I assume you’re aware of PETA, right? They’re the nutty organization with the sensible sounding name who kill animals by the thousands because they have way better things to do with their money than try to find homes for them all. They’re supported by well-meaning pet owners/animal lovers despite firmly advocating a world with no pets.
Well, now they’re taking on Mario. You know, the plumber who constantly misplaces his helpless girlfriend and has to break into numerous castles trying to find her. This guy right here. What’s their beef (pun completely intended)? Remember way back in the day when you first got Super Mario Bros. 3, and found out you could get that magic leaf that gave Mario a weird raccoon tail that let him tail-whip things and briefly fly? Yeah, you do–that was awesome!
Well, PETA doesn’t. They waited until the release of Super Mario 3D Land this year to protest. But yes, the Tanooki suit is what has them all up in arms now. Mario is wearing fur, and fur is murder! The first thing that struck me about that article is that a Tanooki (or I guess, Tanuki?) is an actual thing. I had no idea. I called it the “Racoon suit” for a long time before someone told me it was actually called a Tanooki suit. And even then, I just assumed Tanooki was some kind of made-up name. I mean, really. In a world full of Koopa Troopas, Goombas, and Bob-ombs, I’m supposed to know Tanooki are fucking real? Sure, sure.
Apparently, tanuki are a type of dog that PETA claims are “skinned alive for their fur.” Why exactly would they be skinned while still alive? Seems much easier to kill them first. But hey, never let it be said that PETA exaggerates. They’ve started a new campaign called MARIO KILLS TANOOKI that features an actual side-scrolling flash game where you play a skinned tanuki running after a flying Mario who is wearing your skin. Just for maximum gross-out, everything in the game is covered in dripping blood! Like pretty much everything else PETA related, the game sucks balls.
Nintendo responded back to PETA with a statement that boils down to “Mario magically turns into a lot of things in our games. None of it means anything. We revere the tanuki here in Japan, so shut up you stupid Americans.”