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PETA vs. Mario: Animal Rights Group Takes On Nintendo Character For Tanooki Suit (PHOTOS)

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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been known to target celebrities for their purses, the royals for hunting and even shark attack victims, but the group's latest beef is with a videogame character: Mario.

Yes, that Mario, the one-half of the famed plumber duo Super Mario Bros.

PETA is upset with the videogame character because of the fur tanuki suit he wears in Super Mario 3D Land, the recently-released game for the Nintendo 3DS.

From USA Today:

The outfit, modeled after Japanese raccoon dogs called tanuki, allows Mario to float in the sky to collect coins or traverse difficult jumps.

"Tanooki may be just a 'suit' in Mario games," PETA says on its website, "but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur." The organization writes:

When people learn that millions of innocent animals are beaten, boiled, hanged, and electrocuted for their fur every year; that each fur coat, each piece of fur lining or fur trim, and each fur cat toy represents the intense suffering of dozens of animals; and that furriers intentionally mislabel the fur of cats and dogs as fur from other species or as faux fur—then every decent human being will want to go fur-free.

The animal rights group has developed a videogame to communicate that they don't think it's okay to wear fur. On its homepage, PETA features a picture of a deranged Mario holding the bloody head of a tanuki next to the words "Mario Kills Tanooki."

The game, which is replete with classic 80s videogame music, consists of Tanooki attempting to "reclaim" his fur.

PETA has long used attention-grabbing methods to get its message out. Earlier this year, the animal rights group announced that it would be launching a porn site with graphic videos and photos.

"We live in a 24 hour news cycle world and we learn the racy things we do are sometimes the most effective way that we can reach particular individuals," PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt told The Huffington Post in August.

WATCH the PETA video (scroll down to view some EXPLICIT ads from past campaigns):

To view some past PETA campaigns, check out the photos below (WARNING: Explicit Images)

 
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