bloody rampage.
- In Tremors 3, the hero is told that he's no longer allowed to hunt graboids, a dangerous, highly evolved earthworm-like beastie, because they made the Endangered species list, and gets chewed out by the suit who tells him this. Not long thereafter, the suit also gets chewed out. By said beastie.note Burt later turns this ruling to his advantage, because if graboids are endangered wildlife, then the valley they live in is an endangered wildlife habitat, which means that developers can't tear his hometown down and turn it into a strip mall.
- In the backstory of Avatar, it is revealed that PETA was indirectly responsible for the RDA getting mining rights on Pandora. Given how RDA abuses that right during the film, this would make PETA an Unwitting Instigator of Doom.
- The heroes of The Lost World: Jurassic Park fit this trope to a Tnote . Releasing dangerous animals en masse, nearly getting trampled by them as a result, and getting numerous people killed. Getting too close to wild animals, activating their territorial instincts, and just generally failing every rule for how to treat wild animals like they're going down a checklist. Acting as though people taking these unnatural genetically engineered dinosaurs out of their "natural" habitat is some kind of crime against nature, even though they don't naturally exist anymore in the first place and would wreck any ecosystem they were introduced to (how many normal animals did you see left alive on that island?). Unloading the gun that was going to be used to defend the humans from the rampaging T-Rex.
- The Society of the Evening Star from the Fablehaven series could be interpreted as this, since they believe that demons and other abominations should be free. However, their leader apparently wants to unleash the demons because it's going to have to happen at some point, and he wants to get it over with.
- The Mercedes Lackey short story "Last Rights" features Animal Liberation activists wanting to free the re-created dinosaurs from an experimental park. One discovered that an apatosaurus that doesn't notice you can squash you good, another that velociraptors are not your new friend, and the sole survivor that triceratops are bad-tempered, territorial, and surprisingly fast—but fortunately, can't climb trees.
- In the Tom Clancy novel Rainbow Six, an environmentalist group plots the destruction of the entire human race aside from themselves. Their comeuppance comes when the titular team destroys their hideout, forces them to strip naked and abandons them in the jungle to fend for themselves without any technology whatsoever. According to one of the team's members (a special forces survivalist), they have a very slim chance of survival.
- SM Stirling wrote a trilogy of sequels to the first two Terminator films in which Skynet's plans to destroy humanity are knowingly aided and abetted by a group of self-identified "Luddites", willfully blind to the fact that they are serving a machine which has no particular use for the natural ecosystem and might well destroy it as inconvenient after it triumphs.
- SM Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time also features animal-rights folks becoming traitors, in the form of Pamela Lisketter and her followers, who aid Walker in part because they realize that the new Nantucket government isn't going to promote veganism or discourage hunting anytime soon.
- Much of the tension in Chuck Palahniuk's Lullaby revolves around whether animal rights fanatic Oyster will acquire power over life and death.
- The antagonist in Saints at the River is Luke Miller, a pissed-off environmentalist that believes that building a temporary dam to recover the body of a drowned child (and thus alter the river flow) would set a precedent that would enable further damage to the environment. Maggie, the journalist who is the protagonist in the story, returns to her hometown to chronicle the dispute between the townsfolk who want to recover the body by building the dam and the environmentalists, led by Luke, who try to thwart the plan. Luke is depicted as a misanthropic Cloudcuckoolander who believes that nature, particularly the titular river, is the only thing in the world that's pure.
- In John Ringo's Legacy of the Aldenata, "Greens" conspire to sabotage the war effort and let most of humanity get killed by a Horde of Alien Locusts that eat anything organic on invaded planets, and then swarm to others once the biosphere collapses, fueled by a mixture of antipathy towards civilization and ignorance of Posleen behavior.
- An Expanded Universe book featuring Godzilla had a brief blurb that Greenpeace wanted Godzilla declared endangered.
- Played with in Wicked, where the protagonist joins a revolutionary group working for the rights of Oz's Talking Animals. Their ultimate goal? Kill the Wizard. They are for the most part, in the right, and the Wizard really is a bastard. The animals they're defending are in danger of being treated as ordinary animals, which they object to. With their voices. The ones normal animals don't have.
- The novelized version of Tom Clancy's End War has a terrorist group led by a guy named Green Vox. They're an environmental group and during the Soviet invasion of Canada decide to blow up the oil fields with NUCLEAR WEAPONS... because oil is polluting the environment!
- The CHERUB Series has several groups:
- Help Earth! first appears in The Recruit where they plan to make an attack on a conference between several major oil executives. They return in Divine Madness where they destroy Natural Gas facilities for Church of Happyology The Survivors.
- Man vs Beast features the Zebra Alliance, Animal Freedom Militia, and Animal Freedom Army. The Zebra Alliance was a group that would rescue animals until the leader, Ryan Quinn, was arrested turning the group into a protest group. The Animal Freedom Miltia is a more violent group that would assault members of Animals Testing Companies threating to kill them unless they quit. A spin-off group of them, the Animal Freedom Army, proves to be even more violent when they burn down a facility, bomb an executive's car, and plan to force feed a celebrity chef drain cleaner on live television.
