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Zoophilia: The Last Taboo Will Fall

An academic plans to lecture on bestiality next month at an Australia ideas festival. 'Consent' will not stop the normalization of this perversion
Zoophilia: The Last Taboo Will Fall

Not long ago, a group of German freaks who have sex with animals held a public demonstration demanding recognition. As Wilfred Reilly says, look at the face of the poor dog:

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"Oh Rod, there you go again, nutpicking," you might be saying. Well, in 1969, Germany decriminalized sex with animals, only recriminalizing it in 2012 (hence, I suppose, the protest above). There is reportedly a significant zoophile community in that woebegone country.

Well, the movement to remove the taboo on sex with animals advances now in Australia (hat tip to reader Jennifer for the article). In Sydney, the upcoming Festival of Dangerous Ideas will host a professor, Joanna Burke, who will discuss the ethics of "humans loving animals" -- and she ain't talking about stroking Spot's chin after giving him a Scooby snack.

From the article:

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The historian plans to present a modern history of sex between humans and animals and will invite audience members to look at the 'changing meanings' of bestiality and zoophilia and the ethics of 'animal loving'.

'It is only in very recent years that some people have begun to undermine the absolute prohibition on zoosexuality,' the speaker is quoted on the website. 'Are their arguments dangerous, perverted or simply wrongheaded?'

Outraged Australians took to social media to lash festival organisers for allowing a presentation they argued was intellectualising animal abuse. 

More:

'Intellectualising about the abuse of animals isn't edgy or cool. It IS abhorrent and anyone who attends this event is an immoral c***,' another said. 

Others took to Twitter to share their thoughts with the author and event organisers.  

'This is not about 'loving animals.' If you're going to be heinous at least be honest. This is about abusing animals. Shame on anyone involved in this session,' one said. 

'They are conflating having sex with animals with loving them. The first is not only unethical it is illegal,' they tweeted. 

The language of this protest is telling. People (at least those quoted in the article) aren't saying that it is intrinsically wrong for humans to have sexual relations with animals. They are saying that it's wrong because the animal cannot consent. If, presumably, the animal could consent, they would have no objection. It would then fall to the zoophile to argue that animals can consent to be sexually violated. If a zoophile played the passive partner in such a coupling, the argument would at least be plausible.

So it comes down to this for liberals at this late phase of the Sexual Revolution: the only way, or at least the primary way, to object to bestiality is on consent grounds. Has anyone asked these people if animals can consent to being killed for food? So, by their line of thought, Uter from Dusseldorf can't poke a dairy cow because she can't consent, but he can eat a hamburger. What sense does that make?

Moreover, in Germany (again!) about twenty years ago, a gay cannibal, Arwin Meiwes, found via the Internet a sex partner who agreed to be killed and eaten by Meiwes. That the victim consented to the depraved act that led to his death was not in doubt: he and Meiwes videotaped his giving permission, and on the four-hour tape, the victim also attempted to eat his own severed penis. Meiwes was convicted anyway, and now, in prison, is reportedly a vegetarian.

What do the "consent" people say about this? That the victim couldn't legally consent to his own murder? What do you call euthanasia, then?

The fact is, "consent" is not remotely a strong enough barrier to wall off sexual depravity -- especially because the depraved will always try to rationalize a way around it, and sometimes will succeed. We now have laws in some American states in which minors can consent to having their bodies permanently altered in accordance with a cross-sex identity they wish to affirm, and there's nothing their parents can do about it. This is rationalized by transgender advocates and their allies in positions of institutional power. (Relatedly, Libs of TikTok has just been banned from Facebook for drawing unwanted attention to the fact that Boston Children's Hospital performs transgender surgeries on minors; the depraved have friends in high places in the tech industry.) You tell me how society is going to hold back perverts who want to normalize sex with children when it cannot hold back perverts who permit children to permanently mutilate their bodies for sexual reasons of which left-wing people approve. It's not going to happen. It cannot be done. Look how lightning-fast taboos are falling around sexuality, and how rapidly children are being sexualized by media and social media. Libs of TikTok documents all the time elementary school teachers, and even kindergarten teachers, bragging about how they're introducing gender fluidity to their captive audiences of little people. It's called grooming.

