News Article

PETA Launches Campaign Against Mario

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

We're not kidding

If there was any doubt that Super Mario 3D Land is a high-profile game release, that has now been banished. It has emerged today that PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — has launched a campaign against Mario. The complaint revolves around the Tanooki suit, with the PETA website stating the following:

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.

This isn't the first time that this organisation have targeted video games, but is probably the first occasion that a Mario suit is cited. The fact that Mario transforms into these powers by picking up a magical leaf seems to have passed PETA by, who have opted for a literal interpretation of the game. If you want to learn more about the history of the Tanooki suit and the animal that inspired it, check out our feature on the subject.

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User Comments (161)



Aviator said:

I love how a leaf = fur.

∴ It's sending a message that it's OK to wear leaves.



Mr_G said:

REALLY?!?! ok seriously PETA i think u r losing the plot!?



Pokefanmum82 said:

apparently not. PETA sticks their nose in everything and makes stupid accusations just because they can. I'm all for treating animals fairly but this is just stupid.



19Robb92 said:

Meanwhile at NASA...
Space may just be a "theme" in Mario games, but in real life, space is a dangerous place with no oxygen to breathe at all. By going to space without a spacesuit, Mario is sending the message that it's OK to suffocate.



taffy said:

Sooooooooooo..... What about the penguin suit in New Super Mario Bros Wii?



Knux said:

What about Bowser? Mario has been abusing that poor gigantic turtle for decades!



Burning_Spear said:

I'm for almost anything PETA stands for, but this is idiocy. And it makes PETA look stupid. Are we really worried about kids skinning tanukis?



TheKingOfTown said:

@Knux Forget about Bowser, think about the poor Koopas and Goombas that Mario stops on! THEY never come back for the next game, once they die, they're gone forever.



misswliu81 said:

over-reaction much, PETA?

if this incident goes far as PETA taking nintendo to court, then their case should be thrown out immediately. this is just a joke really.



NintyMan said:

I never take PETA seriously anyway. The game will still sell millions wheter they like it or not. What gets me is that Mario has had this ability, along with other animal suits, for years and they're just now attacking him. That just tells me that this game is going to succeed.



bezerker99 said:

I used to live right next to the PETA headquarters in VA. I had to move because I just know a meteorite is going to hit that place one o' these days and I don't want to be anywhere near when that happens. (BTW, someone might want to inform the lagging PETA that Mario started wearing Tanooki Suits in SMB3 - some twenty three years ago!)



grumblegrumble said:

OMG Get a freaking grip!!!!! PETA just needed something new to cry about, that's why they started this. Get a life.



timp29 said:

Seriously PETA? Shouldn't you be saving the black rhino? I guess this is their chance to piggyback on Nintendo's publicity. They should thank Nintendo in the process for raising awareness of the Tanooki. They're lucky the kids of the west haven't been killing Raccoons and wearing them due to the confusion about the animals. What a joke.



Punny said:

Uh, PETA? This is only a game. It isn't meant to be taken seriously. Besides, I don't think that the suit is made from real tanukis.



Glade said:

>>> Hours later...
MASS Tanooki killing! Children Start wearing Tanooki Suits!!!!!
PETA Told us so! Mario is a bad example for children...

lol what idiocy...



MasterGraveheart said:

facepalm PETA, you find new ways to fail. From personally making it a point to raise the unemployment rate with the "Boycott KFC" campaign to twisting magic into suggesting that Mario hunts and knifes something that isn't known to exist in Mario lore with this joke of a campaign.

I'm going to quote something from Justice League International when it comes to PETA members in general. "Just ignore them. They're just a bunch of basement dwellers who spend all day whining on the 'net. Not a single open minded one in the bunch."



linkdeku7 said:

PETA: Goombas may "seem" to be just stubby little evil creatures that roam the Mushroom Kingdom, but in real life, goombas are known as "Kuribo" in Japan, or "Chestnut People," so by Mario viciously stomping away on the heads of these defenseless beings by the thousands, it is sending a message that it's OK to stomp on chestnuts...



