The new campaign from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) targets Mario's fur suit. We guess PETA never had an issue with everyone's favourite plumber stomping on turtles and using their shells as weapons.
(Screenshot by CBSi)
PETA recently began calling the new Super Mario 3D Land for the Nintendo 3DS insensitive to the hunting and killing of real-life tanuki raccoon dogs for fur.
From the "Mario Kills Tanooki" section of the PETA website: "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."
There's even an accompanying Flash game that encourages players to help a flayed and bloodied Tanooki reclaim his fur from a villainous flying Mario. Verdict: it's better quality than you might expect, but it's still rubbish.
We're all for animal rights and the ethical treatment of them, and we don't think that wearing real fur (tanuki or any other animal) is especially humane. But we do think it's safe to say that no animals are or were harmed as a direct result of Super Mario 3D Land.
Instead, PETA is exploiting a game that's marketed to kids to propagate its agenda. Splattering animated blood on their site and flashing "Mario Kills Tanooki" is a bit harsh, even for an organisation that has links to known arsonists and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a group declared by the US Department of Homeland Security to be a "terrorist threat".
But don't worry kids; we actually recently had a chat with the big man himself, and he assured us that the Tanooki suit he wears in the game is made completely of faux fur.