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PETA launched a campaign called "Mario Kills Tanooki."
Nintendo is releasing Super Mario 3D Land and it marks the return of the Tanooki transformation, that was first in Super Mario Bros. 3.
Tanooki is based on the Japanese raccoon dog, and when Mario powers up, he's able to flap his tail and float around the level.
"[…] 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."
Nintendo responded, saying Mario's transformations:
"[…] have included a frog, a penguin, a balloon and even a metallic version of himself. These lighthearted and whimsical transformations give Mario different abilities and make his games fun to play.
The different forms that Mario takes make no statement beyond the games themselves."
We understand the horrific plight of the raccoon dog, but sometimes, a game is just a game.