Nintendo Responds to PETA’s Pro-Fur Mario Claim

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!

Source:           Eurogamer

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    Chris Kimberley says:

    Fun history fact:  It used to be common belief that animals could not feel pain because they did not have souls.  Scientists found it interesting that animals would make sounds remarkably similar to human pain sounds during vivisections.

  2. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    I wasn't aware anyone ever debated whether animals could feel pain.  Or course they can, it's how they know they've been injured.

    Anyway, from an ethics standpoint, I'd say killing critters just for their fur is a no-no.  We're not cavemen anymore, we don't need animal pelts to survive.  Now, killing critters for something like food and then using their fur for material goods I think is fine.


    Andrew Eisen

  3. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Not to defend PETA, but this is actually a debatable topic.  Fur farming is pretty gruesome, and if one accepts the idea that non-human animals can feel pain etc then it can be argued that supporting such an industry is unethical.

    But that gets into the whole issue of the soul and other theological issues.

  4. 0
    TK n Happy Ness says:

    People wore fur centuries ago, long before PETA existed, and they'll continue now. What would you do if your precious "leaders" were attacked and killed by the very animals you're trying to "protect"?

  5. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    "Tanooki" is japanese for "raccoon." According to Shigeru Miyamoto, there's a japanese legend where a raccoon can put a leaf on it's head and turn into a statue. How it makes it fly, he didn't say. 

    At any rate, I'm pretty sure PETA knows everyone's laughing at them now. So why we giving them the attention they're begging for? I'm talking to you, Nintendo.

  6. 0
    eston says:

    I liked Kotaku's write-up on this, where they explain that in Japanese culture a tanooki is basically the equivalent of a lawn gnome.

    And up until recently, I didn't even know it was based on a real animal lol

  7. 0
    GrimCW says:

    they'd protest the killing of the "innocent animals" as soon as the cops shot them.

    they've done it before when animals had mauled people to death and were in the process of attacking others (fine example is the incident in Connecticut with the chimp. the police shot it because it was attempting to break into their vehicle and get them)

    these people actually value these animals lives over their own species, regardless of the situation.

  8. 0
    Monte says:

    Nintendo: "PETA is mistaken. We can assure you that Mario does not use any real fur in his costumes. His costumes are made out of 100% Polygotton. Its a finer material than the old Pixwool he used to use before the 64-bit era."

  9. 0
    GrimCW says:

    they kill more than they shelter, they use leather, and they PAY people to MURDER animals so they can make videos of it being done.

    yep, they so want to help the critters they themselves kill for profit..

  10. 0
    GrimCW says:

    when have they ever shown interest in actually furthering their agenda over just fear mongering people and killing things so they can make more money by lieing about how it was done?

  11. 0
    Cecil475 says:

    Um… The tanooki and even the frog powerups first came out in SMB3. It came out in 1989. Their complaint is a little late. About twenty-two YEARS too late. Nice try PETA. You are still a bunch of media whores, with no real voice.

    – W

  12. 0
    Chris Kimberley says:

    Haven't even bothered to Google this so just correct me if I'm wrong, but…

    Assuming it is a creature of legend, and assuming (reasonably so I think) that it's a Japanese legend in question, then it's actually spelled in a completely different alphabet.  The only real reason to favour Tanooki or Tanuki is the exact pronunciation of the word.  As I recall the double vowel indicates that the vowel is actually held longer when spoken.

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