After sparking a world of criticism for calling the new Mario game a symbol of animal cruelty, PETA is now saying it was just a joke. In its latest campaign, the animal rights group that is usually more focused on shocking, grossing out, or angering other groups of people, said that because Mario is able to get a Tanooki suit power-up in his latest adventure on the 3DS, he was an icon of cruelty to animals.
PETA said Mario's Tanooki suit was glamorizing the idea of wearing fur and in response, the group released its own blood-filled online game in which a character who looks a lot like Mario being chased by a skinned Tanooki.
As PETA no doubt expected, this drew huge reactions from the gamer community, who blasted the organization for the crass online game and for even coming up with such a ridiculous idea.
So the group is now clarifying that the whole campaign was mainly just a joke. In an statement that was most likely already planned and written well ahead of time, PETA media coordinator Shakira Croce was quoted by Kotaku as saying:
"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."
It's nice to see PETA showing that they actually have a small semblance of what normal people see in this world. No human being with any rational mindset whatsoever would ever even be able to make the link between Mario and a pro-fur message. Also, as PETA is a US organization, we highly doubt there is actually a big problem with "raccoon dogs" being skinned in this country.