Bestiality, as it is popularly known, refers to the act of sexual intercourse between a human and an animal. Shocked, are you? Well, bestiality is a quite prevalent, though obscure concept. Unlike India and most other nations, it is legal in a whole bunch of nations across the planet with its earliest evidences having traced down to the pre-historic era in almost every ancient human civilization that ever existed. The most preferred choices of animals for the act of bestiality range from farm animals to dogs, horses, donkeys, chickens and snakes.
It’s legal to have sex with your dog in Texas!
Yes, you read it right. Bestiality is indeed legal in a whole bunch of places currently. From the US States of Hawaii, Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. Countries like Russia(since 1903), Cuba, Argentina, Finland, Iceland, Japan, Philippines and Czech Republic allow zoophilic activities (as on Wikipedia with last edit on November 4, 2017). Recently, Canada’s apex court too decriminalized all forms of bestiality that do not involve penetration of the animal.
Legality of zoophilia by country or territory shown in areas with grey
(Picture Source: Wikipedia)
For those where Bestiality is illegal or recently criminalized again – brothels exist!
Germany, which recently criminalised the act of bestiality has seen a sudden occurrence of the number of so-called ‘bestiality-brothels’ in hidden spaces on the German territory where paying visitors may experience sexual pleasure with the animal of their choice. Analysts claim that this ‘sudden’ rise in Germany was hardly unexpected considering the existence of this community in such noticeable numbers. Although quite prevalent, it’s still far from being socially acceptable in most places. Through societies like the Germany-based ‘Zoophiles Engagement für Toleranz und Aufklärung’, as well as dedicated websites, an attempt to offer a judgement-free space to converse is being widely undertaken. ‘BeastForum’, the largest website for the zoophile community claims of having already registered around 1.2 million members and many more unregistered visitors. Members openly share tips encouraging their animals to participate in the act as well as post pictures and videos of their sexual experiences.
“Kya naye naye bawaal aate rehte hain bhai??!!” Well, it dates back to the pre-historic times.
Depiction of bestiality in cave paintings and rock sculptures dates back to centuries. One of the earliest examples come to us through Vale do Côa in Portugal.
Egyptian women were also claimed to have indulged in sexual acts with goats for religious purposes. Such “worshipful bestiality” with the Apis bull in Memphis, Egypt, and with goats at the Temple of Mendes were pretty common in ancient Egypt.
In ancient Greece, beastiality was never punishable. Zeus himself have been seen seducing favoured mortals in animal forms, for example, Europa (bull) and Ganymede (eagle). The myth regarding Leda and the Swan most explicitly shows the existence of beastiality in the past.
Romans too were not alien to the concept. Women were known for keeping snakes for sexual purposes. Moreover, in Rome, it was rather used as a spectacle of amusement for the audience at the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus where women (and sometimes men) were often raped by animals.
Depictions of beastiality in the Laxman Temple at Khajurao and medieval paintings give another evidences of beastiality’s existence in India as well.
So, should bestilaity be legalized?
While this has been an ongoing debate for decades now, whether or not should beastiality be legalized still remains a subject of extensive discussion. It has been debated on several arguments, the most significant of those we shall try to discuss here.
•No Procreation: When no progeny is obtained from a sexual union, the very existence of such a relationship has been questioned by many. This argument, although has been strongly criticized on the grounds stating that procreation is certainly not the reason of existence. Homosexual and hetrosexual couples going for adoption are presented as some very obvious examples.
•Consent: Consent is one major point of argument that is talked about animals rights activists. While in every other sexual union, consent is one thing that forms the basis of an intercourse, in cases of beastiality, whether or not the consent of the animal exists is nearly impossible to judge. Cases where sometimes animals are even drugged before the intercourse so that they do not resist is claimed as cruelty towards animals by many. Contrary to this, zoophiles and their sympathisers claim that they share much more than just a sexual relationship with their animals. They claim that because their relationship is also romantic, the allegations of being cruel towards the animals are baseless and unthinkable. Further talking about consent, they say, everything that’s done with animals, from petting them to patting them to slaughtering them for varied reasons, cultural and industrial, the consent of animals is never sought. They question that if all of such activities find place in legal books globally, why not beastiality?
•Health issues: This, beyond doubt is considered to be one of the strongest points of argument for those who oppose beastiality. One of the most famous cases is the so-called Enumclaw horse sex case in which a 45 year-old man died after receiving anal sex from a stallion. The horse’s large penis perforated the man’s colon and he died several hours later, as reported in the Seattle Times. The diseases that humans can catch through sexual intercourse with animals include leptospirosis, echinococcosis and rabies. Contradicting this, zoophiles argue that a lot of things and activities that pose equally serious health risks are legal in many countries. Inbreeding, which is scientifically discouraged and disapproved is legal in practically all the countries across the planet.
Bestiality as a ritual practice in some places, while taboo in others
In various cultures in Arab countries, Middle Eastern countries, the Americas and Africa, it was believed that indulging in beastiality aided men to increase the size of their genitals and increased virility. In most Catholic cultures women aren’t allowed to lose their virginity before they get married. Many areas (as covered in Vice’s documentary titled ‘Asses of the Carribean’) encourage pubescent boys to have sex with donkeys to increase their sexual prowess and enlarge their penises. As for the Native Americans and Eskimos, bestiality varied from tribe to tribe, but was largely socially acceptable and went unpunished among Navajo Indians, Crow Indians, Hopi Indians, Sioux, Apache, Plains Indians, the Canadian Indian tribe of the Saulteaux, as well as the Kupfer and Copper Eskimos. Contrary to this, almost all branches of Chritianity and Judaism completely forbid acts of beastiality. Islam has no specific prohibitions regarding beastiality, nor does Hinduism.
Overall, a largely obscure and socially unacceptable concept, beastiality is not as alien as the general conception goes. Whether it will find its ‘desired’ place in the legal books globally is a question, probabably, yet too soon to be answered.