PETA goes over the edge

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If there was ever any doubt about how far out of the mainstream the folks at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are, last week’s news should put that to rest.

    PETA, based out of Norfolk, announced it plans to use pornography to promote its cause.
    The organization has long ago proven to be more about publicity and fundraising and little about the actual care for animals. But this is ridiculous. The animal-rights group has applied to launch a Web site under the soon-to-be-available “.xxx” domain, which will feature pornographic sites.
    “As soon as we heard that the .xxx domain was becoming available, we thought that would be triple extra effective in helping us bring our important issues of animal rights and eating a vegan diet to a greater number of people,” said Lindsay Rait, the organization’s associate director of campaigns.
    Here’s the theory: They’ll post the porn site which, in turn, will lead folks who might not otherwise know about PETA to information on its causes.
    So,  in order to show its concern for “animal rights,” PETA plans to try to utilize an industry that has as its goal to exploit women.
    The site will have nudity and “sexually suggestive content.”
    But it won’t have hard-core porn, the organization stated.
    According to Rait, the pornographic images will lead viewers to “information and graphic imagery of how animals suffer in the food industry.”
    Their goal: shock people.
    But really, should anyone be shocked by what PETA does, anymore.
    All that organization does is hurt what many groups try to do in helping animals.
    Daniel Howard, a marketing professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, doesn’t believe the campaign will work.
    “It makes them appear as if their organization is extremist,” Howard told the Virginian-Pilot. “Even though some have accused them of being that way in the past, they’re about to confirm it. There are a lot of ways to get your message out there, but doing it through a pornography Web site is not a socially acceptable way of going about it, at least according to a vast majority of Americans,” he said.
    Let’s hope he’s right.
    PETA believes the “racier” its campaigns, the more it will be able to grab people’s attention.
    “Nudity,” Rait said, “is a tactic that PETA uses with some regularity.”
    Those efforts in the past have left PETA open to criticism from some women’s groups. And rightly so. The current effort should send PETA over the edge.
    PETA applied earlier this month to launch the Web site peta.xxx with ICM Registry, based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The earliest it could receive approval is Nov. 7.
    There are a lot of good, local groups that seek to help animals. If anyone had any doubts before now, let’s hope it’s clear: Folks should support their local organizations, not the publicity-seeking hounds from PETA.