Tanooki Trouble: PETA vs. The Plumber

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Tanooki PETA Game

Funniest nightmare fuel ever.

The Fur Hits the Fan

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and NOT the Greek town, pulse ejector thrust augmentor, or Australian actress Peta Wilson) have issued a finger-wagging statement that explains that they are none too pleased with the return of Mario’s Tanooki suit in Super Mario 3D Land:

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.

Oh my. First, let me register my shock- MY COMPLETE AND UTTER SHOCK- that PETA has managed to issue a brain-dead, knee-jerk overreaction that completely misses the point. As we know, up until now, PETA has been a group that is level-headed, sane, and completely in touch with reality and culture. I am shocked. SHOCKED! As with their umbrage at Super Mario 3D Land, they’ve included a rather poor Flash game with the statement. It finds you as a skinned tanuki chasing a flying Mario through the gore-soaked rectum of Hell and…grabbing coins. The only command at your disposal is to jump, and the physics are terrible. So it’s kind of like a 16-bit sidescroller version of Hellraiser II, programmed by an orangutang throwing poo at a keyboard (which is probably closer to the truth than we realize). I guess the point of this is to call attention to the fact that cruelty is inflicted on real-life tanuki.

Tanuki Statue
Traditional Tanuki statue. Note the massive balls that Duke Nukem would envy.

Of course, this is ignoring the fact that the tanuki is a symbolic figure in Japanese folklore, often a jovial and comical one that represents several traditional virtues. The folkloric tanuki also traditionally has comedically oversized testicles. Now, assuming Mario IS using an actual tanuki skin and not some kind of advanced nanosuit in the shape of a tanuki, or some kind of transformative magic; I would fault him more for not using the tanuki’s scrotum as a parachute. That’s just wasteful.

Red Dead Redemption BEARIn any case, this continues PETA’s hilariously scattershot record of criticizing games that don’t even suggest cruelty to animals (except for rampant turtle murder, natch) when other games actually involve hunting, skinning etc. (not that I think any focus should be put on these, either – I think PETA should focus their views on real-life or, better yet, stop bothering us). I mean let me put it this way: Mario 3D Land is out this week. Also out this week are Skyrim and Modern Warfare 3. Skyrim contains plenty of native fauna you can hunt, skin and fillet (albeit non-graphically), and Modern Warfare 3 contains dogs with bombs strapped to them. Hell, you can go deeper into the past – Red Dead Redemption features animals you can hunt and gut. But considering a good portion of these animals are bears, and bears are unpredictable engines of mayhem, perhaps they’re best off not pissing bears off. Of course, PETA, bears don’t tend to treat other animals very ethically. Surely, the solution is for PETA members to go into the wild and threaten to take the bears’ cubs into protective custody until they start being nicer to other animals.

PETA didn’t give a flying fuck when Lara Croft was gunning down white tigers in Tibet, when Umbrella experimented on dobermans, or when Mudokons were being slaughtered and turned into supremely tasty snacks by RuptureFarms. THINK OF THE MUDOKONS! So why should we listen to their thin-skinned bleating now? In any case, it does not matter because real animals are NOT being harmed in these video games.

Repeat to yourself: It’s just a game. I should really just relax.


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve a date with a bucket of the Colonel’s original recipe.

  1. Gabe Newell says:

    I wonder how they didn’t catch the irony in making a game wherein Mario wears an actual racoon’s skin.

  2. Martin Watts says:

    I think this is one of the best articles to have ever graced this site. It’s incredible!

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