Rockmirth said:

zelda can cut plants in half
cod can shoot you in the face
worms killing eachother
mario can wear a penguin suit and jumjp on turtles head
but not a tanooki suit? lol



Scissors said:

I'm a vegetarian, and I hate PETA. Thanks to them everyone thinks I'm some sort of radical extremist for not eating meat. They've done more to harm vegetarianism then they have to aid it. They spend more time doing these stupid publicity stunts, then actually presenting factual unbiased information. The thing is that their are many positives to being vegetarian, and they should be promoting those instead. As the old saying goes you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

You can't stop people from eating animals, that's that. It's like prohibition with alcohol, people are going to do what they want, and you just have to let them. Eating a little meat here and there isn't going to kill them, but eating it 3 times a day can be harmful in the long term.

if you present the factual information like that our bodies produce enough cholesterol that eating animal cholesterol can lead to heart failure, and that American meat is manufactured with many harmful growth hormones and chemicals that it's been banned in other country's then maybe you can convince some to stop eating meat or at-least reduce their intake or eat free-roam meat. Their are many positive studies that have proven the benefits of being vegetarian, but PETA doesn't talk about those. Instead they are constantly attacking pop-culture icons, and in turn demonizing vegetarianism. PETA uses scare tactics and tries to guilt people into not eating meat, but they should let people make their own choice. You can't force your values onto the world, but you can politely present information and if people ignore it you leave them alone because it's their choice.

PETA is a disgrace to vegetarianism, thanks to them people often act awkward around me when they discover I'm vegetarian. I usually have to go into a discussion about how I'm not a radical. They've turned something as simple as my diet into something for people to hate me for. I'm so sick of people telling me I'm going to hell for not eating meat, or that I'm weak and unhealthy. If PETA hadn't stepped in and made us all look crazy then people would be more willing to give vegetarianism a chance. I'm all for the ethical treatment of animals, but I strongly disapprove of scare tactics, manipulation through guilt, and doing so for a sense for moral superiority.

KNOW THIS: PETA does not represent vegetarians everywhere they're just the loudest group that has given us all a bad name.



komicturtle said:

Mario is a vegetarian. He eats leaves, mushrooms and flowers.

Well, actually, he only has to touch them to gain super powers



SMW said:

PETA is a lot more entertaining if you learn to not take them seriously. I personally love it when they do things like this. That Cooking Mama one they did was hilarious. As for this one, its definitely not one of their best gags, but its pretty funny. The flash game is pretty crappy, though. The Cooking Mama one was better.



Radixxs said:

By issuing this statement, PETA is sending the message that it is OK to act ignorantly and release incredibly stupid statements.



resort55 said:

we can jump on poor gombas, use koopas as living projectiles, burn up fish with fireballs, wear turtle shells and put small, cute penguins on mario, but if we touch a DEAD leaf and turn into a racoon-style mario, they start a campaign? Take a pita, PETA.



NinjaMario said:

Right. And by smashing blocks, Mario is really sending the message that its OK to hit bricks with your head. Speaking of which, PETA, why don't you go do that.



daznsaz said:

they probably think animal crossing is some kind of outrageous animal hybrid experiment.



Henmii said:

This is just sad! Nintendo did it all in good spirit! Besides, it's a tribute to Japanese folklore! There's nothing wrong with that!



longtimegamer said:

By doing this, it's like PETA is saying it's ok to be a Douchebag. That's how it works right?
Peta? More like PETAthetic.



xAlias said:

I can just imagine them doing this.

PETA: Meanwhile at the Olympic Games
Sports may just be "fun" in Mario games, but in real life, sports can be dangerous. By playing sports, Mario is sending the message that playing sports is okay.

PETA: Afterwards at the Olympic Games
Oh, great. That didn't send a good message. Here we go.

Being obese may just be "fun" in Mario games, but in real life, being obese can be dangerous. By being obese, Mario is sending the message that being obese is okay.



wing0black said:

just search "peta kills animals" in google and you'll find hundreds of articles with references to actual peta documents that show that peta euthanizes virtually all of the animals in it's shelters. all it took was one visit to for me to see what they're really doing.



AVahne said:

Well, by now EVERYONE should know that PETA is completely full of crackheads. Who even gives a damn about them anymore? Well, except when they do terrorist attacks on facilities.



