Yesterday, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) launched its Mario Kills Tanooki campaign, a stunt meant to draw attention to the plight of the real-life tanooki that is apparently killed for its fur in some parts of the world.
Perhaps not so coincidentally, Super Mario 3D Land released the day before and one of Mario’s power-ups is the Tanooki suit (pictured). Yeah, I’m sure you can see where this is going.
According to PETA, “[by] wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it's OK to wear fur.” The organization even released a Flash game in which you play as a skinless tanooki chasing after Mario in an attempt to reclaim its hide.
Speaking to Eurogamer, Nintendo commented on PETA’s claim that Mario is pro-fur.
"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."
Aww, that wasn’t as fun as Majesco’s response a few years ago when PETA parodied Cooking Mama to promote meat-free diets. Come on, Nintendo. Get Charles Martinet to record a message to PETA as Mario!
-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen