Interspecies Sexual Assault: A Moral Perspective
By Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns
This article was originally published on
Animal Liberation Currents on June 12, 2017. We are pleased to
share it with our readers and to thank Animal Liberation Currents
for publishing it. We encourage people to visit their website for
stimulating perspectives on animals and animal liberation.
In 2016, Merritt Clifton, the editor of the online publication Animals 24-7, advised me during an email exchange arising from comments I had posted about meat industry consultant Temple Grandin on the Animals 24-7 website,1 not to present my opinion before presenting the supporting evidence. If I wanted to write something about the methods used to artificially inseminate pigs, chickens, turkeys, cows, or goats, this would be of interest, as long as I gave agribusiness sources their due.
In this discussion, I will look at human sexual assault on nonhuman animals, with a focus on farmed animals, from an ethical standpoint. Does sexual manipulation of a farmed animal for business purposes constitute sexual assault? How is it different from – if it is different from – the random sexual assaults on nonhuman animals that society considers “deviant,” and that in some cases have been prosecuted as animal cruelty violations? Sexual manipulation is routinely performed on chickens, turkeys, pigs, cows, and other animals by farmers and researchers.