- Woggle in Ben Elton's Dead Famous is one of these, to the extent that he believes disease-spreading vermin — such as fleas and lice — are unfairly put-upon. Although he torments the other members of the Big Brother-style show he's put on with his loathsome self-righteousness and horrific concept of hygiene, the producers are able to make him the audience's favourite by selectively editing footage so that the other housemates come off as even worse than him (which admittedly isn't that hard, since they're a pretty horrible bunch to begin with). When against the housemates' expectations he isn't immediately voted out, they immediately clock what's happening and demand that the producers get rid of him; otherwise they'll walk out. So the producers release evidence they have that Woggle took part in an anti-hunt demonstration in which he savagely beat a 15-year-old girl and left her with brain damage, and the police promptly come a-calling for Woggle.
- Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant gives us R.V., a hippie who buys so much into animal liberation that he tries to free a wolf-man from his cage. The wolf-man thanks him by biting his arms off at the elbow. In R.V.'s defense, it's hinted he's on shrooms at the time.
- Inverted in Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox: the Extinctionists are a group who believe humans are so superior to animals, all animals should be killed unless they directly benefit humans. Cows, for example, are kept alive because they can provide meat and milk.
- Oryx and Crake mentions an incidence of a fanatic animal rights group breaking into a chicken factory to liberate the inhabitants. This is seen as hilarious by everyone, since the "chickens" in question are actually ChickieNobs, a highly genetically engineered form of chicken that lacks a brain or indeed a central nervous system and, as one character notes, "can't even walk", since they haven't got legs.
- Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth novel Flinx in Flux features as its primary antagonists a fanatical ecoterrorist group who believe in destroying all forms of "exploitation" of the natural order by humans. Their current target: a small genetic engineering firm working on the planet Longtunnel, which is renowned for the plasticity of its native lifeforms. Flinx gets involved when he accidentally rescues one of the company's researchers, the lovely and talented Clarity Held, who was kidnapped, interrogated, beaten, and left for dead on Alaspin. The group later mounts a full-scale armed assault on the Longtunnel facilities, and eventually tries to capture Flinx himself, once they learn what he is. In this final battle, they pull a Nice Job Fixing It, Villain by accidentally breaking the mechanism keeping Flinx and Pip asleep.
- In Susan Conant's Bloodlines, a young woman who's been listening to an Animal Wrongs Group's propaganda steals the protagonist's beloved Alaskan malamute, Rowdy, at a dog show and turns him loose. Luckily, she does so inside the building, and Rowdy is recovered safely. The protagonist's terror that he might have been set free outside — right next to a busy highway — is very potent until then, however, and she later chews the girl out six ways from Sunday for putting him in danger, at one point asking her why she isn't running around setting peoples' CHILDREN loose in the woods?
- Fate of the Jedi has a droid wrongs group in it. As does the Holonet News site with the headline "Droid Rights Activists Decry Brilliant Missiles". Unfortunately for this group, the Mechanical Liberation Front, they accidentally release these brilliant missiles, killing themselves and clearing a 25 kilometer square area around the plant.
- A Beetle Maniac Sk'rrr in Galaxy of Fear: The Swarm makes it his mission to kill the animals that eat drog beetles so that there will be more and they won't live in fear for their lives. This backfires spectacularly.
- Harry Potter:
- Hagrid arguably falls under this trope. He is unable to accept that the vicious monsters he likes are not really just friendly, misunderstood animals but are, in fact, vicious monsters. While he doesn't actively campaign for them, he does regularly break the law and put children, himself, and anyone nearby in serious danger, and is very lucky no-one has ever died due to his actions.
- Hermione could also fit a milder form with SPEW (Society for the Promotion of Elvish Welfare). She is determined to free house elves no matter what, to the point of trying to trick them into being free (by hiding clothes in piles of rubbish — house elves are freed if they're given clothes) even though they really don't want it. At the point SPEW was formed, the only house elves Hermione has met had been abused by their masters; once she learns that there are house elves who are treated well and enjoy being part of the family, she backs off a bit, shifting the organization's purpose to giving them better working conditions and only freeing abused ones.
- In Alex Rider novel Ark Angel, we have "Force Three", a group that bombs car plants and threatens businessman Nikolia Drevin because the title space hotel he launched made native birds of the island extinct. Subverted when we learn that Nikola had been arranging the attacks so he could crash the space hotel into Washington D.C. to eliminate evidence of his criminal dealings.
- Downplayed in Animorphs: Cassie, a Friend to All Living Things who helps her parents run a wildlife clinic, is often teased by her friends about being one ("Save the whales! Hug trees! Let dogs vote!") or becoming a Crazy Cat Lady for all living creatures, but she certainly doesn't put the lives of her friends above animals (and was annoyed that they would think that, when they had a choice to eat a recently-killed seal or starve to death in the Arctic).
- One episode of Spooks involved an animal rights group who instigated a bombing campaign against vivisectionists that made Al Qaeda look like a cheerleading squad.
- An episode of Ashes to Ashes had an animal rights extremist who wasn't beyond throwing a firebomb at a twelve-year old.
- An episode of Bergerac almost seems even-handed in comparison. Three activists release a bunch of plague-carrying monkeys, but the only people infected are themselves, the death of one (who was dating Bergerac's daughter) is close to Tear Jerker territory, and another has enough sense to turn himself in and get treatment. The group's leader is slightly more extreme but still non-violent, and surrenders because the police threaten to shoot a dog if she doesn't. (Makes sense in context...)
