PETA is not comprised of the brightest bunch of activists. They might do good work here and there (I think), but they’re also real life trolls who do stunts that make it impossible to take them seriously and thereby hurts their cause overall. In their latest campaign, they’re taking on Mario. Why? Because of the Tanooki suit in Super Mario 3D Land. Here’s what they’re saying:
When on a mission to rescue the princess, Mario has been known to use any means necessary to defeat his enemy — even wearing the skin of a raccoon dog to give him special powers. 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.
I can see the connection. But the connection is oblivious to context. Mario is a cartoonish video game character, the game itself is not violent in any way (you don’t see Mario skinning alive racoon dogs), and the suit itself gives Mario special abilities, making it far removed from even the idea of real fur.
All in all, PETA is silly and needs to learn how to pick their battles.
Update: They’ve also launched a website with a Flash game parodying Mario, but with a bloodier theme. You can click here to play the game, or check after the break for a video of it in action.