Sydney Festival Presents Bestiality as One of Society’s Last Taboos

23 August 2022

2.3 MINS

Sexual intercourse with animals is being seriously explored at a government-funded event in Sydney. Have we fallen so far from our identity as humans with a unique dignity and purpose?

The New South Wales Government-funded Festival of Dangerous Ideas should be renamed the Festival of Degenerate Ideas.

The festival, to be held in September, will feature a keynote session entitled The Last Taboo, in which the ethics of sex with animals will be discussed by British academic Joanna Bourke.

Ms Bourke, author of a book called Loving Animals: On Bestiality, Zoophilia and Human Love, will lecture Sydneysiders on the “ethics of animal loving”, by which she means sex.

Missing Moral Compass

If you need to fly an academic from the other side of the world to tell you that sex with animals is wrong, you’re already too far gone.

Truly, there are some things so obvious that only an academic could make them confusing.

In her book, Ms Bourke is careful neither to condemn nor endorse humans having sex with animals. The London Review of Books wrote:

“Her thesis is that while sexual interaction between human and nonhuman animals is very often abusive, it needn’t be.”

Wait. What?

Another reviewer writes:

“Bourke’s post-anthropocentric approach to human-animal love and lust is a remarkable and much-needed contribution to both queer studies and animal studies. She offers a critical and thorough analysis of the joys, hopes, and dangers of intimacy with the most vulnerable of all lovers — animals.”

By “post-anthropocentric”, the reviewer references Ms Bourke’s contention that the reason we find sex with animals repulsive is that we like to think we are more dignified than animals.

Ms Bourke argues that we are not.

The Last Taboo ad - animals

Festival of Dangerous Ideas advertisement

Humans = Animals

She insists in her book that we are just a different kind of animal — no better or worse than any other. Once we understand this, she says, we no longer find the idea of sex with animals disgusting.

She notes that Australian atheist and ethicist Peter Singer has made the exact same argument.

Welcome to a post-Christian world in which people are not ennobled, they are debased.

If we ourselves are nothing but animals (albeit animals with high-speed internet), what’s wrong with having sex with other animals? Where’s the harm?

As long as there is mutual respect and reciprocity, what’s the problem?

Our revulsion, the argument goes, comes from a misplaced sense of superiority and nothing more.

Human Dignity

The 15th-century British philosopher Francis Bacon said:

“We are akin to the beasts in our body, but if we be not akin to God in our spirit, we are wretched and miserable creatures indeed.”

Is this the kind of world we want to live in? Is this the kind of culture we are happy for our government to use our taxes to promote?

Maybe you don’t buy the whole God thing. Fair enough. But do this thought experiment with me:

Imagine your daughter is walking down a dark Sydney street, late at night. There is no one around. Suddenly a group of young men are approaching her.

Do you hope those young men believe themselves to be created in the image of God and endowed with dignity and honour?

Or do you hope those young men regard themselves as a pack of animals with smartphones?

Those happy to see Christianity pushed to the margins should think carefully about the alternative.


Originally published at The James Macpherson Report.

Subscribe to his Substack here for daily witty commentary.
Photo by Los Muertos Crew.


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