Whack-a-mole (Whac-A-Mole) game and saying is bad for animal welfare

I’m going to take a very puritanical viewpoint on this saying and game. It has always annoyed me and I’ve always felt that it should be not be used as it conjures up a vision in my mind (is it the same for others?) of real moles being hit over the head with clump hammers as they pop up out of their holes. That’s got to be the image. An image of gross animal cruelty. And speciesism – treating animals as lesser sentient beings to humans.

We can add this saying to a long list, most of which are archaic, of animal abuse sayings such as ‘beat a dead horse’ and ‘there is no room to swing a cat’. There are many. Some originate from hundreds of years ago when animal welfare was very poor. The saying help to perpetuate poor animal welfare by devaluing animals.

Whac-A-Mole game
Whac-A-Mole game. Image by MikeB. It is free to use under a CC license. Just credit me please.

RELATED: The saying “treated worse than an animal” reveals humankind’s deplorable relationship with animals

You probably know that whac-a-mole (whack-a-mole is the more accurate spelling) means the fruitless task of trying to solve a problem that keeps on repeating itself. The mindless attempts to stop the moles popping up is symbolic of a problem constantly re-appearing and tackling the problem is the same ineffective way.

The phrase should be dropped entirely. And the game can be renamed.

Wikipedia tells us that Whac-A-Mole is an arcade game, originally known as Mogura Taiji or Mogura Tataki in Japan. A typical Whac-A-Mole machine consists of a waist-level cabinet with a play area and display screen, and a large, soft, black mallet. Note the capital ‘A’ in the way Wikipedia spell it.

Interestingly the game precedes the saying. The arcade game was created in the 1970s. They coined the modified spelling with ‘Whac-a-mole’. But I expect the inventor of the game to have got the idea from an old saying. But it is a waste of time researching that.

The point is that the saying is a bad one. The game’s concept is very unhealthy in terms of animal welfare as it is symbolically killing moles.

RELATED: Stop using phrases and words which perpetuate violence against animals say PETA

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Speciesism - 'them and us' | Cruelty - always shameful
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Post Category: Animal cruelty