Animal rights group and serial point-missers PETA have a new target in their sights: Super Mario.
The Nintendo mascot has attracted the ire of PETA because he “wears the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers.” This, argues PETA, means Mario has a “pro-fur” stance. Yesterday, the not-for-profit group launched its ‘Mario Kills Tanooki‘ campaign, complete with a Flash-based platformer called Super Tanooki Skin 2D, in which a skinless raccoon tries to chase down Mario and get back its hide. They say:
“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.”
What PETA seems to have forgotten (or plain doesn’t realize) is that ‘tanuki’ dogs have been a part of Japanese folklore since ancient times. Furthermore, the tanuki in Japan is considered a master of disguise and shapeshifting. In short, I seriously doubt pushing a pro-fur agenda was on Nintendo’s mind.
PETA also neglects to mention that nobody in the recorded history of the universe has ever mentally equated with Mario with the skinning of raccoon dogs. Until now, obviously.
Anyway, Nintendo has now responded to PETA’s ranting to Eurogamer:
“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.”
Exactly. Now I advise you all go buy Super Mario 3D Land and a Nintendo 3DS. It’s really very good.