Animal cruelty and bestiality: 'Baaaaa means NO'
At the risk of driving unwanted traffic to Dolittler’s family friendly content, here’s a story from last week’s McClatchy News Service (which is why it ended up in The Miami Herald, I guess). CAUTION: This material is not for younger or more sensitive readers:
A panhandle Floridian, currently serving jail time for an anachronous “livestock theft” offense (who serves time for that anymore?) was charged with raping and killing a pet goat.
As many of you know, I keep a pet goat. That’s why I read the piece with rapt attention.
This man’s offense was one of allegedly breaking into a back yard (like mine), distracting the dogs with treats (they were easily swayed by the niceties, as mine would be), then proceeding to enter the goat’s enclosure, sodomizing her while simultaneously strangling her with her collar (my goat’s collar could theoretically serve a similar function).
I was suitably horrified, more still when I read about his prior livestock theft offense. This guy’s potentially a serial rapist as yet unable to graduate to humans. And thank God for that.
History is as littered with livestock sodomy examples as our pop culture is polluted with its references. But modern life displays few tendencies to consider such behavior acceptable. More so now because we recognize the animal cruelty aspect of such crimes. No animal deserves to be attacked with such unwarranted brutality—for whatever reason.
Considering that animal cruelty transgressions are now regarded as “gateway crimes” by our modern psychiatric community, such deeds are no longer considered laughable novelties. It’s ‘news of the weird’ as far as most of us are concerned. The fact that this man has to steal goats in the middle of the night doesn’t recommend his actions as merely eccentric or benignly deviant, either. He’s “allegedly” a freak.
Problem is, there’s only so much jail time a person like this can serve by way of keeping society safe from his ilk. Bestiality, per se, is not a crime in Florida. Thievery and animal cruelty are, but even this well-loved 4-H goat (named Meg, who was pregnant with twins at the time) doesn’t command a hefty price—and animal cruelty is a mere third-degree felony in this state with a maximum jail time of five years. Human rapists are a far higher priority.
In the wake of this event, a bestiality law is being proposed in Florida. Thirty other states consider it a 1st degree felony, in recognition of its unique, boundary-crossing status.
All of which begs the question: Why is it that animal cruelty has to reach grotesque proportions before it can potentially be considered worthy of major media attention and “true crime” status?
I don’t know the answer save to say that there are clearly too many crazies for our society to manage. To paraphrase Cormac McCarthy, whose “No Country for Old Men” I read over the weekend (and which I strongly recommend), “Good people are surprisingly easy to govern. Bad people are wholly ungovernable.”
No truer words were ever spoken.
Oh, and one more thing: I will be investing in a lock for my Poppy’s pen. Still, it's times like these I'm gratified to know she's still got those badass horns of hers.