Saturday, November 19, 2011


Okay so last night I was having trouble sleeping. I have a lot going on in my life so sometimes sleep is a bit of an issue. To kill the insomnia I take a quick trip onto my iPhone, surf the net a bit, catch up on YouTube subscriptions and then I eventually drift off. Last night one of the videos that showed up in my feed was one by YouTube Vlogger and Certified Lunatic OutBackZack about how P.E.T.A. (that's People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) is now running a campaign about how Mario Kills Tanooki. Please understand that by sharing this link I am not promoting their campaign but instead pointing out a bad PR move on their part that can go up in the ranks with Unhappy Meals. Please try to understand that I don't condone cruel treatment of animals and I don't condone the skinning of real life Tanooki, however I think that the point needs to be made a bit subtler. Maybe P.E.T.A. should take a tip from the ASPCA for ways to better convey animal rights.

Anyway, go ahead, click on the Mario Kills Tanooki link. In case you don't, heres a break down of what awaits you: First you get to see this darling logo

This logo is of course aimed at children.

and then you are given a chunk of text that reads 

"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. Play Super Tanooki Skin 2D and help Tanooki reclaim his fur!"

Past that is an Adobe Flash game called "Super Tanooki Skin 2D" where you play as a skinned Tanooki trying to catch Mario who is flying with bloodied Tanooki skin so that you can regain your fur. Now looking past the fact that this looks like a nightmare version of Mario, it's possible for the Tanooki to die in this game, which to me actually defeats the purpose of P.E.T.A. Ah, well, it was probably a programming oversight. 

I understand that the skinning of real life Tanuki is a serious issue, but again, is this the way to go about protesting? What's gonna happen next week? Mario Hates Turtles? Remember, all a Koopa is supposed to be is a demon turtle. Is D.A.R.E. going to jump on Mario now about drug use, I mean after all, using Mushrooms to fly has to have some sort of bulls eye on it's head for a "Help Mario Stomp Out Drugs Campaign". 

What disturbs me more than anything though, is that now P.E.T.A. is picking on the events of a video game! At least when they were handing out Unhappy Meals to kids they were actually protesting something, in this case cruel treatment of chickens. In the coming weeks will we see other bits of fiction that P.E.T.A. has a gripe with? Will Warner Bros. and Looney Tunes come under fire for the antics of Road  Runner and Wile E. Coyote? Will Tom & Jerry be subjected to the fate of having P.E.T.A. publicly condemn them? And what about The Simpsons with all of their Itchy & Scratchy bits. It has to be cartoons like that that give P.E.T.A. members nightmares. 

I'm all for being nice to animals and not treating them cruelly. I'm all for equal rights and I am all for the 1st amendment. Everyone has a right to protest what they want but it seems to me that as every day goes by we stray further and further from the peaceful protests of men like Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi and more in the way of "All  equal rights groups are the Westboro Baptist Church

If you don't know the WBC please educate yourself. These guys are the cream of the crop when you look at scummy human beings. This is a hate group so extreme that the KKK refuses to affiliate with them and Hell's Angels have been used to coral these guys. Unfortunately it seems like they are slowly infecting other "rights groups" with their extreme methods and really contaminating the cause. Let's see more ASPCA style groups looking for animal rights and less groups obsessed with what happens in a fictitious video game.  

I know that this is a very touchy topic but please, share your thoughts on this below and try not to flame when you do. Some people are going to be against this move like me while others are going to support it. I won't say you're right if you do but I won't condemn you for your beliefs as I expect no one to condemn me to mine. 

*To see the video for this post please see my YouTube Channel

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