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Animals and porn: yet another off-the-wall scheme for attention

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PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has announced the launch in December of an XXX porn website. Supposedly aimed at promoting veganism and animal rights, the site will, a PETA spokesperson says, feature pornographic photos and videos, along with gruesome images of animal brutality.

Just when you think you’ve heard it all: PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has announced the launch in December of an XXX porn website.

Supposedly aimed at promoting veganism and animal rights, the site will, a PETA spokesperson says, feature pornographic photos and videos, along with gruesome images of animal brutality.

It’s hoped the “racy things” will enable PETA to “reach a whole new audience,” says PETA’s Lindsay Rajt. The idea is to attract viewers with the porn lead-in, then hit them with images of animal mistreatment.

In the process, of course, PETA expects to raise even more money for its campaigns against animal agriculture, and even animals as pets. A tax-exempt non-profit organization, PETA had revenues of $35.2 million in 2010, much of that generated from heart-rending TV spots of mistreated animals, and endorsements by celebrities. Critics charge, however, that PETA saves very few animals and, in fact, euthanizes most of the dogs and cats brought to its shelters.

Although PETA professes to disavow extremist organizations Earth Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, which the FBI has linked to more than 600 crimes since 1996 and more than $43 million in damage to research facilities and other property, PETA has acknowledged contributions to the organizations and PETA staff have made public statements in their support.

Over the years PETA has received a great deal of media attention with its in-your-face campaigns and publicity stunts, including anti-fur demonstrations, opposition to use of animals for medical and other research, anti-hunting and fishing efforts, and opposition to use of animal products such as wool, silk, honey, and milk because it constitutes “exploitation” of the animals involved.

In line with the organization’s espousal of veganism, a PETA officer is quoted that eating meat is “primitive, barbaric, arrogant, unnecessary.” She equated pet ownership as the moral equivalent of slavery, saying even the word “pet” is offensive, since it “connotes a demeaning attitude of master versus thing.”

Immaterial, apparently, that it is precisely the innate love of animals and pets ingrained in 99.9 percent of the American population that PETA capitalizes on with its graphic portrayals of animal mistreatment and cruelty in order to raise money.

There are, unfortunately, bad apples in almost any segment of society (prime example: multi-millionaire pro football star Michael Vick, who went to prison for dog fighting), but the majority of pet owners — and livestock farmers — treat their animals well, as is evidenced by the billions of dollars spent yearly on pet food, pet health care, and farm herd health.

The announcement of the PETA porn site did not sit well with women’s groups, who see it as yet further exploitation by the organization (a PETA billboard showed an obese woman with the message: “Save the whales. Lose the blubber. Go vegetarian”), and parents groups have also weighed in against it.

But in the wild, wild west that is the Worldwide Web, apparently anything goes.

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