- A storyline in Between The Lines had an animal rights group planting bombs, unaware that they were being manipulated by a competitor of their main target. It ends in a murder-suicide with a big bomb.
- Casualty has a long history of presenting animal rights groups as terrorists, who blow up laboratories, people who work in laboratories, the children of people who work in laboratories... One season premiere involving a bomb on a bus was originally going to have Islamic militants as the villains, but it was changed to animal rights people because they were worried about offending Islamic militants. They were actually on their way to blow up something relevant, but the bomb went off prematurely.
- An episode of Tremors: The Series has an animal rights group trying to get graboids declared an endangered species, and the Perfection Valley residents' co-existence with the albino graboid El Blanco as dangerous to its health. The group's leader wasn't above non-fatally poisoning El Blanco to give them an artificial smoking gun, but upon her actions being revealed, the rest of the group leaves in disgust. This episode gets funny when you realize that:
- El Blanco is already a protected species, and
- It's known to be sterile, meaning its individual survival contributes nothing to the long-term preservation of its species, and
- The residents of Perfection have ended up protecting the graboid from harm a few times (when it's not saving them by attacking the Monster of the Week).
- The Mentalist: An animal rights group is suspected of murdering a professor who is a part of an experiment that tests on animals. It turns out they weren't the culprit either, but the audience learns earlier that the experiment is inhumane for both animals and humans.
- Subverted in a third-season episode of Veronica Mars. She suspects a group of committing a crime, but finds out they're generally pretty good people. She also tricks a Ted Nugent Expy into wearing a shirt saying "Meat is Murder".
- In Dollhouse, Caroline Farrell (who will become Echo) first comes to the notice of Rossum Corporation (the people working closely with the Dollhouse) when she breaks into one of their labs to record the mistreatment of experimental animals there. When her boyfriend points out numerous fetuses in jars and evidence that human experimentation is occurring, she merely scowls and goes back to fawning over the monkeys.
- An Animal Wrongs Group frees a genetically engineered monster in the Fringe episode "Unleashed."
- This was done in Monster of the Week episodes of the The X-Files, before the Myth Arc grew big enough.
- Main example in "Darkness Falls", which ironically won an award from the EMA because of its "environmentalist message". The Monster of that episode is a species of photosensitive tree mites capable of swarming and killing a score of humans that were released from hibernation by loggers illegally cutting down old-growth trees.
- In "Fearful Symmetry". The WAO ('Wild Again Organization') is suspected of releasing an elephant from a zoo whose cages are too small to make the animals comfortable. It turns out that the first case wasn't their fault. Later, when one of the WAO members attempts to release a tiger to force the Government to shut down the zoo, the tiger kills him.
- NUMB3RS had one of these, who accidentally killed a professor (when his partner learned of it later, he was appalled). It turned out that he was schizophrenic and thought animals had greater "spirits" then humans; he acted independently from the main animal rights group.
- Whale Wars focuses on a real-life group, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, whose ships forcefully intervene with Japanese & Faroese whaling and bluefin tuna fishing.
- An NCIS episode had a whale rights activist try to kill a submarine crew because he believed the SONAR they used was hurting the marine life. They do make it clear, though, that he has no connection to the protesters outside the base, whose biggest threat was being inconvenient.
- Played for laughs in an episode of 3rd Rock from the Sun, when Dick accidentally hits a chipmunk with his car. He is so distraught that he becomes a complete environmentalist nut. Among other things, he makes Sally throw out all of her leather shoes and tries to free the lobsters at a fancy restaurant. At the end, he releases the chipmunk back into the wild. He hits and kills an endangered peregrine falcon with a rock to prevent it from eating his chipmunk.
- Monster Warriors had an episode that dealt with a group of people protesting them fighting and destroying the monsters, with the leaders of the group being the parents of one of the warriors. Needless to say, they changed their tune when the monsters attacked them (although a few still bitch about it during the attack).
- In Castle, a victim owned a male body-products company which was coming under fire from animal rights activists, and the crime scene contains the word 'murderer' written in the victim's blood on a mirror. Subverted; most of the activists are just 'average everyday tree-hugging vegetarians', the 'violent' one they get in as a suspect comes off as just being an otherwise ordinary guy (albeit one with a fondness for attacking the property and people he was protesting against with fake blood) and it turns out he didn't do it anyway, the suspect having a concrete alibi, and the actual murderer having staged the crime scene to throw the police on the wrong scent.
- Averted in an episode of Psych titled, appropriately, "Meat is Murder, but Murder is also Murder." Turns out it wasn't the vegetarian vigilantes at all, just an ambitious assistant who wanted the dead man's job.
- In the first episode of Saxondale, Tommy encounters a pack of these types protesting his clearing a factory of its pigeon infestation. One of them is a bit unhinged and cuts his arm with a large knife. Tommy notes that he is 'now legally entitled to use reasonable force in a proportional response.'
Protester: What's that meant to mean?
[Tommy shoots him in the knee-cap with a pellet gun. He goes down, screaming in pain]
Tommy: Just that, I suppose. Anyone else want to ask what that means? [Not entirely surprisingly, they don't]
- Parodied by That Mitchell and Webb Look with a human rights activist who explains that his chosen method of raising awareness about cruelty to humans is inflicting it on animals, since the reverse approach seems so popular.
