Pure and Simple, Sex with Animals Is Abuse
This is not about whether, as a community, we think it is depraved, disgusting or a violation of the natural order. This is about consent and protecting those without a voice.
What Is Animal Sexual Abuse?
Animal sexual abuse is often referred to as “bestiality.” It includes a wide variety of behaviors that involve molesting an animal through vaginal, anal or oral contact/penetration, stimulation, fondling, penetration with objects, or even physically hurting or killing an animal for one’s own sexual gratification. It is considered and defined as abuse because animals are incapable of giving consent in a language we understand; therefore, any sexual act with an animal is coercion and exploitation.
What Kinds of Animals Are Commonly Abused?
Farm animals are easy targets because they are easily controlled. Not to mention, they are accessible in the dark of night for the so called, “fence jumpers,” who abuse them. This includes horses, sheep, goats, pigs and chickens. Dogs are also commonly abused because it is very easy to take a dog into your home as a pet. Dogs are loyal and accommodating creatures who learn through behavior reinforcement.
Is It Really Abuse?
Yes, sexually abused animals suffer physical and emotional trauma.
Who Practices Bestiality and Why?
Men notoriously outweigh woman when it comes to “who” abuses more. For some, bestiality is sexually exciting simply because it is a deviant behavior, or they want to experiment. Others pursue bestiality because they find animals kinder and unable to reject them like human counterparts. It has been called a fetish and a perversion and even a sexual orientation. For those who struggle to form human relationships, bestiality can become a twisted alternative to deal with issues of rejection, self-esteem, or a history of trauma. Many child molesters also have a history of animal sexual abuse. Violence toward animals has long been linked to one’s propensity to commit other violent crimes.
What Makes a Zoophile Different?
Zoophilia adds an affection component to bestiality. The person feels affection, attraction and love toward the animal. In the majority of these cases, the “lover” is a dog. A person can hate animals and perform bestiality as an act of violence, cruelty or domination, but a zoophile feels they have an actual relationship with the animal. Many state they only have sex when their animal initiates it. While this may sound much nicer and acceptable (who doesn’t love love?), their defense of the behavior is reminiscent of pedophile rhetoric when they say an animal actually likes it and wants it.
Well, Maybe the Dog Really Is in Love with Its Owner
This reminds me of when I brought home my first puppy and I taught him basic commands, and how to behave in his new environment. Don’t chew this, don’t pee here, lie down, jump, play dead, speak and so on.
As a beagle, he had a voracious appetite for treats. He would perform his entire repertoire of tricks without being asked! But would I say that it proved he liked to perform the tricks? No, probably not. His motivation was for the treat and for acceptance in our family. He knew no other way of life than what we conditioned in him.
So, Can a Dog also Be Taught to Lick Genitals and Penetrate a Vagina?
Could they seek out sexual encounters on their own because it is a conditioned behavior? I believe so. But are they in love? I think not. There is a clear power dynamic with the human as the dominant party.
Sexual abuse survivors often report feelings of shame because their bodies responded with physical pleasure during their abuse. Does that justify the abuser or prove the victim “wanted it?” Definitely not!
Just like sexual abuse survivors, an animal may also appear aroused and have learned responses they act out on. But it is ludicrous to call that love or consent.
What Are the Laws to Protect Animals?
Bestiality is illegal in most countries around the world, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and many others. So it may come as a surprise that many U.S states do not have laws against the practice. In at least 30 states, bestiality is a punishable offense as either a felony or a misdemeanor.
[Find your state’s bestiality laws at The Animal Legal Defense Funds.]
Bestiality is illegal in nearly every European country. Denmark was one of the last to sign a bill, just last year, outlawing the practice.
Where Can I Report Abuse?
There are many options to report abuse. If you know an animal is in immediate danger, always contact your local police department first. If the animal isn’t in immediate danger, contact one of these organizations and the police department:
- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Follow links on the Take Action page to report animal cruelty and learn how you can advocate for legal animal protection.
- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA: Report animal abuse at Report Cruelty on their website and learn about all types of current animal abuse issues.
- The Humane Society of the United States offers resources and education regarding animal right issues. Learn how to spot abuse, document and report it on Reporting Animal Cruelty.
Help! I Don’t Want to Abuse Animals, but I Feel Like I Can’t Help My Urges!
First of all, it is amazingly brave to recognize your actions hurt animals and, therefore, yourself. The good news is that help is available, and you can get back to living a life that isn’t clouded with anxiety, shame or confusion. A knowledgeable sex therapist will help you learn to correct thought patterns and expose you to normal sexual interests. Stop the abuse. Seek out local therapists and support groups.