How long until the taboo on Bestiality is broken?

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An Editorial on Bestiality.

--By Daniel Grant Wilks--

About as long as speciesism and denial of humans being in the animal kingdom or being animals and therefor zoosexual by nature because of your attraction to a human animal.

Zoosexuality is a sexual orientation in which humans are sexually attracted to animals. Although people have been having sex with animals for centuries, it has largely been condemned, ignored, and marginalized by society. The reason for this negative attitude towards sexuality is due to ignorance and bigotry, which has led to zoosexuality being stigmatized by society and made a taboo subject. But what exactly does it mean for something to be “taboo”?

Taboo is a word which means “[being] proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable”; it is also defined as “exclusion from use or practice, to ignore or ridicule”. Compare this with the definition of “controversial”, which is “subject to controversy; debatable”. Taboo subjects and controversial subjects often overlap.

Because of this, some subjects in society are publicly debatable, controversial, and easy to bring up (such as abortion or health care reform) – nobody is ashamed of bring up their point-of-view. However, taboo subjects (such as bestiality, nudity, and subjects which have to do with sex and death) are considered unacceptable by society, stigmatized, and ignored as thoroughly as possible. They are irrationally censored. I refer to this as “social erasure”; the collective artificial amnesia created by a society to attempt to eradicate a way of thinking. This has been common throughout history; for example, blacks prior to key moments (such as the Civil Rights movement) were often ignored.


Another group of people that have suffered from “social erasure” are gays. In the 1950s, for example, being gay wasn’t even debated; it was “brushed under the table”, ignored, stigmatized and considered taboo. However, through the 1960s and onwards, gay rights eventually became more mainstream and began to become OK to talk about; in the year 2000, there were zero U.S. states that allowed gay marriage; there are now 7 (and DC) — and that number is growing. The social attitude towards the taboo of homosexuality has changed over the years; in a sense, it has gone from being “taboo” to not being a big deal.

However the same cannot be said for zoosexuality; it is a group which have not made the progress that gay rights has made; it has remained in the darkness, locked up by society; this is largely due to the fact that our culture is based on certain moral values derived from Christianity and other religious sources.


Whenever the “hidden” subject of zoosexuality is brought up by someone, no matter how articulate and rational the argument may be, the chances are high that the resulting reaction will involve social stigma, disgust, or a non-rational knee-jerk response. Why are certain things considered taboo? And why is zoosexuality so taboo? Surely, one could not pick a more taboo subject. It is so taboo that it could almost be considered analogous to homosexuality in the 1950s. In my 15 years (and counting) of education, I have only heard the subject mentioned once or twice, and in those cases, it was only mentioned briefly and negatively. I have never seen a television show about it. It is apparently even too taboo for National Geographic’s “Taboo” series to show.


SECTION 2: ADDRESSING ZOOSEXUALITY

According to the Internet, zoosexuality (also known as zoophilia) is defined as a human sexual attraction to a non-human animal; this has been viewed as being its own unique sexual orientation known as “zoosexuality”.

Meanwhile, the term “bestiality” refers only to actual sex acts with animals, whereas “zoophilia” and “zoosexuality” refer to the broader sexual attraction to animals. Because the term “bestiality” has negative connotations and is associated with antizoosexual bigotry, the politically correct term for bestiality is “zoosexual act”.

A zoosexual act is an act in which a human has inter-species sex with a being who happens to be non-human (including, but not limited to, sexual intercourse, oral sex, etc.) Here is a quote by a zoophile describing it further:

“Zoophilia is best described as a love of animals so intimate that the person (and the animal) involved have no objections to expressing their affection for each other in the sexual fashion. This is not to be confused with bestiality, where a person forcefully mates an animal, without their consent, and with no mutual feelings whatsoever. This is something that I would never do to [an animal], since I love them dearly, and treat them with the same respect that an honest husband would have for his wife and children.” — Anonymous, http://www.zoophile.net/dolphins...


The group of people who have sex with animals can be divided into two categories:

--> Category #1: The majority (people who love animals romantically and would never harm them — they are known as “zoosexuals”)

--> Category #2: The minority (people who only use animals as objects in order to have sex with them — they are known as “bestialists” — people who are “bestialists” [aka "zoosadists"] don’t care about the animal’s welfare). Most people who have sex with animals are not in category #2. Most people who have sex with animals are called zoosexuals (they are the people who love animals, would never harm animals, and treat animals as sentient beings with their own rights). Sometimes zoosexual people are called “zoos” (an abbreviation).

Unfortunately, the media tends to disproportionally report cases involving “bestialists”, and this harms the reputation of innocent zoosexuals, as well as the public’s perception of zoosexuality. When people see these media reports, they come to the erroneous conclusion that all people who have sex with animals are “bestialists”, which isn’t true.

The Internet seems to be the only source providing information about zoosexuality; due to its taboo and stigmatized nature and its “social erasure”, you would never learn this type of information in school or on TV (I didn’t, and you probably didn’t either).

If something is stigmatized and ignored, it leads to a mass ignorance. For example, normal sex between humans is generally considered taboo in most cultures (it is censored on TV and only done in private); because of these restrictions, people end up becoming more reckless because they have less knowledge. This has led to the widespread transfer of the HIV virus from one person to another. Why was the virus spread? Because people weren’t informed; they weren’t educated properly. Why weren’t they educated properly? Because the issue was ignored. The result is a massive pandemic. The general sexual stigma brought on by centuries of religious dogma has inadvertently resulted in the deaths of thousands of people.


