I lifted today’s title from an article in Sydney’s The Telegraph. I don’t know about you, but my jaw flung open as if on a spring after comprehending the tense of the verb. To ban? As in it’s legal to emerge from the petting zoo with a guilty smile on your face now?
Bestiality was legalised in Germany in 1969, the same year that gay sex was also removed from the criminal code. After that, sex with animals was only punishable if the animal was severely injured.
Logic compels me to conclude that minor to moderate injuries were therefore acceptable. Lurid curiosity animates me to wonder just what a “severe” injury could be. My digestion forbids me to fully consider the possibilities.
So much was in the past. Lately there’s been a backing in the moral wind blowing over Deutschland: modifications to the euphemistically named “Animal Welfare Act” have been proposed (but not yet adopted) such that taking your hamster out for dinner and drinks and hoping to get past third base might soon be punishable by a “fine of up to 25,000 euros.” Why?
[A]nimal welfare groups have pushed for the ban to be reinstated, in an advertising campaign that used dramatic examples of “animal rape”.
In the original German version of this article, in the paper die Tageszeitung1, these “dramatic examples” were described as “sie drastische Fotos von übel zugerichteten Tieren” (of “mangled” animals). One quails when supposing how they came into possession of these photos.
Wait a moment…something about strange bedfellows just floated past my perception.
Political bedfellows, I mean. This is a rare instance where I and animal “rights” activists are in complete agreement. Perhaps not in use of the word “rape”, but in the earnest desire that people should behave themselves. Also sympatico is Germany’s Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner, who has been speaking in favor of the new law.
I emphasize Frau Aigner, who officially frowns on bestiality, is the Agriculture Minister. Think about it! Holy moly, what does she know? What inside knowledge does she possess? If this law doesn’t pass, I’m going to have to re-think my love of German sausage.
Frau Aigner said she is against using animals for “sexual activities.” She is not too pleased about animals used for “sexual acts of third parties”, either. And she’s a solid no on “‘pimping’ of animals to others.” I’m not sure if there are other categories, but thank the Lord that it’s not my job to imagine them.
Not everybody is happy with the proposed changes. Like self-styled “zoophile” Michael Kiok who, the newspaper deadpans, “lives with his dog Cassie.”
Herr Kiok claims there are 100,000 people just like him in Germany, many of which belong to a group called “ZETA”, which I refuse to look up. I’m guessing they hold their meetings in the aisles of whatever Germany’s equivalent of Petsmart is, some picking up spare guppies for long weekends, others purchasing “gourmet” turtle food.
But now a new law hangs over these folks’ heads, threatening to force them into a change of hobby. This isn’t their only concern. Herr Kiok says “he was worried that if the law took effect the authorities would try to take away his dog.” He also said, “Mere morals have no place in law.”
That about sums up the modern predicament. It used to be sinful creatures like Kiok had to worry about losing their lives, now he is only concerned about losing his right to publicly boast of his sickening behavior, and therefore of reducing the chance of initiating new recruits.
His defense is to claim falsely that morality has no place in the law. This is so shockingly stupid that I had to confirm that Kiok was not an academic. My advice to him is that if the law passes and he needs employment, to apply as professor to university where this kind of thinking is rewarded.
1The original article has a rather graphic picture which if seen would frighten the horses and get you fired if viewed while at the office. I therefore will not link to it and you will have to take my word for the quotation. It is however linked in the The Telegraph.