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PETA Reminds StarCraft Players That Zerglings Have Feelings, Too

Written by Joel Bartlett | March 11, 2013

StarCraft players gearing up for the launch of StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm will be getting a new perspective on the game’s arthropodal extraterrestrials, the Zerg.

PETA—or, as we are renaming ourselves in honor of the expansion pack’s launch, “Terrans for the Ethical Treatment of Zerglings”—will attend tonight’s launch event in Irvine, California, and distribute copies of our new “Zerglings Have Feelings, Too” leaflets as a reminder that gamers and nongamers alike should have compassion for all beings—even those who are very different from us.

Heart for the Swarm

We always root for the underdogs (and undermice and underpigeons, etc.) at PETA. And when playing StarCraft, I had noticed how the Zerg were treated more like animals than like other people. I couldn’t help but wonder if there would be an analog to PETA in the world of StarCraft. Tonight, my dream will come true.

People often wonder what PETA has against video games, especially after playing our Pokémon: Black and Blue or Super Tanooki Skin 2D parody games, which have each gotten millions of people to think about PETA’s issues and, together, have led to more than 750,000 people watching PETA’s hard-hitting videos. The truth is that as a gamer and a PETA staffer, I get excited about combining my passions.

So remember, while Zerglings are not real, there are many equally “strange” and exotic animals we share this planet with who deserve our empathy. Just because crocodiles and snakes look alien to us, that doesn’t make it OK to skin them alive for a handbag, shoes, or a belt.

And if we had to share our world with the Zerg in reality, I’d like to think that we’d make an effort to understand and respect them rather than sending out the battlecruisers—because the alternative to having empathy for other beings is about as grim as it gets, whether you’re a Terran, a Zerg, or a Protoss. OK, whoa, that got kind of serious there. What I am saying is look at the cute Zergling! How could anyone ever want to hurt a Zergling?

If all this talk of “Zerg rights” has you thinking, I recommend that you check out Animal Liberation, the groundbreaking book by Peter Singer, which is credited with kick-starting the modern animal rights movement. What does “animal liberation” even mean? See PETA’s summary of the book here to find out.

Commenting is closed.
  • Viola H. says:

    Zerglings have feelings? Tell that to the 10 billion people the Zerg, along with Kerrigan, butchered in the span of four years.

  • Epiphany says:

    Can we get this as a t-shirt? American Apparel – purple, cute Zergling with sparkles?

  • Marine #7 says:

    You tell me how to put “Empathy” into a bullet, and I’ll give the Zerg all the “Empathy” they deserve.

  • Sklavin says:

    You do realize that in this game the zerglings are trying to wipe out humanity right? Not to mention we’re not talking about an exotic animal here, we’re talking about an alien that acts much like a parasite. You’d get rid of a tape worm if you had one wouldn’t you?

  • Bob Neth says:

    Got the satire. Thought it was dumb. Consider the source.

  • thatguy says:

    wow, i never realize how selfish we are for not understanding the feelings of “IMAGINARY” creatures. for now on “I” will help preserve the nature of “IMAGINARY” creature, so that they can destroy and slaughter humanities last hope in a “VIDEO GAME.”

  • Adjutant says:

    Our forces are under attack!

  • Who cares says:

    It’s funny, because the statement that “Zerglings Have Fealings Too” is completely invalid, because they are programmed and textured into a game. Also, it won’t pass on to anybody to treat things that look alien to us poorly because in the US we regulate things, and most places that they do treat animals poorly they won’t be playing SC II.

  • mercedesm1 says:

    I have completely lost faith in humanity….

  • anonymous says:

    it’s funny because zerg actually don’t have feelings.

  • Alxias says:

    If the zombie apocalypse ever comes we’ll see a “ZOMBIES HAVE FEELINGS TOO” campaign.

  • Epiphany says:

    Adorable! Is there any way to get this on a Tshirt? A Chibi zerg surrounded by sparkles. Awesome.

  • Rommert de Bruijn says:

    Wait, not even a footnote about the countless ursadons, karaks and lyote’s driven from their homes because of the Zerg terrors? They’re the real victims here!

