Here is an article from Fox that sounds like the punch-line to a joke: PETA, long known for their controversial advertising and protest tactics, is now protesting…. Super Mario? You may be laughing (after all, it is kind of funny), but PETA is deadly earnest. Nintendo’s iconic character has long been known for pounding turtles and other friendly woodland creatures, and now PETA’s discovered that he occasionally wears a fur suit! PETA is infuriated, claiming that Super Mario is promoting the skinning (alive?) of animals – most notably tanookis – for their fur.

Of course, PETA has long been noted not only for their controversial tactics, but also for their promotion of animal life to the level of human life. Though we certainly do not advocate the mistreatment of animals, it’s worth remembering that (from a Christian perspective) animals are largely meant for our benefit. For more on that topic, though, consider Hugh Ross’s talk Soulish Animals.

Then, there’s the more obvious question of tactics: even if PETA were right, is Super Mario really worth pursuing?Really? I, for one, have played Super Mario games extensively and I don’t think it ever occurred to me to skin animals afterwards. Not once. Ever. Now I could be anomalous, and perhaps every other person who played has since actively hunted tanookis in Japan, but somehow I doubt it…

So as a practical note to PETA: I’d try to find a better use of resources.