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Fur Will Fly
August 25, 2011 12:19 AM   Subscribe

Buried in the last paragraph of an article about the new .xxx porn domain is PETA's intention to "launch peta.xxx as a pornography site that draws attention to the plight of animals". Reactions have not been positive.
posted by vidur (110 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
This unprecedented strategy of pornography on the internet is sure to be both controversial and newsworthy.
posted by ryanrs at 12:27 AM on August 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


the xxx tld is the dumbest thing ever.
posted by delmoi at 12:27 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


http://www.petaphilia.xxx?

Um.. several reasons why that's not going to get through the filters..
posted by Ahab at 12:36 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


Make love not bacon.
posted by XMLicious at 12:38 AM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


fleshnotmeat.xxx
posted by Abiezer at 12:41 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Instead of focusing on anti-fur, the porn site will raise awareness of veganism."

The concept of pro-vegan pornography intrigues me. What are they going to do, smear tofu on each other? Use rice milk as lube? Because there are certain places I wouldn't want that much bean curd.
posted by fight or flight at 12:42 AM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


An epiphany born in the blinding light of orgasm: "Spank the monkey... of course!"

But seriously, WTF? Juxtaposing shaved pussy with skinned pussy appeals to a miniscule, depraved slice of the Venn Diagram of Masturbators.
posted by troll at 12:51 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Warm...

Leatherette...
posted by ShutterBun at 12:51 AM on August 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


So long as everyone takes a shower, I don't see what the big deal is.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:51 AM on August 25, 2011


What kind of animal abuse, exactly, are they intending to showcase, if you know what I mean?
posted by WalterMitty at 12:51 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sure why not, they have the right to whore themselves for any shock novelty that comes along. Peta is like the catholic love child of Annette Funicello and G.G. Allin.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 12:55 AM on August 25, 2011 [10 favorites]


Please, please, someone please get PETA.xxx before PETA does. With this much hype, imagine the shenanigans one could get up to in their name, at least for a day or two.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 1:01 AM on August 25, 2011


This seems so pointless, like the idea of "conservative humor." Going out of your way to shoehorn two things together that do not have any sort of relationship just seems… sad.
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:02 AM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


PETA doing something ridiculous for no reason other than shock value?

Wake me when they do something new.
posted by mephron at 1:17 AM on August 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


Just remember: "Neigh means neigh!"
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:22 AM on August 25, 2011 [7 favorites]


PETA's motto is "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY", and for that I respect them.
posted by beerbajay at 1:24 AM on August 25, 2011


Fucking Sheep
posted by mannequito at 1:34 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


PETA's motto is "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY", and for that I respect them.

How can you respect that as a motto? I'm not saying that PETA is going round bombing places, but the actions of others in the Animal Rights world are horrific. ANY MEANS NECESSARY is basically an invitation to terrorism.
posted by seanyboy at 1:52 AM on August 25, 2011 [16 favorites]


Delmoi: Honest question... How is the ".xxx" TLD the worst idea ever? I thought it was quite a smart solution.
posted by seanyboy at 1:55 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


PETA's motto is "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY", and for that I respect them.

The motto of Mao, Stalin, and Hitler inspires respect in you?

Anyway, as an avid porn consumer and generally pro-porn person, I have to say there's something a little creepy for me in the way PETA seem so focused on "nekkid chicks for veganism!", and I can't quite put my finger on it; maybe it's the echos of "flirty fishing", or something along those lines.
posted by rodgerd at 1:59 AM on August 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


If PETA think that the audience their site ends up getting will be turned on by the porn and horrified by the animal abuse pictures, with no crossover, they've not been on the internet long. They'll quickly become a haven for fans of animal abuse, presented as and alongside pornography. Yeah, that'll discourage omnivorous diets and protect animals from harm! It won't create fucked-up norms that are counter-productive to their supposed project in their audience at all.
posted by Dysk at 2:12 AM on August 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


Is it going to be like the vegan strip bar in Portland?

(At the vegan strip bar, no steak was served, and the stripped didn't wear any animal flesh, I.e. leather. It was thougt that there would be enough Ethical Vegetarians who were also Red Blooded Men to suport the venturm however, I believe that the bar eventually closed down.)
posted by subdee at 2:13 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Smartphone keypad typos :(
posted by subdee at 2:14 AM on August 25, 2011


The motto of Mao, Stalin, and Hitler inspires respect in you?

History and context might help you out here:

"It is generally considered to leave open all available tactics for the desired ends, including violence; however, the “necessary” qualifier adds a caveat—if violence is not necessary, then presumably, it should not be used."

My guess is that Malcolm would probably have found PETA's tactics unnecessarily reliant on racial terrorism... which is about as ironic as it gets when you consider how he was used in white media as the ZOMG NEGROS ARE COMING boogeyman.
posted by yeloson at 2:15 AM on August 25, 2011


Are they flogging a dead horse?
posted by iotic at 2:35 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have seen one these. It looked pretty much like a regular porno, except that every 45-90 seconds or so the performers would freeze, look at the camera, and yell "Puppies!" or "Carrots!" or something. It was so hot, plus I bought vegan puppy. Named him Porny.
posted by BurnChao at 2:36 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


They're selling the Namibian domain marijua.na for $7000/year btw
posted by infini at 2:41 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whack off, sheeple!
posted by chavenet at 3:01 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


yeloson, you missed the bigger irony in your link:

In a statement, PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch referred to what she termed the AKC's "fetish for body image," saying that the kennel club's promotion of purebreds "means money for breeders but creates sick dogs and vet bills for their guardians."

