November 12th, 2010
07:25 PM ET

PETA wants Amazon to stop selling guides to dogfighting

PETA wants Amazon.com to stop selling books such as 'The Art of Cockfighting.'

The animal rights group PETA wants Amazon.com to stop selling books about dogfighting and cockfighting, saying the books encourage an illegal and harmful activity the way a recently removed title promoted pedophilia.

PETA said it sent a letter Friday to Amazon.com President Jeffrey P. Bezos, asking him to to pull products from the site that promote animal cruelty in light of the online retailer's decision this week to stop selling an e-book that offered guidelines to pedophilia.

"The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure" was pulled from Amazon.com late Wednesday, after thousands of angry users posted reviews to the listing condemning its publication and vowing to boycott the site.

PETA pointed out two books on Amazon.com, "The Art Of Cockfighting—A Handbook for Beginners and Old Timers" and "Dogs of Velvet and Steel," as examples of titles that encourage people to participate in illegal animal fighting.

"These books encourage people to become involved in dogfighting and cockfighting— cruel and illegal activities that are rampant across the country," PETA executive vice president Tracy Reiman said in the letter to Bezos.

"Animals, like children, depend on us to protect them and put their best interests above profits. Please, don't be complicit in cruelty to animals: Do the right thing and stop selling products that promote criminal violence against living beings."

PETA said the controversy over "The Pedophile's Guide" created the ideal climate for them to highlight animal fighting - an issue that's always on their radar.

"At a time when Amazon is coming out very publicly against books on pedophilia, this is a prime time for Amazon to step up and stop selling books that promote other illegal activity, like dogfighting and cockfighting," PETA spokeswoman Lindsey Rajt told CNN.

In fact, the two issues are "interconnected," Rajt said

"Animal abuse is one of the first warning signs we see in people who turn and direct violence toward people," she said. "This is really important because the twisted whims of people who enjoy watching animals fight to the death is not something Amazon should be catering to. There are greater societal implications."

Amazon.com did not return calls for comment.

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  1. duhh

    how about banning slaughter of millions of pigs/cows and other poultry...lets make dog meat eating legal

    November 12, 2010 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Erzhik

    wow.. so now its PETA. who is next? how about we just ban amazon altogether?

    November 12, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jim in Florida

    I am a Conservative politically and am from the deep south. Actually, PETA has it right this time. Dogfighting is disgusting, illegal and cruel. The question is can PETA bring enough economic pressure on Amazon to ahve the book removed. I joined the fight to have the child molester guide removed (you can call them pedophiles, but they are really child molesters). The high and hard response from Amazon's return customer account holding base was significant enough to force the removal of that book. Especially coming at a time , in a sluggish economy, of the holiday sales period.

    No one makes anyone buy the books in question.

    Amazon will come to understand that no one makes anyone buy from Amazon. We have choices.

    The beauty and reward of a free market economy.

    November 12, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Julian

    Let's ban Mein Kampf. Also the Communist Manifesto. Let's ban everything that's offensive to anyone at all.

    November 12, 2010 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Glad2See

    I'm glad to see so many people with common sense commenting. Pedophilia and animal bloodsports are in no universe equal. But I guess while we are at it, any books relating to chemistry that someone might figure out how to make illegal drugs should be banned. Music that talks about drug dealing/making should go too. Let's just shut down every bookstore and library just to protect everyone. Ban movies that depict anything illegal so as to not encourage people. PETA is on to something!

    November 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeremy

    This is more of a topic on the freedoms we are so quick to give away. All of us here agree that these books are horrible, and we will not read their content. Why should we ban certain books we disagree with? We have the option to not buy them, and if there is not a market for them, they will not be printed. Banning books is a bad idea in general. You should not be so quick to give up your right to freedom of speech. Where does it stop? I can't stand kids, should we ban books on raising children? The answer is no. Don't hide behind the fact that these books incite violence. If someone is going to molest a child or fight their dog, you are not going to stop him/her by banning a book; however, you are going to limit yourself, and others, based on your personal moral agenda. I use moral agenda loosely. I would never fight my dog or molest a child, but I think everyone has the right to say what they want to say no matter how much I may be against that person's ideas or actions. Just think about the implications this can have beyond the scope of these two horrible acts. Rebuttals are welcome, but think about long-term not just right now. You cannot give protection of FREE SPEECH to only things that the majority agrees with. The burden of proof that these books incite violence lies on you to prove. Where is your proof that these specific books lead to increased levels of violence? The Anarchist Cookbook has been available for many years, and there has been no direct correlation between that piece of literature and increased levels of anarchist acts.

