We don’t try to hide our love for Mario’s Tanooki suit, as we’ve even posed for regrettable photos wearing his costume. And we’d like to point out that the costume we were wearing in that photo was totally fur-free and made from polyester. We’re just covering our bases, as PETA just launched a new browser-based game titled Mario Kills Tanukis that has us a little worried.
Above: Play ithere (opens in new tab)(But you may not want to watch the sickening video beneath the game)
PETA has been spotlighting games a lot these days to spread its message of animal rights and protection, including voicing anger over virtual rat killing in Battlefield 3 (opens in new tab) and creating Super Tofu Boy (opens in new tab). The game, officially entitled Super Tanooki Skin 2D, makes a very clear message with fairly gross art that the method and reasoning for killing animals for their fur is pointless and cruel, something we agree with. But to put Mario in such a group seems like a cheap stunt, though no one would ever accuse PETA of subtlety.
First off, as far as we know, Mario’s Tanooki suit is wholly cruelty-free, as he’s granted it by a magical leaf which almost certainly didn’t create the outfit by bashing in an animal’s skull and skinning it alive. Also with Mario’s history of eating mushrooms he seems like he has a mostly vegetarian diet, though those mushrooms do have eyes which might imply they are closer to animals, complicating matters some. Still, Mario never kills lovable raccoon dogs for his clothes, and honestly, PETA could make a better case by protesting all the turtles Mario has stomped to death.
Anyway, PETA does bring up a good point that supporting the fur industry in this day and age makes little sense. Killing the namesakes of Mario’s cutest power-up to have a fur that could easily be replicated synthetically without harming animals is ridiculous. Though it’s hard to see PETA pick on a beloved hero like Mario for just wearing magical clothes given to him by a leaf, we can’t really fault their intentions.