It is mass ignorance which has caused zoophilia to become taboo. Because it is loathed, feared and poorly understood by people, it is not included in school curriculum. It is also excluded from religion, excluded from popular culture (except for humorous remarks), and often condemned by the law. This is based on long held irrational traditions and beliefs that date back many, many years. Fear seems to be a driving force behind the condemnation of zoosexuality. As Bertran Russel said, “Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity towards those who are not regarded as members of the herd”. If a person stands out for any reason, there is apparently something wrong with you. If you face the wrong way on the elevator, for example, there is apparently something wrong with you. And it is this conformity, which is responsible for the persecution of smaller, minority groups such as zoosexuals; because their ways are not similar to the majority, they are condemned. This was (and to a degree, still is) true of homosexuals, bisexuals and people of other orientation, but hasn’t caught on with zoosexuals. An article on Science News, Articles, and Information(see link at bottom of Blog) says the following:

“This individual, who shall go unnamed unless he wishes to identify himself in the comments section, was a self-professed “zoophile” (Greek for “animal lover”) with a particular romantic affinity for horses, and he was hoping that I might devote one of my column pieces to this neglected, much-maligned topic of forbidden interspecies love. “The politics of acknowledging zoophilia as a ‘legitimate’ sexual orientation,” wrote this reader, “often mean that zoophiles are either ignored as a class or subject to what can only be described as the most vicious, sustained, and hateful attacks by mainstream society.” I have my own viscerally based, unreasoned biases and—I confess—on first reading this email I promptly mentally filed it away in the untouchable “Eww…” category. But [a story], combined with my sympathy for human underdogs, inspired me to go back and reread it, and I saw a rather intriguing scientific question lurking there. Is it really possible for an otherwise normal, healthy person to develop a genuine sexual preference for a nonhuman species?”–http://www.scientificamerican.co...)

This is an example of how even “normal” people are beginning to question at a basic level what it means to be zoosexual.


SECTION 3: PEOPLE’S IRRATIONAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS ZOOSEXUALITY

Although there may be social reasons for ignoring and/or condemning zoosexuality, one reason for the taboo of zoophilia may be evolutionary; from a biological point of view, having sex with animals makes no sense because it doesn’t result in any offspring; consequently, the only humans that survived were humans that had sex with other humans, and because of this it became hard-wired into the DNA of their descendants (ultimately, most humans). This might explain why when someone is approached with the idea of zoosexuality, their initial reaction might be “eww, that’s gross” or “that’s perverted”.

It’s because they’re not used to such “abnormal” ideas because society has told them it’s wrong and they are biologically programmed to do so. However, keep in mind that saying “that’s gross” is not a philosophical argument; it does not rely on any rational reasoning system to determine whether or not zoosexuality is moral. There are rational arguments that could be made for or against zoosexuality; for example, a utilitarian argument for zoosexuality is that it increases happiness so long as both parties are satisfied.

Most people do not react rationally when confronted with the idea of zoosexuality; most react with an irrational, visceral, knee-jerk reaction. This reaction is caused by ignorance and societal conditioning. Luckily, as the following quotes demonstrate, not everyone reacts this way: “According to [articles], the ‘yuck’ or purity factor is a part of all moral systems, being hardwired into us. The logical justifications of morality tend to be rationalizations of what people already believe[...] sex with animals (unless it involves cruelty or abuse) should not be illegal.” — Amos

“Disgust doesn’t determine morality. It troubles me that people would even consider throwing logic out the window, simply because it doesn’t jive with their feelings[...] Most people don’t take it to the level I have in the [zoosexual] thought experiment obviously, but I find it unclear exactly where the moral line was suddenly crossed… if there is a line at all. Many farm animals are artificially inseminated, so that requires masturbation of male animals, and artificial insemination of a female, which sometimes require some manual stimulation to make them ovulate. Is that wrong? [...] Again, I’m stunned at the willing dismissal of reason. Essentially in saying that logic is only used to reinforce existing beliefs, you’re saying that it doesn’t matter what my arguments are, you’re simply not going to change your mind, and you essentially don’t even need to consider my arguments, because your mind isn’t going to be changed by reason. How can we be philosophers with such a mindset?” — Wayne Yuen “Now, as for [an enlightened person], who no doubt belongs to PETA and doesn’t eat meat but loves to curl up with his dog on dark and rainy nights [sexually] … this person would be hard to condemn.” — Jean Kazez


“OK, in my mind [the 'yuck' factor] seem blown out of proportion. The yuck factor should not play a role in [examining zoosexuality]; look at it logically, ethically, etc. If there is nothing wrong, no one gets hurt, what is wrong with it? There were a lot of things that made us think yuck in the past, but we’ve moved on, and maybe we can move on with as well. People actually find attraction to these animals, don’t ask me how, but they do, and sometimes it escalates to the most intimate thing possible for living beings.” — John Wu Above quotes: http://blog.talkingphilosophy.co...


“‘Right’ and ‘wrong’ are purely subjective human constructs based on the cultural morals with which we are raised. People consider [sex with animals] wrong because that is what they were taught growing up. If they hadn’t been taught [that way], they wouldn’t have that belief of ‘wrongness’, even if they had no desire to engage in such behavior[...] Ethics and morality are simply attempts to define guidelines that will allow us to make the best possible choices.” — Kuve, http://answers.yahoo.com/questio...


SECTION 4: ZOOSEXUALITY IN NATURE

Above: Interspecies sex occurs in nature; humans are just like any other species (in terms of sex) and should not be excluded from the Animal Kingdom Scientific research has explored homosexuality in other animals and found that homosexuality in non-human animals is a trait that “eases up” the gene pool, and has lead scientists to the conclusion that homosexuality in humans is evolutionarily good because it eases up the gene pool. If this is the case, then zoosexuality might also be seen as “easing up” the gene pool because it, like homosexuality, does not result in offspring. Additionally, animals from different species have been observed mating with each other. A National Geographic article said the following: “The act of mating with a species other than your own may not be as ill-advised or peculiar as it seems.[...] A growing number of studies have been presented as evidence that two species can combine to produce a third, sexually viable species in a process known as hybrid speciation[...] Scientists now believe that the behavior [inter-species sex] that has been called animals’ sexual blunders could be an important force in their evolution. [...]

‘In the past, people have often viewed hybridization as a mistake’ Mallet said. ‘But this is probably not an unnatural phenomenon. And, he said, ‘Sex with another species may occasionally be a very good idea. [...] It might be worth throwing the dice every now and then to trying for something really weird and see if it works out.’ Occasionally, [inter-species sex] produces sexually fertile offspring that may have the opportunity to evolve into a separate species.”http://news.nationalgeographic.c...


If a human and a dolphin have sex, chances are high that there will be no fertile offspring. However, there is a slight chance that a new species (human-dolphin hybrid) could be produced. The above quote comes from the National Geographic article “Interspecies Sex: Evolution’s Hidden Secret?” It suggests that there is nothing wrong with inter-species sex because it is a normal part of nature. The only reason humans do not usually engage in inter-species sex is because irrational ways of thinking (such as religious dogmas) are acting as a strait jacket, preventing people from doing what nature intended. Remember, because humans are animals, they can have inter-species sex just like any other species. Because inter-species sex is a normal part of nature (and a beneficial part of nature), why should humans avoid it? By not having interspecies sex, the human race is actually weakening itself in the long run.


