Pornography, PETA Style

I would have thought that anyone arguing for a connection between PETA and pornography would have to suggest that objectification of women expressed via pornography was comparable to the objectification of animals in the meat industry production lines. Treating women like pieces of meat and then treating animals like only objects made of meat, as opposed to living creatures, would be a connection that, I think, could be made without too much of a stretch.

So when I read the news that PETA planned to create an “animal-friendly porn site,” I was taken aback.

What does that even mean? Is this a site that treats animals the same way we treat other humans? Will this be a bestiality site? Presumably PETA will include images of animals being mistreated in parallel to the pornography–though it’s hard to know, given the organization’s history of outrageous public stunts.

I can hardly believe I need to say this, but apparently it needs to be said: objectification of non-objects, be they women or animals, is problematic at best.

I am willing to admit to a basic natural hierarchy: human beings are above animals, which are above plants, which are above rocks. While some may not be okay with this sort of hierarchy, it is pretty clearly laid out in the Genesis narrative (regardless of how literal you think the timeline is).

But what blows my mind about this entire venture is that rather than bringing animals up to the level of humans (PETA’s discussion of ‘humane’ treatment of animals), PETA appears to be willing to bring women (presumably; I suppose the site could be primarily images and videos of men, but that seems unlikely, considering PETA’s history with commercials) down to the level of how animals are being treated: as objects.

Is that the message PETA is trying to communicate? Show us the objectification of animals by objectifying women?

It strikes me that their marketing department decided to act without actually thinking through the implications of their selling point.

Sex sells, but does it really sell equal treatment of living beings? I doubt it.

Image via Flickr.

Published by

J.F. Arnold

James received his MA in Philosophy of Religion at Talbot School of Theology in 2013. He holds a BA in Biblical Studies from Biola University, and is a graduate and perpetual member of the Torrey Honors Institute. James blogs on a number of subjects, including technology, theology, and hip-hop. He has written for Biola’s Center for Christianity, Culture, & the Arts, The Gospel Coalition, and he is an editor for Mere Orthodoxy. You can also keep up with him on Twitter (@jamesfarnold).

  • Karen Kellock Ph.D.

    PETA’S STYLE is disgusting and debauched.  All this porn site will do is make animal cruelty into a fetish.  The same “style” is happening in the raw foods movement.  Having absolutely no moral guidelines [as liberals] other than to not eat meat/mistreat animals, they use sex to sell their theory.  Even the leaders of the movement [Freelee, etc] are beginning to use sex [like they’re in a hip hop video] to sell themselves.  They are interested in fame not so much truth.  It is really sad about PETA because they’ve gained significant ground but I don’t think their new direction will help animals at all–if it becomes a fetish it will make their plight far, far worse.