Animal rights crazies PETA have been denouncing Mario for promoting animal cruelty, saying Mario’s use of a “Tanooki” suit legitimises skinning animals alive for their fur.
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!
To make their point, they provide a Flash Mario parody mini-game on their site:
The group also recently condemned Battlefield 3 for including a scene of rat killing, prompting many to comment unfavourably on their decision to completely ignore the game’s major premise of humans slaughtering other humans.
What, if anything, they have to say about the rampant animal skinning action seen in Skyrim also remains to be seen.
The Japanese response is sceptical to say the least – although if PETA’s objective was simply to splash their name around the Internet, even if only as an example of their desperate need for publicity and at the cost of alienating all reasonable gamers, they may have succeeded:
“It’s an animal suit.”
“They are totally crazy.”
“These people just use yakuza methods.”
“I’d expect them to be more concerned with Mario jumping on turtles all the time…”
“So reindeer suits are out as well now?”
“What about frog suits?”
“Mickey Mouse suits are animal abuse.”
“Pity the furries!”
“Tanuki Mario is from 1988… why now all of a sudden?”
“They just ignored the FPS?”
“Do people call them tanuki overseas as well?”
“The actual game is quite good.”
“Isn’t this copyright infringement?”
“I’d think it is Nintendo who will be suing them…”
“Do they think all those neko and usamimi are made from real animal ears or something?”
“So basically they want to extort money from Nintendo in exchange for shutting up about it.”
“This stuff is why I hate animal rights people.”
“They apparently started an ero site to spread their animal rights message more widely.”
“I’d really like to eat that.”
“These people are just nuts. I guess they don’t lead very satisfying lives, so they have to do this stuff.”
“Why are animal rights groups nothing but crazies?”