If inter-species sex and zoosexuality do in fact have evolutionary benefits, then it would seem that the only reason zoosexuality is a taboo, stigmatized subject is not necessarily because of biology, but because of social constructs. Just remember, animals in the wild can and do have sex for non-reproductive purposes. For example, they have homosexual sex (i.e. anal sex) and they also masturbate. Because of this (and because of the fact that animals in the wild have interspecies sex), it is illogical to say that bestiality is “unnatural”, and it is illogical to say that an animal’s “instincts” are being violated; on the contrary, when a human has sex with another animal, they are not doing anything “unnatural”; in addition, the instincts of the animal are not being “violated”. One could easily argue that many of the thing’s humans do (like neutering animals and using artificial insemination on animals) are more unnatural than having sex with an animal. Regarding this issue, this is what I said in another post:

“Many socially accepted practices which humans engage in all time are more unnatural than having sex with an animal (zoosexuality). For example, acts such as neutering, artificial insemination, experimentation, zoos/aquariums and factory slaughter are all unnatural activities, yet their “unnatural-ness” is never questioned. Even though zoosexual acts are more natural than neutering/slaughter etc., they are called “unnatural” by antizoosexual people as a “mask” to hide their underlying irrational prejudice and bigotry against zoosexuality.”


Interspecies mating

Left: interspecies sex occurring between a lion and a tiger — this scene may have been in captivity, but there are instances of inter-species mating in the wild. Click the following link to see a short video showing interspecies sex between a variety of animals: [link to interspecies sex video (Huffington Post); it proves that interspecies sex is not uncommon, and that it is part of nature (thus destroying the argument that it is “unnatural” for humans to have sex with other animals).



SECTION 5: UNJUST HATRED OF ZOOSEXUALITY VIA RELIGION AND CULTURE

Most cultures today have a deep-seated irrational hatred of zoosexuality which cannot easily be explained. This hatred is often expressed in the form of bigotry and anti-zoosexual discrimination, and it is largely caused by ignorance (an ignorance which exists because of the irrational taboo surrounding zoosexuality).

It is worth noting that in today’s society, zoosexual people are often bullied (due to hatred, fear, ignorance and bigotry) — and because of this bullying, they often become depressed and hide their zoosexual feelings from people (see anti-zoosexual bullying). It is important for zoosexual people to recognize that there is nothing wrong with them, and that compassion for animals and an ethical zoosexual lifestyle can bring them happiness in life. They should realize that there is something wrong with society itself (specifically, society’s fierce intolerance to those who are different).

Earlier, I mentioned “social constructs”. - A social construct is a way in which something is done socially to make definitions easier. For example, the very notion of “sexual orientation” is a social construct; in reality, the neatly defined boundaries of “straight”, “gay” and “bisexual” are blurred.

Zoosexuality has occurred throughout history, and there are even some places that have statues depicting human-animal sexual intercourse. Of course, you’d never know about those statues because you’d never learn about them in school, but it is true that zoosexuality was actually a part of life for many different cultures throughout the ages, such as some Native American tribes, Inuits, and the Maasai people of Africa. However, with the introduction of Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam), new irrational and intolerant moral codes were put into place that created strict social constructs in the form of religious texts such as the Bible and Quran that condemned zoosexuality (or simply ignored it). One of the moral codes imposed by these religions was the rather puritanical point-of-view that zoosexuality is “abnormal” and should be punishable by a fine, a prison term, or even death. Some of these archaic moral codes have lasted all the way into the 21st century, with laws in various places prohibiting zoosexual acts. Religious ways of thinking have been so strong that zoosexuality has been essentially eliminated from mainstream thinking.


Thus, over centuries of social constructs being in place, society turned against zoosexuality and made it taboo, even if zoosexuality served a biological purpose. For most of history until the 1960s, homosexuality and zoosexuality were very much alike – stigmatized, ignored sexual orientations. The 1960s is where the two-split apart; LGBT became more acceptable, while zoosexuality remained in the dark. Because the civil rights movement did not include zoosexuality, this means that zoosexuality is one of the final social issues that society has to confront.

Additionally, keep in mind that until 1990, homosexuality was listed as a “mental illness”. According to “Find The Right Care”, zoophilia is still listed as a mental illness and is regarded as a “disease”. (This is a form of zoosexual discrimination.)

How would a gay person feel if you went up to them and told them that their orientation was a disease? That’s probably the way zoophiles feel. Whereas homosexuality has been accepted by the medical/psychological community and by society in general, zoosexuality has not (even though it should be).

This is an example of how psychological “definitions” really only reflect what society thinks, and don’t necessarily reflect the weather something is actually an illness. Calling zoophilia an “illness” is discrimination.

Ultimately, why would religious people be so determined to eradicate taboo topics such as zoosexuality? Several explanations are possible; firstly, many religious people would say “because God said so”, but this “argument” cannot be taken seriously because there is no rational philosophical argument behind it.

Secondly, many religious people simply conform to what the majority in their religion do, and they may not think about what they’re doing. Even subtle things, for example, are typically done but not questioned, such as religious rituals (like making monotonous repetitions of familiar phrases in church or bowing down in a mosque). As a result, if those with authority say zoosexuality is immoral, then people are more likely to believe it to be true. And, if everyone in their religious circles believes zoosexuality is immoral, they believe it must be true since the majority believes it. But keep in mind that back in the late 1700s, the majority of people in America believed that slavery was OK. Even George Washington (who was a slave owner) believed slavery was OK. Because of this, the “majority rationale” is discredited. What is considered moral/immoral today might be completely different in the future


Thirdly, religions in the past held superstitions such as the false belief that having sex with an animal would produce “monster” offspring; this may have something to do with religious intolerance of taboo subjects such as zoosexuality. Finally, a large part of most religious dogmas is the idea that humans are “above” non-human animals, and because of this, they claim that God has made a “separation” between humans and non-human animals because humans are somehow “better” than non-human animals. This concept is known as “human exceptionalism”, and it is a delusional and irrational way of thinking. It is also an arrogant and anthropocentric way of thinking. In reality, humans are not superior to non-human animals (people who believe in “human exceptionalism” are too delusional to realize this).

