Resource icon

Zoo Philosophy THE BEAUTIES AND THEIR BEASTS: A Political, Religious and Academic Look at Bestiality

Credit :

A editorial piece by Chad Dunn. Interesting historic summary of bestiality in Politics, religion and academia. Neutral viewpoint, apathetic towards bestiality, and see's restriction as outdated.

THE BEAUTIES AND THEIR BEASTS: A Political, Religious and Academic Look at Bestiality.


Bestiality was accepted in some North American and Middle Eastern indigenous cultures. Sexual intercourse between humans and non-human animals was not uncommon among certain Native American indigenous peoples, including the Hopi. Voget describes the sexual lives of young Native Americans as “rather inclusive,” including bestiality. In addition, the Copper Inuit people had “no aversion to intercourse with live animals.

Several cultures built temples (Khajuraho, India) or other structures (Sagaholm, barrow, Sweden) with zoophilic carvings on the exterior.

In the West, the most explicit records of sex involving humans and animals activity are associated with reports of the murderous sadism, torture and rape of the Roman games and circus, in which some authors estimate that several hundreds of thousands died.

Masters believes beasts were specially trained to copulate with women: if the girls or women were unwilling then the animal would attempt rape. A surprising range of creatures was used for such purposes, and taught how to copulate vaginally or anally. Representations of scenes from the sexual lives of the gods, such as Pasiphaë and the Bull, were highly popular. On occasion, the more ferocious beasts were permitted to kill and (if desired) devour their victims afterwards.

Passages in Leviticus 18 (Lev 18:23: “And you shall not lie with any beast and defile yourself with it, neither shall any woman give herself to a beast to lie with it: it is a perversion.” RSV) and 20:15–16 (“If a man lies with a beast, he shall be put to death; and you shall kill the beast. If a woman approaches any beast and lies with it, you shall kill the woman and the beast; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.” RSV) are cited by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim theologians as categorical denunciation of bestiality. However, the teachings of the New Testament has been interpreted by some as not expressly forbidding bestiality.

Most commonly, the objection of bestiality is derived from the ideals that sexual intercourse should be strictly for procreation rather than ‘pleasure’ or ‘play’ (Bierne 2000 p.314). There is also a commandment more specific to the act of bestiality that is perhaps the origin for that instinctual reaction of disgust in onlookers of Zoophilia and the likes (Miletski, 2006) which determines ‘[w]hosoever lieth with a beast shall be put to death,’ (cited in Bierne, 22:19 p. 316).

In conjunction with this bestiality is considered a ‘Confusion,’ as Leviticus commands that ‘neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith; neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: It is confusion … Thou shalt not let the cattle gender with a diverse kind; thou shalt not saw thy field with mingled seed …’ (Leviticus, 19:19 cited in Bierne p. 317), which introduces an additional defence alongside the sex for reproduction argument. The other idea mentioned in the passage is that it is unnatural to ‘gender with a diverse kind’(Leviticus, 19:19 cited in Bierne p. 317), which distinguishes different animal species as separate from each other; widening the gulf between humans and other animals. Bierne’s logos appeal (Memering and palmer, 2002) in his direct quoting of Leviticus illustrates the way that Judeao-Christian moral plays a large role in debates against Bestiality.We no longer view sex in the lens of procreation, but rather pleasure.

So these arguments no longer hold water. We have to ask, what parts of Leviticus do we apply and what parts do we scrap? The simple answer is it does not apply to this culture or western society.Singer (2001) provides insight into the idea of why bestiality is rejected in our western society and challenges Judeao-Christian moral.

Singer exposes the Judeao-Christian morals not as his defence against bestiality; but to feed from in his argument for why people feel the way they do about bestiality. His argument connects with the idea that humans are a ‘diverse kind’(Leviticus, 19:19 cited in Bierne p. 317) to animals, but in fact, we are all just animals, which falls beneath a name he describes as ‘speciesism’(Singer 2001). This is a strong theme mentioned by Singer (2001) and is emphasised by the kind of discourse he uses. He manages to address his argument in quite a confronting manner which perhaps is the only thing that causes readers to consider his proposal about bestiality. He catches readers off guard and shocks them into considering his ideas by using a very crude discourse (Robins, 2012). He explains that ‘Only humans being have an immortal soul. In Genesis, God gives humans dominion over the animals … humans are halfway between the beasts and the angels’ (singer 2001). This stance is explored by the view that as much as we separate ourselves from other animals in this form of ‘speciesism,’ our sexual drives could not be any less animalistic. Singer’s crude discourse, riddled with obscenities and expletives, brings both himself and the reader down to his uttermost point; that sex, as well as bestiality; no matter the species – is sex – an intrinsic drive we all possess. This is explained without the objective, scientific or censured discourse often used by other writers.

