Everyone's favorite animal rights activists have once again turned their withering gaze to video games. This time they're taking issue with Mario's famous tanooki suit.
From their website:
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.
The site even features a charming little flash game, in which a skinless tanooki chases a grisly, fur-draped Mario through a nightmarish, blood-soaked version of the mushroom kingdom. The game is sure to delight children everywhere right up until Nintendo's lawyers get wind of it. Other games from the PETA line-up include Super Tofu boy and the Super Chick Sisters.
Mario first donned the tanooki suit, which is admittedly quite grim when you think about it, back in Super Mario Bros 3, but he retired it in favor of the Cape in Super Mario World. The suit returned, much to the delight of fans, in the recent Super Mario 3D Land. Personally I find it far more disturbing that Mario lives in a land populated with mushroom people yet he has no qualms about eating mushrooms to grow larger, that raises some very difficult questions.