  • MaDMaX says:

    Hello, this is my first time responding to anything PETA but i’ve known about you for some time. Now I don’t mind that you are trying to help these zerglings, but what about the roaches? Not only are the other creatures from the zerg race just as important, but you are leaving them behind. I just felt you should be informed as you are basing a campaign on saving just a few of the ones that needs it. Just saying 🙂

  • Wow says:

    Today I learned that most people that come to this site don’t understand satire.

  • FortyTwo says:

    I need this as a Poster. Where could i buy one? 😉

  • Ragu says:

    Zerg don’t have feelings only their Overmind and later Kerrigan has feelings and those are: KILL KILL KILL EVERYTHING when the zergrush comes to our planet i hope PETA will be there to welcome them with open arms and see how that turns out for them too bad it’s a fictional universe 😛

  • Mathias says:

    Crocs and snakes are not controlled by a central ‘node’ of conciousness that drives them to kill and consume all life. They are like locusts turned up to eleven in size and aggression. They only have one purpose. Consume all life on a planet and then move on. I say killing these things are far more than justified. It’s a war of annihilatio between two warring factions, and the prize is survival.

  • MARINY says:

    The Zerg want nothing more than to exterminate humanity. They do not need our respect, they do not need our compassion (also they are fictional, but that’s beside the point). The important thing to remember, though, is that the if a zergling needed a handbag, belt, or shoe, it wouldn’t hesitate to make it out of you and your loved ones. The Zerg don’t want those things though, they only want our planet, the whole thing, all of the resources. They will consume it all, regardless of their needs. They will not share, they will not negotiate, they will not compromise; and neither can we.

  • BillNyeTheGamerGuy says:

    Zerglings, don’t have feelings. They have a hive mind and the queen has feelings, but thats about it, they only have directives to assimilate and destroy. We were met with hostility, we are going to respond with hostility. They have not shown compassion to us, and I’m pretty sure they never will. You don’t see colonists go out there in a zerg attack offering hugs to them, you see them cowering in fear in their houses, that the Zerg then attack even if they didnt do anything to them. They don’t have free will, they don’t feel pain, its alright to kill them because they attacked us in the first place and we are only defending ourselves.

  • Zeratul says:


  • Jengo says:

    hahaha your poster makes them way too adorable, just… only queen of blades can have words about them

  • Anonnymoose says:

    Why is it that I should feel compassionate toward a drone of a malevolent being who is hellbent on consuming the galaxy and probably the universe given the chance?

  • Em says:

    Yes. Let’s be kind and understanding to an alien race that would not hesitate to gore us. Because it’s important to understand that, even though the Zerg’s main purpose in life is to destroy any and all other forms of life in existence, they still need to be treated fairly and respectfully. Yes, PETA, all Banelings need are hugs. They’re just misunderstood.

  • Petasucks says:

    Zerglings lack matter. as soon as they are a tangible being, then we can raise the issue.

  • Infested Terran says:

    As a member of the Hivemind of our glorious ZergQueen, I support this message. Down with the Terran!

  • SlowMoFacePalm says:

    Perhaps the real trouble here is the terran-centric thought processess that lead us to project human emotions and identities onto the Zerg. BG

  • TylerB says:

    Zerg were designed by an alien race (Protoss) to be perfect killing machines. They’re not exactly the image of animal rights that we should be focusing on in the real world.

  • someone says:

    The zerg is not an animal at all, but a Parasitic Life from and takes over and controls other life Forms (If i am remembering my Starcraft history right). The true form of the zerg is the larva that you use to morph into different units. Again if I am remembering this right. The zerg take some DNA from other life forms to Make their units like drone, zergling, ultralisk, and so on. And I am pretty sure that is why you no longer needed to infest a Terran Command Center to make Infested Terran. But I could be wrong on most of that.

  • Terrankickszergass says:

    “What I am saying is look at the cute Zergling! How could anyone ever want to hurt a Zergling?” -Your right! Who wouldn’t want to hug something with a face like that!

  • spooky says:

    Zerg are a really terrible race of alien =/ I think people will get the wrong idea about exotic animals 😛

  • BrotherDeath says:

    It’s true, Zerglings do have feelings: hatred and anger. Nothing’s going to change that, really.