The following quote discusses the arrogant “human exceptionalism” belief:

“The frame of mind [of our society] is that we humans are the best species, the most advanced, the most intelligent, the most superior and have a ‘God-given’ right. So, all other species (despite their ability to feel and have emotions just as we do) are ‘beneath’ us. In fact, [according to our society], non-human animals are not communities or individuals with their own interests, but objects and resources to be exploited. Here in lies the problem: having a sexual partner implies that the two are equals; and if that partner is a non-human animal, that contradicts the paradigm above.” —http://www.createdebate.com/deba...

Another thing to keep in mind is that the “arguments” that extreme religious people use against zoosexuals are the same “arguments” that they use against homosexuals. For example, evangelical Christians often cite specific passages of the Bible to “justify” their hatred of homosexuals. The same is true of those who practice bestiality (zoosexuals) — religious people “pick and choose” specific passages from the Bible which appear to be anti-zoosexual (these passages conform to their preconceived prejudices against zoosexuals). However, what these people fail to realize is that the Bible as a whole can be interpreted as being =in favor= of zoosexuality (and the same applies for homosexuality). In other words, a few sentences from Leviticus is not enough to condemn homosexuality and zoosexuality; it is an excuse used by evangelical Christians to justify their preconceived hatred, intolerance and bigotry.

Many arrogant religious people (those who believe in “human exceptionalism”) make the fallacious and delusional claim that humans are “superior” to non-human animals, and they justify it with passages from the Bible

It is extremely important to remember that humans are not superior to non-human animals (because humans are animals). The archaic, religiously derived idea that humans are “above” other animals is incorrect and a falsification of reality. Humans are equal to other animals and are not superior to them. Thus, when a human has sex with another animal, it is not immoral.

People say humans are superior because of language, culture, etc; but remember that other species have characteristics which humans lack; for example, dolphins have a complex echolocation system which humans lack, and sharks can sense electromagnetic fields, another characteristic humans lack. Making the claim that humans are “above” other animals is arrogant, speciesist, and anthropocentric.

In a nutshell, we are all on this planet together: no species is “better” than another. People need to stop being “human supremacists”.


People already believe certain kinds of sexuality are “immoral”, and then use their religious text as a justification. But as we have seen, these people only choose the sentences which fit their intolerant views. They ignore other parts of the religious text that contradict their beliefs (for example, passages which could be interpreted as being in favor of bestiality and/or zoosexuality). The stuff said about Leviticus is not valid, especially since there are plenty of Leviticus rules which people violate all the time. There are also things said in Leviticus which are pro-slavery — so why is it that people ignore the part about slavery but always choose the parts which appear to be anti-gay and anti-zoosexual? Because it fits their own prejudice and intolerance.


Consider this quote: “[In response to a typical anti-zoosexual Bible-clinging person]: There’s enough people bastardizing and twisting the Bible to suit their own meaning and agenda. Do you really have to jump on that bandwagon? If you want to argue against something, study the matter and develop real, logical, rational arguments based on empirical evidence from actual observation and psychological/sociological research studies [and do not use religion]. [Do not try to] reinterpret lines from a book older than the concept of shaving. The bible very explicitly condones slavery and the treatment of wives as property, yet modern society has abandoned those very antiquated ways for something more civilized. You don’t get to pick and choose what ancient mystical babble to attempt to control the private lives of people with.” Sky,http://answers.yahoo.com/questio...

Ultimately, people need to stop thinking about zoosexuality in religious terms. All forms of zoosexuality (both ethical and unethical) should be thought of in a secular framework. This is because religion is not provable, and thus any arguments for or against zoosexuaity which are based on religious beliefs are not valid. The notion that there is an authoritarian, human-like God who has specific moral beliefs and “watches” over people is utterly ridiculous.

Considering the fact that the Earth (on a cosmic scale) is equal to a grain of sand on beach, it is extremely arrogant and anthropocentric to assume that God is a human-like entity (especially since there are trillions of planets, and humans are just one species on one planet). The following is likely:

1) Religion is a falsification of reality, over-simplifies things too much, acts like a virus, and primarily exists because of the following: people’s fear, ignorance, laziness, inability to think for themselves, desire to conform to a group, the quixotic desire to know all the answers of the universe without having to think about anything, desire to feel good about themselves, and desire to stroke the over-inflated ego of humanity

2) Human attempts to define God (via religion) have failed miserably and are contaminated with anthropocentrism

3) “God” is probably extremely different from the way humans envision it

4) “God” probably does not have consciousness as we know it

5) “God” probably does not think like a human and therefore cannot “watch over” people and cannot make “moral” judgments (humans have to create their own moral compasses); in addition, God is not “personal”

6) “God” is inseparable from the natural world

7) Randomness, entropy and disorder are probably manifestations of “God”

8) People will never be able to know the true nature of “God”

9) “God” is an entity beyond human comprehension


The only reason I have brought up these points about religion is because in so many cases, religion is what prevents people from accepting zoosexuality. If people thought about the universe rationally and logically (i.e. by understanding the above 9 points) and stopped believing in a fictional version of reality, maybe they’d be more accepting of zoosexuality. People need to think for themselves, stop assuming that a human-like God is “watching” over them, and stop being slaves of religion. Unfortunately, irrational religious beliefs continue to prevent zoosexuality from being accepted in many societies.


SECTION 6: ZOOSEXUALITY IS ERRONEOUSLY THOUGHT OF AS “ABUSIVE” AND “IMMORAL”

But religious followers are not the only ones who have contributed to the social taboo against zoosexuality; bioethicists, delusional animal rights activists, and various law enforcement units have condemned zoosexuality as animal “cruelty”. Because religion has embedded itself so deeply into society, one could make the argument that religion has indirectly influenced these groups, though there’s no way to prove that.

However, many animal rights groups believe zoosexuality is wrong because of non-religious issues; mainly, they claim it is animal “cruelty”.

The truth is that zoosexuality and bestiality do not always involve animal cruelty; in fact, most zoophiles are not cruel to animals. (see animal rights groups should not be against zoosexuality) The president of PETA, Ingrid Newkirk, is one of the few animal rights activists who supports zoosexuality. She said the following about zoosexuality:


“If a girl gets sexual pleasure by riding a horse, does it matter? If not, who cares? If you French kiss your dog and he or she thinks it’s great, is it wrong? We believe all exploitation and abuse is wrong. If it isn’t exploitation and abuse, it may not be wrong.” -Ingrid Newkirk

So, this brings up a fundamental problem – what exactly is animal cruelty? How exactly can we know what is going on in the minds of animals? Humans think they know what is going on in the minds of animals, but do they really know? If non-human animals can feel pain (which they definitely can), then does zoosexuality count as causing pain to the animal? If in fact certain kinds of zoosexuality don’t cause pain to the animal, then is it ethical?