- The Chaser's War on Everything parodied this when Andrew and Julian posed as anti-fur activists - at Taronga Zoo. "Some leopard died for you to wear that leopard skin!"
- Crank Yankers featured this in one episode. Their protest signs in the background change every time they're shown, starting with "If It's Furry, Let It Scurry" and ends with "Kill Whitey".
- In the German series Lindenstraße, Julia von der Marwitz dies from rabies - which she caught from a cat she had "liberated" from a research lab.
- Not apparently part of a group, but one culprit on CSI: New York killed a man to save the life of a cockroach.
- Damian Day goads a group of peaceful activists into raiding a beagle farm on Drop the Dead Donkey. It ends badly...for Damian; Gus and Alex realise there's something going down and rearrange the raid to go to a farm that breeds rottweilers for experimentation.
- In an episode of Las Vegas, such a group steals a truckload of lobsters from the Montecito to prevent their "murder", and dump them into a shark aquarium, which endangers the sharks by introducing unchecked foreign contaminants into the water. Besides getting them arrested, Ed and another casino manager retaliate by organising an All-You-Can-Eat lobster buffet.
- An episode of Criminal Minds had an arsonist who began murdering men involved with corporations accused of being heavy polluters, as well as their families. It turns out he was acting alone, and was nothing more than a sadistic psychopath (he used a suit that allowed him to watch his victims burn up close). His actions disgusted the local environmental group whose website he was using to find his "justifiable" victims, especially the leader, who kills him in an instance of Taking You with Me.
- Jonathan Creek had an episode in which a man was killed by a long-distance animal activist who sent him a self-addressed envelope with a poisoned flap.
- The L.A. Law episode "The Unsterile Cuckoo" had Victor representing Randall Furriers, Inc., suing the Save the Animals Foundation for splashing "blood" (actually a dye, their founder explains) on models wearing his coats at fashion shows, and slashing at the coats with razor blades, causing more than a million dollars in damage. At one point in the trial, a member of the group splashes Victor with a bucket of "blood" in a courthouse hallway, shouting "You defend murderers!" Their founder is depicted as someone who cares about animals more than people.
- Aqua's music video for their song "We Belong to the Sea" pokes fun at this trope... Lene grabs a goldfish in a bowl and runs from pursuers for the entire video, until the end where she successfully flings it into the sea. Never mind that goldfish are freshwater fish, the video ends with a shark's fin cruising across the ocean!
- Exaggerated in "Carrot Juice Is Murder" by The Arrogant Worms, in which the protagonist is part of a vegetable wrongs group and is proud of killing people for eating vegetables.
- In Bloom County, Opus the penguin failed to find his mother due to an Uzi-toting animal rights group breaking into the animal testing lab that he broke into, kidnapping him, and then leaving him in the ice-cooler of a 7-11 because "they're on a bit of a shoe-string budget-wise."
- On another occasion, he mistook Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior for an Antarctic-bound cruise ship with neighbor, septuagenarian, and "fellow environmental extremist" Mrs. Limekiller.
- German caricaturist Markus once drew one of them protesting the slaying of dragons - on stage during a Richard Wagner opera.
- The only possible way to describe the Ashbound in the Dungeons & Dragons Eberron setting, overlapping with Well-Intentioned Extremist. These are people who believe anything other than living in a cave is inherently evil. Because one of their early members turned into a lich to aid their agencies, and after she was destroyed there was a bumper season, they concluded all arcane magic was equally evil. The Faiths of Eberron supplement points out that slightly
less monomaniacal more flexible individuals might have considered that after said lich caused severe ecological damage, the bumper season may have been a result of the balance reasserting rather than a sign that all wizards are using powers that risk severely crippling nature (you have to be at least level 17 to access that kind of thing).
- Greenwar from Aberrant is the nightmarish result of answering the question "what happens if you let one of these groups have access to super-powered agents?". One of their most notorious signature "tricks" is using a telepathic member to Mind Rape a target of their ire by imprinting the mind of a tortured/dying animal over their own. Whether this leads to the victim undergoing a change of heart or a homicidal mental breakdown is no concern to them. That said, they're perfectly okay with just straight-up murdering "oppressors".
- There are some traits of this in Monsterpocalypse's Green Fury. Only now they have dinosaurs. Dinosaurs as big and powerful as Godzilla.
- A more humorous example is the "Sierra Club" secret society in Paranoia, who don't let themselves be stopped by the fact that the only animals to protect in Alpha Complex are a few cockroaches. The fact that it shares a name with an actual environmental group may be the reason why it's called the "Seal Club" in later editions.
- Quite a few of these exist in Shadowrun, some of them with connections to toxic shamans.
- Notable is Deborah Bailey, who rambles about animal rights in virtually every entry of sapient critters in the Paranormal Animals of North Ameria sourcebook. Her input is more often than not cut short by the SysOp, who habitually deletes half of her posts in order to save precious megapulses of virtual storage space.
- Subverted in Werewolf: The Apocalypse, where the characters are expected to play environmental/animal rights warriors. For example, some characters rescue young lupus Garou and wolf kinfolk from zoos, or exact brutal revenge on wolf hunters. In-game, this is justified because every evil strawman stereotype is true in this crapsack world, and their grand goal is quite literally, "Aid our terrible master in not only ruining Earth, but destroying her soul and claiming her corpse."
