Call me naive, but I never imagined such a thing as animal sex tourism. Sure, I knew about bestiality, but as a tourist attraction?… it never occurred to me. Perhaps it should have back in June, 2013, when I wrote How to Hug a Cow, but it didn’t. I’m not suggesting for a minute that the farmer in that story was engaged in any sort of animal sex tourism–I believe it was a straightforward cow-hugging exercise–but I’m thinking my responsibility to you, my dear readers, should have caused me to at least consider the possibility. Trouble is, it never crossed my mind.
What I’m curious about is, how does one organise such a tourist business? It’s not like you can advertise in the usual way:
FuckaDuck Farmstay Vacations
20% off if you book now!
PLUS Your very own sheep, to keep for your entire stay
(condoms not required)
How the dickens do these people hook up (so to speak) with their customers? I know it must happen online, but I can’t imagine what sort of code words or tags they must use. It’s a worry. I shall think carefully when I tag articles henceforth…
I should explain that the reason I’ve got my knickers in a twist about this issue is that I just read an article about Denmark passing legislation banning bestiality. It seems animal rights activists were concerned that the previous legislation was too lenient, thus encouraging animal sex tourists to visit Denmark. “There are frequent reports of the occurrence of organised animal sex shows, clubs and animal brothels in Denmark,” the Danish Ethical Council for Animals stated in a report, adding that it had been unable to verify reports of such activity. In a 2011 survey of veterinarians, 17% reported that they suspected an animal they had treated had had sexual intercourse with a human. The mind boggles…
Meanwhile, in a much more appropriate approach to animal husbandry and employment, goats are increasingly being used to manage plant pests commercially. For example, Goat Power LLC, a Portland, Oregon goat rental service, offers an eco-friendly land clearing service. The goats, along with their ‘security guy,’ Monty (a llama), munch happily on invasive weeds and other unwanted invasive plants (currently at work at the Portland Airport). It’s an idea whose time has come. Mind you, not all goats are suitable for the task… My son Adam’s two goats, Tory and Grant, for example, would be better suited to clearing land of people. I’m just saying…
Then there are the fish pedicures. If you’re like me, your first question is “How do you give a fish a pedicure?” Well, you don’t. They, of course, give you the pedicure. At least they did in Arizona. It’s another example of working animals. Much like the goats, the fish merely have to nibble their way through their working day. Salon, or spa customers put their feet into a bath filled with toothless Garra rufa fish which then suck the dead skin off the customers’ feet, leaving them feeling softer. The practice has been through the courts, ultimately winding up in the U.S. Supreme Court where it was rejected. So Arizona now has a number of unemployed Garra rufa fish. Turns out all tools and material used in pedicures must be sterilised, and no one has worked out how to sterilise a Garra rufa.
I’m still waiting to hear whether chimpanzees at a New York university will be granted status as “legal persons” under the law, requiring them to be released from unlawful captivity and transferred to a sanctuary in Florida. The Nonhuman Rights Project maintains that because chimpanzee are autonomous, intelligent creatures, they cannot be unlawfully imprisoned. Stay tuned…