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PETA to launch porn website: Is this still about animal rights?

The PETA "Lettuce Ladies" arrive to serve Vegan hot dogs on July 13, 2011 during a demonstration event on Capitol Hill in Washington. PETA is calling attention to alternatives to meat products.

KAREN BLEIER/KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

If there's one way to get people to adopt a vegan lifestyle, it's by watching women have sex with veggies , right?

PETA seems to think so.

The animal rights group, known for its naturalist ways, has registered the domain name peta.xxx and plans to launch a pornography website in December that "draws attention to the plight of animals," according to a report by Reuters.

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Exactly how much pornographic material will be featured on the site has not been disclosed yet, but there are reports that beyond scantily clad women fellating phallic vegetables, the site will also offer graphic material of another kind: images of animal cruelty "uncovered by the group's hidden camera investigations."















"We try to use absolutely every outlet to stick up for animals," PETA spokesperson Lindsay Rajt told the Huffington Post. "We are careful about what we do and wouldn't use nudity or some of our flashier tactics if we didn't know they worked."

This isn't the first time PETA has dabbled in soft-core porn. Their Super Bowl ad, Veggie Love, was deemed too racy to air and was banished, like a lot of pornography, to the Internet.

In fact, nudity seems to be a central tenet of the organization's "advocacy work." And much to PETA's pleasure, all of their offensive, outrageous publicity stunts do garner lots of media attention and criticism.

Feminists in particular tend to be up in arms about most of PETA's work, especially their most recent X-rated adventure. They point out that these animal-rights activists seem to see no harm in sacrificing women's rights in efforts to push their agenda. Which is not to say that the critics are either anti-animals or anti-sex, but their particular concerns stem from the fact that PETA pushes a very misogynistic version of what sexy is.

"They're the ones drawing disturbing analogies between pornography, misogyny and animal cruelty," wrote Lindsay Beyerstein on the blog Big Think.

Ms. Beyerstein points out that with this website, PETA is dropping the pretense that they are simply using sex to draw attention to their cause. Which seems like a convincing argument, especially when the advocacy group uses nudity so frivolously, usually pairing it with displays that dehumanize women.

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Do you think PETA is using a brilliant marketing strategy by registering for a .xxx domain? Or is it all a little over the top?

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About the Author

Madeleine White is the Assistant National Editor for The Globe and Mail. She has been with the Globe since 2011 and previously worked in the Globe's Video and Features departments, covering topics ranging from fitness and health to real estate to indigenous education. More

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