The potential down side of acceptance

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Ce texte relativement daté aujourd'hui a largement été diffusé dans les premiers newsgroups et forums communautaires. Il a accompagné la constitution de la communauté.

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The potential down side of acceptance

May 22, 1997 With the airing of the "Ellen" episode in which she comes out as gay, it occurred to me that zoos probably won't have such an episode for at least a couple decades. While it's wonderful to think that someday, being zoo will be no more objectionable to the public than being gay/les/bi is now (not that the gay community has an easy road to begin with), have we given much thought to the potential _damage_ of being "accepted" or at least acknowledged publicly?

Here are some (vaguely) possible negative side-effects, listed in no particular order. Many of these sound dire, even doom-and-gloom-ish, but knowing the way the human mind works, all of these scenarios are possible.

  1. An increase in the number of animals being neutered. With the realization that many thousands (millions?) of people are zoo, many non-zoo pet owners (or parents who fear their kids may be "converted" by the media publicity) may have their dogs/horses/whatever neutered just to be on the safe side. After all, little Rover may spend more time with that neighbor boy than at his own home, so perhaps the boy is a zoo, and to "protect" Rover, his owners neuter him. "We had to destroy him in order to save him."
  2. A lessening of public affection shown by non-zoos to pets and/or livestock. Most non-zoos won't want to be confused with being zoo, so in order to avoid comments like, "boy, the way you hug Fido, you'd think you were zoo," the non-zoo might simply pat the dog on the head and be done with it. As a result, animals would receive less public (and possibly less private) affection from their human companions, which would hurt their emotional balance. Animals need affection from their pack/herd-mates, and when this affection is withdrawn, the animals become insular and harder to train/live with.
  3. A reduction in the number of animals adopted from animal shelters. "Little Johnny wants a puppy, he says. He's been talking about it for months now, ever since he saw '101 Dalmatians.' As interested as he is, I'm worried he could be a zoo, so we should probably hold off getting a dog until he's had counseling." This attitude will result in animals not getting homes, and ultimately being put to sleep.
  4. An increase in the number of animals confined to homes, kennels, or fenced pastures. While the good side of this is that a caged animal doesn't roam and breed with other animals, producing unwanted offspring, most animals don't fare well in tight confinement. Animals large enough to be intimate with are even less comfortable in a home or small kennel, and will often tear up a home or become stir-crazy, leading owners to blame the animals and put them in the pound, where they may fall victim to doom-and-gloom #3.

On the other hand, here are some possible benefits: 1. An increase in the availability of hard-core animal-only porn. One thing that always remains the same is that, if there is a financial market for something, someone will tap it. And once the capitalists find out that people will pay good money to watch videos and buy magazines and books depicting explicit scenes of animals mating and, well, doing other things naturally, such materials will appear in droves.