PETA vs. Mario: The Great Tanooki Controversy

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has gone after an unlikely target: Nintendo’s Mario. As many of you know, Mario dons a tanooki costume in Super Mario Bros. 3 and more recently in Super Mario 3D Land. PETA sees Nintendo’s use of the tanooki suit as encouraging animal cruelty. The organization even made a game called Super Tanooki Skin 2D that denounces Nintendo. Here’s more from the site:

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’m not a fan of fur by any means, but PETA’s campaign seems completely misguided to me. Nintendo is one of the most family-friendly developers and publishers in gaming. Mario is one of the most wholesome videogame characters in history. Legendary designer and Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto is a known animal lover. Surely there are better companies for the organization to target, no?

Never for a second did I think that Nintendo had malicious intentions with the tanooki suit. It’s simply a cute costume that gives Mario silly powers. Does PETA honestly think that kids are going to be all, “Hey, know what would be awesome? Wearing fur!” after playing as Mario in the tanooki suit?

Naturally, I want to hear your opinion on this matter. While PETA certainly has a point in a literal sense, is it being misguided in going after Nintendo? Do kids get the message that wearing fur is okay from seeing Tanooki Mario in Super Mario Bros. 3?


Author: RPadTV


  • Thundercracker

    Yeah, its true. Wearing special raccoon dog fur does NOT give you magical flying powers…

    but i found that out the hard way

  • tokz21

    PETA is misguided but youre falling for their trap! Since Mario is hot right now with the release of super Mario land 3D they decided to tear down something hot just for attention. I like how they don't mention the raccoon cap, the frog suit, and the bee suit. Im just really tired of PETA.

  • Smartguy

    What? It's a suit? I thought it transmogrified him?

  • lceman

    Oh Jeez! I'm such a horrible parent! I dressed my kid up as Winnie the Pooh for Halloween and now all the little kids that saw him are going to be encouraged to skin a bear and wear its hide.


  • N8R

    "It's okay that he goes around jumping on turtles and killing them, but wear some fur that we can't throw paint on, and we're coming for you." is what this sounds like to me.

    Why not go after Tomb Raider? What about all the animals I put down and in Fallout New Vegas just yesterday? What about Burger Time?

    I think Mario should get a pass by comparison, and PETA needs to study the fact that the food chain is a real thing that is the natural process for our survival.

    In reality, PETA puts down more dogs a year than the Humane Society. It really is a money thing (a scam, if you will). Ingrid Newkirk (President of PETA) makes like $170,000 a year off of her "non-profit" organization. The people just under her, also make six figures a year. Being that they are non-profit, this is public record.

    So, when you hear PETA trying to gain some media attention right before Christmas season, take it with a grain of salt.

    • bsukenyan

      We should really be going after Rockstar again, this time for encouraging players to exterminate buffalo and bison in Red Dead Redemption.

      • Now I want a buffalo burger.

      • bsukenyan

        that does sound good. actually I'd prefer some buffalo chicken pizza too.

  • PETA should also be docked points for working with Lisa Munn.

    <img class="alignnone" src="; alt="" width="246" height="399" />

    • lceman

      While we're at it, can we dock points from Lisa's damn right foot?


    • Smartguy

      Nate shop her foot out of the way. Thanks in advance.

  • Lunias

    Who cares, they made a (semi-) fun game!

  • You know, regardless of the group's political slant, generally all special interest groups like this are full of crazy people with too much free time. PETA, the PTC and the NRA in particular annoy the crap out of me for their generally complete lack of common sense, reason, and amazing ability to turn pretty much any topic into a "they're out to get the animals/your guns/your children!!" type of illogical rant that makes me wonder why anyone, anywhere takes them seriously enough to give them a media platform.

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