I need to point out too that the Sydney festival is not a fringe event. Here's the program. Steven Pinker is speaking there, for one thing, and there are a lot of interesting sessions lined up. It's worth noting, though, that the curation of "dangerous ideas" that the festival deems permissible to discuss does not allow for dangerous ideas from the far right, like the case for white supremacy. I'm glad! I think that dangerous idea, and others, should be taboo. But look what they're doing: they're tiptoeing up to the edge of what left-wing people consider somewhat taboo, but still discussable. They're moving the Overton window. Expect to see attempts to normalize zoophilia by the "just asking questions" progressives in the years to come.

One more example of how paper-thin the protections against horrific depravity are. Prof. Stuart Ritchie here documents and condemns the appalling immorality of both fellow academics who approved publication of an academic paper in which a grad student masturbated to illustrations of child pornography, and wrote about what he learned, and those leftist academics who defended the paper because a Tory politician condemned it. I have to quote some disturbing material here, but it's necessary to demonstrate just how evil this stuff is. From Prof. Ritchie's outraged essay:

The recently-single researcher—a PhD student named Karl Andersson at the University of Manchester—describes an “experiment” where, for a period of three months, he masturbated only to shota magazines. He kept a diary, updated each time he masturbated, detailing “which material I had used, where I had done it, at what time, and for how long”.

It’s quite difficult to choose which parts of the paper to quote; I actually recommend you read the whole thing (it’s not long), just to see how unbelievably weird “autoethnography” research—studies where the researcher describes their own personal experience and tries to draw some wider lessons for society—can get. But here’s one quotation (note the “very young”):

The examples above, with stories from a past childhood, were believable to me, as in ‘that could have happened’... But more often, very young boy characters would greedily jump over the first cock that presented itself. That too worked for me, but it was different. If the boyhood stories enhanced a sexual curiosity that was there from the start in the typical pubescent boy that the characters were modelled on, these other stories pasted an overly virile sexuality onto characters that would not be sexual to start with (or at least not that sexual, or in that way).

And here’s a quotation from one of Karlsson’s diaries (I have to re-emphasize that this was published in a peer-reviewed academic paper):

I continued in bed, arranged the pillows until I was in a comfortable position, a bit ceremonial. ... The boy is now observing Tokio-kun through the window, on the veranda, while jerking off. He slips on the snow and is discovered. Tokio-kun angry, but also excited even as he keeps repeating ‘I’m not homo!’. The boy who has admitted to everything has nothing to lose, so he throws himself over Tokio-kun and starts sniffing his cock and licking his smooth balls, and while waiting for the shot I came!

Again, I'm sorry to have raised those images to your consciousness, but it's necessary. Normal people find it impossible to believe how decadent academics can be. They hide much of this evil behind euphemisms. As Prof. Ritchie emphasizes, this wasn't published in some illegal journal of perverse smut; it was published in a peer-reviewed academic journal, and this creep's research was approved by a major British university. More Ritchie:

A masturbation diary isn’t “research”. There is absolutely nothing we learn from it apart from gaining a disturbing insight into the mind of the author.

And that mind is a very warped place. The writer Ben Sixsmith dug into Andersson’s background and found that he used to run a magazine with eroticised pictures of boys “as young as 13”, and gave a terrifying interview to Vice magazine in 2012 which has to be read to be believed. I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t want to push this, but if you look at the relevant UK law, I don’t see how the shota materials he has in his possession are legal (but as I say: not a lawyer).

What I’m mainly interested in is the reaction from Karlsson’s fellow academics. Happily, there were many academics who were repulsed by the paper and said so loudly - and good for them. But when some other academics saw a Conservative MP tweeting about the study, it was simply too much. They sprang into action - and also blundered straight into what was—deliberately-set or otherwise—a trap.

You need to read the whole thing to see what Ritchie is talking about. These academics -- including some major names -- are so mindless that they will defend anything that is attacked by a conservative.

