On the Rantings of Peter Singer

Dr. Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics in the University Center for Human Values at Princeton University, speaking to the 2002 Animal Rights Conference held in McLean, Va., earlier this month, gave a talk in which he declared that consensual sex with animals is all right. Singer, who like the ancient Spartans and the more recent Nazis, believes disabled newborns should be killed, now states the case for bestiality.

According to Singer, “Your dog or whatever else it is can show you when he or she wants to engage in a certain kind of contact.” I guess that’s why I learned not to cross my legs at the knee whenever Wolf, my toy poodle, was around.
My cat, Ivan the Terrible, has my affections now that Wolf has departed this world. While I love Ivan, I don’t think he would consent to sex with me…for one thing he’s a guy cat, or he was before I did the socially responsible and politically correct thing by having him neutered.

Oops, “neutered” is too nice a word for what happened, like dubbing an unborn baby a “fetus” so killing “it” becomes an exercise in choice rather than an abortion. Words matter so let’s be specific. I sterilized Ivan without his consent. Because he was underage and non-consulted before I forcibly trans-gendered him, a sense of guilt lingers. While guilt is a great motivator for liberal initiatives, it provides a poor foundation for human or, for that matter, human and animal relationships. I just don’t feel right having sex with a creature I forcibly and non-consensually trans-gendered.

If the plethora of television programs lauding same-sex relationships in any indication, homosexuality is no big deal. Soon shows like “Phil and Fido”, “My Wife the Cat” and “Bearing with Dad” will take us to “a whole ‘nuther level” of depravity. Surely, Princeton University’s Center for Human Values would want to remain on the cutting edge in our increasingly amoral society, so Dr. Singer, have you considered sex with trees?

We butcher trees, force them together with foreign objects like nails, bricks, aluminium and vinyl. We slaughter trees to burn for our own comfort when coal, petroleum and even nuclear power provide no-less environmentally threatening alternatives. Other than Al Gore and a few environmentalist whackos in tree-rich states like Oregon ever speak out to defend trees. (In Al Gore’s case this may be a matter of standing up for family.) Furthermore, I’ve never heard a tree protest what can only be described as “rough trade.” So, Dr. Singer, how would you feel about a loving, committed relationship between a person-man or woman–and a tree? Are we talking about “arboreal-sexuality” here?

Certainly, a case can be made that bestiality and even homosexuality are morally questionable if not downright abominable. In the 19th chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus, for instance, homosexuality and bestiality are condemned in successive verses. While the Apostle Paul rails against homosexuality in I Corinthians and in the first chapter of Romans, there are those who argue such passages are “passé” and that Jesus Christ himself never actually mentioned homosexuality…or for that matter, bestiality. While the role of homosexuals-ordaining even “marrying” them– are hot topics in mainline protestant churches, I challenge any Biblical scholar to cite one passage, Old or New Testament, forbidding sex with trees.

Sex with trees, or for that matter other plants like ferns, and, for those who lean to a little kinky pain, cactuses, would have to be conducted in an environmentally responsible way-thus making it morally acceptable to many liberals. Of course, it should be a given that not every arboreal-sexual is a flora-phile, lurking through the underbrush seeking to jump innocent, young saplings. Although I don’t know if there are any studies on this, so Dr. Singer has the chance to plant more seeds of scholarship, but I feel the unvarnished truth may be that the vast majority of arboreal-sexuals prefer monogamous, committed relationships…understanding of course that since most trees outlive people, we would have to be sensitive their need for a series of relationships throughout any tree’s life journey. It goes without saying that respectable arboreal-sexuals abjure one stand nights.

So how about it, Dr. Singer? You’ve been out there with Spartans and Nazis on eliminating unfit children, provided we do so before they become old enough to qualify for “differently-abled” status entitling them to bona fide liberal protection and possible preferential treatment by the Princeton University admissions office. Surely, arborality can be no less controversial than bestiality. I suppose, however, we would need to think through how a tree, fern or cactus would let us know it wants to engage “in a certain kind of contact.”