Yes, because porn doesn't have a whole bunch of focus on body image[1].

[1] Of course, I can easily find a wider range of body images in porn that in, say, mainstream advertising, but within given flavours/genres the image selected tends to be rigidly adhered to...
posted by rodgerd at 3:17 AM on August 25, 2011


"Total animal liberation by any means necessary" (emphasize whatever word(s) you choose) is not something I can currently support, I'm afraid. Steering well clear of the Petaporn.
posted by ShutterBun at 3:23 AM on August 25, 2011


Yes, because porn doesn't have a whole bunch of focus on body image.

And gender equality. Strange horse for PETA to hitch its carriage to. I guess when you've run out of ideas, no one listens to you anymore, and you are desperately trying to remain relevant, bringing in the naked people is what you do. It's worked so well for Howard Stern all these years.....

"Total animal liberation by any means necessary" is something I could totally get behind if it included the abolition of pet-owning.
posted by three blind mice at 3:31 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait, PETA is real?

Please tell me that cheese in a spray-can is still parody, at least?
posted by HFSH at 3:36 AM on August 25, 2011


Cheese in a spray can is murder.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:38 AM on August 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


If Debbie does Dallas taught us anything it's trapping beavers for their fur is wrong.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 3:39 AM on August 25, 2011


What kind of animal abuse, exactly, are they intending to showcase, if you know what I mean?

monkey spanking
posted by the noob at 3:39 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've been convinced for a long time - more than a decade I think - that PETA has been completely taken over by crazy people, and that everything they do to is just desperate attention whoring. The more they act like this, the more people roll their eyes and ignore them, which causes them to act more crazy.

This .xxx action just re-confirms my conviction.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 4:04 AM on August 25, 2011


OOOOH YEAH! Penetrate that cranium with your captive bolt stunner and crush that cerebrum!!! OOOOH yeah do it! Do it! Harder!
posted by nathancaswell at 4:12 AM on August 25, 2011


"Total animal liberation by any means necessary" is something I could totally get behind if it included the abolition of pet-owning.

PETA's goals do indeed include the abolishment (abolition?) of pet ownership. Count me out, for what it's worth.
posted by ShutterBun at 4:25 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


So Pam Anderson is pretty much running the show over there now, right?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:35 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know when you're masturbating and you have to change focus; when one girl or situation or whatever suddenly feels impure, so you switch, and maybe you switch a few times before your closer, and you think if you could find a girl or set of imagery or whatever that lasted the whole duration it would be the one and you'd marry it? By deliberately adding an impurity Peta are attacking the institution of marriage. I expect a similar statement from the Pope.
posted by fraac at 4:39 AM on August 25, 2011


so you switch, and maybe you switch a few times before your closer

This is why I usually masturbate to Roy Halladay. He's always good for a complete game.
posted by nathancaswell at 4:54 AM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]




PETA's motto is "BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY", and for that I respect them.


Dude, if PETA's motto really were "by any means necessary" I would totally respect them. But their motto is really "we get off on being racist, transpeople-mocking misogynists and pretending it's for animal rights".

Seriously, who really believes that you achieve animal rights by targeting all your propaganda at white dude-bros? That's like saying that you'll achieve gay rights by targeting all your propaganda at christian fundamentalists, because once you've won them over, it's easy!

No, wait, it's like trying to achieve gay rights by aiming your propaganda at white christian fundamentalists and also making it racist and anti-lesbian, on the theory that white christian fundamentalists will help white gay men gain their rights if you convince them that people of color and lesbians don't deserve rights....Jesus, PETA is terrible.

Seriously, I have never, ever met a vegan (and I am a vegan) who views them as anything but a clueless embarrassment - except for the vegans who think they're some kind of poorly-conceived COINTELPRO.
posted by Frowner at 4:59 AM on August 25, 2011 [20 favorites]


Don't beat your meat!

How is the ".xxx" TLD the worst idea ever? I thought it was quite a smart solution.

Solution to what problem exactly?

It's a crap idea because you create a new porn zone. What are the rules? Only porn sites in xxx? What if I already have pornsite.com do I have to move to .xxx? Who decides what's porn? If I create a fansite to Pepsi and use the .xxx what happens? Once we have an "acceptable" place to put porn then does it become unacceptable to put it elsewhere? And finally, once you have it all neatly in .xxx what do you do when your local standards committee successfully petitions your local ISP to block all .xxx traffic?

I don't mind a new tad, but the one is stupid.

I literally could go on for hours as to why it's a bad idea, but you'd have to pay me to write that paper.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:14 AM on August 25, 2011 [11 favorites]


from the Jezebel link:

Internet surfers who visit the x-rated site will initially be presented with animal rights groups too salacious for TV ads and campaigns. However, the sexy side of PETA, illustrated in its galleries and videos will give way to the horrific mistreatment of animals on factory farms, with pictures and video shot undercover by the group's hidden camera investigations.

...Because studies show the most effective time to reach people with your message is juuuust before they're done masturbating.

Actually, these guys may have stumbled onto an idea for the most effective paywall ever.
posted by PlusDistance at 5:50 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have never had more faith in /b/tards and their fellow travelers than I do now in saying that they will find a way to rectify this absurd situation should it come to pass.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:54 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


My attitude toward PETA is much the same as my attitude toward Sarah Palin: Maybe if we all stop talking about them, they'll just go away.
posted by brand-gnu at 6:06 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


This post reminded me that I had a package of all-beef hot dogs in the fridge that I'd forgotten about. Thanks, PETA!
posted by Deathalicious at 6:10 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a crap idea because you create a new porn zone. What are the rules? Only porn sites in xxx? What if I already have pornsite.com do I have to move to .xxx? Who decides what's porn?