Firstly, let’s look at human-human sexual relationships. Typically, they are considered to be either good or bad. Either the human-human sexual relationship involves mutual consent, or it is rape. In many rape cases, the aggressor injured the victim. Similarly, many reports of zoosexual crimes involve a human injuring or killing an animal while having sex with it. These incidents are definitely crimes, just as human-human rape is definitely a crime. However, if a non-rape, non-injury human-animal relationship is comparable to a non-rape, non-injury human-human relationship, can it still be condemned? In other words, where does one draw the line between zoosadism (harm to animals) and genuine zoosexuality, in which someone respects for and/or cares for the animal in question? Because only zoosadism events are reported by the media, is that why the social perception of zoosexuality is so negative?

People need to realize that there is a distinction between zoosexuals who have loving relationships with animals, and zoosadists, whose sole purpose is for personal gratification and injury to the animal. Here is a quote from the Scientific American:

In other recent surveys, the majority of zoophiles scoffed at the notion that they were abusive toward animals in any way—far from it, they said. Many even consider themselves to be animal welfare advocates in addition to zoophiles."


(quote source: [1]http://www.scientificamerican.co...) According to this article, zoosadists have negatively tainted the public perception of zoosexuality. From this point, one could then come to the conclusion that animal rights activists have incorrectly put the “good” zoosexuals with the “bad” zoosexuals into the same “bad” category.

Below is a quote which supports the above quote about the (correct) notion that most zoosexuals are notbeing cruel to animals:

[With regard to zoosexual sex involving a dog]: Once again, if the dog is in discomfort or doesn’t like it in any way – STOP and leave it be.” — Dirtyfox,http://www.beastforum.com/showto...

The follow quote highlights some of the complexities regarding specific zoosexual orientations (i.e. people who are attracted to a specific species): “[A] man was hooked up to a penile plethysmograph and shown nude photos of all varieties and ages of humans, the man was decidedly flaccid. Nothing happening down there either when he looked at slides of cats, dogs, sheep, chickens, or cows. But he certainly wasn’t impotent, as the researchers clearly observed when the subject was shown images of horses. [He was only aroused by images of horses]. This case and related anecdotal evidence reported by the authors were important at the time because they suggested that zoophilia may be an extraordinarily rare—but real—type of minority sexual orientation. That is to say, for some people, having sex with their animal “lovers” may amount to more than just substituting human sex with the next best thing. Rather, for them, sex with nonhuman animals IS the best thing.” — [2]http://blogs.scientificamerican...


The above quote shows that many zoosexual people prefer to have sex with non-human animals, and that in many cases they are sexually attracted to a certain kind of animal (in this case, horses). Some zoosexual people are sexually attracted to multiple animal species (which may also include humans — remember, humans are a species of animal too). A post I made (“[3]the zoosexual orientation wheel” goes into more detail about this).

Zoosexuality is diverse (as diverse as the Animal Kingdom itself) when it comes to specific attractions: some people are [4]sexually attracted to dogs (cynosexuals)], some people are [5]sexually attracted to horses (equinosexuals)], some people are [6]sexually attracted to dolphins] (delphinosexuals or delphinophiles), some people are [7]sexually attracted to pigs], some people are sexually attracted to lizards, some people are sexually attracted to crocodiles, some people are sexually attracted to ostriches — the list goes on and on. As I said before, in many cases the above attractions overlap (so, for example, there are people who are sexually attracted to dogs, humans and horses, but not sexually attracted to pigs).

Below are more quotes about zoosexuality which attempt to destroy commonly-held misconceptions and stereotypes about zoosexual people: “Bestiality, or zoophilia as they prefer it to be called, has been around since the beginning of time. Sheep herders and farmers have often had sex with animals, but it’s usually joked about or regarded as something done of necessity when no women were available. Now, instead of just seeing it as a behavior, they want it to be seen as a sexual orientation. Research has been done on these people and is seems that some legitimately prefer animals. [...

And for those of you who might be thinking they abuse animals with this behavior (“interspecies sexual assault”), zoophiles adamantly disagree. Because they love animals and care deeply for them, they claim they would never do anything to hurt them.[...


If he prefers to be with horses over humans, should we judge him for this or just let him be?[...] So, these people [zoophiles] prefer animals over humans, they are not particularly distressed about their sex life, and they care about the animals and apparently wouldn’t hurt them. That doesn’t seem so bad, does it? [...] The animals are not hurt, and likely won’t even remember the next day. Are any of YOU getting hurt by this? No, you’re not.” — [8]http://www.divinecaroline.com/22...


Also, although there are many anti-zoosexual media reports about animals supposedly being “abused” by zoophiles, even those reports often admit that the animals involved are not actually harmed in any way; for example, read this quote from the Huffington post: “[Regarding a man who had sex with a dog in NC:] Animal Control director Dr. John Lauby said the examination showed no physical injury to the dog. He said he doubts the attack will leave lasting trauma. ‘With dogs, the dominant animal breeds with the others, so I don’t think there will be psychological damage,’ Lauby told The Huffington Post.” — [9]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20..


Anti-zoosexual media reports often use biased language to describe zoosexual people in a negative way: for example, they use inaccurate and denigrating words such as “molest”, “abusive”, “heinous”, “perverted”, “rape”, “assault” and “attack”, all adding unjust negativity to reports which should (in theory) be neutral. Below is an excerpt from a bigoted anti-zoosexual Nigerian news article: “[Tunde Aramide]: Apart from being barbaric, unnatural, repugnant and unjustifiable, those who practice bestiality are abusers of animals who capitalize on the nature of these animals to take undue advantage of them. Bestiality, if you consider it critically, is synonymous with animal rape and other forms of sexual abuse against them. It is illegal and those who do it should be prosecuted. Those who abuse animals sexually or otherwise are guilty of God’s judgment, because God never wants them exploited.[...] High Chief Yemi Elebuibon described bestiality as inhuman and barbaric” — [10]http://www.tribune.com.ng/sun/sp...


