I have to admit up front. I think PETA is full of insane people. So I’m not really surprised that they put this on their website.
When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy—even wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers.
Tanooki may be just a “suit” in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur. Play Super Tanooki Skin 2D and help Tanooki reclaim his fur!
PETA thinks that Mario encourages people to wear fur and has created a flash game that allows you to play as a a skinless Tanooki that chases after a bloodied, fur wearing, flying Mario.
Since no one at PETA has played a Mario game before they seem to have no idea that you gain the Tanooki powers by grabbing leaves, not by killing a Tanooki, so shouldn’t the message in Mario be positive? He eats leaves, flowers, and mushrooms. Isn’t that what PETA wants?
UPDATE (11/15/11): Nintendo has issued this statement in response to PETA’s new campaign.
“Mario often takes the appearance of certain animals and objects in his games. These have included a frog, a penguin, a balloon and even a metallic version of himself. These lighthearted and whimsical transformations give Mario different abilities and make his games fun to play. The different forms that Mario takes make no statement beyond the games themselves.”
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