Yeah, maybe the worst thing about it is that it sets up the idea that there's a space specifically reserved for porn, which eventually will suggest that it can't be anywhere else.

Kind of like how after a few events created a "free speech zone" now it's par for the course to effectively deny the rights of free speech and assembly outside of that zone.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:13 AM on August 25, 2011


Iowa State had this area set aside as a free speech zone. I thought it was a cool idea. That no matter how unpopular the speech there would always be a space reserved for such ideas on campus. Then recently they started making people sign up for access and you had to schedule your speech. Yeah, it stopped being cool once the bureaucrats got involved.

The internet does not need a red light district. The internet is a red light district. It's just amazing that this other stuff makes it on here too.

If you want to make the internet safe for kids (or people with no will power to avoid porn) don't make make a .xxx. Make a .kids. Then mandate that only kids safe things can be in there. Make it a porn free zone. Trust me, this will work! All the good content with be duplicated there and no parents wil ever have a problem with deciding what's acceptable and predators will stay far away.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:26 AM on August 25, 2011 [7 favorites]



Seriously, who really believes that you achieve animal rights by targeting all your propaganda at white dude-bros?


For all that I (as a white dude-bro, I guess) enjoy the slightly titillating nature of their naked protests, I've always wondered about that. Surely there are as many or more people who find the highly bro-ness of it offputting, relative to the people whose attentions are captured by the nakedness?
posted by Forktine at 6:30 AM on August 25, 2011


Some old (vegetarian, socialist) friends of mine had a poster of Malcolm X in their kitchen, and the text above the picture was modified to say "Buy any Beans Necessary." I thought it was clever, at the time.

That is all.
posted by exlotuseater at 6:49 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


For all that I (as a white dude-bro, I guess) enjoy the slightly titillating nature of their naked protests, I've always wondered about that. Surely there are as many or more people who find the highly bro-ness of it offputting, relative to the people whose attentions are captured by the nakedness?

I always figure that "white dude-bro" is defined not by whiteness alone nor by identifying as male but by thinking that white men's perspectives are the only legitimate ones and that objections to them are special pleading/ridiculous/unnatural. The white dude bro response to PETA is "Hey, everyone who matters likes seeing naked chicks all the time; if you say that you would rather save the nakedness for dates/home/private porn consumption/the cabaret/time-with-the-sex-worker-of-your-choice, then you are either unimportant, lying, or a PC idiot. Also, that 'dressing up as the Klan' thing? Black people totally should not be offended by that because free speech. And women who don't like the pornification of political campaigns are just jealous."

I mean, if you're into skinny blond white women (I always wonder whether I'd be more sympathetic to PETA if their porny ads weren't all skinny blond white women) then yes, pictures of skinny blond white women will turn you on. If you think that fact trumps anyone's critique ever - and that your enjoyment of naked skinny blond white women should always and forever be central to all media - that makes you a dude-bro.
posted by Frowner at 6:53 AM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


I love PETA, because they are really good at getting their message out, despite the great antipathy to it by people who otherwise like to think of themselves as liberal and enlightened. Actually because of that antipathy -- they way it works is, PETA announces something confrontational, lots of liberals get the vapors, and, when they are revived with smelling salts, rush to their facebooks and twitters and spread the PETA press release far and wide, in order (they suppose) to denounce it. But what they actually accomplish is two-fold: they bring the PETA release to the eyes of people who would never have seen it otherwise, and they expose themselves as at heart supporters of the idea that animals are property, to be used and exploited by humans however we see fit. They generally say things like "Oh well, I like animals, but PETA goes TOO FAR [in asking us not to slaughter them by the billions because we like the taste of bacon, for example]!" In the 18th century, these would have been the same people spooning sugar into their tea and tut-tutting about the plight of the slaves in the Caribbean who produced it, but saying that those nasty abolitionists go TOO FAR in saying we should all refuse to eat slave sugar.

Seriously, who really believes that you achieve animal rights by targeting all your propaganda at white dude-bros?

It's not targeted at white dude-bros. It's targeted at offending hypocritical liberal-moralists. Their denunciations are what drives the campaign, and pushes it out into the smaller niches where it finds people who are willing to think about the message. It's way smarter than almost anyone gives them credit for.

PETA spreads its message by trolling you, fair-weather liberals. And you go for the bait over and over and over. More causes should be taking notes on how PETA works, most especially feminists and environmentalists, but feminists in particular would rather enjoy being offended than see how the strategy works. It's a shame.
posted by rusty at 6:56 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not targeted at white dude-bros. It's targeted at offending hypocritical liberal-moralists. Their denunciations are what drives the campaign, and pushes it out into the smaller niches where it finds people who are willing to think about the message. It's way smarter than almost anyone gives them credit for.

And this campaign is working how?

On another level, I know quite a lot about Britney Spears, but I have never purchased a Britney Spears product, blogged anything about her or spoken to friends about her work. She has an effective media machine, but that doesn't translate into action.

Have you ever worked on an actual policy campaign? Publicity alone isn't enough.

And it's awesome to be racist, transphobic and sexist why? I mean, there were white union victories based on racism too - we could....um...be all whig history about it and say that it was totally worth it for white union activists to throw black people under the bus/combine/power loom because we got the eight hour day, or we could say that it would have been better to win without the racism, and we could strive to win without racism ourselves.

