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Mario’s Tanooki Suit & PETA: Within the Land of Useless Arguments


Here comes PETA again with it’s far-fetched attacks on a completely innocent use of an animal within a video game. in the game Super Mario 3D Land, dons his Tanooki suit — an optional item in the game Super Mario 3D Land that gives Mario the ability to glide. Strangely enough, they have had no argument regarding the stomping of turtle shells or their use of ammunition in the same gaming franchise.  PETA has even gone as far as to create their own rather bloody game parody for their “Mario kills Tanooki” campaign.

Is their really anything out there that PETA cannot attack as what they would say is promoting the killing of an animal? In this case, they say it promotes the fur industry. Really? C’mon PETA. I am all for the protection of animals, but do you really think that this particular use of an animal promotes the wonton killing of a species? If anything, I think it helps bring awareness to the animal itself to the western world and beyond.

Did PETA stop to think about what this animal even represents and through this representation, how it apples to this game? I don’t think so. So, let me explain then before all the PC shock troops start loading their proverbial guns.

Tanuki is the common name for the Japanese Raccoon Dog. They have been a part of Japanese folklore for a very long time. Statues of tanuki can be found outside many Japanese temples and restaurants, especially noodle shops. Within Japanese folklore, the Tanuki are said to be mischievous and jolly, a master of disguise and shapeshifting. Hmm, interesting…master of disguise huh? Looking at the above picture of Mario, this should make complete sense now.

To think that people will now go on a killing spree of Tanuki because Super Mario is wearing a Tanooki suit is completely ludicrous. If PETA wants to protect animals, there is about a million other ways to accomplish this. I would much rather see this group act towards conservation and awareness than to run around like crazy glue sniffers accusing anyone who uses the image of animal as a killer of that species. If I remember right, PETA even came out against the use of synthetic furs for a time insinuating that even though it was not true animal fur, that it still promoted the use of real animal fur. Ok, seriously PETA…put down the glue bottle and clear your head.  If you want to make an intelligent complaint about the use of the Tanooki suit, then raise awareness about the Tanuki themselves. No, I am not saying that PETA should lower their guns or even agree with this Tanooki suit business. What I am saying is that they can be doing it in a much different way to promote awareness about the animal not by creating bloody parodies of a Super Mario game. In fact, I believe that their parody promotes the killing of the species, not Super Mario 3D Land.

The Tanuki of Japan are a prized species. They should remain that way. They should be protected. I really do not think PETA’s efforts are helping that. For one, the mere mention of PETA causes many to cringe because they have been an over-reactive group for many years. If you want to unleash a group like this, then unleash them on the almost extinct list, not on Super Mario. PETA’s motto is “Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, or use for entertainment.” Ok, I get why they say that animals are not ours to eat even though I do not agree. I understand why they say they are not ours to wear, even though that is also a stretch. I understand why they say they are not ours to experiment on of which I completely agree. Where did “use for entertainment” come from? That is a rather loose term. In fact, I think animals can be used in entertainment purposes very positively. I think that is a good thing.

PETA’s rantings on this particular subject have now only served to make people realize how extreme of a group they are. One thing that PETA may not also realize is that Nintendo’s creation has raised awareness about one of God’s truly amazing creations. PETA took this opportunity to stand up and say “Animal Killer!” To date, I doubt if many people even knew what a Tanuki was. Now they sure do. I understand that extreme groups like this actually serve a good purpose at times. Yet, in this case, I really think PETA needs to take a chill pill.

~Erik Sudberg

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About thetumultuoustimes

I am just a citizen of the world expressing opinions about a world that is in dire need of change.

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