Apparently, having celebrities pose naked for ad campaigns and exhibiting women in cages body-painted to look like tigers isn’t enough for PETA.

Late last week, the activist organization announced plans for an Internet porn site. So now PETA supporters will be able to “promote” their cause by showing more than just their bare behinds; they’ll be able to do it by baring it all.

PETA says it’s launching the site primarily to promote a vegan lifestyle. (Insert your own cucumber and banana jokes here.) Because apparently, the only way to get people to eat hummus and bean sprouts is to do it while showing your hoo-hah.

“We really want to grab people’s attention, get them talking and to question the status quo and ultimately take action, because the best way we can help the greatest number of animals is simply by not eating them,” a PETA spokesperson told the Huffington Post.

But before you drop this article and run to your computer with visions of a hot young blonde talking about the virtues of a macrobiotic diet while undoing her bra strap, take heed: the site will also contain graphic photos of animal cruelty.

How’s that for a mood killer?

All kidding aside, regardless of PETA’s intentions, the end result is less likely to recruit more people to its cause and more likely to give people yet another reason to view PETA as an ultra-extremist group that is more concerned with media stunts than actually protecting animals.

I have yet to see someone look at one of PETA’s ads and say, “Y’know, Pamela Anderson’s bare butt makes me want to donate to an animal shelter.” Or a shopper at a grocery store exclaim, “I was going to barbecue some brats for the Sox game this weekend, but when I saw a woman wearing nothing but lettuce leaves on her breasts, I began to think about the benefits of an all-natural diet.”

No. What happens are a lot of bemused smiles, scowls and videocameras. And you can bet the video won’t be put on YouTube because its poster wants to spread the word of animal cruelty and a meatless diet.

That’s what extremism gets you. Lots of attention, but also lots of jokes and scorn, and the inability of anyone with a moderate point of view (i.e., the majority of us) to take you seriously, much less embrace your cause.

Unfortunately, extremism is increasing in all facets of society. We’re seeing it in politics, we’re seeing it in religion, we’re seeing it in stances on everything from health care to the environment. We’re even seeing it in entertainment, where the shock factor is constantly being raised ever higher.

It’s time for it all to stop.

Instead of launching a porn site, PETA would do well to follow the actions of the ASPCA, the Animal Welfare Institute and especially countless volunteers who donate their time and energy to local animal shelters. They’re actually rescuing neglected animals and finding them loving homes. You know — making a difference.

And they don’t have to get naked to do it.

Deputy Managing Editor Rod Harmon may be contacted at 791-6450 or at:

[email protected]