Is Bestiality Actually Wrong?

I was working on my blog the other day and managed to find a bestiality video on an obscure website. It was a black medium-sized dog fucking a very pretty white girl in her prime from behind… doggystyle.

  • It was awkward.
  • Liberating.
  • And strangely exciting.

So I asked myself the question: Why is bestiality wrong, again? Instead of making up my mind and finding the facts to support it (which humans usually do), I Googled it with an open mind. I also watched a bunch of Youtube videos.

This short Youtube video makes an hilarious case for some forms of bestiality.

There are culturally accepted movies and traditions that promote bestiality.

King Kong

If you look at the size difference between King Kong and the woman — it normalizes pedophilia, even if most people don’t realize it. The movie normalizes pedophilia AND bestiality.

Beauty and the Beast

My Little Pony

My Little Pony porn is technically bestiality, though not with real animals of course. Here is a forum thread about that.

There is a cultural push to promote sex between different species, to relativize reality, blur moral lines, confuse everybody, and take up everyone’s time.

It is also political suicide to defend bestiality in any way. But if the laws were based on animal suffering (which is the single best criteria) — they would not be what they are today.

As illustrated by this POWERFUL chart:

It highlights that our current system of laws are not based on the objective suffering of animals. They are, in fact, not “victim based“.

Here is a well made informative video on how sex works between different species:

This is a sincere interview with a man that has a romantic relationship with his male dog. He tried men, he tried women, and he “didn’t like them”.

The other man that is interviewed says he is bottom with the dog (getting fucked), but top with other gay men (fucking). What does this mean? I am so confused.

Everything so far has been an introduction to the topic in general. Here comes the actual discussion of the morality and legality of bestiality (that rhymes!).

This is divided into three blocks:

  • Disgust (bestiality universally creates disgust and revulsion)
  • Consent (can animals really consent to sex with humans?)
  • Moral Decay & Animal Suffering (does bestiality induce moral decay and animal suffering?)


1) Disgust

“Disgust” is commonly cited as an argument against bestiality. If we accept this, then homosexual sex and sex performed by trans people should be outlawed.

This is an instinctual, emotional reaction masquerading as a valid argument. It is not a valid argument.

Even “normal” sex between heterosexual men and women has many disgusting parts. Especially when you introduce anal sex and “rimming”. Make both participants:

  • Old
  • Ugly
  • Fat
  • Ungroomed
  • Unclean

and mentally ill — and the result is WAY more gross than Katy Perry making out with another woman.

Like this “Semi-Erotic Fan Art” she gave to Rihanna on her birthday:

Sex is weird and sometimes gross to an external observer, that cannot mean it is immoral and should be illegal. Although it’s normal to FEEL this way about bestiality, it is an emotion dressed up like a logical or valid argument.

Here is the highest ranking Google result for “bestiality disgusting“:

I believe beastiality is amongst the most depraved and disgusting things humans do. CMW.

Up until last night, I had never come across or even thought about actual beastiality. I had always heard of it along with religious bigot arguments, and about how it was illegal in very many places. So to me, it’s always been up there with “things that only insane people do”, along with child pornography and torture. Rednecks fuck sheep. EW.

Then last night my boyfriend sent me a shock gif of a girl sucking off a horse, with some joke about how that was nothing to some stuff he’d seen. I was absolutely and completely apalled, and nearly vomited on the spot. I told him that was absolutely disgusting (and I like to think I’m a reasonable person from the internet), and that I seriously hoped he had never watched anyting like that before (he’s done aaaall of the fetish porn out there at some point, which doesn’t really bother me. So have I.) He was completely taken aback, and told me that beastiality is not that uncommon, and sure he had seen a bit of it, was never into it but loads of people are.

Coincidentally, I had my zoology final this morning. Yay.

I have not been able to stop thinking about it since then, and I can’t get over the fact that this thing which I consider to be completely and utterly disgusting, is regarded as fairly normal amongst the liberal community which I like to consider myself part of.