A zoosexual who was offended by the above bigoted comments said the following: “[The above comments] should anger ANY zoosexual person — it is pure bigotry. For example, the use of the word “inhuman” is inaccurate because humans were never “above” other animals to begin with. Also, when a lion has sex with a tiger, does that make a lion “in-lion”? And if a dog has sex with a cat, does that make the dog “in-dog”? Why is it that ONLY when it comes to humans, something is suddenly called “inhuman” if that person has sex with an animal? It’s all such bull****. Bestiality is not “inhuman”, it is not “barbaric” and it is not “repugnant”. Also, bestiality is not “unnatural” because interspecies sex happens in the wild.

People need to change their moral compasses. They need to realize that when a human has sex with a non-human animal it is not “immoral” because humans ARE animals, and all animals (including humans) are sexual beings, many of whom are capable of having sex for pleasure. Zoophiles need to fight against the kind of bigotry seen in the above mentioned article.


Also, remember this fact: according to Dictionary.com - The world’s favorite online dictionary!, the definition of “inhuman” is: “lacking qualities of sympathy, pity, warmth, compassion, or the like; cruel; brutal”. After seeing many threads on this forum, I can say without any hesitation that most zoosexual people ARE compassionate and DO have warmth/sympathy for animals. In fact, it would appear that zoosexuals tend to be MORE compassionate towards animals than the average person. Thus, one cannot called zoosexuality “inhuman”, because it directly contradicts the dictionary definition.” — Zqwm7,http://www.beastforum.com/showto...


In the quote below (from my [11]zoosexual discriminationpost]), I describe why the Nigerian article is flawed, irrational and bigoted: “[The above comments in the Nigerian article are] pure bigotry. It is especially disturbing that such discriminatory words (such as “inhuman”, “repugnant” and “barbaric”) are used. The use of religion is offensive because it is clear that religion (as an “argument”) is being used as a “mask” or “facade” to hide people’s intolerance and prejudice. It should be clear to everyone that these hateful beliefs are based on a flawed system of morality. I will now explain in detail why bestiality is not what the above quote claims it to be.[...

[There is] plenty of proof that most zoosexual people are compassionate towards animals (which is also why many of them are also vegetarians — they would never harm an animal). Why don’t people call eating an animal’s meat “inhuman”? After all, I doubt most people who eat a hamburger have “compassion” for the animal they’re eating. In addition, most zoosexual people have far more sympathy, pity, warmth and compassion for animals than the average person. And most zoosexual people are not cruel to animals. Thus sexual relations between humans and other animals is not “inhuman”.


This is the Dictionary.com - The world’s favorite online dictionary! definition of “barbaric”: “Without civilizing influences; uncivilized; primitive”. Bestiality is not barbaric because it is just like regular human-to-human sex, except in this case it is an interspeies relationship. Bestiality is no more “barbaric” than “regular” human-to-human sex. Because humans ARE animals, and because humans have intrinsically the same characteristics as other animals (at least when it comes to sex), it is a fallacy to call such behavior “uncivilized” or “barbaric”. The slaughter and killing of animals is far more barbaric than having mutually pleasurable sex with them. This is the Dictionary.com - The world’s favorite online dictionary! definition of “repugnant”: “distasteful, objectionable, or offensive”. The “yuck” factor should never be involved when trying to determine something’s moral worth. Just because someone thinks that anal sex between two men is “disgusting” and “repugnant” doesn’t make it an immoral act. The bigoted comments made in the above website ARE offensive”; zoosexual acts are NOT. People should not view zoosexual activity as being “distasteful” because there is nothing “distasteful” about a human who has mutually pleasurable sex with another sentient being who happens to be a non-human animal. Humans have sex with other humans all the time, and since humans ARE animals, then that means that humans have sex with animals all the time (just animals of the same species).


Thus, anyone who claims that interspecies sex is “distasteful” should also believe that human-to-human sex is “distasteful”. Personally, I do not understand why people are so disgusted by interspecies sex, since there is nothing “disgusting” or “distasteful” about it. In addition, when mutually pleasurable sex is occurring between a human and non-human animal, and if that animal is not being harmed in any way, there should not be anything “offensive” about such an act.


I also want to take the time to discuss some other factors of discrimination in the Nigerian article:


Firstly, the overuse of religion. Religion should never be used as an argument for or against something, as it is not provable. And also, as is the case with this Nigerian article, religion is often used as a “smokescreen” or “red herring” to distract people from the real issues at hand, and religion is often used as a “mask” to hide people’s underlying prejudice. Secondly, the use of the terms “animal rape” and “sexual abuse”. If one argues that a human who has sex with a non-human animal is “rape”, then one must also conclude that a lion who has sex with another lion is the wild is “raping” that lion, because the submissive lion did not necessarily agree to have sex with the dominant one. The “consent” argument is a red herring used by anti-zoosexuals as an excuse to hide their bigotry; it does not have any validity, especially since people slaughter and kill animals all the time without asking for their “consent”, and because consent is not a meaningful concept from the non-human animal’s point-of-view. “Consent” is not a big deal for non-human animals; it is an anthropocentric concept. And also, bestiality is not “sexual abuse” because “abuse” implies that something is immoral, and (as already discussed in this post), bestiality is not immoral; other factors need to be involved in order for a zooseuxal act to be immoral (such as inflicting injury). Thus, the premise under which “sexual abuse” lies is flimsy and falls apart.


Thirdly, there is the fallacious and flawed belief that animals are being “taken advantage of” and “exploited” when people have sex with them. This is not true, just as a dolphin in the wild who has sex with another dolphin is not “exploiting” that dolphin. Animals make it clear when they don’t want to have sex; if a horse doesn’t want to have sex with a person, he/she can kick him/her. Dogs such as rottweilers can do similar damage — they can theoretically rip out a person’s throat. Also, if an animal has sex with a human and that animal doesn’t have a problem with the sex (and is enjoying it), then that animal certainly isn’t being “exploited” — he/she is being a willing participant (or at the very least, a happy participant). The act of slaughtering/killing/hunting an animal is exploiting them, whereas having sex with them is far less likely to involve “exploitation” (and think about this: if a dog wants to have sex with a human and that dog want’s his/her sexual desires fulfilled, then it is actually the HUMAN who is being exploited by the dog!)