I bring this up here to point out that "consent" is a tissue-thin wall of protection. Most of you will have lived long enough to have seen how ideas that were once confined to the fringes of certain university faculties (e.g., gender fluidity) very quickly took over our society by first conquering the minds of elites, who subsequently mainstream these ideas into broader society, with the help of the sympathetic media. We know where this is going, because we know where this kind of thing has taken us in the past: to totalitarianism. As I write in Live Not By Lies:

The post-World War I generation of writers and artists were marked by their embrace and celebration of anti-cultural philosophies and acts as a way of demonstrating contempt for established hierarchies, institutions, and ways of thinking. Arendt said of some writers who glorified the will to power, “They read not Darwin but the Marquis de Sade.”

Her point was that these authors did not avail themselves of respectable intellectual theories to justify their transgressiveness. They immersed themselves in what is basest in human nature and regarded doing so as acts of liberation. Arendt’s judgment of the postwar elites who recklessly thumbed their noses at respectability could easily apply to those of our own day who shove aside liberal principles like fair play, race neutrality, free speech, and free association as obstacles to equality. Arendt wrote:

The members of the elite did not object at all to paying a price, the destruction of civilization, for the fun of seeing how those who had been excluded unjustly in the past forced their way into it.

Regarding transgressive sexuality as a social good was not an innovation of the sexual revolution. Like the contemporary West, late imperial Russia was also awash in what historian James Billington called “a preoccupation with sex that is quite without parallel in earlier Russian culture.” Among the social and intellectual elite, sexual adventurism, celebrations of perversion, and all manner of sensuality was common. And not just among the elites: the laboring masses, alone in the city, with no church to bind their consciences with guilt, or village gossips to shame them, found comfort in sex.

The end of official censorship after the 1905 uprising opened the floodgates to erotic literature, which found renewal in sexual passion. “The sensualism of the age was in a very intimate sense demonic,” Billington writes, detailing how the figure of Satan became a Romantic hero for artists and musicians. They admired the diabolic willingness to stop at nothing to satisfy one’s desires and to exercise one’s will.

Thirty years ago, a figure like Desmond Is Amazing -- a child drag queen who performs sexually provocative dances -- would have been considered shockingly taboo and disgustingly exploitative. Today, though, he is presented on national morning television as an icon of courage, and someone worth celebrating and emulating. This is clearly sexualizing a pre-pubescent child. It is not at all difficult to imagine the next step: demanding his "right" to participate in sexual activity, because "children are sexual beings," or somesuch sophistry.

The bourgeoisification of zoophilia is coming. Our civilization has committed itself to ideals that all but demand it. The institutional elites of our ruling class will continue to silence voices who protest against the barbarization of children in these Mengele-like surgeries and chemical treatments, while they prepare themselves to normalize the previously unspeakable. Why? Because violating sexual taboos is the prime directive of contemporary Western progressivism (and you, sweet summer child, thought the Left was mostly about fighting economic inequity and exploitation).

This cannot go on forever. They are destroying the fundaments of civilized life. If history is any guide, though (**cough, cough, HITLER**), the backlash, if it comes, could be even more uncivilized. We are already at a point in the United States in which the woke-ification -- that is, the ideological capture by the Left -- of major institutions (media, academia, science, medicine, law, the military, the intelligence services, business, sports, etc.) have rendered those institutions untrustworthy to many millions of Americans. They don't care. They are going to liberate us all from our old-fashioned prejudices, whether we want it or not. Fifteen years from now, Pride celebrations will include the zoophile community. Why not? How can you forbid someone from having and expressing pride in sexual desire for animals, when you have built an entire movement around celebrating and normalizing once-transgressive sexuality, and expanding the so-called community of the sexually diverse, such that the flag standard of the movement has to change constantly to include the ever-widening circle of the Prideful?

I'm not equating homosexual desire with bestiality, understand. Nor do I think that in principle, legitimizing homosexuality entails legitimizing bestiality. What I am saying, though, is that the fundamental norms of contemporary society around sex -- radical nonjudgmentalism, considering sexual desire as a fundamental part of one's identity (and therefore a human right), etc. -- leaves us with very little with which to resist the advances of the deeply depraved. I'm saying that the principles undergirding the movement for normalizing sexual desires and practices previously considered taboo can easily be applied to other forms of sexual desire. I'm saying that liberalism, as it has evolved in the Sexual Revolution, is not enough, that it cannot hold back the tide of perversion forever. Remember, Germany post-1960s also had a pedophile movement that was supported by those in institutional power.

