From The Increasingly Less Private Diary of Drake Constantinople
I was asked to investigate a cyberdimensional animal blood sport known as Sheeple. Several of the lab scientists have become fascinated with the game, and I think management was concerned about the potential ethical conflict of working with animals in the lab and animal blood sports. I went to investigate alone, because the Raven-haired Scientist doesn’t care for sports of any kind, and finds inter-dimensional travel to be disconcerting.
The game was well underway when I arrived. For those unfamiliar with the game, it is a slowest moving melee you’ve ever seen, with sheep directing the building of fences while simultaneously attempting to avoid having a fence built around them. Any sheep that is fenced into a small enough square instantly dies, although the method of killing is strange. Apparently sheep simply cannot abide the claustrophobia of a small space, and that is what kills them. Many people that protest the game believe that the farmer building the fences must be killing them, but that is ridiculous. The sheep are just claustroed to death.
The first day I flew over the field, and attempted to talk to the sheep that had survived the game so far, to see if I could get any idea of how they felt about the game. Try as I might, though, I could barely get any acknowledgement of my existence. I am not certain if I did not make much of an impression in this cyberdimension, or if I am simply uninteresting to these sheep, but I was unable to interview them.
I did witness several kills, though, as the sheep labeled “Beau” and “ESchapp” were dispatched. The deaths were surprisingly unspectacular, with the dead sheep simply keeling over, but still, they left an impression. I don’t believe that I could ever use the word “noble” to describe sheep, but at least they didn’t moan and cry in the manner that their species is known for.
The next day brought another two deaths, of the sheep known as “Miriam” and “Daneekasghost.” I went in for a closer look, and settled near DG. There was a plaque on the fence that I hadn’t noticed from above that said “SURVIVED TEN DAYS LONGER THAN HE SHOULD”. Underneath that it said “Hey, why’s everybody looking at me? I’m not dangerous. I can’t do anything to you. Look, it’s Novak! Get him!” I felt as if I recognized this sheep, but from where? And how did this sheep survive so long?
Unfortunately, these were mysteries that would have to go uninvestigated, as they did not fall into the purview of the investigation of this game.
The next few days no sheep were caught, but there were some amusing highlights. I nearly quacked myself to death when two sheep walked into each other and fell back on their original spots. At one point, while I was sitting on the fence at the edge of the field, I counted three sheep leap in the air over fences that nearly encircled them; I had to try not to fall asleep at that point.
As I write this, eight sheep are left. My official report will state that I find no ethical problem with the game. If this were tried in non-cyberdimensions, there might be an ethical problem, but in order to get to that point you would have to breed hyper-intelligent sheep, and that would be an ethical conflict itself. There is no reason to assume that these cyber animals have any sort of meaningful being, and I think that management can rest easy.