Irreligious: Why is Animal Rape Wrong, But Animal Slavery-Imprisonment-Murder Okay?


I have asked before what justification the irreligous have for objecting to humans having sexual relations with animals. After all, I snarked, it seems the logical next step after the public acceptance of homosexuality – another form of sexual preference that is ‘irrationally hated by backwards, bigoted religious fundamentalists’. (Incest is another, those mindless scripture-thumping sheeple!)

Religious nuts can cite this or that doctrine or verse or saying by a religious leader as their excuse – after all, they’re RELIGIOUS right? Those fellas don’t accept such blasphemy as logic, rationale and evidence!

One of the common responses in the comments was that zoophilia cannot be truly consensual (despite personal stories like this), because animals are not sentient and therefore cannot consciously choose to have willing sex with a human. Any apparent enjoyment on the animal’s part is wholly an instinctual, uncontrollable, involuntary response.

Therefore, zoophilia is akin to rape or pedophilia rather than to the consensual relations between, say, two adult male humans.

Which makes me think: Why then are animal labour, pet rearing or eating meat considered acceptable?

In the same way that dogs cannot make the concious decision that they want sex with Dr. Dog-Doer, oxen cannot voluntarily agree to being harnessed and made to plow the field (nor give consent to being castrated for that matter).

Rabbits cannot grasp the concept of ownership by another being, let alone freely submit to the stifling existence of life in a cage.

Fish do not have the mental faculty to decide they really want to be hauled out into the suffocating air and served still writhing to the discerning sushi connosier.

I ask thee, are the harsh enslavement, lifetime imprisonment and outright murder of animals not worse than simply raping them?

So again, to the irreligious: If you don’t base your ethics/morality regarding proper interactions between humans and animals on some outdated, arbitrary and probably mythical supernatural basis… Then what is your justification for objecting to zoophilia, but not to animal slavery, imprisonment and mass specie-cide?

(Smiths member Morrissey and Natalie Portman think this way!)

————————————-

PS. Just to get the message straight: I am no animal-rights activist. While I object to intentional mistreatment of animals, I do not believe they are entitled to rights the same way humans are. I do not consider animal labour, keeping pets or barbeques unethical, however I consider sexual contact between humans and animals to be immoral. Being a theist, this dichotomy seems perfectly fine to me.


15 Responses to “Irreligious: Why is Animal Rape Wrong, But Animal Slavery-Imprisonment-Murder Okay?”

  1. Ron Says:

    “…I do not believe they are entitled to rights the same way humans are. I do not consider animal labour, keeping pets or barbeques unethical..”

    And God said, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” (Genesis 1:29)

  2. Zack T Says:

    uh… what’s the verse supposed to answer?
    That we’re supposed to be vegetarians? Your ability of quoting parts of the scripture from here and there but yet never read the whole Bible completely is really laughable.

    Genesis 9:2-3
    [God spoke to Noah, after the Flood,] “The fear and dread of you will fall upon all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon every creature that moves along the ground, and upon all the fish of the sea; they are given into your hands. Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

    Nice try, though.

  3. Ron Says:

    God changes his mind. Later he changes it again when the Israelites are forbidden to eat pork and shellfish. Even later still Peter hallucinates about a heavenly tablecloth and hears voices telling him: “Yo dude, pork roast, hotdogs, ham sandwiches, rabbits, lobster, reptiles, and all-you-can shrimp are back on the menu.”

  4. Scott Thong Says:

    Analogize it to a toddler being forbidden to operate the stove, but when she turns ten suddenly the fickle-minded and always-change-minding parents let her. How arbitrary!

  5. Rose Says:

    “Why then are animal labour, pet rearing or eating meat considered acceptable?”

    We need food to live. Having said that, some people do object to eating meat. There are differing opinions on animal labour and pet rearing as well.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-religion. I have great respect for spirituality. I just don’t agree with your arguments. If it’s true that animal labour, pet rearing, and eating meat are as wrong as bestiality then that just shows that those who object to bestiality and not the rest are inconsistent. It really doesn’t refute the rational argument against bestiality.

    Personally, I think animal labour is not an ideal situation. It would be better if we didn’t need to use animals for personal gain but things being what they are, sometimes it’s the lesser of two evils. It’s better to “enslave” some animals for labour than for, say, farmers in a third world country to court starvation because they’re not able to make a living.

    As for pet rearing, I think it’s OK to rear domesticated animals ie. cats, dogs etc. These animals have been acclimatised to live with humans. They can’t survive in the wild anymore. Pet owners have the moral obligation to treat their pets well.