It no longer does, thank God, which gives us hope that society can come to its senses. But I wonder how long sanity will prevail in the face of the almost instantaneous collapse of many other taboos around sex and sexuality. Sociologist Frank Furedi has a short piece about how Germany is now in a rapid state of moral collapse around gender identity, including the gender identity of minors.

Seriously, how do you stop legalizing zoophilia, especially in a popular culture in which internal barriers within the masses will have been broken down by widespread hardcore pornography? "What does my neighbor's habit of being cornholed by his German shepherd have to do with my marriage?" say the nitwit libertarians. "Animals can't consent!" squeal the nitwit liberals, though I hope they have the sense not to say so with their mouth full of ham.

UPDATE: I mean, look:

And:

UPDATE.2: It occurs to me that this is a reprise of the old Rick Santorum "man on dog" controversy. Almost 20 years ago, the Pennsylvania senator was widely mocked and condemned for saying that if we allow same-sex marriage, what's to stop us from legitimizing bestiality? The suggestion was considered so offensive that nobody bothered to answer him. I didn't read him as equating homosexuality to bestiality; if he had, then I would agree that would have been insulting and offensive. Maybe he really was doing that, I dunno, but I doubt it. It seems to me that he was engaged in a reductio ad absurdum exercise, in which he was applying the same logic that many SSM advocates were using to justify gay marriage: namely, individual rights, privacy rights, and the legitimation of non-normative sexual desire. Fair enough -- but again, how do you draw the line? Consent is weak stuff, especially because, as I've said, animals cannot consent to being killed and eaten, yet few people outside of the vegan world object. But consent seems all that advanced liberal society can muster against sexual depravity. If you just assert that bestiality is evil, the zoophile could legitimately say, "Why?" If you say, "It's disgusting," they could say plausibly that disgust is a very weak principle on which to ban someone's free exercise of their private desires.

So what, then? I can explain to you why I, as a traditional Christian, believe that homosexuality is sinful and disordered, and also why it is not at all like bestiality. That's because my religious system provides a strong anthropology rooted in divine revelation and natural law. But it is also the case that we live in a post-Christian civilization, in which fewer and fewer people feel bound by that anthropology. However, far too few people have thought through the implications of abandoning the Judeo-Christian basis for social order. It's all well and good to say that we can liberalize laws governing sexual behavior, in a time when only the far fringes of society would affirm the legitimacy of sex with animals. It is not at all hard to understand why so many people were offended by Sen. Santorum's comparison. However, twenty years on, with same-sex marriage constitutionally validated, and widely popular (even a majority of Republicans support gay marriage rights), we have moved swiftly to abandoning the gender binary, which has existed since time immemorial, in the name of the sovereignty of individual rights and sexual self-definition. And we are abandoning monogamy for polyamory and polygamy. In 2022, many things that were beyond the pale of common consideration when Rick Santorum was in office are not only in play, but in some cases mandated by law.

In 2003, when the Supreme Court struck down the Texas anti-sodomy law, Justice Antonin Scalia dissented. His dissent was not based on defending the law itself. It was rather based on his view that the state has the right to regulate sexual morality in such a case. He wrote that he would no more require a state to abandon sodomy laws than he would require a state to institute them. His point was that state regulation of "morals" (to use the old-fashioned term) was well established in law. If we abandon that, he wrote:

