PETA: Super Mario 3D Land Campaign Was "Tongue-in-Cheek"

posted on by Egan Loo

The animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) told the game news site Kotaku that its "Mario Kills Tanooki" campaign was "tongue-in-cheek." PETA had launched a campaign on Monday that used the Super Mario 3D Land game's "Tanooki" transformation to make a point about real-life tanuki (raccoon dogs) being skinned for their furs.

PETA media coordinator Shakira Croce wrote in an email: "Mario fans: Relax! PETA's game was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, a fun way to call attention to a serious issue, that raccoon dogs are skinned alive for their fur. We wish real-life tanukis could fly or swat enemies away with their tails and escape from those who profit from their skins. You can help them by never buying real fur."

PETA spokesperson Ashley Palmer added to Kotaku, "No one really believes that Mario actually kills and skins a raccoon dog for his fur in Super Mario 3D Land. Our spoof is simply making a serious point: that there is a much darker story behind tanuki skins than Mario lets on. In games like Call of Duty, where characters shoot and kill animals, or in Dog Wars, where players have fun fighting and torturing dogs, it sends a dangerous message that this kind of behavior is acceptable." Palmer continued, "We know how beloved Mario is-we are huge Mario fans ourselves! We were a little surprised that the game was taken so literally by some, but we're thrilled that we're able to bring so much attention to raccoon dogs whose suffering is very real."

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