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

Yesterday we told you about PETA’s claims that Nintendo’s Super Mario games send the message that wearing fur is acceptable, since Mario often dons a “Tanooki suit” to gain special powers.

After a lot of outrage from the gaming community, PETA is clarifying their stance. According to an email sent to gaming website Kotaku, Shakira Croce, PETA’s media coordinator said, ”Mario fans: Relax! PETA’s game was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, a fun way to call attention to a serious issue, that raccoon dogs are skinned alive for their fur. We wish real-life tanukis could fly or swat enemies away with their tails and escape from those who profit from their skins. You can help them by never buying real fur.”

However, the animal rights group is sticking to its guns when it comes to chastising games that portray cruelty or violence toward animals, and they haven’t taken down their mock game, Super Tanooki Skin 2D, in which Tanooki pursues Mario in an effort to reclaim his skin.

“No one really believes that Mario actually kills and skins a raccoon dog for his fur in Super Mario 3D Land. Our spoof is simply making a serious point: that there is a much darker story behind tanuki skins than Mario lets on. In games like Call of Duty, where characters shoot and kill animals, or in Dog Wars, where players have fun fighting and torturing dogs, it sends a dangerous message that this kind of behavior is acceptable,” said PETA’s Ashley Palmer.

And as for that tongue-in-cheek game on the PETA site?

“We know how beloved Mario is — we are huge Mario fans ourselves!” Palmer told Kotaku. “We were a little surprised that the game was taken so literally by some, but we’re thrilled that we’re able to bring so much attention to raccoon dogs whose suffering is very real.”

According to Palmer, more than 250,000 people played the game in the first 36 hours.”We are pleased as well that so many people seem to be enjoying playing the game (and learning some things along the way!),” she said.

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

View all posts by China DeSpain →
  • gamertag

    So just out of spitefulness at the fact that these wannabe hippies had too directly use Mario and couldn’t come up with their own idea …. I baught me, my fiancée,and my parents REAL fur coats. Fur is warm and for a very long time almost the entirety of human existance we have been using fur to stay warm… given we don’t eat the meat from the animals we took the fur from anymore but its still one of the best ways to stay warm… and its getting cold again. But anyway .. for every person you inspire to not buy or support real fur clothing, you’ll have inspired just as many to buy and use fur. Oh and I find really buy any fur… but the thought crossed my mind. And as a gamer … the next time you ruin a great, no matter how good the cause, ill get as many people as I can to go and buy all the fur we can.

    • Topher

      Holy poor grammar, Batman!

    • don_miguelo

      Wow your argument is just…too airtight.

      I also think it’s interesting (and sad) that so many gamers usually trash nintendo (and mario) as silly games with inferior graphics– but PETA makes a joke for a good cause and suddenly people are ready to screw over over real life animals for a multibillion dollar corporate mascot made of pixels.

      “WHA-HOOO!”

  • Me

    Right. A joke. It’s a joke now because the world told you you’re a bunch of idiots.

  • http://herwinsvegancafe.blogspot.com/ herwin

    golly gosh. the leading Animal Rights organisation fighting a silly game. Is there any gamer out there that played the game and did get pro fur suddenly because of Mario ?
    Would it be too much to expect from the biggest Animal Rights organisation to start a serious campaign against the meat industry ?
    Go fight McDonalds, Peta.
    Peta you are embarrasing, and NO, the animals are not served with it.
    Its a thin line between using the media and becoming a media hoa.

  • Sam

    Do they ever admit they got it wrong? I would respect PETA much more if, when they made a mistake, they just said, “hey, sorry everybody. We jumped the gun and made an error. We’re sorry and we’ll try to do better.” No. It’s “tongue in cheek.” Which basically means, it was a joke. Maybe I’m odd, but I never saw humor in anything that involved animal abuse or cruelty (like fur). So, their excuse falls flat here.