One of the benefits of leaving regulation of this matter to the people rather than to the courts is that the people, unlike judges, need not carry things to their logical conclusion. The people may feel that their disapprobation of homosexual conduct is strong enough to disallow homosexual marriage, but not strong enough to criminalize private homosexual acts—and may legislate accordingly. The Court today pretends that it possesses a similar freedom of action, so that that we need not fear judicial imposition of homosexual marriage, as has recently occurred in Canada (in a decision that the Canadian Government has chosen not to appeal). See Halpern v. Toronto, 2003 WL 34950 (Ontario Ct. App.); Cohen, Dozens in Canada Follow Gay Couple’s Lead, Washington Post, June 12, 2003, p. A25. At the end of its opinion—after having laid waste the foundations of our rational-basis jurisprudence—the Court says that the present case “does not involve whether the government must give formal recognition to any relationship that homosexual persons seek to enter.” Ante, at 17. Do not believe it. More illuminating than this bald, unreasoned disclaimer is the progression of thought displayed by an earlier passage in the Court’s opinion, which notes the constitutional protections afforded to “personal decisions relating to marriage, procreation, contraception, family relationships, child rearing, and education,” and then declares that “[p]ersons in a homosexual relationship may seek autonomy for these purposes, just as heterosexual persons do.” Ante, at 13 (emphasis added)Today’s opinion dismantles the structure of constitutional law that has permitted a distinction to be made between heterosexual and homosexual unions, insofar as formal recognition in marriage is concerned. If moral disapprobation of homosexual conduct is “no legitimate state interest” for purposes of proscribing that conduct, ante, at 18; and if, as the Court coos (casting aside all pretense of neutrality), “[w]hen sexuality finds overt expression in intimate conduct with another person, the conduct can be but one element in a personal bond that is more enduring,” ante, at 6; what justification could there possibly be for denying the benefits of marriage to homosexual couples exercising “[t]he liberty protected by the Constitution,” ibid.? Surely not the encouragement of procreation, since the sterile and the elderly are allowed to marry. This case “does not involve” the issue of homosexual marriage only if one entertains the belief that principle and logic have nothing to do with the decisions of this Court. Many will hope that, as the Court comfortingly assures us, this is so.

Scalia correctly predicted that gay marriage was the inevitable conclusion of the court's ruling. He was widely mocked for being a fear-mongering dinosaur -- but of course he was exactly right. He also said that:

State laws against bigamy, same-sex marriage, adult incest, prostitution, masturbation, adultery, fornication, bestiality, and obscenity are likewise sustainable only in light of Bowers’ validation of laws based on moral choices. Every single one of these laws is called into question by today’s decision; the Court makes no effort to cabin the scope of its decision to exclude them from its holding.

Back then, I was opposed to the Texas anti-sodomy law, but believed that the state had a right to impose it, and that it should be overturned by the legislature. I don't see how Scalia is wrong about where the Court's reasoning in this decision takes us: towards ultimately invalidating all morals laws. This is the point of my post here.

Comments

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Scuds Lonigan
Scuds Lonigan
It's kinda like global warming, only opposite.

Everything the climate alarmists tell us is going to happen never does but it doesn't stop the march of the alarmists.
Everything the sexual alarmists tell us is going to happen does but it doesn't stop the march towards more weird sex.
schedule 2 months ago
Mario Diana
Mario Diana
Back in '96 or '97, when I first got on the Internet and discovered the search engine, I had the mischievous idea to "google" (I don't even think it was Google that I used, way back then) to see what kind of weirdo perversity there was out there. In those innocent times, my relatively innocent imagination had trouble even coming up with something to google. I was drawing a blank at first. Finally, I settled on "bestiality." I figured I see maybe a woman with a donkey or something like that. (Note: I'm not proud of any of this!) But to my absolute shock, I found manifestos advocating for the normalization of "inter-species love."

Basically, the argument of these loons went along the lines of, "I love my dog, and my dog loves me, and I'm a sexual creature, and my dog is a sexual creature; ergo, what could be more natural."

So, that's more than 25 years at this point. But, at least at that time, this kind of shocking perversity existed way on the margins, and you had to actively go looking for it. Perhaps this was the clue, 25 years ago, that the Internet wasn't going to be an entirely good thing.
schedule 2 months ago
JON FRAZIER
JON FRAZIER
As I've said before I am most concerned that the next big change will involve the fall of legal monogamy-- and that could easily involve not the usual privacy and personal choice grounds, but also religious liberty, argued by Muslims and other polygamous sects. I think plural wives, despite feminist opposition, is a good more probable (and acceptable to many people) than human-canine matches.
schedule 2 months ago
    ROBERT GRANO
    ROBERT GRANO
    I agree, but then no one predicted that the next big fight after Obergefell would revolve around "trans" issues. Those of us who knew that another battle was inevitable presumed it would concern either pedophilia or polyamory. We also did not expect it to develop in less than five years.