I feel like I know what homophobes feel like, and it REALLY bothers me. I don’t want to be a bigot.

Please, CMV.

EDIT: I will point out now that my main problem with it is not in the treatment or consent of the animal (as that is an impossible issue to determine), but more in the pervertedness of the human thought behind it. Being sexually attracted to an animal seems completely disturbing to me.

Reddit

CMW = Cutting My Wrists. Yes, I had to look that up.

I guess it makes sense to say that this approach to bestiality is very “me focused” and “narcissistic”, as it only focuses on yourself and your own emotions.

She overtly and clearly states that she does not care about the suffering and tortue of animals, only how human-to-animal sex MAKES HER FEEL.

This intelligent hardcore vegan made an accurate and powerful video on the blurred lines of:

  • Bestiality
  • Animal rights
  • Animal abuse

She makes it clear that our current laws on bestiality and animals rights are not “victim based”, which speaks to the narcissism of mankind.

Further down the reddit thread we find this little exchange.

By the original poster of the long comment above:

Ughh, I can’t actually explain what I don’t like about it, which is the annoying thing. It just purely disgusts me (but I don’t want it to!)

Reddit

Answer by “Joined_Today”:

It’s the unconventiality. I still get a little uncomfortable when I see two men kiss, even though I support gay rights. It’s just unconventional, I’m not used to it so I have a disposition to write it off as unnatural and react poorly to it.

But as time goes on, and I get used to it, I get less and less uncomfortable. Bestiality is something that has been so powerfully cemented into your core structure as wrong and immoral that its hard to shake the disgust factor.

Reddit

Response by original poster:

This is probably very true. Unfortunately there’s no way around it really, other than just giving it time… Which sucks because right now I’m on really awkward terms with my boyfriend about how badly I reacted to it, and I’m having a really hard time not being disgusted by him just because he doesn’t hate it.

Reddit

Here is a well written comment further down on the problem with the “disgust method” for seperating right from wrong. By Jazz-Cigarettes:

Yeah, I mean personal disgust is rarely if ever a solid basis for any action other than personally avoiding something in your own life. As you seem to recognize, there are so many things that disgust SOME people somewhere, yet we can’t rightly prevent them on that basis alone.

And really, when you think about restrictions in the past–anti-sodomy laws, anti-miscegenation laws, and so on–it’s not like those laws really did anything substantive, did they? Sure, they may have reinforced a societal attitude or ruined the lives of some innocent people, but it’s not like they made it so that gay people weren’t gay, or that interracial couples who were in love stopped loving each other, did they?

A law based on disgust for an activity that doesn’t cause harm (not saying that the conversation on whether bestiality does cause harm is open and shut, mind you) is usually pointless, because it’s not as though you can use the law to reshape people’s minds.

Reddit

He’s right.



2) Consent

A very strong argument against bestiality is that animals cannot “consent”. This is stated as an absolute truth, without justifications.

Animals are obviously having sex with each other. When this is done in a volountary, pleasurable, and enthusiastic fashion, is this not consent? Answer: It IS a form of consent.

As long as the animal isn’t bullied, tricked, manipulated, or threatened into having sex, and it happens on their own terms, in a way that they personally enjoy — this is a form of consent.

They are showing consent with their actions. They can stop at any time. They stay. And they keep fucking. It is a lot of work, but it’s worth it. By any objective measurement, they are LOVING it.

Any animal lover knows it is not hard to tell whether an animal is enjoying themelves or not. It’s very easy, even for someone who didn’t grow up with animals. Or have much experience.

Animals can never “consent” to painful sex before it happens because they cannot estimate what that will be like, but they can initiate sex on their on terms, and stop and leave when they want to. A male dog that is actively fucking a female human, is SHOWING CONSENT THROUGH THE FUCKING.


Can animals consent to sex?

Here is a good answer to the following Reddit question: Can animals consent to sex?

I dont see how it makes sense to say that two non-human animals are never consenting when they are fucking between themselves.

Besides isnt consent related to someones will? if animals have will then clearly if the animal in question starts a sex act is because he wants to have sex. How can this then not be considered at least some minimal form of consent?

