Quick: What do veganism and pornography have in common?
But that's not stopping the People for the Ethical Treament of Animals (PETA) from combining the two for their next campaign of offensive, attention-grabbing attempts to promote veganism.
Yep, porn. Combined with graphic images of animal suffering. To trick the unlucky souls who stumble upon the PETA triple-X website looking for something other than animals being experimented upon in a mascara factory.
PETA's Associate Director of Campaigns, Lindsay Rajt told Reuters, "We're hoping to reach a whole new audience of people, some of whom will be shocked by graphic images that maybe they didn't anticipate seeing when they went to the PETA triple-X site." Because tricking and horrifying people when they're looking for pornography is the right way to persuade them to your cause?
And who are these potential recruits they're aiming for? Folks out trolling the internet for digital late night ladies are most likely not the active protests-out-in-public types.
Additionally, the exploitation of women has long been a major criticism of PETA's campaigns.
Other "progressive" campaigns have been made in the past to encourage recruitment to a cause. Fuck for Forest, for example, is a non-profit organization based in Berlin that raises money through their pornographic materials and performances to save the rainforests. The major difference is that everyone with FFF knows exactly what they're getting into (and out of it) from the beginning. PETA is intending to recruit their potential viewers through the element of surprise and horror.
Additionally, the exploitation of women has long been a major criticism of PETA's campaigns. Besides all the disrobing for animals' rights, they also bought a billboard in Los Angeles two years ago featuring an overweight woman in a bikini with the phrase, "Save the Whales. Lose the Blubber. Go Vegetarian." And who can forget the controversy of the rejected Superbowl ad featuring women having private moments with their vegetables? Oh, PETA, when will you learn we're just not ready for your jelly?
In her controversial treatise The Sexual Politics of Meat, feminist scholar Carol J. Adams outlines the ways in which consuming pornography is akin to eating meat, symbolically and psychologically speaking. Adams defends her bold position impressively throughout the book, presenting a much stronger argument for veganism and vegetarianism than Rajt and her can't-beat-'em-join-'em approach.
Beyond their convoluted rhetorical approach, this PETA porn campaign is just brimming with terrifying potential outcomes. What happens when a new brand of animal suffering pornography becomes popular? And if they're unusual approach proves fruitful, will the new vegan porn-lovers be active in future campaigns? We don't even want to start imagining what comes next after www.peta.xxx.
When will PETA finally go too far?