6ch6ris6 said:

i am totally for a better treatment of animals (i am vegetarian for example) but sometimes PETA is just ridiculous.

with such stupid statements it is no wonder that most people dont take such organisations serious



longtimegamer said:

If mario's wearing real animal skin, then that must have been one heck of a large bee that he killed to get that suit in SuperMario Galaxy! o_0



Radixxs said:

As a side note, I would totally buy a Mario-themed "Save the Raccoon Dogs" T-shirt. Get on that. Someone.



Radixxs said:

@60: Are you KIDDING me? Is that a joke? Having Mario fly around draped in a bloody Tanuki carcass is much worse than Mario's Tanooki suit, if you can even consider the suit bad.



kingothekoopas said:

kinda surprised that they didn't raise this point back when SMB3 first came out, or when it came out again with all stars. or again when it came out as SMA4. or on the wii. or the SMAS collectors edition... just how many times does mario have to wear that suit to get these guys attention anyway? LOL!

also, why have they never gotten angry at him for stomping on turtles? for that matter, let's not forget the shell powerup from NSMB. what, did he kill a turtle and take it's shell or something? where was PETA when that happened?

if they're serious about this, then i think they've just made one of the biggest mistakes ever. nintendo should counter this somehow. right now, they're painted as the bad guys, and trying to put the blame on PETA would only make them look worse (though PETA SHOULD be put to public shame).



dizzy_boy said:

this reminds of when a protest group tried to close down the petshop in my local high street.
the shop is situated on a traffic heavy part of the high street, and they used to hold up signs to encourage people to honk their car horns when they drove past. i could only imagine the animals getting startled every time some idiot would do so.
they were also there every weekend for months, even during the cold weather. which made me laugh because some of them started wearing leather jackets, others had wooly hats and scarfs on too.
the stupidest thing they used to do was take their kids with them. considering that they were on a busy part of the street, i worried that one or more of the kids would run infront of a car and get run over.
i don`t want this seem i`m sticking up for the pet shop, because i`m not. it`s that the idiocy of some people when they do things is quite baffling. espcially as there was a betting office and a kebab shop either side of the pet shop aswell. it would have been an easy to target all three if their ethics were in the right place.



Corbs said:

When I see Mario pull out a 30-30 and shoot a Tanooki and then stand there and skin it for the fur, then I'll be concerned.



North99 said:

Stuff like this is why no reasonable person can take PETA seriously. It's a shame, because animal rights are important, and an organization standing up for those issues is needed, but PETA is like the "boy who cried wolf" and serious concerns get drowned under bogus crap like this.



xAlias said:

They actually made games about all their concerns. Check out the site. Super Chick Sisters? Wow.. :0



Yrreiht said:

They must be really bored to do that XD
Well, time for me to buy some blue paint and make my hedgehog run.



Robo-goose said:

It's okay for PETA to freeze thousands of animals alive, but if Mario even DARES to dress up like a Tanuki he's an evil person?
Impressive, PETA, you are all hypocritical idiots.



kurtasbestos said:

I hate those people so very, very much. They make anyone who believes in anything (animal-related or not) look like a jerk just by their very existence.



Retr_acro said:

Hey PETA, did'ya forget about mario 3, Tanuki suit AND Frog suit? What about teh turtle suit? Heck, the rabbit one, the bee one?

Crazy group.



pixelman said:

What's even worse is that you can barbecue giant dragon turtles in boiling hot lava. I'm boycotting Nintendo until they stop serving Bowser Steak to fat italians!



Radbot42 said:

The game made me crack up. Nintendo could easily sue them over the use of Mario in PETA's game



XCWarrior said:

Sweet! This is going to help sales of Mario 3D for sure! Thank you Peta!

Wearing a skinned animal's carcus as a suit. And people say Nintendo isn't hardcore!



Doma said:

By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it's OK to wear fur.