Maybe it makes sense to have a higher requirement of consent for human beings for questions of harm and protection, but informed consent doesnt seem to be what people usually mean when they say consent, but more like a simple will, a internal desire and nothing more.

Reddit


What, Exactly, Is Wrong With Bestiality?

Here is a comment to the article: What, Exactly, Is Wrong With Bestiality? In a heated debate about animal consent, an anonymous person wrote this:

You are making a huge assumption about the cognitive ability of animals and imposing that viewpoint on others. Animals can quite easily demonstrate consent. Cite some research proving they can’t.

Dolphins, dogs, cats, birds, mules, most higher order life forms can definitely refuse to perform actions and communicate it through body language, aggressive behavior, crying, whining whimpering. If you say they cant you have obviously never tried to get an obstinate and un-consenting dog to walk on a leash.

The short in sweet is that you cant seriously claim they can’t give consent. All living beings have pain response and aggressive behavior. Even microbes “respond to their environment”.

Article link

It is objectively true that animals can demonstrate consent through their actions.

Here is the other comment I want to include from that article. By Gary:

Animals are objects and I believe they should be treated well. As far as an animal being unable to give technical verbal consent- who cares? It’s nothing like pedoism because they aren’t children. All animals have sex for pleasure. We force animals to have sex with each other all the time.

If an animal doesn’t want sex it will be fairly obvious. The fact is, like humans- a dog or a horse has thick clusters of nerves in there genitals and stimulation in a comfortable setting feels good to them the same as it does for us.

My dog has an 8 inch penis and he wants to stick it in my wife. It makes him happy the same way a belly rub or a piece of steak does. If bestiality disturbs you then don’t do it, problem solved.

I used to have a husky and when she would get in heat her lips would swell up and she would rub that thing all over you. As long as you arent hurting the animal, binding it etc it’s not bad.

It’s culturally shocking and many people find it disgusting but I don’t like pineapple on pizza but I wouldn’t call the cops if I heard that my neighbor did. Live and let live. Animals don’t view sex as some deep, emotionally complex thing. Your horny dog isn’t confused and emotionally dysfunctional after you romp it. You do you and I’ll do my dog ;=)

Article link

I generally agree with him. We very often assign human characteristics onto animals. This is called “anthropomorphism“.


Why is bestiality wrong?

I also found a 5 year old Reddit thread with 4 upvotes and 11 comments! Why is bestiality wrong? Here we go:

Disclaimer: Before asking I would like to remind you that examining a new viewpoint for a taboo subject does not necessarily mean I condone it or am part of it. Why is bestiality frowned upon? Bestiality is illegal in most states in the U.S. But why?

When asked, most people would just look at you and say “it’s obvious. It’s just incredibly wrong!” Isn’t that the mindset that most people had against black people in the 1800’s btw? Most sexual taboos are a matter of consent.

Pedophilia = bad, because a child does not have the brainpower or authority to consent to sex. Similar deal with any type of rape. If we apply this logic to animals (animals can’t consent to sex, so it must = big no no) then why do you keep animals as pets? Why do you lock them up in cages or pens or cramped doghouses and feed them rancid leftovers and slaughter them and proceed to eat their flesh?

Animals can’t consent to that! Look, I’m no hardcore-tumblr-vegan-freedom fighter or anything. But when I see a sick thing, I see a sick thing. Does anybody have any good arguments don’t involve weird old-fashioned “it just is” statements? Maybe I’m just missing something. I dunno. I’d love to hear what you all have to say.

Reddit

Let’s look at this one again.

  • Do you think a male pig would prefer a blowjob from a careful and skilled human performer, like an asian porn star, or getting tortured their entire life through standard farming practices?
  • Which one of those would they consent to? If asked?
  • And… ehem… which one of those is legal?

Would you prefer extreme physical torture or pleasant volountary sexual stimulation?