This way of Singer’s expressing himself is perhaps more influential than if he had written objectively and politely, it divulges the true essence of his point: Why does Western society instinctively reject any such mention of bestiality? He answers this by revealing that our Western views are derived from Judeao-Christian moral and that our objection to bestiality boils down to the idea of speciesism.Bestiality was practiced in Babylonia, the ancient Empire in Mesopotamia. In the Code of Hammurabi, King Hammurabi (1955-1913 BC) proclaimed death for any person engaging in bestiality unless for spiritual or religious purposes.

During the Spring Fertility Rites of Babylon, dogs were used for constant orgy for seven days and seven nights and women gave themselves to the canines as a sacrifice. The Book of Leviticus describes bestiality as being very widespread in the country of Canaan, which is why Hebrews later considered sexual relations with animals a way of worshipping other Gods (similar to homosexuality) and put the bestialist and animal to death. It was not the sexual union between a woman and a dog that was the issue, but the religious implicants that animals were being worshipped. Ancient Egyptians and Ancient Greeks both practiced bestiality and believed that it cured nymphomaniacs. Ancient Egypt portrayed bestiality on tombs and in their hieroglyphics, while Ancient Greece often used themes of bestiality in their mythology (e.g. Leda and the swan.) Ancient Greeks and Ancient Egyptians both incorporated bestiality into their religious practices.

Ancient Egyptians engaged in “worshipful bestiality” with the Apis bull in Memphis, Egypt, and with goats at the Temple of Mendes. Similarly, Ancient Greeks engaged in bestiality during religious celebrations and festivals.

Although several Egyptian kings and queens had a reputation for engaging in bestiality, and Egyptian men were known to have sexual intercourse with cattle, other large domesticated animals, crocodiles, and goats.

Bestiality was never punishable in Ancient Greece.Like the Ancient Greeks, the Ancient Romans also incorporated bestiality themes into their mythology. Although bestiality was particularly widespread among the shepherds, Roman women were also known to keep snakes for sexual purposes.

Snakes were highly effective in producing ecstasy in the female orgasm. Bestiality flourished as a public spectacle in ancient Rome, where women (and sometimes feminine men) by animals were used to amuse the audience at the Colosseum and Circus Maximus.

Similar to Ancient Egyptian leaders, many Roman emperors and their wives were known to engage in bestiality or to enjoy watching others engage in bestiality, including Emperor Tiberius and his wife Julia, Claudius, Nero, Constantine the Great, Theodora, and Empress Irene.

Many cultures in the Arab countries, the Middle East, Africa, and the Americas had beliefs or customs that encouraged bestiality among its men and women. For example, the belief that bestiality would lead to enlargement of the human penis was fairly widespread.

Arab men believed that intercourse with animals increased virility, cured diseases, and enlarged their penises.

Likewise, among the Muslims in Morocco, fathers encouraged sons to practice sexual intercourse with donkeys to make their penises grow. Muslims believed that sex with animals prevented men from committing adultery.

Those who had harems, dogs were used to service the many wives to prevent adultery with other men. Turks also believed that sex with a donkey makes the human penis grow larger. Some nomad tribes in Africa incorporated intercourse with cattle as a ritual of passage for young males. Adolescent males in Ibo (Nigerian tribe), for example, had to “successfully” copulate with specially selected sheep in front of a circle of elders.

As for the Native Americans and Eskimos, bestiality varied from tribe to tribe, but was largely socially acceptable and went unpunished among Navajo Indians, Crow Indians, Hopi Indians, Sioux, Apache, Plains Indians, the Canadian Indian tribe of the Saulteaux, as well as the Kupfer and Copper Eskimos.