(Also, you know that the sugar boycott collapse, right? Because there wasn't any depth of commitment to abolition in Britain at the time and nationalism about the colonies and war trumped the boycott. It took years and years more of organizing PLUS actual slave revolts and labor organizing in Europe to achieve even the partial abolition of 1823.)
posted by Frowner at 7:02 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


(In short, the sugar boycott failed because it was shallow and media-driven rather than a sign of anyone's lived commitment.)
posted by Frowner at 7:03 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Total animal liberation by any means necessary"

I see this sentence and all I can think of is "RELEASE THE HOUNDS!"
posted by octobersurprise at 7:04 AM on August 25, 2011


The .xxx TLD is unnecessary. Just tell all the guys making movies with naked bits that their page needs to set the evil bit, and we've solved the problem without involving ICANN. Everybody wins!
posted by Mayor West at 7:05 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's way smarter than almost anyone gives them credit for.

Which still isn't very smart, considering that almost no one gives them any credit at all.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:06 AM on August 25, 2011


It's not targeted at white dude-bros. It's targeted at offending hypocritical liberal-moralists. Their denunciations are what drives the campaign, and pushes it out into the smaller niches where it finds people who are willing to think about the message. It's way smarter than almost anyone gives them credit for.

And it's also aimed at demoralizing and embarrassing actually-existing vegans? I reiterate that I have never met a vegan who wasn't ashamed of PETA. I have to begin conversation after conversation with, basically, "I'm a vegan but I'm not an asshole about it" because of PETA.

Seriously, you win campaigns by broadening your base among people who are already sympathetic. You don't win campaigns by alienating and fucking with your existing supporters - making them apologize for taking the same political stance that you do - and trying to muster support among a completely different group. All PETA is saying is "you people who are vegans right now aren't important or valuable; the useful people are people who enjoy racism, sexism and mocking trans-people / gender-non-conforming people and we will reach those people by appealing to, deepening and reinscribing their other prejudices. It is perfectly okay to have a racist, sexist, transphobic world as long as animals are safe, and what's more it's possible to preserve and use racism, sexism and transphobia to achieve this world. S to the quick, people!
posted by Frowner at 7:11 AM on August 25, 2011 [6 favorites]


Frowner: I have already learned, thank goodness, that it's not worth arguing with people who go apeshit when I point out how they're being used by PETA, so thank you for your comments and have a nice day.
posted by rusty at 7:15 AM on August 25, 2011


...they expose themselves as at heart supporters of the idea that animals are property, to be used and exploited by humans however we see fit. They generally say things like "Oh well, I like animals, but PETA goes TOO FAR [in asking us not to slaughter them by the billions because we like the taste of bacon, for example]!" In the 18th century, these would have been the same people spooning sugar into their tea and tut-tutting about the plight of the slaves in the Caribbean who produced it, but saying that those nasty abolitionists go TOO FAR in saying we should all refuse to eat slave sugar.

Mmm, equating humans of African descent with swine. I think this must be the racist part people refer to. But I believe it is more than racism, it is species-ism. These people just like animals more than they do humans.
posted by txmon at 7:20 AM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


Why, you're welcome. Have fun with your toys at home!
posted by Frowner at 7:21 AM on August 25, 2011


This is just the cosmic balance to this
posted by Redhush at 7:44 AM on August 25, 2011


Um.. several reasons why that's not going to get through the filters..

Petabear is an entirely different thing altogether. It's not a bear...well, not an animal bear at least.
posted by inturnaround at 7:58 AM on August 25, 2011


"The aim of launching the Web site is to raise awareness of veganism by offering pornographic material alongside graphic footage of animal mistreatment."

I've got such a weird boner right now.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:59 AM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


txmon: I was actually equating historical exploiters of slaves with modern-day exploiters of animals, in so far as both groups were willing to deny that the objects of their exploitation possessed the basic properties of consciousness and the ability to feel fear, pain, suffering, and dread. It follows, yes, that I am asserting that humans and animals share these properties. Not just black humans -- all humans. You may disagree, but I think the truth is very much on my side in this.

I understand, though, that your overwhelming interest is in trying to call me (and PETA) racist, because that absolves you from facing up to your complicity.
posted by rusty at 8:00 AM on August 25, 2011


rusty, withdrawing from the conversation when somebody takes issue with your argument is pretty bad form. If you're going to pull this "I don't talk to people who disagree with me" stuff, then posting your opinion in the first place is just a "fuck you" to everyone else, since you're clearly not interested in any actual exchange of ideas. This is not how socialized adults behave.

On topic: PETA has done a great job positioning themselves as the group that people think about when they hear "animal rights" or "vegan" and, for some, even "vegetarian", and this causes people to link those terms with "attention whoring morons". PETA has done a much much better job of discrediting their cause than any amount of PR from fur or factory farm people ever could have. The only thing to be learned from PETA's actions in almost any case is "Don't do this if you actually care about the cause you claim to care about".

That said, if all they're really interested in is increasing public recognition of their name, they've got a pretty good strategy.
posted by IAmUnaware at 8:15 AM on August 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


IAmUnaware: I know, and I don't like doing that, but I've had this argument already recently, and people can get really nasty about it. I saw Frowner's string of angry responses and recognized the incipient disaster. "Have fun with your toys at home!" is how Frowner ended, so I kinda think I was right. I mean, I'm not here to fight, I'm just trying to present an alternate view. I'm sorry that I'm basically unable to explain that view without, essentially, criticizing people here reading it.

