What, Exactly, Is Wrong With Bestiality?

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The above video is amusing, but also raises an interesting question: what is it, exactly, that’s wrong with bestiality? Notice that the perpetrator isn’t getting it on with women and fantasizing about animals; instead, he’s getting it on with animals and fantasizing about women.

But a person who’s truly into sex with animals, it seems, would fantasize about the animals themselves. And so it raises a question: what’s more important, the inner state of the person having sex or the outward behavior? We all know it’s okay, for example, to eat a sheep, but not to eat out a sheep. And it would be double-perverse to eat out a sheep thinking of the sheep, and not of a woman.

But what if a person ate a sheep imagining himself eating a human? That would be a sick and private cannibalism fantasy, far worse than an outward act of bestiality. (Why is it primarily men who are into such evil shit?) But it wouldn’t be breaking any laws.

So what’s most important: the inner or outer life? And why can animals be used in so many abusive ways, except when it comes to sex?

Think of hunting, for example. You can chase an animal down, frighten it, kill its young and companions in its presence, and if the shot you take to kill the animal only wounds it, and it escapes into the forest, you’re under no obligation to find it again and take care of the suffering animal. You can walk back to camp and leave it to slowly bleed to death in the forest.

And you can dig into a plate of eggs and bacon every morning without the least compunction about factory farming. Factory farming causes enormous suffering to animals, but it’s accomplished by professionals who are bureaucratic and dispassionate in their work. We all know the suffering caused is nothing personal. Declaring yourself a sadist is not a plus when applying for work at a factory farm.

But if a broad-based sex-with-animals movement, grounded in nothing more than freely-chosen pleasure, ever started under the banner of “Different Species Marriage Now!”, pulpits throughout the world would declare it a sign of the end of civilization and the soon return of Jesus.

Why is that?

Is part of the taboo against inter-species sex subliminally grounded in a desire to maintain the Bible’s notion of distinct created “kinds”—a concern with the purity of the (presumed) created order of species? Perhaps only a godless evolutionist would broach such a boundary.

And speaking of evolution, does the prohibition have to do with evolutionary psychology translated into what Martha Nussbaum calls the politics of disgust?

Perhaps a big part of the prohibition is simply a desire by humans not to think of themselves as animals. Or maybe it’s presumed that sex has to have some justification beyond pleasure—some procreative purpose.

That latter notion, however, is tricky to maintain in a world where contraception and aids to masturbation (pornography) are readily available.

What’s wrong with bestiality, again?

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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32 Responses to What, Exactly, Is Wrong With Bestiality?

  1. Paradigm says:

    Psychologist Jonathan Haidt, who seems like a smart guy, would probably categorize this as the sixth universal moral foundation, namely Sanctity/Degradation. Quoting from his web page,

    Sanctity/degradation: This foundation was shaped by the psychology of disgust and contamination. It underlies religious notions of striving to live in an elevated, less carnal, more noble way. It underlies the widespread idea that the body is a temple which can be desecrated by immoral activities and contaminants (an idea not unique to religious traditions).

    http://faculty.virginia.edu/haidtlab/mft/index.php

  2. andrewclunn says:

    By that same logic the entire notion of animal rights is a farce. After all if raping animals (does anyone serious claim that the animals are willing and capable of giving consent?) is alright because, hell, we eat them and this is nothing compared to that, then okay legalize animal-human sex, but then you should also oppose animal rights.

    • anonymous says:

      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”.

  3. Rob says:

    If right and wrong are genetic, as I believe, then it follows that sex with animals must be wrong because it makes no sense genetically.

  4. dstrike0083@gamil.com says:

    there’s nothing wrong. we all evolved from the single cell organism. so having sex with human or animals is incest

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  6. conservative says:

    This is the classic liberal way to make something degenerate sound reasonable. You santi, are simply repeating the mantras of the Frankfurt School and other rabid left wingers and perverts who ridiculed any moral opposition to things like this. That’s where this normalization of the abnormal started, with those pseudo-experts. “Insanity is the purest state of mental health” said Adorno, of the Frankfurt School. Then is it any surprise that they promoted and encouraged things like homosexual “marriage”, bestiality, and incest, to mention just a few? You’re not aware that your thinking has been heavily influenced by them, but the fact that you’re so relaxed about this, shows it.