Alfred Kinsey’s comprehensive (though dated) studies of sexuality are some of the only data we have on bestiality. After conducting 6000 exhaustive interviews with participants on their sexual histories, Kinsey published his findings in 1953, which included this data on zoophilia:

Eight percent of men and four percent of women reported having has a sexual experience with animals at some point in their lives. It is thought this number has tripled.

For women, the animals involved were most commonly dogs, and the sexual activities most often reported were general body contacts with the animals, and anal or vaginal sex on the woman performed by dogs.

Female intercourse with an animal was rarely reported. However, in the case of woman/canine unions, women today report that sex with their dog is not their main focus, but rather the emotional attachment the dog offers the woman.

Sex is seen as the woman’s show of love for her dog and his ownership over her.

Eight percent of men brought themselves to orgasm with an animal

Male animal contact is believed to be more common, although the total percentages still remain quite low.

In Morton Hunt’s study (1974) 4.9 percent of men brought themselves to orgasm with animal contact. Male sexual contact with animals was more common among rural farm dwellers than urban men. Coitus was the most common sexual activity, usually with animals, such as calves, sheep, and burros.

For both males and females, sexual encounters with animals were most likely to have occurred before puberty, and to have been sporadic encounters with little consequence on sexual development. However, a growing number of women report they have allowed their dog to bring her to orgasm orally or to penetrate her vaginally, anally or both.

Once they experience this, their interest in the human male as a sexual option is diminished.Male canines seem to be a sexually oriented beast It is common for a dog of any size and breed to initiate sex. They communicate in various ways, but humping your leg or burying his nose in between the legs of a male or female human is one of the most common.


In the early days of the newly emerging Libertarian Philosophical Movement and the formation of the Libertarian Party, there was a fringe group of Libertarians who called for the decriminalization of bestiality. These activists were present at a Libertarian Conference held in New York City in 1969 and around that time, Murray Rothbard claimed a Neo-Randian group called Students of Objectivism for Rational Bestiality existed in the outer reaches of the libertarian movement. These so-called Bestiality Boys promoted what they called Rational Bestiality. Their contention, as I understand it, was that “bestiality is illegal because humans are irrational animals and that, if humans were rational, citizens would not be arrested and jailed for engaging in sexual acts with the animals they own.”While those calling for the decriminalization of bestiality have always been present in the Libertarian Party, this issue was elevated to a whole new level when in 2011 and 2012, two Libertarian Party Presidential Candidates and one Presidential Candidate of the Boston Tea Party, made statements in favor of decriminalizing bestiality.

Carl Person, who was seeking the Libertarian Party’s Presidential nomination, was the first to re-address this issue when he wrote:

…The victimless crimes are prostitution, bestiality, sodomy, drugs, abortion, and the principles are that we shouldn’t be regulating what people do to themselves, and the cost of the regulation should be saved and returned to taxpayers, to reduce taxes, and enable the economy to grow with commerce instead of with prisoners, private jails and private jail guards.When asked for a clarification with respect to his position in support of legalizing bestiality, Carl Person provided the following statement regarding this issue: When I mentioned “bestiality”, I was referring to animals, not humans (Note: some statutes prohibiting bestiality include children within the definition.). Bestiality as a victimless crime would center on two elements: 1. “property rights” - limiting the practice to one’s own animals or with wild animals (not owned by anyone) and 2. “consent” and/or “non-injury” - if the animal is willing and is not injured in the process. If the animal is already dead, the victimless crime would become a variant of necromancy, and have to be analyzed in a similar fashion. I’m not a practitioner or advocate of bestiality and am only trying to apply Libertarian principles to a seldom discussed victimless crime.

Tiffany Briscoe, the Presidential Candidate of the Boston Tea Party, weighed in on the “bestiality is a victimless crime” issue by sharing her viewpoints on the subject:

…If an individual wants to engage him or herself into such an activity, it is entirely up to this individual. I condemn all anti-bestiality laws, just like I condemn bestiality itself. But this should be a decision taken by the person involved, rather than the government. Strictly on a philosophical standpoint, bestiality is probably consistent with the reasonable theory that rights apply only to humans and not animals or plants.

