People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, known for its bold and risque ad campaigns, is launching a pornographic Web site in the name of raising public awareness about cruelty toward animals.

PETA's site under the new .xxx domain will host a mix of pornography and graphic footage of animal suffering, designed to shock the audience who may not anticipate such content in an X-rated site.

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, Lindsay Rajt, PETA's associate director of campaigns, told The Daily  Telegraph.

Even fellow animal rights activists have criticized PETA for media stunts like pie-throwing and exploiting naked women.

It's hard enough trying to get people to take animal rights seriously without PETA out there acting like a bunch of jerks, one activist was quoted in the book The Longest Struggle: Animal Advocacy from Pythagoras to PETA, by Norm Phelps.

When Ronald Reagan's daughter Patti Davis posed naked for Playboy, donating half her $100,000 fee to PETA, the group issued a press release saying Davis turns the other cheek in an eye-opening spread. PETA announced Davis had been photographed naked with Hugh Hefner's dog for an anti-fur ad.

In 1995, PETA formed a partnership with Playboy to promote human organ donation, with the caption Some People Need You Inside Them printed on a photograph of Hefner's then-wife.

PETA's long-standing campaign, I'd rather go naked than wear fur, in which celebrities and supermodels strip for the camera, also generated feminists' concern. The group's YouTube account was temporarily suspended in 2008 for featuring videos containing nudity.

Ingrid Newkirk, PETA's international president, in an interview with Wikinews in November 2007, said no one is being exploited, the women taking part are volunteers, and if sexual attraction advances the cause of animals, she is unapologetic.

Asked how she feels when criticized from within the movement, she said, Somebody has to push the envelope. If you say something that someone already agrees with, then what's the point? So we make some more conservative animal protection organizations uncomfortable. They don't want to be associated with us because it will be embarrassing for them, and I understand that. Our own members write to us sometimes and say, 'Oh why did you do this? I don't want anyone to know I'm a PETA member.'

The organization's planned triple-X site will be active in early December, says PETA. We try to use every outlet that we can to speak up for animals, Rajt said. We anticipated that this new triple-X domain name would be a hot topic and we immediately decided to use it and take advantage of it to try to promote the animal rights message.

The visitors will be able to browse through porn content and PETA's ads which will be followed by images and video clips of animal torture. When people first visit the site, it will be very enticing, and once they go just a little bit deeper, that's when they'll be confronted with images that we hope will make them stop and think and get them talking and hopefully encourage them to make a lifestyle change to a plant-based diet, Rajt said.