People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, more commonly known as PETA, has launched a campaign against one of the defining icons of the 90s; PETA is shooting down Super Mario Brothers for wearing what they claim is the skin of a raccoon dog referencing the character’s ability in Super Mario Bros. 3 where Mario dons a raccoon or tanooki suit, or as PETA calls it, a raccoon dog. PETA has launched a microsite dedicated to just this issue asking for pledges and they even have a game for it. Moreover, they timed all this to coincide with the recent launch of Nintendo’s Super Mario 3D Land.
Rarely will you see a gaming blog have an article about PETA, but funny as it may seem, the situation is all too real. PETA, well known for its vigilant nature in protecting the wild as well as its hot celebrity supporters willing to pose naked for their campaigns, is now hot at Nintendo’s furry tail and finds Mario’s raccoon-suit offensive. PETA’s microsite has this to 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 maybe 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!
I’ve lived with people that have played Super Mario Bros. 3, even my mom played it, and never did anyone (even in their wrong minds) said something about killing off raccoons and wearing their hides or even considering buying them. I’ve always thought of PETA as a lame advocacy group always interested in spotlight more than achievements and their marketing staff looks like they’ve doing their homework right-timing their campaigns to media events.
Mario is one of the most recognizable characters in gaming and pop-culture and by far one of the most wholesome, add to that the well-known fact that Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Super Mario Bros., is one heck of an animal lover. So really, what’s up PETA? You should volunteer at animal shelters more, because I don’t see much action from you guys in places where you should actually matter.
Going back to the pictured suited Mario above, let me point out that Mario also has a frog suit. And PETA has a Super Mario Bros. ripoff game that’s putting down fast-food joints. What’s up PETA? Is it not OK for Mario to wear a frog suit, too? How about Solid Snake and his alligator hat? How about Megaman’s endless rampage against robot masters that are clearly derivatives of animals? Is Megaman X telling everyone that its OK to kill a lion because he stole a train? Is Call of Duty telling us its okay to shoot dogs and snap hyena’s necks? What’s up PETA!?
This campaign of PETA strikes me as misguided no matter how relevant it may seem when taken in literally. They are putting together two distant matters and trying to make something out of it because its clear as daylight: KIDS BUY 3DS and not FUR.
KIDS BUY 3DS and not FUR.