- Lampshaded, though it's complicated. The developers even include themselves; their in-universe equivalent is Black Dog Games, which practices every evil claim of people who crusade against role-playing games: subliminally encouraging violence, satanism, sociopathy, and sexual deviance. In Werewolf's universe, school shootings really are because of RPGs. In Black Dog's version of the Werewolf RPG (a game within a game, if you're keeping score), the Werewolves are an Animal Wrongs Group gone off the deep end.
- The line eventually introduces an actual Animal Wrongs Group in the form of F. E. A. R. Itself, an eco-terrorist group aimed at radical action towards saving the environment... or so they think. In truth, the whole thing is a scam by the Black Spiral Dancers (fallen werewolves) to make a mockery of the Garou's concern for the Earth by driving young activists towards tactics that have a high body count, don't really stop projects that threaten the environment, bring heightened scrutiny down on the more benevolent ecological sabotage measures of the Garou, and risk making environmentalism a dirty word.
- GURPS Transhuman Space has Blue Shadow, whose more fanatical branches bomb genetic engineering companies and "liberate" genemod sapients while sterilizing them. One such branch is led by an insane uplifted dolphin. And the Europan Defense Front, which is at war with the Green Duncanites over the terraforming of Europa's ocean.
- Steer Madness is an indie game where you play an anthropomorphic cow who joins an Animal Wrongs Group; setting test animals loose from a laboratory is one of your missions.
- The Cult of Planet in Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire is kind of like this, except they are defending an environment that is more than capable of defending itself, and believe in their cause so strongly they would gladly let humanity go extinct to preserve Planet. (They can convince Planet not to kill them by doing this, and in fact lend them aid in the form of slightly more docile — to them — wildlife.)
- Nippon Ichi's Phantom Brave spoofs this with Canary, who is trying to start up an Animal Rights group named H.A.R.M. (Human Activists for Rare Monsters). He and a circus manager mistake the magical (but mute) gnomes known as Putties for non-sapient beings. The Putty, despite being caged, enjoys its leisurely life and wanders back in, prompting Canary to outright abduct it. Once recovered, though, the Putty wishes to go with Marona instead. He reluctantly goes back into the cage but escapes on his own later, to rejoin you on your island.
- In the second World of Warcraft expansion pack, Wrath of the Lich King, there is a new faction called D.E.H.T.A. (Druids for the Ethical and Humane Treatment of Animals). Most of their quests involve brutally killing animal hunters and poachers (Their leader gives you brownie points for turning in the hunter's ears!)
- As a bonus, walking into the small D.E.H.T.A. camp within a few minutes of killing an animal results in your becoming a pasty smear on the ground when the entire camp rushes you with Animal Wrong warcries. (This can, however, be averted by taking a swim before approaching the camp.)
- There's an interesting example of a Double Standard in their actions. On Nedar, Lord of Rhinos, the quest-giver notes with some regret that "It is a rare thing that D.E.H.T.A. would ever call for the death of an animal, but Ned's tainted rhino must be disposed of...", while he has no such reservations about sending you to kill Ned himself.
- The presence of this faction is an intentional satire of the game's players, as a quarter or more of all quests elsewhere in the world, including some in the very same zone, involve the slaughter of animals for everything from food to spell components to "for the lulz".
- To make the message completely unambiguous, the "loot crazed" hunters D.E.H.T.A. targets spout phrases like "Just fifty more hooves and I'll have the new gun!" and "I wonder what Nesingwary will give me for your hide!", mimicking players' thoughts.
- In Dwarf Fortress, Elves are essentially a Plant Wrongs Group — cut down too many trees, and they will invade you and eat any of you that they manage to kill. They also get upset if you trade anything made out of wood or that has wood decoration, unless they're stuff that the Elves sold you (which are prefixed with "grown"). Apparently, the Elves use some kind of magic to make trees grow in the form they want to.
- Dead Rising 2 features an odd example in that it has a "Zombie Rights Group" which actively protests "Terror is Reality", a game show that slaughters zombies wholesale. It's easy to see why the group is upset, what with the show being blatantly disrespectful to the dead, but certain members are extremists to the point of starting a second outbreak and killing survivors. One member goes so nuts that he wants to "Convert" people to undeath.
- Actually CURE is pretty reasonable, in fact Chuck had even gone to one of their meetings in the past. Stacey Forsythe the Nebraska CURE leader, has no objection to zombies getting put down (as long as its not in cruel fashion) she knows they are dead mentally and not coming back, her concern is for the living infected. The infected face a lifetime of struggling to get the super-expensive Zombrex which also has side-effects of making a person feel very sick. She wants a cure or barring that, better access to treatment and an improvement on the Zombrex formula. The guy who went nuts did so out of horror that the zombies were slaughtering people, including his fellow CURE members.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics A2, one quest early in the game involves donating money to a monster's rights group, aiming to raise awareness of monsters that are endangered due to overhunting. A notice later in the game reveals that the group has come under fire, as one of their campaigns to protect the endangered "Cluckatrice" caused an increase in poaching, as more hunters are now aware of their existence.
