I’ve been doing some thinking (and discussing with others) about the issue of criminalizing videos of bestiality and other expressions of it such as erotica.
As utterly abhorrent to me as the mere thought is, for various reasons, I’ve had to come to the conclusion that perhaps so doing is really not the best thing to do after all.
The most important issue is that the reality is, I do fervently believe in freedom of speech and expression, and part of being in a society in which one may reasonably expect to have that freedom one’s own self means tolerating what others have to say, no matter how odious it is.
While it is true that it’s not possible to have videos of bestiality (or child porn, or whatever) without those hideous acts actually being committed, the problem is really not as much the actual videotaping of it as it is the actual act.
Now that said, I don’t believe anyone should be allowed to profit from such “works”.
The other reason I’ve decided I need to soften my stance on criminalizing bestiality videos is that like neo-nazi and other subversive activities, at least it is easier to know what is going on – and in more cases, to track it to the source.
I’ve also been reminded of something I’ve stumped for decades about with respect to drugs and alcohol, namely that prohibition doesn’t work.
I still don’t approve of these things, but if allowing the videos themselves to remain legal can help lead us to the people who commit these heinous acts so that they may be brought to justice, and the existence of the videos used as evidence to help convict them of the actual crime, then perhaps they are actually useful.
At the end of the day, though, the energy expended in criminalizing anything should be put towards increasing penalties for actual acts of bestiality, strengthening the laws against it, instituting new ones where they do not yet exist, creating registries for bestialists to have to register as sex offenders and animal abusers – and finding and punishing the actual practitioners, and stopping them from continuing their abuse of innocent, helpless creatures.