    Eating meat: Meat is part of our natural diet so there’s no clearcut right and wrong about this. Animals eat meat too but as creatures of conscience, better to go vegetarian if we can help it.

  6. Scott Thong Says:

    Rose, what is the rational argument against bestiality?

  7. Amy D. Says:

    Spot on, Scott! I was thinking about this a few days ago. I always wondered why those liberal atheists are against bestiality when they believe that killing animals for meat or fur is acceptable. Humans use animals for their own pleasure all the time, so why can`t the irreligious accept zoophilia?

  8. Zack T Says:

    this one ended quite fast.. thought the discussion would go on longer…
    I am really interested to hear what non-theists has to say regarding this.

  9. Jason Says:

    Scott,
    Why are you asking why anyone thinks if animal slavery is okay if you say yourself that you do not think animal labour is unethical.

  10. Scott Thong Says:

    Why, to troll out the hypocrisy of those whose only argument against bestiality is ‘Animals cannot give consent’ of course.

    Whereas as a religious fundie nut, I simply follow what is proscribed in the Bible regarding eating animals and not humping them.

  11. Jason Says:

    Scott,
    I am not arguing that bestiality is wrong because animals cannot give consent. I am against bestiality because it is cruel, unusual, and completely unnecessary. Killing an animal for food serves a purpose and should always be done in a way that causes the least amount of pain and suffering for the animal. I personally will not eat certain foods such as veal which impose suffering on an animal just so that it may taste more yummy. I do not accept the suffering of animals so that our food may taste better. That is absolutely selfish and inhumane.

  12. Ron Says:

    Whereas as a religious fundie nut, I simply follow what is proscribed in the Bible regarding eating animals and not humping them.

    Perhaps you might want to reevaluate the soundness of this approach. If blindly following the dictates of a book without considering the merits of the arguments themselves is the sole explanation of your moral code, then by what metric do you counter the moral values of those informed by competing religious texts. After all, they can argue that they’re just blindly following the dictates of their book, too.

  13. Scott Thong Says:

    If blindly following the dictates of a book without considering the merits of the arguments themselves is the sole explanation of your moral code, then by what metric do you counter the moral values of those informed by competing religious texts. After all, they can argue that they’re just blindly following the dictates of their book, too. – Ron

    That diverts the debate away from ‘Do you follow a moral code dictated by humans or a by a (purported) deity, and why?’ to ‘Whose beliefs about deity, the supernatural and the metaphysical is correct?’… Which is a whole ‘nuther ball game.

  14. Scott Thong Says:

    I am not arguing that bestiality is wrong because animals cannot give consent. I am against bestiality because it is cruel, unusual, and completely unnecessary. Killing an animal for food serves a purpose and should always be done in a way that causes the least amount of pain and suffering for the animal. I personally will not eat certain foods such as veal which impose suffering on an animal just so that it may taste more yummy. I do not accept the suffering of animals so that our food may taste better. That is absolutely selfish and inhumane. – Jason

    Well I’d have to agree with you on the eating part – while I believe that we are given dominion over all creation, we are simultaneously required to be good and compassionate stewards. In fact there are Christian groups and individuals that forgo all meat and animal labor, citing God’s original plan where all ate green plants for food – despite this fallen world, they would rather keep as close to that perfect plan as possible.

    On the matter of bestiality being cruel, the laws on zoophilia in several European nations make the distinction that it is legal so long as no undue harm or distress is caused to the animal.

    Or maybe those more liberal, more humanist, more secular than America nations are misguided or something despite their admirably progressive views on homosexual unions etc. In which case, relative morality!!!

    Also, T.J. on October 28, 08 at 11:30 am .

  15. Ron Says:

    That diverts the debate away from ‘Do you follow a moral code dictated by humans or a by a (purported) deity, and why?’ to ‘Whose beliefs about deity, the supernatural and the metaphysical is correct?’… Which is a whole ‘nuther ball game.

    Not really. Without empirical evidence to firmly establish the existence of any deities (let alone the divine authorship of any specific text) all such claims constitute an exercise in special pleading. And since the major religious texts often sanction acts which many would now consider repulsive (genocide, slavery, misogyny, ritual sacrifice, etc), there is little reason to believe that any of them were divinely inspired.

    Which leaves religious adherents in the same boat as everyone else, namely, defending a moral code devised by men (albeit scientifically ignorant and superstitious men from a bygone era).

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