To your response, which I hear frequently -- I've never seen any actual evidence that PETA has harmed the cause of animal rights by its actions. A lot of folks seem to assume it has, but from my perspective, their cause is so damn near hopeless in our current time and place that it's hard to even imagine what harming it would look like. I mean... I guess if there were no vegans at all? If vegetarianism were regarded as an affront to decency? Both of those things have gotten steadily less the case over my lifetime.

You say that "PETA has done a great job positioning themselves as the group that people think about when they hear "animal rights" or "vegan" and, for some, even "vegetarian"..." which I think is quite true. But you continue, "...and this causes people to link those terms with "attention whoring morons"." I think you're assuming a causal connection that you can't really support. People are very hostile to vegetarians and especially vegans already. I don't think PETA caused that. I think it's a result of the existence of healthy non-meat eaters demonstrating that our exploitation of animals is not actually necessary, and may in fact be ethically bankrupt. PETA faces a tough brief, because their job is to assert that something everyone does is actually more or less evil. There are all kinds of ways to compromise and try to soften that message, and lots of other animal rights groups do so, but PETA's stand is that they don't. I'm glad someone takes that stand.

I am not, by the way, arguing here from a position of presumed moral superiority. I eat meat -- not a lot, but some. I wear leather. I actually keep chickens for eggs. I'm not a PETA member, and I've never given them money (although I keep meaning to). I just think their message is very worth listening to, and I think that despite how little anyone seems to want to hear it, they continue to do a better job getting it out there than they really have any right to expect. And if the price is some offended people, well, c'est la guerre. People are always going to find a way to be offended when you tell them they're doing evil.
posted by rusty at 8:35 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


PS: "...since you're clearly not interested in any actual exchange of ideas." Ideas can also be exhanged by you posting your ideas and then me posting my ideas, and people reading deciding which ideas they think are better. Everything doesn't have to be a direct debate, and no one is required to argue with everyone who wants to fight them. I didn't want to let that sneaky way of trying to devalue single-comment posts slip through unchallenged.
posted by rusty at 8:38 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've never seen any actual evidence that PETA has harmed the cause of animal rights by its actions.

Which is kind of besides the point. It's not necessarily that PETA is harming the cause of animal rights, but more that they're willing to disregard the cause of a lot of other rights groups and alienate broad swaths of both the target and potential audiences in one fell swoop. FWIW, neither the hypocritical liberal-moralists nor the white dude-bros, let alone the vegetarians and vegans in my circles of friends have so much as mentioned this.

A lot of folks seem to assume it has, but from my perspective, their cause is so damn near hopeless in our current time and place that it's hard to even imagine what harming it would look like. I mean... I guess if there were no vegans at all? If vegetarianism were regarded as an affront to decency? Both of those things have gotten steadily less the case over my lifetime.

And yet, I've never seen any actual evidence that PETA has contributed to the rise of vegetarian or vegan lifestyles (or if that's actually happening). Indeed, if the people I know who live that lifestyle are any indication, PETA is more or less ignored completely nowadays. I don't depend on that as a barometer of their success (or lack thereof), but it does make me wonder.

You say that "PETA has done a great job positioning themselves as the group that people think about when they hear "animal rights" or "vegan" and, for some, even "vegetarian"..." which I think is quite true. But you continue, "...and this causes people to link those terms with "attention whoring morons"." I think you're assuming a causal connection that you can't really support. People are very hostile to vegetarians and especially vegans already. I don't think PETA caused that.

"The plural of anecdote is not data" and all that.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:54 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've got such a weird boner right now.

Yeah this whole "get the message out to masturbators" just sounds so wrong. Either you will condition the dudebros to be aroused when seeing animal cruelty, or you will condition them to no longer be turned on by skinny white chicks.

Neither of these outcomes seems to fit the stated aims of PETA.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:58 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


And how many masturbators are going to hang around after the first interstitials anyways? There are plenty of sites that try to help you masturbate without forcing wierd shit like this on you.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:59 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


rusty: despite how little anyone seems to want to hear it, they continue to do a better job getting it out there than they really have any right to expect. And if the price is some offended people, well, c'est la guerre. People are always going to find a way to be offended when you tell them they're doing evil.

At a guess, you don't belong to any of the groups of people being insulted here, do you? With PETA's advertising, if you're black, female, or trans, you really aren't going to find a way to be offended - it will insistently find you.
posted by Dysk at 9:03 AM on August 25, 2011 [5 favorites]


People are very hostile to vegetarians and especially vegans already.

I live in San Francisco, which cannot be argued to be hostile to vegans or vegetarians (unless the existence of Korean bbq joints can be interpreted as hostility), and 0% of the vegans, vegetarians, foodies, locavores, and slow-fooders I know or whose blogs I read think PETA is good for their cause. The consensus seems to be that exploiting women in order to draw attention to the exploitation of animals is hypocritical and stupid.
posted by rtha at 9:27 AM on August 25, 2011 [8 favorites]


I sure hope PETA obtains informed consent from all those animals whose pictures they want to disseminate on the internet.
posted by straight at 9:29 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


PETA has done a much much better job of discrediting their cause than any amount of PR from fur or factory farm people ever could have.

The effects of mass media advertising on something like people's attitudes about animal rights are so nigh-impossible to measure, I doubt anyone has any idea whether this is true or not. PETA might as well just do whatever crazy thing pops into their heads, because who knows what changes peoples opinions.