    Those who were indoctrinated by them are the crowd that always hates decency and mocks decency and morality. It’s strange however, that the same crowd doesn’t show the same hatred and contempt for Islam, for being very restrictive. They only attack Christian morality, Western morality. Isn’t that interesting?

    • Barnum Bailey says:

      Perhaps I shouldn’t speak for ‘liberals’ – as an apparently monolithic group with no heterogeneity – but the idea that ‘we’ have no disdain for Islam is ridiculous.

      As an individual, who considers himself ‘liberal’, I think Christianity and Islam deserve a special place on the podium of wishful delusions. What I do not accept, as a self-identified ‘liberal’, is that Christianity should get a special place of entitlement and a free pass, to the exclusion of all other delusions. Islam’s teachings, if not its practice in relation to political violence, are no better or worse than Christianity. Go ahead, give me some scripture about slaying the infidel and I’ll find you something similar in the bible.

      I also support the establishment clause. Guess what that means? Take down your Ten Commandments from the yokel state legislature or, the less preferred and impractical option, give equal weight to other religions.

      For the record, I don’t believe we are distinct from animals, as we are but another animal in the ecosystem – albeit one with higher order cognitive functions. I also love meat and am revolted by the thought of screwing sheep. Does that make me illogical and inconsistent? Perhaps

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Conservative,

      You are, in essence, saying, “Don’t look at why people have this taboo.” My post is about the sociology and psychology of the taboo. I’d be curious to know your take on evolutionary psychology in relation to the subject and why, psychologically, you think it’s okay to most humans to kill and abuse and eat animals, but not have sex with them.

      –Santi

      • christopher says:

        yes but many more proponents of islam(than christianity) think homosexuality is wrong and should be met with death. the same with infidelity, and have blasphemy laws. christianity is not exempt, but it has changed far more than islam.

  7. John J Johnson says:

    Dude, if you are serious about bestiality, I hope you get rabies, fleas, or some other nasty animal disease. Just because you can do something does not mean that you should. Your film is a JOKE!

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      John,

      You did not really make an argument. And we are animals.

      • Ballz says:

        But animals aren’t humans! They’re consider non-humans. So bestiality is wrong and it shows that people who does it are abnormal and wants rape animals!

  8. Dez says:

    “Think of hunting, for example. You can chase an animal down, frighten it, kill its young and companions in its presence, and if the shot you take to kill the animal only wounds it, and it escapes into the forest, you’re under no obligation to find it again and take care of the suffering animal. You can walk back to camp and leave it to slowly bleed to death in the forest.”

    Quite a disturbing distortion. Very few animals hunted for food are chased and frightened as it tends to spoil the meat. Hunting for food is NOT in any part “kill its young and companions in its presence,” and I have never met a “hunter for food” or any trophy hunter for that matter that doesn’t feel an extreme obligation to make sure and find the wounded animal and end it’s suffering. Any hunter I have ever known or heard of would more than likely shoot someone caught doing the things you call hunting.
    Generally speaking the whole sentence is a distortion at least and an outright and intentional lie at most.
    Do you always make these kinds of distortions and lies trying to make your point?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you actually belive people still hunt for food in this days ? well probably…but in most civilized countrys ….the usually don’t, If you can kill animals just for sport….dunno. Even in human crimes….i think we can agree that murder is worse then rape , right ?

      • Dez says:

        Yes!
        Not only believe but know for a fact, and in this civilized country and they do it because they need to as well as believing that is why god put them there.
        I know it is true that some kill for sport,the very few that I know who do, don’t take pleasure in “terrifying” the animal and the meat is given as gifts, usually to people living in the area, so it is not wasted.
        As for humans and murder being worse being worse than rape?
        I’d would say that as far as the victim is concerned – I doubt it! The rape victim has to live with being violently assaulted for the rest of their life but the person that was murdered isn’t alive to feel anything and may possibly be in “Heaven with their creator”.
        To people that are not the victim – I’d say that depends.
        It depends on how empathic you are and how much that person meant to you. I doubt you’ll be able to truly answer that yourself until you go through it!