- The resultant quest chain reveals that the monster's rights group is actually a front for Khamja, the Big Bad of clans, who themselves were poaching the birds and engineered the campaign as a way to raise demand.
- In Fallout Tactics, a Jane Goodall Expy releases deathclaws. No points for guessing what happens to her.
- City of Heroes has the Devouring Earth. Their MO involve propaganda, protesting, arson, kidnapping, indoctrination, mutation, animation, homicide, and genocide.
- While most of the hippies in Kingdom of Loathing can be considered members of some self-righteous animal-lovers' group, the C.A.R.N.I.V.O.R.E. operative is explicitly one. Most of the hippies at least have no problem with pet ownership, unfortunately for said pets. The C.A.R.N.I.V.O.R.E. operative also drops a membership button when you beat him; wearing it enrages monsters so much that it makes them stronger (and worth more experience points).
- Played for Laughs (like everything else) in Overlord II: The elves, already overly emo in the first game, have become hippies bent on saving magical creatures from the magic-hating Glorious Empire — but only the cute fuzzy ones. As the titular Evil Overlord, one of the first things you do is march into their arctic preserve and start clubbing baby seals.
- In Avernum 5, there is the Circle of Life cult, which breed various nasty critters and release them back into their (newly settled) natural habitat, much to the displeasure of others. However, when the group is confronted, it is shown they are quite pacifistic.
- The remakes of Pokemon Ruby And Sapphire portray Team Aqua this way, committed to expanding the sea in order to make new habitats for Pokémon that lost their homes to human development. In contrast, their rivals, Team Magma, are focused on furthering humanity's progress by expanding the landmass.
- Pokemon Black And White versions feature as the main antagonist force Team Plasma, whose intent is to make trainers give up their Pokémon in order to release them back into the wild. Unusually for the trope, their views are given due consideration and cause several trainers to re-evaluate their relationships with their Pokémon, though most characters conclude that their ultimate goal of separating people and Pokémon entirely would be damaging to both. That said, many (but not all) members engage in as much Lillipup-kicking as any other fictional Animal Wrongs Group; forcefully abducting Pokémon from their trainers, hypocritically keeping Pokémon themselves, and decrying perceived abuse by trainers while actually abusing Pokémon. Plus, unknown to most of the organization, the whole thing is a sham by most of the group's leadership; if everyone's convinced to separate from Pokémon, then nobody can oppose them when they use Pokémon to take over. The trope is also subverted in that several members who don't know this agenda, including the figurehead leader, really do have Pokémon's best interests at heart and can't even help but befriend those they've "liberated".
- By the time of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, however, Team Plasma has split into two factions and neither one is an Animal Wrongs Group anymore: one side has reformed as a legitimate animal welfare group working to atone for their misdeeds; while the other has resorted to outright terrorism, not even bothering to use animal rights as a justification.
- Also, this became Hilarious in Hindsight when PETA themselves protested the Pokémon series premise at Black 2 and White 2's release, even going so far as to make their own spoof, PETA’s Pokémon Black & Blue: Gotta Free 'em All!. Even more hilarious when you realize that they praise Team Plasma as the heroes and Ash, the guy who broke down crying when he thought his Pikachu was dead (as well as being a character from the anime, not the games), as the villain. Oddly enough, Ghetsis is the second-to-last opponent, so it's obvious someone on the PETA staff played the game and knew about his real intentions.
- Thetis from Megaman ZX Advent, who wants to use his powers to punish every person on earth for all the sea creatures they've killed with their incessant water pollution. To be fair to him, this is a world that's had no less than three class 1 apocalypses so far (all caused by Humans and Reploids, who he hates equally) and it's actually somewhat impressive that there's any sea life left.
- Also, he's not the only member of the 4 biometal users to try and reason with you, which based on normal enemy treatment makes him the friendliest of the enemies, there are implications that he's actually pushed into being a Well-Intentioned Extremist because of model W manipulating him, as with the rest of the biometal users being manipulated in gathering model W pieces, so presumably before that he was actually very kind.
- Legacy Of A Thousand Suns takes this to the extreme with animal rights groups that genetically engineer said animals, and more extreme are "bacteria-rights" groups that think that SPREADING A LETHAL CONTAGIOUS VIRUS ON HEAVILY RESOURCE-RICH (Read: Populated) PLANETS IS MORE ETHICAL THAN KEEPING A SMALL VIRUS PETRI DISH. Naturally, the opposing groups are also extremist (one of them willing to murder her twin sister gruesomely for the whole "spread the lethal virus" thing), but less taxing on the general populace of the galaxy, and thus eligible to ask for more help from the Sian Captain.
- Jurassic Park The Game has Dr. Sorkin, who clearly cares more for the dinosaurs than her fellow surviors. Upon hearing that the military intends to bomb the whole island, she takes the others hostage to try and negotiate for the dinosaurs, and when she's ignored, she decides to release the massive aquatic Mosasaur into the oceans to make a point, despite the ecological havoc such a move would cause. When called out on the latter, she brushes it off as not being a big deal, making it seem as if the dinosaurs are the only animals she really cares about.
- Clout has The Green Party. Among the bills they are affiliated with are Relax Assisted Suicide Restrictions, Fund Soylent Green Research, and their party's "Win Bill", which is to Legalize Homicide. For the good of the planet, obviously.