Tutton_Danielle said:
Ok... Seriously PETA... I thaught it was rediculous for PETA to sue Nintendo for Mario wearing a Tanooki suit was down right stupid move, and then they go and make a stupid video game on the internet where you go around killing Tanookis. Now that is just ascenine. Seriously PETA grow up and focus on what you say you are concerned about... saving animals and not attacking video games for what you think is animal cruelty... there is nothing in the Mario game that even suggests that Mario goes around killing a Tanooki for its skin. Nor has the game convinced me that it is ok to wear fur or kill animals for their fur and I have been playing the game for about 15 years. Mabye Nintendo should be the ones suing PETA for misuse of the copy-right to their game.



antster1983 said:

Seriously, PETA get me peed off in a way I can't describe. Why can't they just respect that people eat or wear animal produce and they can't act like Nazis and tell us what to think with their bogus propaganda?

By the way, that Western Black Rhinoceros burger was delicious



Shiryu said:

Just wait until PETA figures how Mario has been handling turtles for the past 25 years.



Raylax said:

PETA successfully cause anger in the gaming community once again.

I'm off to go eat a celebratory bacon sandwich.



milkman12 said:




StarDust4Ever said:

This is not new news. I believe PETA launched the same campain against Super Mario Brothers in 1985 by aleggedly claiming that Super Mario Brothers promoted violence towards animals by telling kids that it was okay to kick turtles around in their shells.

I've had a real [North American] Racoon Tail in my closet for a number of years, which I actually wore on my rear belt loop when I went to Gamestop to claim my preorder for Super Mario 3D Land. My 'coon tail actually got several complements from various people. Take that, PETA! Eat your hearts out!



Pogocoop said:

Also,Also... In Skyrim you actually Kill the animals , and use their skins to make armours and such, Where is PETA their?



k8sMum said:

imho peta should be glad that mario games feature tanookis so that interest is stimulated for more people to find out about these creatures. in the uk, for example, officials have found that knock-off ugg boots are lined in their fur. there are some atrocious videos showing tanookis being skinned alive.

since mario doesn't harm the animal in any manner and more or less changes into a tanooki, their anger at this game is moot and their energy might be better spent elsewhere.



milkman12 said:

meanwhile in the mushroom kingdom...

mario pulls flowers out of the ground to shoot fire from his fingertips to cause forestfires. but in real life, this in very harmful to animal wildlife and plants. by doing this, mario is saying its 'OK' to pluck flowers out of the ground to harm wildlife. (sarcasm alert )



milkman12 said:


NO, its not fur, its a special fabric. what, you thought miyamoto would let mario strut around japan jilling tanuki for a videogame? no sir, he gets his costume by collecting a LEAF. HIS TANOOKI COSTUME IS MADE OUT OF LEAVES. LEAVES WITH EYES. honestly, PETA just wanted something to moan about like my wife.



Drewroxsox said:

Wow!! just wow! PETA needs to get a life and go plant a tree, help stop global warming or what ever it is that they do. I'm sure everybody's reaction when they saw the tanooki suit was," hey would you look at mario in all that fur. I should go and kill a few animals so I can have one just like mario's because if he wears fur then it's ok for me to." o___o PETA needs to calm the down, it's just a video game, and the suit has been around for 23 years. What's next, they're going to say that people associate stomping on goombas with stomping on Afican Americans or that shooting the fish in this game is saying that it's okay to over fish?



Thwiidscube said:

Guys, if you're saying PETA didn't complain about the suits in SMB3, I don't think the group was around at that time.



SunnySnivy said:

PETA was founded in 1980. SMB 3 came out in 1988.

So, why didn't they attack SMB 3? Because video games weren't as popular as they are now. Don't get me wrong- Nintendo was popular in the 80s. But look at it now. Video games are everywhere. They are right in your face all the time, even if you don't play video games.

While I was thinking of this though, I realized SMB 3 was not only released on a Wii disc last year, but is also available on the VC and has been for a long time. So, why attack now? I don't know, it's PETA. Nobody knows.

As for comment on the "campaign", do they seriously think that kids are going to rush out and go buy fur because of a video game character? How about they attack the magazines printing ads for REAL fur, I would consider those much more influential towards purchases.

This is such a waste of time.