      • Glen Quagmire says:

        People do Hunt animals for food. It’s called Living Off The Grid. I agree Murder is worse but it isn’t “Rape” to a Male animal if its mounted on you. However other way around and/or with a Female animal then I believe its rape. But as for a Male ontop of a Female/Male I don’t see it as rape.

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  10. Red says:

    Um. The fact that some forms of animal cruelty are socially sanctioned does not mean they should be, or that all forms of animal cruelty should be accepted. This whole post kind of struck me as a tu quoque argument.

  11. browneyes56 says:

    your stepping over boundaries, if it was meant to be that way then everybody would do such a thing, you’ve done something very serious and getting away with it, you need to know the truth about having sex with animals and your health, your a very incorrigible person so whats the point

  12. Marcus says:

    very hard to talk to lay people which know not interpret the text in a logical manner without mixing with their own ideologies.

  13. lala says:

    have people considered that having sex with animals (erughhhh) is damaging to ur damn brain?? sex isn’t just sex, when humans have sex we develop attachments, release chemicals to fulfil human purpose with another human being etc. i genuinely think anyone who has sex with non humans has something wrong with them. it doesn’t make sense to be sexually attracted and sexually fulfilled by another species. human sex was made for humans. u can say, ‘oh, but other animals have sex with other species..’ yh.. for entirely different reasons. animal sex doesn’t register the same way it does to human brains. i just dnt understand how this isn’t something u would consider?? u probably need intense therapy and cbt to rewire ur thought/physical patterns because somewhere along the way things messed up. that happens to all of us of course no one is perfect. but for sexual attracted to extend to non humans.. is just wrong, defies your biology.. just madness. the way our biology prompts our sexual partners and such e.g. men being naturally more drawn to younger women, just does not rationalise this beastility. not to mention how hurrrrrrendous ur article is in the first place. the most void thing you’ve said to support your empty argument is that other animal abuse is accepted, so why should this be a problem??? ur fucking ridiculous haha, animal abuse should be gone point blank. stop using animals for ur own human gain just because ur sexual wires are messed up. go fix it.

    • Glen Quagmire says:

      Basically because something doesn’t make Sense to you, You dub is as Wrong lol. That’s like Dubbing Transgenders as Wrong because people don’t understand them. If people can understand them then why can’t people understand this. I mean, In a world where people Eat Animals, Are evolved From animals, it’s apparently Wrong to have intercourse with said animal. Too bad it’s already happening and people have to deal with it. It’s legal in most places after all.

  14. Glen Quagmire says:

    Personally, I don’t think Beastiality is Right nor Wrong. The Bible is basically Written by tons of people based off of what They themselves Deem “Wrong” this is what we call a NORM. When Society follows behind what they feel is right and or wrong. In this case Beastiality would be dubbed “Wrong.” God gave us Will Power and Freedom to do as we Please. Following the Bible isn’t something to really focus on as a “Taboo” – How I see it, Female Animals shouldn’t be subjected to Sex with a Man. A Male dog/horse/etc knows “Reproduction” and further more /PROBABLY/ Enjoy it. They’re just doing what they would normally do with anything else under them really. Point is, It’s up to you (Yourself) to deem it right or wrong if YOU would do it. Don’t worry about what other people do. Everyone has their kinks. We are All Animals technically, Just because we’re DUBBED as human beings doesn’t ignore the fact that we’re still Mammals. Hense how Apes evolved and yet evolution has stopped apparently. Regardless of what anyone says; We’re mammals. Horses are Mammals. Dogs are Mammals. Cats are Mammals. Deal with it. We all evolved in some form or another. If people wanna do animals then that’s their business, not yours. Worry about making money and living under a roof rather than worrying about someone who’s doing stuff with their pet dog/cat/horse/etc.

  15. Marcus says:

    People always eat meat in many countries. Do animals with laboratory tests ; torture and kill animals to remove their skin and make skin clothes. I see no difference between those who have sex with animals and those who wear fur clothes or eat meat or drink milk from cows confined to give milk or animal products . A man can have sexual pleasure with a dog or horse , and can eat meat? There’s no difference.

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