Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 Receives PETA Award for James Gunn’s Animal Rights Advocacy

Note: Spoilers for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 follow

James Gunn has been given a commendation from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) thanks to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which highlighted animal cruelty.

The third installment of Guardians of the Galaxy features the team’s mission to save Rocket Raccoon after he is injured by Adam Warlock (portrayed by Will Poulter) who was sent by his maker, Chukwudi Iwuji as the High Evolutionary. As they travel to get the help Rocket needs, flashbacks tell of how he was made and his friendship with Lylla, Teefs, and Floor – an Otter, Walrus, and Rabbit that were altered into humanoid forms due to the High Evolutionary’s experiments.

A recently uncovered similarity between Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and a video game made by Eidos-Montreal has been discovered. This connection may be of interest to those familiar with the game.

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James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 does not ignore the suffering Rocket and his friends experienced due to the High Evolutionary’s experiments. This led PETA to award Gunn the “Not a Number” accolade for the insight into Rocket’s origin story, which the organization relates to the cruel reality of real animal tests. According to PETA, the movie conveys a powerful message about animal rights, as it tells of Rocket, who was simply treated as a number while in the laboratory – a tactic used by scientists to disguise the torment of the sentient being. After managing to flee from the laboratory, Rocket seeks revenge for his friends’ deaths and saves other animals from a similar fate. PETA encourages everyone to make a stand against animal experiments, and to ask corporations, universities, and government agencies to use more advanced, non-animal research methods.

According to PETA, Rocket, Lylla, Teefs, and Floor are kept in captivity and are subject to painful experiments which inevitably lead to their death (except Rocket). Lisa Lange, the Senior Vice President of PETA, remarked that “James Gunn has created a face, a name, and a personality for the millions of animals who are being used in laboratories around the world.” PETA is lauding this film as the best animal rights movie of the year for its ability to illustrate animals as individuals and that just because it is possible to conduct experiments on them, it does not necessarily mean it should be done.

Many have voiced criticism of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 for its depiction of animal cruelty, believing it might be too intense for the younger viewers who typically attend screenings of Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Others have duly credited Gunn for his ability to bring a dark theme into the film while still preserving the usual humorous nature of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. It is often pointed out that the MCU has an issue with dialogue that undermines its more somber moments. However, Gunn seems to be able to find the perfect equilibrium of comedy and heaviness, which is clearly seen in Rocket’s story arc.

The latest installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise is now available for viewing in cinemas.

PETA has recently presented an award to James Gunn in recognition of his work in highlighting the inhumane practice of animal testing in his film, Guardians of the Galaxy. The organization praised his commitment to calling attention to the issue through this medium.