Hokori said:

@111 Yes it was, but even if SMB3 was around before PETA formed.... they couldve complained about that then, its not like this is the 1st video game that used Quote on quote on quote animal crualty (yes I know I used 3 Quotes, because its that stupid...)



VenusMizu24 said:

Yes. The reason people will buy fur, is because of a short, fictional Italian plumber who eats mushrooms to save a princess from a giant turtle.

On that note, Tanuki's are a part of Japanese folklore. They're not even real, let alone being slaughtered.



kingothekoopas said:

okay, i just seen the page on peta's site, and frankly, it disturbs me. the fact that they would go THIS far to tarnish a character i grew up with, and MILLIONS of people love, is absolutely wrong. and i do agree. why are games like skyrim not getting attention? what about monster hunter? sure, fictional creatures, but they do teach that harming animals is ok. FAR more than mario does.

a bloody tanooki suit. thanks peta. that's an image that wasn't neccesary. mario as a bad guy. this isn't donkey kong Jr. you know, although peta certainly is acting like it is. they've lost any respect i had for them. they're doing more damage to mario by doing this, than they are saving animals with it. i'm sorry, but this kind of thing just pushes people away. i certainly hope nintendo sees this, i REALLY want to see what they have to say.



TheGreenSpiny said:

PETA needs to stick to what they are good at: filming naked chicks. Then I'll pay attention. (To the naked chicks... not to whatever the hell they are blathering about now.)



Mike1 said:

This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. PETA has to be the dumbest organization of earth. Just remember what PETA really stands for, People Eating Tasty Animals!



chiefeagle02 said:

Over twenty years late, guys. Mario's been wearing Tanooki Suits since the NES days (not to mention Frog Suits, Turtle Suits, et cetera).



Jono97 said:

Now go away people, this is only for the people who cannot tell the difference between the real world and the virtual world.



Mandoble said:

Probably some other schizophrenic organization will come to attack Nintendo for promoting driving bikes without helmets in Mario Karts.



LordAndrew said:

Look at the amount of people who had no idea that the tanuki raccoon dog actually exists. PETA has just sent the message that it's possible to wear the skin of a tanuki. Bravo, idiots. If we're as stupid as PETA thinks we are, we now want our own authentic tanooki suits.



Magicpegasus said:

Look, I know everyone here loves Nintendo and Mario, and I know PETA is known for publicity "stunts", but let's not confuse what these two institutions are about. Nintendo is about making games (and selling them), and PETA is about animal rights. All PETA did was release a statement about how a certain animal is skinned alive for its fur. They want to raise awareness around the world about how it's unethical to treat these animals so poorly. They're really just doing their jobs here. Nintendo essentially dressed their mascot in fur, so PETA objects.

For the record, I don't think Nintendo has done anything wrong. But PETA should not be villainized for speaking out against animal cruelty. Can you imagine what it would be like to be skinned alive? It would hurt right?



NX01Trekkie1992 said:

@Magicpegasus, I'd take them a little more seriously and mock them a little less if they didn't go about this so ridiculously, blowing this out of proportion, also, they're a bunch of hypocrites anyway, so I can't take anything they say seriously



Graph said:

Animal were meant to be consumed by humans, I'm sorry. But a world without meat? No. NO!



Magicpegasus said:

@Graph: I know, they're delicious. They just shouldn't be tortured. That's where I agree with PETA. I disagree with them on a lot of points though. To me, PETA is like Michael Moore. The cause is just, yet they often dabble in sensationalism and hyperbole.



LordJumpMad said:

Nintendo is wrong for Mario to be wearing fur.
And PETA should sue them and win the case.
That will show'em



rayquaza_master said:

Does PETA really have nothing else better to do?Hopeless idiots which have nothing better to do than complain over a children's video game character's power up which already came out around 20 years ago.Nice timing, doosh bags.



alLabouTandroiD said:

Thanks for turning even the most rabid PS360 fanboys into passionate Mario supporters, PETA ! Please do the same for as many WiiU titles as you possibly can.
Excuse me while i slay all the innocent cows in RE4 now.



Tasuki said:

So whats next PETA are you going to go after Blizzard cause in World of Warcraft you can take skinning as a profession and skin wolves and such for leather which in turn a leather worker can make into armor?

