PETA, which stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, has been made famous for going after popular figures for wearing fur, but this one is a bit odd. In a unique move, the activists have taken aim at the classic video game character, Mario, for wearing a suit made of a raccoon dog in the new “Super Mario 3D Land” game.
PETA released a statement saying:
“When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use whatever 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 the game, but in real life tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing a Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it is OK to wear fur.”
Along with the statement, PETA provided the horrific picture of an angry-looking Mario covered in the blood and skin of the animal. See the campaign picture below.
PETA has been known to do dramatic acts to gain exposure and this is no different. They’ve even started a “Mario Kills Tanooki” website in which they’ve included a video of a real tanuki being beaten and skinned to death. Although the video is absolutely disturbing, I don’t feel as if it has much to do with Mario at all. In the game, Mario does wear a suit that resembles a raccoon, but it’s not like players have to skin the animal first. The site also features a not-so-exciting “Super Tanooki Skin 2D” game in which the Tanooki chase after Mario to regain their fur. Yup, this is real.
I’m all for animal rights, but this seems like a stretch to me. As a child, I loved the Mario games and never once took anything too seriously. If that were the case, I would have been crawling into tunnels and hopping onto mushrooms!