Lastly, zoosexual acts should not be automatically illegal. The only acts that should be prosecuted are the ones in which zoosadism and cruelty were clearly inflicted on the animal. Non-cruel zoosexual acts should not be prohibited by the law. It is also worth noting that the Nigerian article also made the claim that those who engage in zoosexual acts are “mentally ill”, which is not true (though many of them have become mentally ill as a result of constant anti-zoosexual bigotry being aimed at them). Zoosexuals are not “mentally ill” in the same way that homosexuals are not “mentally ill”; if a person’s condition does not cause that person distress, then that person is not suffering from a “mental disorder”.” — [12]http://vividrandomexistence.word]...


It is important to remember that people with an anti-zoosexual prejudice have been known to sometimes deliberately harm an animal, so it looked like a zoosexual person did it. For example, consider this situation: an ethical zoosexual person has ethical sex with his/her dog — this person is unjustly arrested and their dog is unjustly taken to an animal control facility — once the dog is there, the veterinarian realizes that the zoosexual person did not harm the dog in any way, and so he/she (the veterinarian) deliberately injures that dog so that he/she can justify their anti-zoosexual bigotry and use their false (fabricated) evidence to unjustly condemn a zoosexual person. There is a Wikipedia article about this kind of situation: see [13]False Evidence.] Unfortunately, it is easy for a veterinarian to get away with this kind of deception because most people are strongly, hatefully and irrationally anti-zoosexual (“zoophobic”). Another irrational association people make with zoosexuality is its alleged association with “violence”. Although zoosexual acts can be benign, most people erroneously put zoosexual acts into the same category as violent acts (even though those same people would never put artificial insemination into the “violent” category):


In other words, [according to Ms. Butts of the SPCA], letting your male dog have sex with you is just the same is hitting, kicking, or attacking him [this is absolutely incorrect]. Here’s a question: if it’s OK for a vet or breeder to masturbate a dog to collect semen, why would it be a felony for the owner to do that just for fun? [i.e. zoosexuality]. From the dog’s perspective, it’s the same action either way. A hand job is either an “attack” or it isn’t. Unless what we are really worried about isn’t the well being of the dog, but what human sexual behavior we find “acceptable” or not…” — Tharsis5,http://www.beastforum.com/showto..


In response to the above quote, dirtbiker2000 said the following: “Tharsis, the problem is you are thinking about this logically and intelligently, [which are] two things missing from a lot of peoples brains when thinking of this subject. And you are dead right, none of these laws are about preventing abuse. That is just a way of spinning it to try and get the public on the side of the anti-zoo bigots. [The laws are really about enforcing a specific irrational "moral" view].” — dirtbiker2000,http://www.beastforum.com/showto...



However, many animal rights advocates don’t care about whether or not people are “abusive” to animals; all they care about is whether or not the animal is capable of “consent”. As I will explain, this is a flawed argument. According to the dictionary, consent means to “permit, approve, or agree; comply or yield”. Animal rights activists and other groups claim that because animals cannot verbally communicate to us about how they feel (like a human), they are incapable of consent. But wait a minute; can you really never tell what your pet dog is thinking? If your dog has something on its mind, can’t you tell what it wants by observing its behavior? If your dog was in pain, wouldn’t you notice it? What if your dog comes up to you and humps your leg? If the animal initiated the interaction, then does it still count as human-initiated“rape”


Regarding the issue of “consent”, here is a quote:One of the most infuriating arguments used to deride animals is that they can’t speak–which implies they can’t speak a human language. None of us, of course, can speak a word of an animal language, but some animals have made serious headway with ours” — Ingrid Newkirk, The PETA Practical Guide to Animal Rights, p.13


What this quote suggests is that the term “consent”, which is a human-centric term used between humans, cannot be applied to non-human animals because they don’t understand our language. Instead, non-verbal communication and body language would be needed to satisfy the “consent” issue in people’s minds (an issue that non-human animals probably don’t think about).


Here is are two more quotes regarding the “consent” issue:Many animal rights advocates [believe that] bestiality is synonymous with animal abuse. Animals cannot consent in a meaningful way to sexual contact, they argue, so human-animal sex is akin to ‘rape’. The problem with this reasoning is that animals cannot consent — under the legal definition of that term — to anything. We do not describe owning a pet dog as kidnapping, even when the canine is restricted to the inside of a home, although confining a human being in the same manner would clearly be unethical.” — [ .opposingviews.com/i/three-reasons-society-shouldn-t-rush-to-condemn-bestiality]http://w w w.opposingviews.com/i/t...



If an animal actively seeks out sexual interaction with a human, displays behaviors associated with sexual receptiveness and gives no counter indications when approached sexually by a human, or permits a human to engage in sexual activity without showing signs of aversion, in the absence of any physical coercion, the animal can be said to be a consenting party to the act inasmuch as they are demonstrating active desire, permission or compliance.” — [14]http://www.inter-disciplinary.ne...



Also, consider the following consent-related quotes:My male dog used to tell me that he was interested in sex or wants it. He would beg me until I give in. Am I misreading him? No, he would sniff at my crotch and paw at me. He only does this when he wants sex. This is Consent, both by me and by him. Any Zoo knows that animals if they want it, it may ask a human for sex. Zoos know that animals’ consent. There is no question about it!” (Source: http://dpsblog.blogspot.com/2006...


I don’t know about other people’s dogs, but mine gets very excited and thrusts back on me, and almost knocks me down if I stop mounting her. Unlike what all the animal rights people want to think, my dog loves sex [with me], and won’t stop at anything to get it.” — http://www.beastforum.com/showto..


The above quotes involve the [15]sexual attraction to dogs], which (like the [16]sexual attraction to dolphins]) is one of many sexual orientations on [17]thezoosexual orientation wheel.]



Perhaps the consent issue is so complicated because humans do not fully understand animal cognition; perhaps, in the future, if humans have a better understanding of it, they would be able to make better judgments. Remember that the whole idea of consent is a human-centric concept. As I will discuss with dolphins, animals in the wild have often been seen “raping” each other. However, keep in mind that using the word “rape” is anthropomorphizing. Consider this quote from a commenter named “jalousface” on Scientific American: “There is no moral attachment to sex in the animal kingdom as there is to humans. Nor will the animal be in psychiatric care discussing the time some human had sex with it. Sex isn’t as big a deal for animals as it is for humans. Feel for the people attracted to the animals, imprisonment won’t help nor solve the problem.” (quote source: [18]http://www.scientificamerican.co...) This commenter brings up an interesting point: the very idea of sex itself may be completely different for non-human animals; for humans, sex is stigmatized and heavily controlled, whereas sex for animals is just as common (and public) as consuming food.


