by China DeSpain
Categories: Animals, Causes.
Photo: PETA

Forget about rescuing the princess — Mario needs to worry about saving his own skin, or at least the skin on his Tanooki suit.

Animal-rights group PETA is going after the Nintendo hero for wearing a special furry suit that enhances his abilities. Fans of the various Super Mario games know that, throughout the years, Mario has become everything from a frog to a balloon. But PETA has zeroed in on the “tanooki suit” (gained when Mario grabs a special leaf, the suit allows him to fly slightly), claiming that it promotes the message that wearing fur is acceptable.

Per PETA, “Tanooki may be just a ‘suit’ in Mario games, but by wearing the skin of an animal, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur.” PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman adds, “Tanukis are real-life raccoon dogs who are beaten and, as PETA’s undercover exposés show, often skinned alive for their fur. This winter, everyone can give raccoon dogs and other fabulous animals a 1-UP by keeping our wardrobes fur-free.”

To prove their point, PETA created an online game called ‘Super Tanooki Skin 2D’, which allows players the chance to help Tanooki “reclaim his fur.” The graphic accompanying the game features a Mario-esque character wearing a a fur suit and carrying a bloody, crying Tanuki head. The website also recommends animal-friendly gaming alternatives to the multiple Super Mario options, including ‘Super Tofu Boy’ and ‘Super Chick Sisters’, and includes a link to PETA’s fur-free pledge.

Not unexpectedly, Nintendo thinks PETA is blowing things out of proportion. The company released a statement saying, “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.”

About China DeSpain

China DeSpain is a San Antonio-based writer and blogger. She loves pop culture, animal rights, health and fitness, international travel, books and wigs. Follow China on Twitter: @ChinaDeSpain

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  • HowSad

    This just shows how out of their minds the people at PETA are, they couldn’t care less about humans, or how their images affect children. Hopefully people will ignore them till they just go broke.

  • rick d.

    I,m sorry, but these wackos with PETA are getting crazier and crazier. I’m an animal lover, but come on. They are so out there that they have no perception of reality.

  • L

    Leave Mario alone.

  • http://peta.com roofus

    First chance I get. I’m buying a fur coat. Or something made of fur. Or whale skin hubcaps… yeah.

  • Jof

    I’m actually for PETA’s overall goals, but THIS IS STUPID. Technically speaking, the tanooki suit is a morph. He BECOMES half man half animal. Even if it were a costume, does that mean it’s real animal? You’ve never dressed up as an animal before? They have artificial materials too you know! Its a damn video game! No animals are being hurt and it’s a suit/costume, not a fur coat. Someone at PETA is REALLY bored. Concentrate on saving ACTUAL ANIMALS, you moron.

  • Mr. The Tank

    Hey, remember when the Tanooki Suit originally appeared in 1988 in Super Mario Bros. 3 and nobody gave a shit?

    Activism has reached a new all time low.

  • R.

    fun way to educate ppl about a serious issue! go Peta!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Artiewhitefox Jonathan Hughes

    PETA has a lot of balls complaining about a furry video seeing they do not value the animals balls or ovaries either. No wounder they are called bad not to be seen by the young not allowed on a furry suit. They have taught the public they are bad in word, and deed.