These people have no lives. Imho I think Nintendo should sue them for slander. No where in the game does it show Mario skinning a Tanooki. Yeah he weres a Tanooki suit but whos to say its real fur? Who knows it could be synthetic fur. I bet PETA would feel pretty stupid if Nintendo came out and said it was synthetic fur.



TikiTong said:

I like PETA and all, but really??!!! What about when you shoot dogs and hyenas with ak-47's MW3, or when they attach C4 to the dogs in Survival in MW3???? NOTHING CRUEL ABOUT THAT HUH???



Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

........that is the most stupidest thing I've heard them complain about ever. =.=; I'm against animal cruelty as much as the next person but come on its a video game. If you wanted to raise concerns; where were you 23 years ago when the Tanooki suit made its debut in the Mario franchise?



ThumperUK said:

PETA undermines all the good work animal welfare charities do with their campaigns that have been dreamed up by complete and utter nutjobs. Instead of focussing on very real animal cruelties, their campaign against a cartoon character is completely laughable. They are making a mockery of the wonderful work done by proper charities, such as WWF or the RSPCA.

Maybe Mario's fur is fake, as are most 'fur' products?



alLabouTandroiD said:

On the other hand PETA's right. A company that refuses to give Greenpeace information must be pure evil. Their mascot can only serve the purpose to overtake the world. The more detruction's involved, the better.
And who really care as long as Mario kills (meaning his games are so much fun).




I'm surprised they didn't say this about Monster Hunter. According to PETA, grabbing a leaf that turns into a tanooki suit is terrible, but killing something, carving it with a knife, turning it into armor, and then wearing it everytime you to kill more things? That's okay with us!



LittleKing said:

Mario, and specifically the Tanooki suit, are very popular, which is why they are being targeted. I find it somewhat comedic that everyone runs around screaming about PETA, saying they hate them, when in stark reality, they are supporting them by helping them reach their goal: to attract attention. They light a small fire, and the "firemen" pour oil on it burning down a forest. Basically, PETA is the same as your average troll.



NESguy94 said:

Wait, What? It is a magical leaf that giving him the ability to turn into a Tanooki. It is a suit but technically it is a part of Mario's anatomy once he obtains a leaf.



jerrylee16 said:

*Calls RSPCA
Hello there, I would like to report a group called PETA, yes the reason, they have created an online game which forces a raccoon to chase a Mustached man, but PETA have laid traps to kill this raccoon, such as pipes so that the poor creature can be squashed to death by the camera, and putting bottomless pits so that if the raccoon misses a jump, it will fall to a horrible death. This game will send a message saying it is okay to squash raccoons with cameras, and that it is okay to let them jump into bottomless pits, this promotion of shocking treatment to raccoons should be banned immediately.



TheN64Dude said:

Oh, Yeah I forgot the part in the Super Mario 3D Land intro where Mario stabs an innocent Tanuki and rips it's skin off then wears it while peeing on it's corpse.



xxx_Kirby_xxx said:

Robb, you're hilarious. xD
Next they're going to attack Mr. Game and Watch for trying to stop people from letting the animal grab your sausages in Game and Watch: Chef. :l I agree this is pretty stupid. Has anybody played Super Chick Sisters (or something like that)? I'm pretty sure it was a Mario spin-off involving attacking KFC and at the end the flag, if I recall correctly, says PETA. So, if they were involved with a Mario-related game, why are they now attacking the poor plumber?



resort55 said:

And really, that game made by peta should at least be PEGI 12. bloody fur, a skinned tanooki, bloody background. WTF?



Porquemans said:

anyone else see that movie idiocracy? if not its a world that peta is ensuring a world where everyone is as smart as peta members..i mean turning the pokemon games and shows into a violent world where pokemon get abused where in the games and shows it teaches kids how to be nice and respect others and mario who has been known to be heroic and save people from the villains is now an animal killer if peta keeps this up idiocracy here we come (its not the fact that they target games but its the fact they are annoying and messing with kids minds with the games they like to spread their words that will now be unheard because they choose the stuiped route over actually doing something to save the animals that actually exist on this planet)

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