PETA to Lure Horny Porn-Seeking Omnivores Into Viewing Animal Cruelty With XXX Domain

Written by Joe Ross. Posted in Featured, Lifestyle

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Published on September 22, 2011 with No Comments

 

Remember those naughty .XXX domains I told you about? Well, according to Norfolk, VA newspaper The Virginian Pilot, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) plans to pick one up. And while other brands are merely hoping to prevent domain squatters from trying to sell them their own brand name, PETA plans to build a new website, chock full of porno and graphic imagery of animal abuse.

The company’s spokeswoman, Lindsay Rajt, told The Virginian Pilot that the group’s .XXX domain will feature erotica, not pornography, but whatever the exact nature of the bait may be, the switch is clear: “information and graphic imagery of how animals suffer in the food industry.”

I agree with the chorus of criticism that has risen since the announcement. There are lots of ways to reach out to folks who are considering a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. A “gotcha” page full of who-knows-what kind of the-opposite-of-porn images, video and information is not one of them.

I’ve been a vegetarian for almost five years, and PETA had nothing to with it. I’m constantly fending off questions like “What’s up with those PETA crazies?” and “Are you one of those PETA weirdos?” My personal experience is that most omnivores (people who eat both plant and animal foods) feel that way about PETA, and approach non-meat-eaters cautiously because of it, whether they’re outwardly affiliated with PETA or not. While I’m not as vehemently anti-PETA as some people are, I never point interested people to them for more information. People looking to make life-changing choices need facts, not propaganda. PETA is much better at the latter, and much less so at the former.

Whatever you think of PETA’s agenda and methods, this whole campaign sounds like a PR nightmare in the making. Their media folks should be the first to axe this idea altogether, not the ones proposing it. But they have tasted the declicious(ly non-animal-based) fruit of easy press that sexually charged campaigns bring, and there is no going back. The fact is that most people don’t want to see this stuff, and I suspect that the moment PETA.XXX pulls the switcharoo, most users will close the page and stay away from it at all costs.

That’s probably a shame, because the rational parts of their message, the facts, will be enough on their own for most people to consider when making a choice. People who are seeking out information about how food makes it to their dinner plates are probably not going to surf the .XXX world in the course of their research. So it looks to me like PETA is targeting a mostly-uninterested demographic, when those resources would be much better spent reaching out to those who are interested. They could get a boring but descriptive .COM domain for $15, considerably less than they’ll pony up for PETA.XXX. They could make their point with a series of simple, Tumblr-friendly infographics and flow charts, including reputable, independent sources.

That might make people on the fence give it more thought. Linking a photo of a naked woman to a video of some puppy mill worker tossing dead dogs into a trash bag is not going to win any new supporters. And it’s already costing them whatever sliver of respect and authority they may have had following their first big flirtation with using sex to get press.

My advice to those considering a non-animal diet? Skip PETA, whether it’s .ORG or .XXX, and do your own research. Consider each source’s agenda and really try to distill fact from propaganda. Ask a vegan or vegetarian friend why they made the change. They may have their own agenda, too, but there’s a sincerity to hearing someone’s personal story that you won’t get at any .XXX website.

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About Joe Ross

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Joe Ross is one of the cofounders of KeyPulp. A law student, gadget geek and sci-fi fanatic, Joe also enjoys playing music, matching wits with kittens, and being proven wrong by his beautiful fiancée. Note: Joe writes about legal stuff sometimes. None of that is legal advice and it should never be construed as such. | 

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