    November 12, 2010 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Unconscious

    They are a private company, so they can do w/e they want, but if you are going to be taking books off shelves because someone finds them offensive, there won't be anything left.

    November 12, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JimmyPSX

    DON'T BAN BOOKS!!!! I don't care if the book is about how to properly murder someone...or how to assassinate a President...banning books sets a bad precedent no matter what the subject matter...if people are gonna dogfight they are going to do it regardless if there is a book about it

    November 12, 2010 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      I agree.

      November 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmyPSX

      I wish more people did Jeremy

      November 12, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Unconscious

    The only reason Amazon did it, is because some CFO decided that if they do it, their stock price will go up 20 cents. They are a private business and have the right to do that as their own policy. It's not like the government came out and declared all pedophilia books banned. Amazon is just one publisher.

    November 12, 2010 at 11:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Susan

    Normally I think PETA is full of crap, but this time I think they are right. Why should Amazon be facilitating eithet animal abuse or child abuse? Both are absolutely reprehensible! Amazon can sell what they want, but they should know that there are plenty of people like myself who will take our business elsewhwere rather than continue to support a business that carries items such as these.

    November 12, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ikantraed

    Let's keep banning EVERYTHING we DON'T LIKE and eventually there will be NOTHING LEFT TO READ... Thanks alot you morons!

    November 12, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      Yeah! Ban "The wizard of Oz"

      November 13, 2010 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • drew

      Are you serious? Your statement is so illogical I don't know where to begin.

      How about we start with distinguishing legal from illegal activities and see where that takes us?

      November 13, 2010 at 12:20 am | Report abuse |
    • MashaSobaka

      It's not an issue of not liking something. It's about these books promoting something illegal. There is a big difference. But you probably already knew that.

      November 13, 2010 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I disagree. Amazon should not ban books from its site simply because someone, somewhere finds it offensive. However, Amazon should remove books promoting animal abuse. What distinguishes child molestation and dogfighting from activities that are merely offensive is that they are both illegal.

      November 13, 2010 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      @Drew – Rosa Parks?

      November 13, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
    • FreedomBaby

      Or we could just ban the illegal stuff.

      November 13, 2010 at 12:50 am | Report abuse |
    • dmg

      Banning literature on illegal things should not be banned; only the activities they promote. Should we ban magazines like 'High Times'? Where do we draw the line? How can we have literature that openly questions current laws (including unpopular ones) if we ban literature that discusses illegal things? Before you get emotional and say 'this is disgusting. let's ban the books' think about the overarching implications. I agree books on pedophilia, animal cruelty, holocaust denial, etc. are filthy and disgusting, but speech and the free act thereof have other implications: we can observe public opinion by speech and work to correct it through education; we can study these opinions and find solutions, instead of sending it underground unchecked.

      November 13, 2010 at 1:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      This poster is 100 absolutely correct. Every activist group is gonna worm its way out of the woodwork to push their special interest agenda forward. Distasteful, immoral and socially unacceptable doesn not equate to ILLEGAL. You people need to go back to civics class or maybe attend your first one and learn about the meaning and costs of freedom, freedom of speech and democracy.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      I agree, lets ban all illegal subjects. "Three's company" should also be banned because it is illegal in some states to cohabitate. Also, lets ban all ammunition how-to books because reloading ammo for a gun you do not own is illegal in Washington DC. Let's ban every book about plural marriage or make a reference to it – and we can start with the Bible. Let's ban speech that offends anyone, at all, ever.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:52 am | Report abuse |
    • pam

      there is no need to ban everything, you paranoid schizo! only things that promote violence to children and animals. anyone who would want to read this trash has no right being on this planet. there is no reason at all to have this filth available. freedom of speech does not apply to promoting cruelty.

