Hang around people who talk kinky sex long enough, and eventually bestiality (human/animal intercourse) will come up. At that point you’re almost certain to hear something along these lines: “Well, naturally, that’s a consent issue, because animals aren’t capable of consenting to their involvement in your scene.”
With no intent to drag scat play into this discussion as well, let me say plainly and clearly: Bullshit.
Well. All right. Not necessarily bullshit. I will make a generous exception for kinky vegans who feel this way, if they are indeed strict vegans, and also “animal liberationists” or whatever we’re currently calling people who believe that owning pets is slavery.
But unless you fall into those very strict and specific camps, you probably shouldn’t be talking about consent re: animals and what we, as humans, do to them.
We don’t ask for animal’s consent to own them, after all. We don’t ask their consent to raise them, from birth, in a cage, force-feeding them until the day of their slaughter, and we don’t ask politely if they’d mind if we nibbled on their tasty, tasty flesh a bit.
For that matter, we don’t take consent into consideration when we forcibly breed animals, whether it’s done with syringes and needles or just good old fashioned tying down the bitch in heat and letting the studs go to town on her. We cheerfully “rape” non-consenting animals every day, by the thousands, and the modern grocery economy would fall apart if we ever stopped.
So no. Fucking your pet dog, or your farm horse, or whatever, isn’t “rape,” any more than slaughtering animals for meat is “murder.” If you object to one, you inherently object to the other. And like I said, I am totally on board with people who think we shouldn’t get freaky with animals and also think we shouldn’t own, kill, and eat them. But if you’re not willing to go all the way, I think you should find bestiality, at the very most, mildly distasteful — certainly not immoral, given that diddling even a visibly unhappy and resisting animal is much less harmful in the grand scheme than killing and eating it.
Of course, I feel a bit weird making those arguments, since I don’t personally have much of an attraction to animals. I’m not really invested, on a personal level, in advocating for the right of people to, ah, “mount up” in the manner of their choosing.
But I hate selective morality, especially where it overlaps on sexuality, so please: if you object to human-sexual relationships on the basis of consent, rethink your ethics…or else start looking up nice vegan recipes.