Introduction to the Companion

In an attempt to stimulate conversation and get the Companion properly off the ground, we submit the following for your consideration:

Recently, during a raid on a pornography ring by the Minneapolis constabulary, video tapes were discovered that purportedly depicted a University of Minnesota coed, a certain J* B*, engaged in oral sex with a dog. She has been arrested and is awaiting trial on a charge of bestiality.

Our purpose in relating this episode is not to point a self-righteous finger at this young lady and snicker behind our editorial hand. It goes without saying that she is not the one whom many of you will want to take home to meet Mother. Our interests lie rather in the concepts of bestiality, pornography and obscenity.

Virtually everyone raised in the United States or elsewhere in the Western World knows that nice girls just don’t do things like that. It is immoral; it is sinful; it is unnatural; it is an abomination. The concepts of right and wrong in matters of personal sexual practice are at the root of our Judeo-Christian heritage. Even if we don’t happen to subscribe to either of the prevailing religions, we are subjected, from infancy on, to the moral precepts of those religions. In fact, many of these precepts predate modern religions and were adopted and anointed by those religions as they evolved.

But suppose for a moment that you have met someone not familiar with our customs, an alien from another galaxy if you will. How would you explain to him why it is wrong to engage in intimate indiscretions with a member of a species more hairy than our own? If it is wrong, against whom has this wrong been committed?

You might answer that the dog, being of lesser intelligence and understanding, has been exploited for personal gratification or, as in the case in question, monetary gain. You might compare the practice to kiddie-porn or sexual abuse of children. However, it has been amply demonstrated that children subjected to such violations, suffer emotional trauma and persistent scarring from the experience? Can you assert that the dog suffers similarly? Or even that he finds it unpleasant or distasteful?

It is not our intention to change your mind about questions of right and wrong. We do not proselytize. We merely offer this as a topic for discussion. Dirty old men are at bottom philosophers all, and we revel in debates of such esoteric matters. We apologize if we appear to some of you as an instructor issuing an assignment. But please consider that there will be no quiz; no grades will be awarded; no attendance taken.