Here is a quote regarding this issue: “I wonder if my grandma’s German Shepherd — my first sexual partner — wracked himself with guilt for years after seducing me because he realized only far too late, after the fact, that I was probably incapable of making an informed decision whether or not to play around with him because my sense of smell was nowhere near as highly well developed as his own. You know? For some odd reason, I seriously doubt it.” — shinyferret,http://www.beastforum.com/showto...


The above quote emphasizes the fact that “consent” is an anthropocentric (human-centric) concept, and that non-human animals probably don’t care about issues like “consent” the way humans do. Compared to humans, non-human animals probably have a laid-back, non�stigmatized perception of sex (a perception which is inclusive of interspecies sex). The above quote also emphasizes the fact that the differences between humans and other animals (i.e. sense of smell, perception of sex, “consent”, etc) do not negatively affect animals when they have sex with humans. In addition, the differences are not enough to justify the prohibition of zoosexual activity.


Consider dolphins, which are intelligent mammals with large brains. In the wild, the males regularly force the females to have sex. This could not be considered “rape”, because that is a term associated with human social conventions and applying it to animals could be anthropomorphizing. Aspects such as this one support the idea that animals do not have “morals” the way humans do; what would be considered “immoral” to a human (such as sex with an animal) would not also be considered “immoral” to a non-human animal because whether or not something is “moral” or “immoral” is a distinctly human way of thinking. For a non-human animal, sex is probably just like eating food and is not attached to morality the way it is for humans.


Ultimately, the act of a human having sex with another animal is not intrinsically “abusive”. The only way it is “abusive” is if other factors are involved (for example, if the animal is clearly injured because of the sex, then it is abusive. But if no harm occurs, it is not abusive). I will discuss this in the next section with the “harm principle”. If a human and an animal have sex with each other, both enjoy it and neither are harmed by it in any way, it shouldnot be called “animal abuse”


It is possible that one of the reasons people charge zoophiles with “animal abuse” is because they are using that term as a “mask” to hide the real reason for prosecuting them: their deep-seated irrational disgust and bigoted hatred toward zoosexuals. Here is a quote by a zoosexual person regarding the fallacious and erroneous belief that all zoosexual activity is “abusive”:

There are a lot more of us [zoosexuals] than you know or even care to acknowledge. Yes there [are a few people] who “use” animals (technically known as “Bestialists”), and I don’t at all support them or what they do. You need a SIGNIFICANT and POWERFUL emotional attachment to be a TRUE Zoophile [or zoosexual]. Not all have romantic relationships but love their animal partners still as much as anyone does a Soul Mate. We are quite diverse in our beliefs as well. Some [zoosexual people] may not agree with some comments or ways others do believe, including my own. We [zoosexuals] are not “sick”. What’s considered “WRONG” is only in one’s mind, not in real fact, and many of the hateful comments and anti-zoosexual “propaganda” used is created by irrational people who can’t see clearly the truth — they use the same [slanderous] remarks over and over against something they don’t understand [and don't] have. They are ignorant and just say and rely on what others say and can’t think on their own.


I know a great many [zoosexual people] are even religious, and they see their nothing wrong about their life — [to them, their zoosexual life is] a form of true Unconditional Love. Many, if not most, human relationships never stay strong and they drift apart forever. Tell me, is there any “True love” in that? [Zoosexual people] truly love their animals until the day they die and beyond. We [zoosexual people] are also human and our [interspecies] love will not change because of others. Especially not mine. I personally don’t judge the lives of others (and their ways) because of the irrational thoughts of others. Humans ARE ANIMALS ans are going to do what they do. And if you can’t see eye to eye or at least the facts, that’s fine, just don’t put down and absolutely hate something you don’t understand, [and don't force your delusional view of "morality" on me by trying to criminalize zoosexual acts].” — Rebel of the Sacred Heart, [19]http://blogs.scientificamerican....]


With regard to the issue of “morality”, this is what I said in another post: “[Morality] is only what the majority thinks. For example, the majority of people in the U.S. South in the early 1800s thought slavery was morally OK. Was it? Of course not! Not only is morality a societal construct, it is completely relative — what is “immoral” today might not be “immoral” 10 years from now.


Saying something is “immoral” is also a bad argument because morality is relative. The term for this is moral relativism; a related term is cultural relativism. In a nutshell, these terms refer to the fact that what one society thinks is “immoral” may be completely moral and acceptable to a different society. For example, historically the Maasai people of Africa and some Native American groups (such as the Hopi Indians and Copper Inuit) were accepting and tolerant of human-animal sexual activity. They did not have a negative attitude towards it because their societies had not yet been contaminated with the delusional, hateful, religiously-driven “moral” beliefs of Europeans (i.e. Puritans).


The fact that there were (and are) societies that accept zoosexual activity is proof that morality is relative. Interspecies zoosexual activity is not objectively “immoral”; depending on who one talks to, the response will be negative or positive. Unfortunately, the “negative” culture (i.e. the culture which is hostile towards zoosexuality) is the dominant culture right now. But that does not make it a correct culture.


Also, many zoosexual people will argue that when they have sex with an animal, it is not an “immoral” action because it is non-abusive, does not inflict pain or suffering on the animal, and because of other factors (i.e. the animal is willing to have sex, the animal enjoys sex with the human, the animal initiated the sex, etc). In terms of ethics, having sex with an animal can be seen as morally acceptable according to specific ethical viewpoints (for example, the utilitarian viewpoint or the harm principle viewpoint). From these viewpoints, it can be argued that some kinds of zoosexual activity (i.e. those which involve zoosadism) are immoral/cruel, but that other kinds of zoosexual activity are not immoral. People often fallaciously and erroneously lump the bad kinds of zoosex into the same category as the good kind.


Typically, when someone says zoosexuality is “immoral”, they’re not really thinking hard about the issue — they’re simply thinking with their “gut” and using emotional, hateful, knee-jerk beliefs and their own irrational aversion to it. They’re also probably conforming to what the dominant culture thinks (in other words, they aren’t thinking for themselves. They are letting the culture do the thinking for them — brainwashing).” — Common Arguments Against Zoophilia (and why they fail) post.