Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Germans Crack Down on Bestiality

According to a recent Times piece, “Germany’s upper house of Parliament, the Bundesrat, voted Friday to criminalize… ‘using an animal for personal sexual activity.’” (“German Legislators Vote to Outlaw Bestiality," NYT, 2/1/13). One hopes the irony of having an a political organization with a name like Bundesrat pass the ban was not lost on the German electorate. Zoophiles, or those who oppose animal rights groups in sanctioning the blessings of animal love “argue,” according to the Times “that their  relations with their pets, or ‘partners’ as they prefer, are entirely mutual." Michael Kiok is identified in the piece as director of Zoophilic Engagement for Tolerance and Enlightenment and David Zimmerman, a director who is described as having “had a Great Dane with which he occasionally had sex…now...lives with his similarly zoophilic boyfriend and their Dalmation” after his Great Dane passed away. The question, of course, is not simply whether the sex is consensual. Beyond the fact that there is literally no way of telling if a dog is giving his or her consent, one might question whether an animal really knows what is best for itself and if so which ones? For instance Mr. Zimmerman’s Great Dane might have been considered by some to be more in a position to make judgments of this kind than Mr. Zimmerman’s boyfriend’s Dalmation. Great Danes give the appearance of being more considered in their choice of sexual partners while there is an impulsive streak in Dalmations, often known as “firehouse dogs," which might mitigate against their deferring gratification. These are some of the questions that the Bundesrat should consider if these issues ever come back to the floor of the chamber.

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