      November 13, 2010 at 4:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Nice leap from banning material that promotes cruelty to children and animals to banning anything that anyone doesn't like...

      November 13, 2010 at 6:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Amazon in a private company and can choose what to sell. Just like with the pedo book, they are merely choosing not to sell it. They are not "banning" it

      November 13, 2010 at 7:27 am | Report abuse |
    • sevresblue

      Sooo out in left field... that's where you are. The book should be banned because it promotes violence unto death of innocent – it's basically a how-to book for viciousness and torture. Not only should it be banned (it's NOT fiction, you know) the publishing house should be heavily fined for promoting crime. What's wrong with these people? They do not DESERVE their freedom, they don't know how to exercise it.

      November 13, 2010 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Casey

      I'm personally not a fan of PETA, but from the story all it sounds like is that they wrote a letter asking to take a few books off of their site that they, and myself included, have found to promote illegal behavior towards animals. I shop on Amazon all the time and do not like hearing that they are making money off of books that promote illegal behavior of any kind.

      November 13, 2010 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
    • I can read

      The only people who would buy such books are mentally sick and wouldn't know how to read them anyway!

      November 13, 2010 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr. X

      Winnie the Pooh is Next because "he is chubby"

      November 13, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • termlimits

      Ban "how to" items that are illegal by law. Wake up!!

      November 13, 2010 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • jose head

      Drew: what type of activity is illegal where? What is your definition of illegal? of an activity? What if the activity is "legal" in some places, and illegal in others? Do we require Amazon to stop selling bibles because they are illegal in Saudi Arabia too? The illogical statement is yours. The better practice is to simply allow free speech (and publication), no matter how distasteful or repugnant the speech is. That is what this country was founded on.

      November 13, 2010 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Doc

      Takes one to know one.

      November 13, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  12. Andrew

    While we're at it, ban Lolita!

    November 12, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      "Lolita" is a work of fiction that, if anything, warns against the dangers of allowing one's desires to run rampant. It does not promote child molestation.

      November 13, 2010 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • sevresblue

      I started to read Lolita, and everything inside me went cold. I had, at that time a young teenage daughter. And this predator turned my stomach. No little girl deserves an adult man's sickness. No dog deserves to be forced to fight.

      November 13, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jeremy

    Religious books have incited more violence than any book on pedophilia or animal fighting. Do we ban them?

    November 12, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      No. BURN THEM!

      November 13, 2010 at 12:13 am | Report abuse |
    • FreedomBaby

      Wah wah wah wah. God is mean. Religion is evil. wah wah wah wah wah. your sob story is old. get a hobby, or maybe whining is your hobby.

      November 13, 2010 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      @jeremy @justin ...Absolutely!! Go Dawkins and Go Maher.

      November 13, 2010 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      @freedom baby ...drink some Kool Aide and meet your haa haa ...maker

      November 13, 2010 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • jesuguru

      Wow, can we stay on topic? Please direct your anti-theistic religious zeal elsewhere. Posting here isn't doing your "cause" any favors, if that matters to you (I suspect it might not), merely preaching to the (de)converted who strangely lurk on all things CNN.

      November 13, 2010 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Ah the soapbox atheist preachers come out to warn us all about the evil that is religion. Also, ban all guns, because some people use them to kill others. Etc.

      November 13, 2010 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
  14. JohnQpublic

    Why yes we should ban books dedicated to the inspiration of criminal behavior. You know the government would ban a "how to" book on blowing up the capital building. They would know that even a minimal threat would endanger lives. It's really a common sense issue. Who has more rights between an innocent person or a criminal with ill intentions.

    November 12, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Unconscious

      The government hasn't banned any books, and there are plenty of books with some sort of guidance on terrorism, look up "Turner Diaries"http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/.element/img/3.0/1px.gif

      November 12, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Sam

      Actually no they wouldn't you just have to find the right book store...

