PETA and Super Mario

In the department of “You’ve got to be kidding me…” 

Frequent readers will know that I am interested in issues of nature, technology, and politics. I had not anticipated them meeting in this way:

To be clear, the E-rated “Super Mario 3D Land” never suggests that Mario slaughtered an animal for its fur. In fact, the magical Tanooki suits that he wears in the game typically spring from magical squares that magically hover in the air. These squares magically give up the suits (which at first look like magical leaves) when Mario bumps his head into them….

It’s hard to believe that the folks over at PETA truly believe that a video game starring tiny man in a magical children’s costume actually contributes to worldwide fur wearing. If they did believe Nintendo’s new game had that kind of impact on behavior, then they should have also mentioned Mario’s abuse of the turtle-like Koopa creatures.

But this is not the first time PETA has skewered video games as a way to grab attention.

More here. And yes, I realize that by posting this I am giving them exactly what they want.

One thought on “PETA and Super Mario

  1. PETA is a problematic organization. I used to be a member (only monetary, no activism), so maybe find a way to control for my bitterness here…

    Gimmicks like this have the sole purpose of alerting readers to the more “sensible” campaigns that PETA takes up: activism against animal cruelty and the promotion of veganism. Psychologists might call PETA’s a “door in the face” approach: in the same way you might buy a minor product from an overly aggressive door-to-door salesman just to get him off your porch, you might entertain several of PETA’s more moderate planks just to get them to shut up.

    The problem is that PETA’s most “moderate” plank — getting people to go vegan — strikes me as more insidious than this blip about Super Mario or some of their other recent campaigns. I speak as someone that has tried to go vegan before — admittedly not with the force or conviction that some people bring to the project, but I did get about three months in.

    It’s their vegan outreach campaigns that demonstrate to me what a careless organization PETA is. Honestly, stories like the above don’t really faze me, because at least nobody’s health is being willingly compromised on ideological grounds. Consider: Vegan diets can be healthy, but they are difficult. They require a level of planning and precision rivaling the Apollo 13 rescue mission. Depending on one’s genetic makeup or ethnic background, they may simply be patently unhealthy or untenable. And yet PETA cruises along, promoting veganism with their alarmingly short “starter kit” — just a short pamphlet with celebrity testimonials, reinforcing how cruel animal slaughter is and introducing wannabe vegans to a few brands of processed faux meats. Neglecting entirely the complex evolutionary relationship we have with our food (something Michael Pollan talks about with grace and style), PETA would rather Americans adopt the best-planned junk food diets on Earth than eat meat or dairy…..

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