Controversial pro-animal rights group PETA has declared, in its latest campaign, that it is dead against magical leaves which turn you half-plumber, half-raccoon. And sometimes a statue (if you press down).
While some of its campaigns have been farfetched this one really takes the biscuit.
In a parody poster, called Super Tanooki 2D, Mario of Mario Bros fame is seen wearing a tanuki suit while holding a tanuki's severed head and standing in a pool of blood with a menacing grin on his face. Presumably the decapitated tanuki head comes from Luigi's costume, just out of shot.
Wake up, says PETA: A tanuki is a "suit in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur," the Daily Mail quotes a statement as saying.
The problem for PETA is, at least for the raccoon suit, Mario usually gets his with one of these:
It's a stretch to think People for the Ethical Treatments of Trees, or PETT, would be appalled by Mario's leaf-pinching.
Most of the time they had already browned, and were simply going to waste inside large mysterious boxes painted with question marks.
Anyway, it's sheer favouritism in the animal kingdom, argued one critic of PETA, A. Frog - "Mario wears an amphibious suit too, but does PETA complain about that? No," Frog moaned.
"Just because we don't resemble tiny little bandits doesn't mean we can be ignored. It sends me hopping mad."
Of more concern, perhaps, should be Mario's wanton disrespect for hallucinogenic drugs, which seem him crawl through tunnels for hours on end, changing size, fighting turtles and "rescuing princesses".