PETA Porn

If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, I must ask that you do not take this article personally. It is in no way aimed at your lifestyle or political preference. This article is a critique of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and the continual hypocrisy and absurd political goose chases over the years that they have been responsible for.

First, a little background. If you’re not up on Internet news, a few months ago the Internet Service Providers of the world developed a new domain name, with the interest of boosting the economy and increasing e-business opportunities. Now, instead of having a .com or .org ending to your domain, you can have .xxx, a favorable alternative if your content is of a less-than-decent nature.

This is also a good move because it makes it significantly easier to track underage pornography use on the web. All in all, it could be said that the addition of this new domain is a great thing. And, of course, like all great things, PETA has to trample all over it.

Last month, PETA announced that they had already snatched up the domain ending “peta.xxx.” This springs to mind a great deal of questions, and a greater many terrible images, but PETA has made it clear that their intentions are of the purest nature. Visitors to peta.xxx will indeed be treated to high-class pornographic images, at no cost to them and none of them featuring animals (thank God, we all can breathe a sigh of relief at that image being banished from our minds)!

This does not mean that animal images will be banished from the website entirely. PETA, in their infinite wisdom, has created the ultimate plan to spread the word of animal abuse and cruelty. In between all the porn, which, PETA assures us, will be awesome, website visitors will occasionally be treated to images of animals being abused, mistreated or slaughtered for their tasty byproducts. This master plan, PETA insists, will spread the word and instill a whole new trend of animal rights advocacy.

Firstly, wow.

Secondly, how is this supposed to work? Is there really a large population of meat-eating neckbeards trolling Google for the first few .xxx websites to pop up? And, assuming these people exist, and are gullible enough to visit PETA Porn, are they really going to spread the word? “Yeah man, I was looking at porn last night, and then this image of a sad dog popped up, and now I don’t eat meat. You should try it.” Yeah, that’ll go down smoothly. More likely, the website will simply turn less gung-ho supporters off of PETA altogether.

Let’s assume that PETA’s genius scheme works, and people really do come to associate this pornography with animal cruelty. If we can trust basic Skinner psychology, the conditioned response will be one of the following: Either people will begin to associate animal abuse with porn and stop looking at it, which will send the entire pornography industry spiraling downward into a financial collapse, or people will associate porn with animal abuse, which is a possibility I really don’t want to explore, even in the confines of my head.

I’m being intentionally hyperbolic, but the point is that PETA’s logic is totally ass-backwards, especially in the context of a press-release they made last week. One commercial corporation released a full-page advertisement in a widespread newspaper featuring a fully plucked and ready-to-cook chicken. The chicken was posed in a provocative, ’50s-pin-up style pose. Now, my first response was to laugh, because I found it hilarious. My second response was to buy a chicken sandwich, so I guess the advertisement totally worked. PETA, on the other hand, was totally aghast.

One PETA spokesman called the image “necrophilic,” and claimed that it showed the true barbaric nature of us wicked, wicked meat-eaters, and that they intended to campaign to have the ad removed. Let’s explore that, shall we? PETA says it’s bad to make a pornographic joke over an animal slaughtered for meat. In the same fiscal year, PETA is snatching up domain names to associate brutal images of abused animals with serious, hardcore pornography.

So, I’m forced to ask. Is that logic sound to you?

Ryan Cady is a second-year psychology major. He can be reached at rcady@uci.edu.