You'd have a very hard time trying to pin down what media influences have shaped your own beliefs and opinions about animal rights, much less trying to measure that for someone else, or a whole population of people.
posted by straight at 9:33 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


"More causes should be taking notes on how PETA works, most especially feminists and environmentalists, but feminists in particular would rather enjoy being offended than see how the strategy works."

Maybe we could create a feminist website with empowering images of animal slaughter? That would be cool, and make a lot of sense.
posted by speicus at 9:42 AM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


"I have already learned, thank goodness, that it's not worth arguing with people who go apeshit when I point out how they're being used by PETA"

Calmer than you are, Dude.
posted by speicus at 9:43 AM on August 25, 2011


What a silly idea. I thought they were going to add in super-corny porn stories based around veganism, complete with hilariously bad sexual innuendo.

You know:
"That tofu you're cooking is getting... firm."
"Yeah? Well that's not the only thing getting firm. Maybe I'd like to tofuck you."
posted by naju at 9:46 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't tend to think of PETA's titillation as exploiting women — these women are all choosing to get involved in this way, and there's less of a capitalist motivation for exploitation.

That said, I don't know where the racist, or trans-phobic stuff comes from, but I don't really keep up with PETA. They are ideologues and I tend to find them totally willing to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and I think they tend to live in that echo chamber of radicalism that movement types often get bound into.
posted by klangklangston at 9:46 AM on August 25, 2011


So PETA is using people's outrage (particularly the outrage of groups that might otherwise be allies) to raise awareness of the organization? So what's phase II?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:47 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


TheWhiteSkull: I hear "groups that might otherwise be allies" pretty often, too. What makes you think that feminists, for example, have any inherent or natural affinity for the cause of animal rights? I genuinely wonder -- I'm not, like, trying to put you on the spot. It's not clear to me why the two causes have anything much in common. Human rights campaigners always seem to be the first to denounce PETA, and always on the grounds that PETA compares people to animals. That is the source of virtually all the charges of racism and transphobia.

It seems to me that PETA has recognized that campaigners for human rights causes see them as enemies, and has decided the hell with them.

klangklangston: It's always presented as a given that using the female form, either naked or suggestively draped, is inherently antifeminist and exploitative. I'm not sure why either, but I also don't know that it matters much. It seems easier to accept it as a given and move on from there. Oddly I've heard that from people who are otherwise extremely sex-positive and even porn-positive. I feel like there has to be something else at work.
posted by rusty at 9:55 AM on August 25, 2011


I don't tend to think of PETA's titillation as exploiting women — these women are all choosing to get involved in this way, and there's less of a capitalist motivation for exploitation.

You could make that same argument about sexist advertising, and exploitation is still exploitation whatever its motivation.

That said, I don't know where the racist, or trans-phobic stuff comes from, but I don't really keep up with PETA.

PETA racism and transphobia.

What makes you think that feminists, for example, have any inherent or natural affinity for the cause of animal rights?

Reading this would be a good start.
posted by kmz at 10:02 AM on August 25, 2011


rusty: some alternatives to PETA's philosophy that you might want to know about when engaging in discussions about tactical effectiveness:
Postmodern Feminism and Animal Welfare
Abolitionist Approach
Anarcha-feminism and Animal Liberation
posted by eviemath at 10:03 AM on August 25, 2011


I mean, I'm not here to fight, I'm just trying to present an alternate view. I'm sorry that I'm basically unable to explain that view without, essentially, criticizing people here reading it.

Yes, but your alternate view is to tell everyone here, repeatedly, that we are basically too stupid to understand how PETA actually works. Your alternate view is in itself a broad criticism, which makes it hard to have a meaningful conversation.
posted by elizardbits at 10:30 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't tend to think of PETA's titillation as exploiting women — these women are all choosing to get involved in this way, and there's less of a capitalist motivation for exploitation.

Lots of people willingly sign up for exploitative stuff, but that alone doesn't make it not exploitative in all areas for all people.

It's always seemed to me, wrt PETA, that if the only or main way you can think of to get people interested in or invested in or devoted to your cause is HEY LOOKIT NAKED LADIES then you're not very good thinkers, and you may be total jerks.
posted by rtha at 10:38 AM on August 25, 2011 [9 favorites]


rusty: I hear "groups that might otherwise be allies" pretty often, too. What makes you think that feminists, for example, have any inherent or natural affinity for the cause of animal rights?

They don't have to have any inherent affinity to be potential allies. What makes them less likely to be allies than fratboys is that they're consistently being alienated by PETA. If they weren't, they might well be allies, as might all people. All groups (bar maybe hunters' associations) are groups of potential allies, unless you sabotage that potential.
posted by Dysk at 11:03 AM on August 25, 2011


"PETA racism and transphobia."

Yeah, neither of those are all that convincing, honestly. The dressing up in Klan robes is tacky, but it's not actually racist and it takes a pretty willful blindness to what PETA's saying in order to believe that their message was racism, rather than a critique of what they perceive as racism in dog breeding. As for the transphobia, that again sounds like someone who has decided that they don't like PETA going after them with sturm und drang language and more impugning than making a case. It's also from someone who thinks calling something "stupid" is ableist, so I'm going to say that they may have their hegemony detector tuned so sensitive as to pick up false positives.

Lots of people willingly sign up for exploitative stuff, but that alone doesn't make it not exploitative in all areas for all people."

No, but that's not an argument that it is exploitative, and that these people are doing this in order to make a political point tends to mitigate against viewing it as exploitative. In order for it to be exploitative, you've got to argue that PETA is exploiting these women in furtherance of their agenda in a way that makes "exploitation" so broad as to encompass quite a few legitimate activities.

