Outdoors

PETA plans porn site to screw hunters, anglers; protesters naked in Spokane today?

ORG XMIT: MLA106 Filipino children look as scantily clad members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA, hold a protest in front of Manila's Zoo, Philippines on Tuesday April 28, 2009. The group is calling for a boycott of Manila Zoo for making animals live like prisoners behind bars. AP Photo/(Aaron Favila) (Aaron Favila / The Spokesman-Review)
ORG XMIT: MLA106 Filipino children look as scantily clad members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA, hold a protest in front of Manila's Zoo, Philippines on Tuesday April 28, 2009. The group is calling for a boycott of Manila Zoo for making animals live like prisoners behind bars. AP Photo/(Aaron Favila) (Aaron Favila / The Spokesman-Review)

ANTI-HUNTING — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is planning to launch a pornographic website to promote its animal rights and vegan diet message, according to a story today by the Associated Press.

And members are planning to protest naked today at a sushi restaurant in Spokane, according to Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat.

Critics say the stunt to start a porn site will backfire and ostracize PETA from mainstream society — but the anti-hunting and anti-fishing group will get millions of dollars of publicity in the meantime.

(Reader comments have gone mostly like this: “PETA ostracized themselves from the mainstream long ago.”)

PETA also made news in Seattle this week, protesting the practice of teaching kids how to fish.

PETA spokeswoman Lindsay Rajt said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles that the group has applied with ICM Registry to launch the website peta.xxx.

Rajt says the site will feature “tantalizing” videos and photographs, which will lead viewers into animal rights messages. She noted that Norfolk-based PETA has used porn stars and nudity to get its message across in the past, including an annual speech online in which a PETA representative undresses. That video later shares a message about slaughterhouses.

Read on to see the rest of the porn site story from the Associated Press.

She says a pornographic site will allow PETA to reach a broader audience and that publicity about the site is just as important.

“I think the bottom line is we live a in a 24-hour news cycle where over the years we’ve found our racier actions are kind of a fast track way to get people to stand up and pay attention about the plight of animals,” she said.

Rajt says November is the earliest that PETA could receive approval for the site. Critics say that by resorting to pornography, PETA is alienating itself from a large swath of the population that might otherwise be sympathetic to its cause.

“I just don’t want to understand why they want to offend people who would potentially support at least part of their cause. There have got to be other ways to draw attention to their cause,” said Robert Peters, general counsel for the New York-based anti-pornography group Morality in Media. “Metaphorically speaking, they’re getting in bed with hard core pornographers to prevent cruelty to animals. That borders on insanity.”

Rajt said PETA officials would track the website to determine if people are viewing the animal rights messages and not just the nudity. Past experience has shown that they will, she said.

J. Justin Wilson, senior research analyst for the food-industry backed Center for Consumer Freedom, said moves like this by PETA make them increasingly irrelevant in mainstream society.

“They don’t seem to be changing the debate anymore, I think in large part because people are writing them off as whack jobs,” he said from Washington. “This is one more example of them being their own worst enemy. If they’re trying to win the hearts and minds of people considering being vegetarians, this is probably the wrong way to do it.”

The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va. first reported PETA’s plans.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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