With a local legislator, Sen. Nan Rich, touting a bill that would make it a felony to have sex with an animal, I've recently interviewed a self-described "zoo" from the upper Midwest, "James." Part one of that interview is here.
I asked James whether zoophilia was the product of life experience or whether he and other zoos were born with an attraction to animals.
Yes, (the latter) certainly seems to be the case, and is typical with those I have known or know, met in person etc. The common thread seems to be an early attraction. This seems to typically start in or before puberty. I can't provide a percentage of puberty. Some say age 30, but it certainly seems to be a high percentage start very young and often as a result of natural sexual exploration.
In my case it started with a male dog.
I discovered sex felt good, and wanted to make the dog feel good too, so it naturally took the initial early form of masturbating the dog. So I know that was the mindset and motives there -- wanting to make the loved dog feel good, and he responded quite favorably as did others.
One has to have the desire first. This is not something one develops as a result of doing it. The vast majority of people are grossed out by just the IDEA and I don't believe anything would change that reaction. In many ways it's similar to people's reaction to homosexual sex -- they either recoil severely or they are indifferent, and nothing can make a heterosexual suddenly become homosexual, just doesn't happen unless they were actually bi-sexual and "shut off" part of their nature.
Given the political progress made by gays -- another group historically marginalized based on their sexual attraction -- I asked James whether zoos might soon come out of their closets and fight to protect their rights collectively.
Oh yes, you bet, and it's been a major contention and this starts what I call "wars" between the different factions.
There are important and critical differences between gays and the gay rights movement, and zoos. Being gay is not a crime though it once was, but they can band together as a group. With zoos we have an animal involved who cannot testify in court, be cross examined, talk to the media, nor can they vote. Animals are usually seen as "victims" who cant "consent" and are "forced." Animals are typically compared to children by the opposition who invariably includes children along with animals in their arguments linking bestiality and child rape.
While James objects to the legislation sponsored by Rich, he says that most criminal cases involving human - animal sex actually target people who commit bestiality, such as the case that inspired Rich's legislation, a Panhandle incident where a man allegedly raped a goat.
The definition of zoophile is zoo=animal, phile=lover; thus, rape, force or willful abuse of an animal automatically and positively excludes the use of that term for the person involved.
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There have been a number of cases in the news of arrests, and frankly, when I looked at them and the details of the circumstances it was clear that 99% of them were what we call "bestialists"- those who use animals as sex toys and this can include the use of force, careless injury, and don't care a bit about the animal. I would not classify them as zoos, in fact the circumstances in their cases show they were not zoos.
Laws such as "crimes against nature" in some states on the books as such, are insane, how they were not found unconstitutional 200 years ago is beyond me, you can't cross- examine "nature," and "nature" cant be summoned to court to testify or to be questioned by the accused -- who has the right to confront his or her accuser. It was a farce.
Still, if legislation passes James says it at least poses a threat of targeting zoos when it ought to target only bestialists. In either case, he doesn't believe it will be an effective deterrent.
Whether the law passes in your state, or for that matter anywhere, doesn't affect me, it wouldn't and won't stop either bestiality or zoophilia, but the fact remains it will catch up innocent people who are accused by circumstantial evidence -- an animal with a vaginal infection noted by a vet for example, a young teen sexually experimenting now having to register as a sex offender or something. And it will cause more problems for animals in that an animal having a health issue, say an infection -- the owner will be far less liekly to seek treatment if they think they might be accused of, or arrested for, "bestiality".