Could Your Beloved Pet Have Gay TendenciesKeith
Could Your Beloved Pet Have Gay Tendencies
Apparently biologists claim that ‘gay’ animal behaviour has been spotted in 1,500 different animal species. Given that common arguments used by homophobes in the past have been that “it’s not natural”, and “animals are never gay”, it’s understandable that there are now many who may wish to use the reverse argument: if it happens in animals, homosexuality must be as natural as heterosexual behaviour.
Can pets be homosexual? Pets probably dont regard this subject with the same anxiety as many humans. Pets tend to be either asexual (as in spayed and castrated pets, and females when they’re not in season) or sexual (as in females when they’re in season, and entire males for most of the time).
When they’re asexual, pets often enjoy male and female company equally, having close social relationships with the same sex and with the opposite sex .
When pets are in a sexual phase, under the influence of reproductive hormones (testosterone in males or oestrogen in females in season), they are often utterly focussed on the act of copulation rather than worrying about the gender of the object of their attention. Think of a Jack Russell Terrier hanging onto your lower leg for dear life, or a female Collie in season doing escape artist tricks to get away from the confinement of the human home to have fun with her friends. One scientific study, described the first recorded incident involving a Mallard Duck. The main message is that when the reproductive hormones are coursing through animals’ veins, the gender (or indeed, species) of the object of their affections may not be high on the list of considerations.
One of the concerns about the increasing ‘humanisation’ of pets is that there may be a trend towards considering our pets’ sex lives as something that we should be worried about. There is one pet owner who was incensed when explained to him how neutering and spaying involved removal of his male and female dogs’ gonads. He was adamant that his pets should have the right to enjoy a sex life. Why couldn’t their tubes ne tied off like humans? Indeed, there are a few vets out there who believe that neutering and spaying are a form of sexual mutilation that humans impose unfairly on animals.
Shall we stick to old fashioned guns on this one. Neutered and spayed pets don’t know what they’re missing, and if anything, they’re happier without those pesky trouble-making hormones. Population control and a calm social environment are far more important than human-imposed ideas of what pets should or should not do ‘in the bedroom’.
We’re allowed to euthanase pets because we know that it can be the best way to prevent suffering, and they don’t know that it’s about to happen to them. We are allowed to control pets’ sexuality for similar reasons, and that’s the way it ought to be, for their own sake.
‘Homosexual or heterosexual?’ is the wrong question to ask about pets. Instead, we should ask whether they are ‘sexual or asexual’, and for their own sake, the more that we move into the asexual category, the better.