It's always seemed to me, wrt PETA, that if the only or main way you can think of to get people interested in or invested in or devoted to your cause is HEY LOOKIT NAKED LADIES then you're not very good thinkers, and you may be total jerks.

But that doesn't seem to be the main way they get people involved, only one of their methods for raising awareness. I don't disagree that it's not a tremendously intelligent campaign, and it's not necessarily one I'd be running if I ran PETA, but it makes news consistently in a way that exposés of factory farming don't.
posted by klangklangston at 11:08 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


rusty,

I was talking about vegans.

And you haven't answered my question.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:11 AM on August 25, 2011


klangklangston, as regards the transphobia: PETA have cis models go naked, with slogans rejecting fur, then deride fur with a slang term meant to invoke (part of) the trans* population, and put crossdressing models in fur. That's a very different attitude to cis and crossdressing models, and invoking VERY different associations...
posted by Dysk at 11:14 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


"See the beautiful cis girl? She hates fur. See that ugly tranny? Fur all over."

A slight exaggeration, yes, but that's the message I'm taking away from it. :(
posted by Dysk at 11:15 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm in no way a vegan but I understand and empathize with their philosophy to a certain degree. I hate PETA for most of the reasons outlined in KMZ's links. The other reason is that many other groups do farm animal advocacy work and do it much better.

PETA didn't convince me that factory farming was cruel and motivate me to change my food consumption habits - reading the works of Temple Grandin & Michael Pollan did that. I'm now raising my own chickens - 3 of which have a roomy 7.5 x 12 ft enclosure & share a hen house designed for eight (the other two juveniles have their own 6 x 4 ft home & pen), are allowed to free range in my 25 x 75 ft yard for several hours a day, and will live out their natural lives with me - because of the work of the organizations and writers listed above changed the way I thought about my food.

Hell, PETA's appallingly offensive campaigns makes me want to eat meat just to spite them! Whatever it is that they're trying to accomplish, they're doing it wrong.
posted by echolalia67 at 11:21 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


But that doesn't seem to be the main way they get people involved, only one of their methods for raising awareness.

It is the only method I've ever been aware of, since they seem happy to use it to raise publicity as often as possible. I was a potential ally, but I won't be one of theirs (though that doesn't mean I'm against animal rights, or for factory farming, or not in favor of eliminating/reducing one's consumption of animal products) very specifically because of this campaign. Perhaps I'm the only person like this, in which case yeah why should they care.
posted by rtha at 11:30 AM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, neither of those are all that convincing, honestly. The dressing up in Klan robes is tacky, but it's not actually racist and it takes a pretty willful blindness to what PETA's saying in order to believe that their message was racism, rather than a critique of what they perceive as racism in dog breeding.

That may have not been their intent, but in their messaging and with their outfits they are comparing selective breeding to murder, torture, and genocide. This ranges from clueless to actively minimizing/revising history because you perceive the right of non-Aryans to live in peace with the right of dogs to...what, have sex with other dogs of their choosing?
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:35 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't tend to think of PETA's titillation as exploiting women — these women are all choosing to get involved in this way, and there's less of a capitalist motivation for exploitation.

Of course it's exploitation. Except instead of selling cars or motorbikes they're selling a political message.
posted by rodgerd at 12:07 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


TheWhiteSkull: I've never heard anyone say "PETA offends me, as a vegan!" That wouldn't make any sense. I've heard them say "I'm a vegan, but PETA offends me as a feminist [or whatever]." So... I'm not sure what your point is. I don't think PETA offends vegans as vegans. I mean, PETA says "don't eat animals or buy animal products." Vegans don't eat animals or buy animal products. Being offended by someone saying that other people should do what you do is incoherent, so there may be people who hold that position, but I'm not inclined to grant them any role in coherent conversation about it. I think vegans who are offended for other reasons just like to make a big point of being vegans because that supposedly gives them more credibility to denounce PETA.

And your question, about what's phase two? Well, some slice of the people whose awareness has been raised by PETA's trolling refuse to just dismiss them out of hand, and start looking into what they're trying to say. These people probably watch as much of Meet Your Meat as they can stand. Maybe they read some Pollan, or Temple Grandin, or god help us, even Jonathan Safran Foer. Maybe they engage with the actual moral question at hand, and start to find it increasingly difficult to justify denouncing all comparisons of animal suffering with human suffering as "racist" or "anti-feminist" or "exploitative." Maybe they start to discover that what looked like a bright line between humans and animals is actually pretty murky, if it can even be said to exist, and that maybe there isn't actually much difference between "human rights" and "animal rights," when you get right down to it. Maybe they start to feel like future generations are going to look at our treatment of animals the way we look at history's treatment of slaves, or Jews. And maybe they feel uncomfortable about where they stand, from that point of view.

That may just be me, but that's exactly what I did. And I appreciate PETA for being obnoxious enough, for long enough, to get this "average white dudebro" to think about these things.
posted by rusty at 12:55 PM on August 25, 2011


But you're not actually doing anything about it except wagging your finger at "hypocritical" liberals.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:02 PM on August 25, 2011


rusty, I know plenty of people who take the tack of "I'm a vegan, and am offended by the way PETA misrepresents me and my opinions to the public". That's a pretty coherent objection from where I stand. Also, "I'm a vegan, and PETA actively associate that with batshit negativity in public consciousness, which offends me" makes a good degree of sense...
posted by Dysk at 1:03 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


rusty,

You wouldn't happen to be a Youth of Today or Earth Crisis fan, would you?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:22 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know what those things are. Wikipedia says they're straightedge punk bands. No, I am not a fan of those.

the young rope-rider: How do you know what I do or don't do? A bit presumptuous, don't you think?

