Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More on the morality, psychology and legality of zoophilia & bestiality

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Classic bestiality sculpture at Khajuraho Lakshmana temple, India
Classic bestiality sculpture at Khajuraho Lakshmana temple, India

I’ve already written a bit about what’s perhaps the most despised of sexualities: that of having sex with animals and being sexually attracted to non-human creatures. The subject holds a certain amount of interest for me, intellectually, legally, philosophically (though not sexually – loose as I am, I just don’t swing that way), and because I happen to know a few zoophiles, myself, a couple of whom are even personal friends of mine. (And they say Aspies don’t have varied social experiences.) One of them is even an occasional guest blogger here at Preliator.

Getting to the point of this post, then, I came across a forum discussion on the nature, merits and acceptability of “animal love” at the furry fandom website SoFurry. You can find the specific thread here, with a warning about the sort of vernacular and content you can expect from a website geared towards a generally ostracized and sexually open fringe of animal-lovers. I followed the discussion for a few days, yet almost had to stop when levels of false arguments, pseudo-science and generally wacky bullshit being peddled by both sides of the debate threatened to turn my brain into gruel. I left the following post, which I am reposting here both for archival purposes and in case anyone finds anything of interest in the matter.

(Note that some of the statements and rhetoric may not be clear without the context of the discussion that led up to it, but the points and arguments I make stand on their own. Slightly edited from the original for added clarity and accuracy.)

Reading this thread makes me want to lobotomize myself. Don’t ask why I’ve been following it for days.

Look, there’s so much fail being spewed from both sides that I felt I had to jump in. (Which will probably result in me being nicely charred, but I say, it’s cold here so the warmer, the better.) People are really taking the morality/ethics and legality of zoophilia and bestiality (which are vastly different things, need I point out) to ridiculous lengths, both to defend and demonize it. Let’s add a little sense of proportion.

First, just a quick little course in basic definitions, in case anyone is confused:

• Zoophilia: The sexual and/or romantic attraction towards animals.
• Bestiality: The sexual act of, well, fucking an animal.

I would guesstimate that most zoophiles aren’t bestialists, either by lack of opportunity, lack of nerve, or a combination thereof. Conversely, not all bestialists are zoophiles, just like not all child molesters are pedophiles. (Very few, even, when talking about the latter.)

Now that we have the basics down:

Regarding Morality & Ethics

The way to approach the question of whether sex with animals, in general, is morally right or wrong really boils down to one single, very simple question: Is anyone or anything being hurt?

If the answer is “no”, then the act isn’t immoral. Plain and simple.

You can blabber on about how animals supposedly can’t tell you when they’re being hurt (which is a statement that’s about as epically clueless as it’s possible to get), or about the difference between sex and rape (which I think is bloody obvious), or about how it’s so darn gross to have sex with animals (which is nothing more than social and/or personal stigma, and is thus, by its very nature, totally irrelevant) and on and on, but in the end:

Is the animal being physically or psychologically harmed?

If there is no logical reason to believe so, then the answer is no.

If the animal isn’t being hurt – and I think it’s pretty evident that when it comes to creatures like dogs or especially horses, they tend to let you know when they don’t like what you’re doing – then there is nothing morally or ethically wrong with having sex with said animal. It’s no more complicated than that. Any other excuses, short of legality, draw on the “icky” factor, which is simply personal opinion. Which does not matter.

As with anything else from same-sex marriage to abortion: Don’t like bestiality? Don’t do it. There, problem solved. It’s not gonna destroy the fabric of society or tear your family apart, so you have absolutely nothing to say regarding what people do in the privacy of their own bedroom (metaphorically speaking) with whomever or whatever they want. It simply isn’t anyone else’s damned business, and that’s that. Only if the animals is actually being hurt in some tangible way is it acceptable to step in.

Regarding Legality

Now, unfortunately, the government does like to stick its nose in people’s private business (we wouldn’t have Libertarians without that endearing trait, would we?), so naturally, many things that lots of people think are gross – such as bestiality – have been criminalized if only because of majority vote (which, I believe, is usually a kind euphemism for “mob rule”). So, yes, chances are that sex with animals is illegal where you are, so I suggest being well acquainted with any local laws on the matter through the links and resources previously posted by others, above.

Of course, there’s a simple way of getting around that whole “illegality” thing: Don’t get caught. If you’re gonna fuck an animal, do so when no-one’s around, preferably at night or within your locked home, and yadda yadda yadda. I trust no-one needs me to explain how not to get caught engaging in stigmatized sexual activities, especially on this website. (Har, har.)

Regarding Animal Psychology, & Etc.

I personally know a few zoophiles (though I am not one, myself); they are even good friends of mine. As such, I believe I do have some understanding of what it’s all about. Even then, however, it does make me cringe inside whenever a zoophile talks about animals “seducing” them or some such.

Circus is wrong to say that animals are “mindless”, and this does reveal that his experience with actual animals is fairly limited at best. Animals – at least species such as canines and equines (amongst many others, especially mammals) – are not mindless. They most certainly can feel and think – just not to the extent that humans can.

Now, we are still greatly ignorant in general regarding just how emotionally developed animals are, but even so, it is pretty ruddy clear that animals don’t feel romantic love the same way that humans do. I’m sorry to break it to you, but they just don’t. They can’t. They don’t have brains biologically advanced enough to be able to have and express abstract thinking to the level required for such intensely complex emotions. Oh, sure, they can certainly form strong bonds of friendship and devotion. But not love in a romantic sense. To put it bluntly, that is no more or less than a complete delusion brought on by sheer wishful thinking.

So, no, an animal – dog, horse, ape, garter snake, amoeba – cannot love you in a romantic sense. But that doesn’t mean they don’t “love” you as very good friends or masters/leaders. And it also doesn’t mean that they care about whether you have sex with them or not. Only with humans is sex elevated, stigmatized and polarized the way it is in our fickle society. To animals, it’s rather simpler: Fuck, fuck to reproduce, it’s instinct-driven, that’s it.

So, simply, if you want to enjoy a sexual relation with a willing (or at least neutral) animal, then have at it. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking that the animal sees the sexual act as anything more than a fulfillment of their reproductive instincts, or as a method of submission to a more powerful leader (the human), or some such.

As usual, I welcome any feedback you may have, from agreement to questions to declaring how much of a sick perverted freak I may be for defending those gross animal-fuckers. (I hope not to receive any of the latter, but you never know.)