3) Moral Decay & Animal Cruelty

The oldest and most traditional argument against bestiality is the “moral decay” argument. I do not disagree with it. Once a perverted thing becomes normalized, like anal sex, and now it’s “rimming”, it’s on to the next thing. There is ALWAYS a next thing.

But animal cruelty is — to me — the strongest argument. Even though most forms of bestiality, possibly even the overwhelming majority — does not inflict significant animal suffering. Even perverted people have empathy, and many are “animal lovers”. Ehem!

But if human-to-animal sex becomes more normalized in a society, then surely a few male psyhopaths are going to start raping their pets. They just are.

But people are killed by car accidents, plane crashes, and knives ALL THE TIME — and nobody is trying to make them illegal.

I was going to do “Moral Decay” and “Animal Cruelty” as separate posts, but they overlap strongly. Inflicting suffering on an innocent animal is morally wrong. So they are interlinked.

When Googling, I only found one good article on the moral and ethical aspects of bestiality. Here are some quotes from the article:

What’s Wrong with Bestiality Anyway?

Acts that are considered to contravene moral norms elicit emotional responses from those who witness or contemplate them. Depending on the nature of the act, they may make us feel annoyed, bewildered, outraged or disgusted. Such feelings are inspired both by acts that breach universal ethical principles and by acts that merely contravene social conventions or etiquette.

With the possible exception of necrophilia, no purely sexual act elicits in us more revulsion than bestiality.

American philosopher Raymond Belliotti tried to to discern why bestiality might be morally wrong. With admirable philosophical honesty, he declares himself unable to reach an obvious conclusion as to the immorality of bestiality. Belliotti notes that even though animals have moral status because they have interests, they do not necessarily have a moral status equal to that of humans.

Next he asks whether it is wrong because the animal, a sentient being, is used as a mere means to a human end. Despite the lack of obvious reasons, Belliotti does conclude that bestiality is immoral, although the grounds for his conclusion are weak.

Reflection on the matter does not produce any compelling explanation for why we find bestiality repugnant. This “moral dumbfounding” is not uncommon. When Rolling Stone Keith Richards told an interviewer he had snorted his father’s ashes, the hostile public reaction caused him to hastily announce that he was only joking — although it is not at all clear why snorting one’s father’s ashes should be immoral.

New Matilda

This followed by a brother-sister incest story that lacks a negative outcome.

Jonathan Haidt gives the example of the brother and sister who one night in a remote cabin decide to have sex out of curiosity. They take all precautions against pregnancy and enjoy the experience but decide not to do it again and to keep it secret. It is hard to find a good reason to condemn them.

They were fully consenting, there was no chance of conception, and both enjoyed the experience. In cases like this we can reach strong moral judgments without a maxim in sight. Haidt argues persuasively that moral reasoning typically occurs after a moral judgment has been made intuitively and is used to rationalise the reaction.

New Matilda

This is followed by a highly theoretical boring part that I read — so you didn’t have to. I want direct and hard-hitting arguments, not theoretical bullshit.

This article keeps asking WHY we feel revulsion for bestiality. This revulsion is a built-in mechanism by evolution so that horny guys don’t go and have sex with animals and contract all kinds of perverse behaviours and diseases. If you think animals are gross NOW, how about 1000 years ago?

Here are answers to this Quora question: Is bestiality morally reprehensible? Why or why not?

Answer by Claire J. Vannette (sex positive and curious):

Animals cannot consent to sex.

Of course, they also cannot consent to being slaughtered and ground into hamburger meat, so as a carnivore, I can’t muster up much moral outrage over it. It’s just icky. If it doesn’t injure the animal — and ideally, if the animal could seriously injure you if it was terribly unhappy with your actions — I will be quietly grossed out, but not call the police.

Quora

Answer by Tomasz Zurek:

As much as I’d like to, I can’t find an ethical issue with bestiality if the animal is not being forced or harmed. There would be appear to be a level of implied consent in these cases. It also doesn’t harm anyone else. Therefore I wouldn’t call it wrong.

I believe it sometimes causes harm to the person, particularly with horses but even then we should be free to engage in risky activities that don’t harm others.

