The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is setting its sights towards Nintendo and everybody’s favorite plumber, Mario, for wearing his Tanooki suit. Tanooki, or Tanuki, is the common name for the Japanese raccoon dog. For Mario, it’s a power-up that gives him the ability to slowly float across the game.
“Tanooki may be just a ‘suit’ in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it’s OK to wear fur,” according the the PETA’s Mario Kills Tanooki website.
In kind, PETA has created a little game where the raccoon dogs can have their vengeance on Mario in a little flash game on their Mario Kills Tanooki site. The game is called “Super Tanooki Skin 2D.”
Though I’m sure PETA means well, I’m not quite sure if this is the right way to bring attention to a good cause especially after the Battlefield “rat” incident.
UPDATE: Nintendo responded, via Eurogamer:
“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.”