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Fur flies for real over space game’s imaginary dress code

Andrew Ellson, Consumer Affairs Correspondent February 1 2017, 12:01am, The Times

It may be a fantasy universe set 40,000 years in the future where space warlords go on genocidal killing sprees of unimaginable horror.

That has not, however, stopped the animal rights group Peta from attacking the makers of Warhammer, the bloodthirsty brand of books and games, because some of the characters wear imaginary fur pelts.

Overlooking the slaying of 2.3 trillion people in galaxy-wide civil war that lasted seven “Terran years”, a spokesman for Peta complained that the fantasy world was sending the message that “wearing fur is acceptable”.

The brand’s replica toys, such as Horus Lupercal, the genetically engineered leader of the Luna Wolves legion of Space Marines, are made entirely of plastic. Peta has urged their manufacturer to ban all fur garments from the characters.

In a letter to Kevin Rountree, chief executive of Games Workshop, which owns the Warhammer brand, Peta wrote: “Nothing on the bloody battlefields of Warhammer’s conflict-ravaged universe could match the terrible reality that foxes, minks, rabbits and other living beings experience at the hands of the fur trade.”

Whether the 1,500 orks wiped out by space wolves wielding frag missiles and flamers would agree is unclear.

The letter continued: “While we appreciate that the characters are fictional, draping them in what looks like a replica of a dead animal sends the message that wearing fur is acceptable — when, in fact, it has no more place in 2017 than it would in the year 40,000.”

There was no complaint from Peta about the characters adorned with human skulls.

After the publication of the letter, Peta’s website was inundated with complaints from fans of the fantasy world.

One commentator, called Fred, wrote: “In a game about the apocalyptic end times of the galaxy, where humanity is ruled by a totalitarian regime of Catholic space Nazis that purge on sight, you worry the fur might send the wrong message?”

Scott Perry said: “When I read bullshit like this I always eat an extra burger.” Greg Oxley, another fan of the game, added: “I seriously recommend reading into the back stories of the furs used by the characters.

“The pelts are sourced from wolves the size of cars by warrior-monks who have no perception of economy or cruelty, only survival.

“In most cases the animals were treated as equals and their pelts are worn as a mark of honour or a show of strength. Nowhere was a small, defenceless animal skinned, unfairly trapped or otherwise cruelly abused in either setting.”

Games Workshop declined to comment.

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