      November 12, 2010 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Just because Amazon does not sell a book does not mean it is "banned." Small bookstores make all kinds of decisions about what books to put on their shelves or not, and a massive bookstore like Amazon has every right to not sell books their customers find offensive. PETA, however, should butt-out and let Amazon decide for themselves what books they want to carry.

      November 13, 2010 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      JohnQ, Rosa Parks was a convicted criminal.

      The issues are where to draw the line and who draws the line. Sara Baase has a good book on Ethics as they apply to technology. While this issue isn't about technology, if you read and comprehend her book, I expect you'll start see that the problem isn't nearly as simple as you'd like it to be. I also suggest articles on legal ethics by Larry Lessig.

      November 13, 2010 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I disagree somewhat. We should never ban books. However, Amazon should exercise its discretion in choosing which books it sells to the public. If the authors of the removed books want to publish their works, they would still be free to do so, just without using Amazon to distribute them.

      November 13, 2010 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      Good Bill. I think it's a good start. I think Amazon should explain it's reasoning and the people who read their reasoning should analyze the reasoning fairly (such as via methods in Sara Baase's book on Computer and Internet ethics). I'm sure there are other good authors who discuss freedom of speech and ethics issues. It's not simple. (The book is used at the upper division level in college and from personal experience, the course I took is far from easy.)

      November 13, 2010 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Matthew

      Let's take the advice of a terrorist orginazation like PETA and ban a book. PETA is a group that operates one shelter, and that shelter kills almost every animal sent there. 25,000 animalls in one year. They even send members to teh press and newspapers to FIND animals being given away so that they can KILLL them. I've had to threaten elgal action on PETA members for adopting animals under false pretenses so that they can KILL them.

      November 13, 2010 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
    • guest

      @HUGO, let me first say it is interesting that you have chosen a sound -off panel to carry on serious discussion. It is rare that these interactions do not deteriorate rapidly. With all due respect ,and you sound like a person to whom respect is due, your efforts to be placating have come off as bit condescending. ( ie., ""good Bill" ). Now we are dealing with the one dimesionality of the written word and have thus loss the ability to incorporate our other senses during this interchange; I will adjust my perception to one of a truly concerned individual with best of intentions.
      I also sense that you are involved in academia either professionally or as a serious life long student.

      Now I have come into this discussion somewhat in the middle so I am not sure i understood you when described Rosa Parks as a convicted criminal. Did you mean because she was convicted of disorderly conduct or was there something else I have missed about her prior history? Anyway,not critical. What I find puzzling is your reference to L. Lessing with regard to Amazon.com. Lessing , other than being a victim of abuse by organized religion, seems more relevant to a discussion about ethics and transparency regarding the relationship of big business ( big money)and government. His stance would probably be one of limited government involvement in policing the distribution of digital information in the forms of books and even less involvement in the distribution of hard copy text. Lessing would encourage us to exercise our dissatisfaction by boycotting. ( social control) . As to any of the discussions that have to do with appropriateness of distributing describing illegal content will remain an ongoing debate. I imagine it is without conclusion. It is similar to the elusiveness of when life begins. Unanswerable ...and kept alive merely through the exercise of the debate.

      November 13, 2010 at 4:03 am | Report abuse |
    • visitor

      yes ...@Hugo a little elitist sounding

      November 13, 2010 at 4:12 am | Report abuse |
    • humbug

      Peta is a terrorist group. I wouldn't pay any attention to them at all.

      November 13, 2010 at 4:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      @visitor – or perhaps I'm just a college student. Elitist or not, is Sara Baase wrong? Granted, I doubt you'll go buy this book just for sake of argument. But I'd rather you buy this book to learn to argue better.

      November 13, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mt

    F*** PETA...

    November 12, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • JimmyPSX

      PETA continues to think they are the smartest most noble people alive but they continue to take steps to violate civil liberties...we have laws for a reason...banning Amazon from making certain books available in America is a huge step toward total lack of freedom of speech and expression...how about the police do their job and stop dogfighting...it's not Amazon's job to pass judgement

      November 12, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      Screw them too

      November 13, 2010 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
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