Dysk: Fair enough, I suppose.

I'm going to go make dinner now (with shrimp! I'm not sure if that makes me a hypocrite or not) so you guys'll have to continue to beat up on the lone PETA defender without me. It's been real.
posted by rusty at 2:18 PM on August 25, 2011


It's not presumptuous because you said here that you eat animals, wear leather, etc.

But I don't know, maybe you're striking a body blow against animal exploitation by explaining to feminists/anti-racists/whatever how hypocritical we are for not accepting that any and all use of animals or animal products is horrific on the level of slavery.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:43 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've always suspected PETA of being some sort of false flag operation, but I think this confirms it.
posted by Slinga at 3:10 PM on August 25, 2011


I have in fact heard people say that PETA offends them as a vegan (as well as offending them as a feminist, etc.). I don't think it's a false flag operation, but I do think they're still following a particular philosophy (namely, Singer's view of animal liberation) that is... naive at best. Their approach is in the "Oh, we have to ride in on shining white horses(*) and save the poor defenseless ____ [insert object of concern/pity]" category.

Which is not exactly radical, and perhaps explains why they would primarily target dude-bros instead of other groups that one might think would be more natural allies(**).

Mainstream, modern thought in these other (oppressed) groups is more concerned with analyzing and dismantling systems of oppression in ways that involve and empower (and in fact should be primarily driven by) members of the oppressed group, and they have learned that having someone with more privilege decide that they are going to come in and save them is counter-productive in the long run - kind of belies claims to fundamental equality if you need a savior from the more privileged group, in addition to that sort of thing just being patronizing and obnoxious.

The more nuanced, abolitionist approach to animal rights - or the ecofeminist + anti-porn approach of Carol Adams - fall more into this category (see my earlier links - I'm not an expert enough on either of these philosophies to reliably explain them myself). And my abolitionist vegan acquaintance who told me about all of this was definitely unimpressed with PETA specifically as a vegan.

(* Or non-animal-exploitative metaphorical equivalent, for current discussion.)

(** Any oppressed group of humans, basically, but especially feminists, given the strong female = animalistic = base vs. male = intellectual/spiritual = elevated association that undergirds a lot of Western misogyny, articulated clearly in ancient Greek and early Christian thought, in particular - I'm happy to expound on this topic at great length, but you all would probably just prefer to read Jack Hollands "A Brief History of Misogyny" instead.)

(TheWhiteSkull - yeah, I have some observations about the philosophical underpinnings of straight edge too....)

(Maybe I missed my calling in cultural studies or criticism or whatever that field is called? :P)
posted by eviemath at 3:41 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure how to view it outside of Australia, but The Gruen Transfer just examined PETA's sexist advertising.

I've dated vegans. They haven't changed my views much.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:29 PM on August 25, 2011



If PETA think that the audience their site ends up getting will be turned on by the porn and horrified by the animal abuse pictures, with no crossover, they've not been on the internet long. They'll quickly become a haven for fans of animal abuse, presented as and alongside pornography. Yeah, that'll discourage omnivorous diets and protect animals from harm! It won't create fucked-up norms that are counter-productive to their supposed project in their audience at all.


Yeah, those bloody images they try to use to get people to stop eating meat just remind me of rare steaks. I'm not sure I want to know what this site would do to me.

OTOH, its better than blowing up research labs.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:45 PM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


While the apparent media mavens at PETA HQ were dreaming up their latest attempt to get themselves attention (with the highly original and innovative 'use sex' strategy), here in Australia another animal rights group actually managed to get the issue of live animal exports onto the national media and political agenda with nary a bared breast in sight. Hell they even managed to get live cow exports to Indonesia temporarily suspended pending improvements in the standards of treatment whilst remaining fully clothed. All this simply by accumulating and providing enough compelling evidence of animal mistreatment for some of the country's best investigative TV journalists to build a story around.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 6:59 PM on August 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


While the apparent media mavens at PETA HQ were dreaming up their latest attempt to get themselves attention (with the highly original and innovative 'use sex' strategy), here in Australia another animal rights group actually managed to get the issue of live animal exports onto the national media and political agenda with nary a bared breast in sight. Hell they even managed to get live cow exports to Indonesia temporarily suspended pending improvements in the standards of treatment whilst remaining fully clothed. All this simply by accumulating and providing enough compelling evidence of animal mistreatment for some of the country's best investigative TV journalists to build a story around.

Someone needs to make a post about that (I'm not the right person). I think it worked because Australians are very sensitive to animal rights.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 7:41 PM on August 25, 2011


You know what might be interesting. If .xxx was reserved for quality/proven safe porn sites. You know - no malware, no viruses, nothing to fuck you over, no nasty russian hackers trying to get into your system. It'd be like a Top Level Condom.

I quite fancy that idea - not that I'd know anything about online STDs
posted by symbioid at 11:33 PM on August 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Another reason xxx sucks as a TLD is it places legitimate businesses in a weird quandary. Let's say you are Red Lobster. Do you register redlobster.xxx to keep control of your brand? If so you now are the proud owner of a porn site! If you don't register it you end up with your brand being used on a porn site. It's a no-win for businesses.

.xxx is nothing more than a money grab for the organization that sells domaines. Stupid.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:28 PM on August 28, 2011


Imagine if activist porn eclipsed traditional porn?
posted by jeffburdges at 6:05 PM on September 19, 2011


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