  • MoeJohnson says:

    LOL. nerdlings

  • Michael says:

    Actually, Zerglings don’t have feelings. They have a nervous system, yes, but classically, they are directed and more or less completely controlled by a cerebrate, which in turn, is managed by the Overmind. Now days, they are effectively under complete control of Kerrigan, but either way, they aren’t exactly attuned to their emotions, and even if they were, they couldn’t react based on said emotions. When they are without a director, they are literally mindless biological machines that on a bizarre form of autopilot with no real direction of purpose. So, no, Zerglings, and the entire Zerg for that matter, is without feelings.

  • Klank says:

    so let me get this straight. we need to mind the zerg’s feeling and forget about the countless marines that gave their lives saving humanity and the protoss dark templar that spend 1000 in the void? seriously?? you got a bloody cheek !!! as chad said above, zerg has the right to suck and die !

  • InsaneMania says:

    The only good zergling is a dead zergling.

  • Brian Doucet says:

    Attempting to promote compassion towards non-friendly looking animals by comparing them to videogame aliens doesn’t work if the aliens are a race of hive minded killing machines who mindlessly serve the will of a malevolent consciousness. You goddamn hippy moron

  • PeterPan says:

    I Love the picture! Is there any chance to get a Poster (Din A2) or a good quality and big version of that?

  • Chad says:

    Zerg has the right to suck and die!

  • Zarpaulus says:

    What KinyofFive said plus a reminder that the Zerg are sentient as a collective. And they warp innocent animals into mindless killing machines. Hydralisks were once peaceful herbivores, then the Swarm turned them into spike-throwing monstrosities.

  • Rooker says:

    Ill Graviton Beam a zergling and beat the living pixels out of him if I so please. Weirdos.

  • really? says:

    the all consuming horde who eat all bio matter and absorb only the best animals to make horrific parodies of what they used to be need our concern? they are systematically consuming worlds to become perfect. they are a bacteria that tries to consume all and spread as far as they can. eh, f* it, why bother when they are going to translate what I type into what they want to believe, like the author of twilight not knowing about the lore of the main subjects or talk show hosts making everything about the brainwashing of everyone yadda yadda yadda, everyone wants everyone else to believe and follow their view of the world. one day we will find that part of compliance in the brain and be automatically brainwashed before birth to whoever utilizes it, until then we will get suggestion procedures from all forms and people till we are either extinct or digested by a space-faring species like the zerg into their buildings like aliens. i like World War Z it’s a good book and… you have no idea what im talking about do you? oh well, bye.

  • KinyofFive says:

    As a homosexal transgender feminist and a proud supporter of PETA and an avid Gamer and proud Zerg Player, I would like toremind all that while the protection of animals from cruelty is important Zerg have a biological imperative to consume all life in the galaxy, and have no remose. But also look at that face!!

  • Arez_Conce says:

    nie one! but is important to remember that the three races die alike, is part of the tragedy of war, a fact that is also treated in this game.

  • AmAnitAs says:

    Never have I met anyone with empathy for the Black Plague, but I suppose this is a good start.

  • Phodacbiet says:

    Keep in mind that Infestors are able to wipe out platoons of marines… Now i dont know how other countries does it, but in ‘murica, we see this as a threat to democracy and we will slaugter all zerg mercilessly in the name of freedom !

  • Orangenova says:

    So, just a heads up, Zerg are a biological mutation of several species by the overmind and apart from VERY few Zerg have any sense of remorse or feelings… and their entire purpose is to spawn brood and kill other races in the universe… Zerg are less like animals and more like a Virus. So unless you carry around Bubonic Plague and call it your pet/equal/whatever, your comparison is moot.

  • Komachi says:

    Would it be possible that I can get PDF or something of this “Zerglings Have Feelings, Too” leaflet

  • Moose says:

    Hello, this is my first time responding to anything PETA but I’ve known about you for some time. Now I don’t mind that you are trying to help animals on Earth, but this is a video game. Not only are the creatures in the Starcraft franchise not real, but the ones you feel the need to protect are a ruthless species that is bent on consuming any and all life they find to add their genetics to their own. Kind of like a Borg in Star Trek except rather than technology, it’s biology. I just felt you should be informed as you are basing a campaign on saving a non-existent being that does more than a decent job at fighting for themselves. Just saying. 🙂

  • KinyofFive says:

    As an proud supporter of PETA and an avid Gamer and proud Zerg Player, I would like to remind all that while the protection of animals from cruelty is important, Zerg have a biological imperative to consume all life in the galaxy, and have no remorse. But also look at that face!!