- No Man's Sky gives us The Malevolent Force, who are a set of Artificial Intelligences programmed to protect the worlds they're found on... "Protect" meaning, among other things, violently killing anyone who harms the local fauna, even in self-defense.
- Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has Cybil, a member of the Concordia Liberation Front who sends you to a scav camp to save creatures she calls "Cuties". As you murder your way through the camp, she gleefully delights in all the mayhem and carnage you're causing (for the sake of animals of course). When you finally reach the "Cuties" and find out that they're actually Torks (giant bugs that are certainly not cute), she demands that you murder them all.
- Do's and Don'ts, from Smosh's Shut Up Cartoons line up, introduces Vikki, an aggresive young vegan who accuses anyone who eats meat or animal products of murder. Her lessons border on fascist level extremes, such as holding another girl hostage in her basement and making this statement:
"Studies show that vegetarians are smarter than meat eaters. So we have a duty to make decisions for you — no matter how much blood we shed!"
- Sluggy Freelance has had a few panels with PETA members attempting to "rescue" Bun-Bun. Hilarity and stab wounds ensued. There was even a week featuring an all-PETA version of Survivor (of which there was only one, the guy who was voted off, the others died).
- Subverted in Templar Arizona. A group of animal rights activists are picketing a restaurant, screaming and throwing trash... but considering that the guy who owns the restaurant is a Magnificent Bastard who lovingly serves up only endangered and cute things such as poached (the cooking method) condor eggs and braised newborn puppies, it's completely justified. Though the owner notes, as he finishes reading off the day's menu, "I'll be back tomorrow. I do so enjoy our little visits. And I suspect that you do, too."
- Gordito's Father in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja had his guns jammed by a PETA operative so he would be killed by the dangerous animals he was supposed to shoot in his sharp-shooting act that was decreed to be cruelty to animals. (Stuffing a bunch of animals into a cannon and firing them all out so that they can be shot just might fulfill anyone's standard for animal cruelty.) The reason the circus had gotten away with it up to that point was because they used rabid animals that were going to be killed anyway. Just FYI.
- The Order of the Stick: Leeky Windstaff, an evil Druid who animates the trees of a city park to rebel against their "mewling city dweller" masters.
- Housepets!, in which the titular pets are sapient beings that have more rights than real world pets, has a whole arc that centers around two guys employed by PETA. However, while one fits this trope well, the other is a far more nuanced character; as well, the arc is a criticism of PETA specifically (the sane one notes that they let him join without a background check).
- The Crocomire Hunter, a main character in Planet Zebeth, fits this quite well. He goes into fits of sobbing and/or plots for revenge when an enemy creature (yes, they are referred to as enemies, even though many are friendly or at least unassuming) is killed. All other main characters have no sense of value for the enemies' lives, so this happens often.
- Cyanide and Happiness contains a goldfish rights activist. And "fur is murder!".
- Something Positive has a parody of this mentality in the Teddy Bear Liberation Front, whose members assault people who modify stuffed animals so that they can have sex with them.
- Living With Insanity featured an arc where an animal wrongs group with the acronym ANAL tried to liberate the cat. (It starts here.) The result was a giant hammer and stabbing.
- The Japanese Beetle used this a couple of times. One arc had the Militia for Ethical Animal Treatment stop the eponymous hero's battle with a Kaiju by pelting him with "Bricks of Love" and trying to let it go free (it ate their leader). A later story had an aged hippie concoct a formula that made anyone who ate meat suffer "sympathetic pains", usually manifested as violent reactions followed by blackouts; Ken thwarted him by injecting him with his own formula, then making him eat a soy burger, causing him to feel the same sympathetic pains.
- Pierrot in Spacetrawler is mostly portrayed sympathetically, but he arguably crosses a line when he saves a cage full of furryites (stated to be vicious killers) from being eaten... by setting them free in the middle of a crowded restaurant. It's all played for Black Comedy.
- Suicide for Hire: Arc would rather face a Cthuluian armageddon than PETA's zealots.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has this guy.
- In Camp Calomine, the entire camp is run by these. Ralph gets in a dig using Sundoggie, a vegan who identifies with otters — which Charles uses against him by pointing out that otters are carnivores.
- A bunch of college students in an episode of Pinky and the Brain free laboratory animals, and then immediately toss them into the wild to fend for themselves... usually in the wrong habitats, in part thanks to completely misidentifying the species. This includes taking the titular laboratory mice and tossing them out of a plane into the Amazon Jungle.
"Can mice fly?"
- South Park:
- In one episode, PETA was depicted as a bunch of zoophiles who thought having a cow as a sports mascot was degrading and forces South Park Elementary to change it. Among the choices the kids could vote for was the Redskins, which Stan points out is offensive and degrading to Native Americans, only to be told that it was okay, because PETA doesn't care about people being degraded, just animals.
- In the episode "Free Willzyx", animal activists shot down a group of police officers, border patrol officers, and an innocent bystander to get a whale to Mexico. Worse yet, the reason, which the animal liberation group was unaware of, was that the whale was being transported to Mexico not to get it to the ocean, but to the moon (It Makes Sense in Context). It got there. As you might have expected, it didn't last long. The episode was parodying the movie Free Willy.
