So I’m sure everyone has heard of PETA: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They’re an international animal rights group which boasts somewhere around two million members and supporters around the globe. Now, I’m entirely for PETA. I think what they do for mistreated animals around the world is simply saintly. However… I also think they’ve recently gone a bit far into left field.
PETA has begun a campaign against Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom. Specifically, the Tanooki (a type of raccoon dog) suit power up which has become an icon of the Mario franchise. According to PETA, the inclusion of the Tanooki Suit power up in the Mario games sends out the message that it’s okay to skin and wear Tanuki Dog furs.
A recent post on their website reads, “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.”
In the same vein as anti-smoking campaigns, PETA seems to be driving their anti-Tanooki suit campaign with graphic, bloody images of Mario holding the decapitated head of a dead Tanuki dog while wearing it’s assumedly skinned fur and standing in a pool of the creature’s blood.
PETA has even gone so far as to create a flash based game in the same style as a Super Mario sidescroller. You play as a bloodied, skinned Tanuki dog, traversing the Hellraiser equivalent of Mushroom Kingdom and chasing a flying Mario, dripping in blood and wearing your stolen fur.
It’s really a fun, family geared little flash. PETA seems to have Mario’s secret hobby as a ruthless animal skinner pinned. I have a funny feeling that Nintendo’s lawyers are going to have a field day with this one.
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