Sam Sloan, a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s Presidential Nomination, then placed the issue in the context of marriage, when he issued his campaign platform, which included the following language:

…I have no problem with a man or woman marrying multiple partners of any gender. I couldn’t care less if a person wanted to marry their cat or dog. It is simply none of the government’s business.

Thomas L. Knapp, Publisher of Rational Review (“The Premier Libertarian Web Journal”) then commented:

…It seems to me that the default libertarian position - absent a persuasive argument for “animal rights,” which I do try to keep an open mind for - is that it’s a property issue and therefore a victimless crime (unless of course the animal is someone else’s property)…If non-human animals do not have rights and are “just property”, then the answer the Zero Aggression Principle returns is that bestiality (with one’s own property or with permission of the owner of said property) is not aggression, and that prohibiting/punishing bestiality (with one’s own property or with the owner of said property) is aggression.

Dallwyn Merck, Secretary of the Libertarian Party of Queens County, and Vice-Chair of the Downstate Libertarians chapter of Empire State Libertarians, complimented Carl Person for having started the discussion. He wrote:

…I applaud Carl Person for speaking up on this controversial issue and for setting forth a philosophical framework to enable us to analyze when and under what circumstances bestiality should be made legal. Bestiality is far more common than most people realize. After conducting 6000 interviews with participants on their sexual histories, Alfred Kinsey published his findings in 1953, which included the result that 8% of men and 4% of women reported having a sexual experience with an animal at some point in their lives, and 8% of men brought themselves to orgasm with an animal. In Morton Hunt’s study (1974), it was reported that 4.9% of men brought themselves to orgasm with animal contact. Male sexual contact was more common among rural farm dwellers than urban men. Intercourse was the most common sexual activity, usually with animals such as calves, sheep, and burros.Since taboos against human-animal contact have been the norm for centuries, the criminal law has resulted in the arrest and stigmatization of those who have found pleasure while in contact with certain farm animals. Whether it be the shepherd with his sheep or the farm boy with a toothless baby calf, human-animal contact has been going on for thousands of years.Carl Person has brought this issue out into the open and has started a discussion on the topic. He has done a great service to this nation by addressing this issue head on.What was not expected is that Carl Person’s initial comment calling bestiality a “victimless crime” would be the catalyst for the formation of a modern Zoosexual Rights movement and that the Libertarian Party would be given the credit for this new activism.

Lexxi Stray (the Dog Park Princess), called upon people to support Carl Person and the Libertarian Party because of his stand on this issue:

…Carl Person…is in favor of focusing our national resources on REAL issues - and not squandering them chasing “criminals” who aren’t hurting anyone else or interfering with other people. He plans to do this by focusing funds on creating jobs as well as by having the police force working to keep people safe, which they cannot do when they are spread thin chasing after people involved in victimless crimes. He is completely right. We spend millions of dollars trying to stop people from bending over for their dog or taking a puff of weed while men beating their wives or people drinking themselves into comas hardly get a second glance. It’s time to focus on making change that helps people, not waste more tax money trying to stop people from engaging in actions that don’t harm anyone else.Finally, for the first time in far too long, politics are openly discussing the reality of bestiality - that if the animal is ready and willing there is no harm done by allowing them to satisfy their urges. While the Libertarian Party may be much smaller than either Democrats or Republicans, you can bet those groups keep their eyes on the support levels of different candidates so they know what policies to implement in order to get more support for themselves. One thing you can do to support bestiality and bring the positive views to light is simply support Carl Person and his fellows either online or in person and, if you plan on voting, vote for some of them come election time. Every vote they get is another sign that bestiality is slowly coming into the minds of the mainstream in a more realistic way - the illogical prejudices of the past are slowly being stripped away so that things may be looked at objectively, and this is one change I am proud to say I will be a part of.
First release
Last update
4.67 star(s) 3 ratings

More resources from ZTHorse

Share this resource

Latest reviews

Nice reading.

Taking a look to this article I found this other one:

(I leave it here in case someone else want to check it out taking advantage of the excellent scientific compilation of studies, articles and so on that you have)
I'm giving you a standing ovation!
Great article!
Wonderfully well written and referenced article.