Marrying an animal is something I wouldn’t necessarily allow as there could never be explicit consent. On the other hand, I can’t see how the animal could be taken advantage of so I’m not able to take a firm stance there either.

I’m keen to hear other arguments though!

Quora

Answer by David Stewart (teacher from Australia):

I don’t understand how consent is irrelevant? It’s causing suffering to an animal which we generally consider to be wrong. Even when we’re killing an animal for their meat we still try and kill them with as little suffering as possible. Causing suffering to an animal purely for human pleasure doesn’t’ seem right to me.

Quora

This man seems to think bestiality is a human male raping a smaller or similar sized animal. Most people who are into bestiality do not do this. It is often explicitly stated (like in the interview above).

They let the animal initiate, like a dog licking a womans vagina or fucking her from behind DOGGYSTLE.

An animal cannot consent to painful sex ahead of time, because it cannot envision or imagine what that will be like. This type of sex is animal cruelty, and should be punished harshly in the legal system. An animal must always have the option to stop and walk away.

Answer by anonymous:

I’ll try and describe why this is wrong in comparison by other things, by way of an illustration.

Say that our ethics in regards to treating animals is incomplete.
Some of the reasons for that is tradition – we just aren’t used to granting animals as many rights as perhaps they should have – and some are by way of necessity, we want them as foodstuff.

So let’s imagine a world in the future, where we can grow meat in petridishes, without the need to farm animals.

Would we at that point find it ethically wrong to raise for example cattle to be slaughtered?

Probably.

But the reverse, I don’t think is true: You can’t justify doing less ethically correct stuff, by pointing out that we do some ethically incorrect stuff.

Quora

Checkout this long thoughful answer by Richard Parker:

I think it’s kinda nasty, but I can’t say that it in and of itself is immoral. I can see some instances that may be morally reprehensible, and some that wouldn’t be. Take for example someone who does that to chickens while they flap and make whatever protest noise that chickens make, and the act could possibly hurt them. That would be solidly immoral.

But take for another example someone who does that with a large animal which only stands there quietly, possibly completely ignoring the person doing whatever they’re doing to them. I hear this argument about consent from time to time and, while I agree an animal obviously cannot grant verbal consent, non-resistance or even active participation (if they even do that, I have no idea) could be considered a form of consent.

If you would tell me that an animal showing no signs of distress or objection to what is being done is unconsenting, you may as well say a person that verbally says “yes I want it” is not consenting either. I believe it is not immoral to do that with an animal that is large enough that they won’t be hurt and that does not show any signs of distress or objection, though it may be dangerous, foolish, and nasty.

If a large animal does object to what you are doing, who knows what they might do and how much it might hurt… one last bit of food for thought, and feel free to explain this if you can: it is ok to kill animals, burn their dead bodies and eat them but it is not ok to have “relations” with them even while they show no signs of objecting.

This logic (to me) is quite similar to the logic of saying “it is not ok to say hello to people on the street, but it is ok to punch them in the face and take their wallet”. If bestiality is immoral, so is homosexuality and extra-marital sex of any kind, because they all fit into the same category to me. Bestiality is just lurking at the bottom, in a creepy corner of that category.

Quora

This was a brutally honest answer by an Anonymous person:

I think it’s wrong to rape animals and I think it’s difficult to interpret consent from an animal, making the entire proposition suspect.

But in the grand scheme of things, bestiality is pretty low on my list of ‘bad things to do’. I’d rather a person be nice to other people and rape animals in their spare time than be an asshole to people and not rape animals. I’d rather a person never instigate a physical right with another person and rape an animal everyday than occasionally pick fist fights with people but never rape an animal.

In short, I value a basic level of decency from one human to another over any amount of cruelty to an animal. Sorry, animals, but I promise you we’ll be better equipped to not be cruel to you once we figure out the rudiments of not being cruel to other people. We need to prioritize.

Quora

I personally wouldn’t write off animal rape that easily, but I get the point. They are trying to say that they value humans far above animals.

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