    When it comes to the Sexual Revolution juggernaut all bets are off.
    schedule 2 months ago
      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      If you paid any attention (most people didn't) the GLBT movement was loudly promising the "T" folks that once SSM was in the bag they were next on the agenda.
      schedule 2 months ago
Daniel Baker
Daniel Baker
"I have spent all my life under a communist regime and I will tell you that a society without any objective legal scale is a terrible one indeed. But a society with no other scale but the legal one is not quite worthy of man either." - - Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

I think Solzhenitsyn here touches the essential problem with consent. Consent is an excellent standard, the preeminent standard, for what should be legal and what should not be. But it cannot ultimately serve as the standard for what is morally right or wrong. When we conflate what is legal with what is moral, we're ignoring Solzhenitsyn's warning.

As Rod correctly points out, it's absurd to claim that we must have animals' consent for sex, but not for butchery (or even for milking or farming), if we assume that consent is required *to protect the animals*. Consent only makes sense if we assume that, as natural predators (whether by divine design, evolutionary adaptation, or both), it is beneficial for us to eat animals that do not consent, but not beneficial for us to have sex with animals whose minds are much too far below ours to be capable of "consent" as we know it. In other words, making consent the standard for zoophilia assumes that nonconsensual sex harms and demeans *us,* rather than the animals that we nonconsensually eat all the time. And this is a fundamental challenge to the John Stuart Mill credo, "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant."

The sad fact is that, increasingly, American society does regard the laws as the measure of morality as well as legality; making same-sex marriage legal did serve in many people's minds to make it moral as well, and the current battle over abortion, legal requirements to use certain pronouns or allow pre-adult elective genital surgeries are correctly seen also as determining whether society will see them as moral as well. How did this come about? For most of American history, the fact that the First Amendment allowed you to preach Nazism or Communism, enslavement or abolitionism, was not seen as proof that any one of these things was moral. The fact that you were legally free to go to a Catholic church did not prevent Protestants from saying you were damned to hell, and vice versa. I have a terrible feeling that it may have been the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the civil rights movement generally, that changed that. Before civil rights, one of the main ways Americans (of all races) enforced the line between what was legal and what was moral was by social isolation and discrimination. From the civil rights era onward, Americans came to regard "discrimination" as the greatest evil of which a person was capable, and conversely, "inclusion" as the greatest virtue. In a society where individuals are morally, and sometimes legally, restrained from imposing their own community's moral judgments, the law becomes the only moral standard. I hate to think that we might have to choose between allowing amusement parks to slam their doors in black children's faces and making it legally mandatory to hire zoophiles, but that may be the case.
schedule 2 months ago
    JON FRAZIER
    JON FRAZIER
    Re: I hate to think that we might have to choose between allowing amusement parks to slam their doors in black children's faces and making it legally mandatory to hire zoophiles, but that may be the case.

    If we're that dumb we don't deserve freedom. But I think most of us can tell the difference between legal and moral.
    schedule 2 months ago
Peter Kurilecz
Peter Kurilecz
It's only getting worse. check out this child who believed that they were a girl from early on. Do check out the child's parents.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/transgender-model-10-becomes-youngest-27759107
schedule 2 months ago
    Michael Cole
    Michael Cole
    I checked out the link to the story in the Mirror. Frankly Noella McMaher is not the kind of individual I am concerned about. If the article accurately describes her life history, Noella is the real thing. Starting from age 2, she (he?, they?) felt like a girl, wanted to be treated like a girl, dressed like a girl, and has consistently felt the same ever since. I shrug. I say, it seems sad to me, but this is a real case where nature somehow messed up and produced a mismatch between biological sex and psychological perception of gender identity. But such individuals are 1 in 10,000 (or 1 in 5,000 or whatever) and have always existed, however rarely. What I cannot understand is how transgender issues have become such a fad to the extent that in some locales, a quarter of a junior high school class may be wondering if they are trans, or nonbinary, or whatever. Obviously it is an attention-getting practice of the kids and, perhaps, a way of expressing rebellion towards parents or society or whatever.
    schedule 2 months ago