Despite a heartwarming facade built on the enduring friendship of a boy and his pet, Pokemon earns its unlikely place on this list thanks to its universe’s strange, oft-overlooked economy built on some serious animal cruelty.
The original Blue and Red versions for Nintendo’s Gameboy have sold approximately 20 million units worldwide, and each iteration of the mega-franchise features new fluffy animals to fight unrelentingly at the feet of their masters.
Sure, the argument can be made that the relationship between man and beast has its own rich tradition, such as with horse racing, and it’s true that Pokemon miraculously never “die” from battle. But aside from the the fact that the game targets millions of children worldwide, the only real-life “sport” that comes even close to the one imitated in the games is, well, dog fighting.
When you strip the Pokeverse of its fuzzy, charming exterior, the innards are as ethically disturbing as anything else on this list, cuteness be damned.
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