- Whale Wars was skewered in an episode in season 13, satirizing them as media whores who weren't being nearly extreme enough. When Stan joins their crew and starts using actual terrorism methods to fight whalers, the only thing that people seem to notice is how this makes the show interesting to watch for once as well how many ratings the new show is getting.
- An episode of The Powerpuff Girls had an animal rights group try to stop the PPGs from "harassing" Mojo Jojo, i.e., stopping him from committing crimes. They claimed Mojo wasn't evil but only following his natural instincts.....which included building incredibly complex machinery, and living in an entirly human manner including speaking in clear if over-iterative English. The girls then helped them move Mojo into the wild.
- Futurama had a slightly different spin on it.
- The loony animal rights group in "The Birdbot of Ice-Catraz" decides that the best way to save a group of penguins that's breeding too rapidly is to break out the guns and declare it penguin-hunting season. This is, in fact, a very valid strategy if one values species' health over individuals' welfare. This then subverted by a shift from an animal rights group to a group of red-neck hunters who enjoy their task far too much
- Futurama also played the trope straight with Mankind for Ethical Animal Treatment (MEAT), a PETA knockoff that starts off protesting the Popplers and then ends up thwarting the Planet Express crew's plan to solve the interplanetary crisis that ensues without Leela getting eaten, serving as part of an elaborate Running Gag. The leaders of both the above groups are the members of the Waterfall clan. Free Waterfall Jr. is the first, in the Popplers episode, and his father swears to avenge his death at the end when Lrr (of the planet Omicron Persei VIII) eats him. The father in question, Free Waterfall Sr., is the leader in "Birdbot". When he dies, his father swears revenge. Old Man Waterfall, the elder in question, serves as Zoidberg's civil rights attorney in a later episode, is then killed, and his Straw Feminist great-granddaughter swears revenge. (She showed up again, and when she did, she was toast.)
- When Leela protested that the activists couldn't expect everyone to conform to their standards, Free Waterfall Jr. corrected her; in fact they could, on the basis that they taught a lion to eat tofu. Pan right to an emaciated lion, which coughs once, pathetically. What truly set Free Waterfall Jr.'s group apart was, he valued the rights of animals above those of humans. Zapp Branigan's plan to save Leela by substituting an ape would have actually worked if he hadn't opened his big mouth in an attempt to save the ape. (He failed to do so, and what ultimately happened to him was pretty much no-one's fault but his, seeing as he annoyed Lrr so much.)
- The central characters in I Am Not An Animal are released by one of these groups.
- Godzilla: The Series had a Kaiju liberation group called S.C.A.L.E. (Servants of Creatures Arriving Late to Earth) that believed kaiju and other mutants to be the future of evolution and try to free all the monsters from Monster Island. Their leader was so devoted, she was even willing to let the creatures eat her.
- A subtle version is used on King of the Hill, Bobby accidentally knocks out a whooping crane while on a snipe hunt; while trying to secretly bury it, they are harassed by not only an unnamed animal rights group, but a park ranger as well. Later, while trying to bury it in a field, the animal rights "hippies" chase them off, decrying them as murderers, while tearing down plant life and stepping on a bird's nest, crushing several eggs.
- In one episode of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, the People's Animal Freedom Front liberates Magilla Gorilla from Peeble's Pet Shop (running over a dog in the process). By the end of the show, they've dumped the obnoxious ape out in the woods somewhere after suffering through many, many puns.
- In The Simpsons episode "Lisa the Tree Hugger", Jessie the environmentalist tells her "I'm a level five vegan. I won't eat anything that casts a shadow."
- In the Itchy and Scratchy short "Screams from a Mall," Itchy nails Scratchy's feet to an escalator, causing his fur to rip off, then puts the fur up for sale. Scratchy nabs the fur back from a customer and drapes it over himself, whereupon a group of activists beat him up with their "Fur is murder" signs, despite it being his own fur.
- Inverted in an episode of Family Guy where Brian tries to start an animal rights group. It doesn't last long because Brian tells the audience that in China people EAT DOGS. Lois wonders what they taste like, then the audience chases Brian just to get a taste.
- An episode of American Dad! had Hayley falling in with an environmentalist group whose leader insists that he's a "tree born in a man's body" and "wears" nothing but a potted plant. He also tries to blow up the new mall, but only succeeds in destroying Francine's muffin kiosk and Klaus' human body from the main plot.
- Parodied in an episode of My Gym Partner's A Monkey, where a group called "B.A.A.A." (Because All Animals are Amazing) shows up at the school to protest the vaccinations that the school is giving its students. This is apparently standard procedure for Charles Darwin. Hypocritically, at the end of the episode they go for burgers, showing they're not above eating animals since if they were their leader would've said veggie burgers.
- In Brickleberry's fourth episode, the rangers are confronted by PITA (People are less Important Than Animals) as a result of them exploiting Steve's squabbits. One of their acts is to subject the rangers to forceful makeup testing and they later get killed by the squabbits after the latter acquire a taste for blood.
- A flashback in season two of Archer reveals Lana was part of such a group, of the "fur is murder" throwing red paint of fur shoppers variety. When Lana is about to throw paint on Mallory as she walks out in a new fur, Mallory pulls a gun and dares her to do it. Lana doesn't back down, so Mallory offers her a job.