The US branch of ‘People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA), a UK-based charity that dedicates itself to establishing and protecting the rights of animals, is claiming that Super Mario 3D Land endorses wearing fur clothing – touting Mario as a criminal for “skin-stealing” in the process.
It’s a ludicrous claim, more worthy of mocking rather than backing, and is accompanied by a 2D side-scrolling game in which the player takes on the role of “a bloody, skinned raccoon dog as he chases a tanuki fur–suited Mario through a surreal fur farm where raccoon dogs are routinely skinned alive for their fur.” Yes. Quite.
Here’s hoping that Nintendo sues them.
PETA’s press release is as follows:
NEW PETA GAME LAMPOONS SKIN-STEALING MARIO
Skinned Raccoon Dog Chases Down Tanooki Mario in Super Tanooki Skin 2D
Los Angeles — If PETA has its way, Mario has stolen his last tanuki skin. The mustachioed plumber is back to wearing tanuki fur (“tanuki” is the Japanese word for raccoon dogs), and now Tanooki is fighting back to reclaim what’s his in Super Tanooki Skin 2D, a new side-scrolling game from PETA. In the game, which is the center of PETA’s new “Mario Kills Tanooki” campaign, players direct a bloody, skinned raccoon dog as he chases a tanuki fur–suited Mario through a surreal fur farm where raccoon dogs are routinely skinned alive for their fur. Quick reflexes and jumping skills will allow Tanooki to capture Mario and reclaim his skin.
“Tanukis are real-life raccoon dogs who are beaten and, as PETA’s undercover exposés show, often skinned alive for their fur,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “This winter, everyone can give raccoon dogs and other fabulous animals a 1-UP by keeping our wardrobes fur-free.”
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. We created our game to help inform people that in real life, Mario would be wearing the skin of an animal who was beaten, strangled or electrocuted, and it wouldn’t give him any special powers other than the power of self-deception.
On fur farms in China—the world’s largest fur exporter—raccoon dogs are confined to row upon row of tiny wire cages that are exposed to the elements. Many of the animals go insane from the intensive confinement. A “Mario Kills Tanooki” video shows undercover video footage of raccoon dogs as workers drag them from cages and slam them repeatedly to the ground to kill them. Most of the animals don’t die right away, and some survive for as long as 10 minutes after they are skinned. One investigator recorded a skinned raccoon dog on a heap of carcasses who had enough strength to lift his bloodied head and look, blinking, into the camera.