They copped out of it by making the morally ambiguous defenders of the Pokemon ass-hats (outside of N) who were just plain evil, and by saying the word 'friends' far too often. Hey Game Freak, being friends with your Pokemon doesn't excuse using them to fight for recreational purposes. A fighting dog is perfectly happy fighting if that's the only thing it knows in life. That doesn't make it excusable.
Odysseus I Mechroid Horseman of the Apocalypse - Death