So a recent poll appears to show that UKIP supporters are the most tolerant of people having sex with animals.(Actually, a quick glance shows it’s a small margin of a small percentage, but don’t let that discourage you from having another laugh at UKIP.) People have always been inclined to suggest that their enemies or political opponents engage in sexual abuse of family pets or livestock, and it’s the punchline of any number of jokes. It seems as though it’s suddenly on the increase, though the two or three cases which have been publicised recently don’t necessarily indicate that it’s any more or less popular than it ever was. Defendants seem to have stated that they didn’t know it was actually illegal. (handy hint – it is.) Perhaps they were confused by the fact that no prosecutions were ever even suggested when the story of the former Prime Minister and the pig’s head started doing the rounds.
While I have no more idea than anyone else as to whether the anecdote was true or not, there is an important distinction to be made: Cameron’s (alleged) oinker was dead and had (if it happened at all, of course) presumably been legitimately purchased from a butchers shop. If you buy something which has been legally slaughtered and is designated a foodstuff, whether you stick your dick in it or serve it up with spuds and sprouts is no one’s business but yours. For most people, though, it seems relatively easy to accept that animal-involving sexual activity is not, in fact, acceptable on the grounds that an animal is in no position to give consent.
Publishers of erotica generally ask authors to refrain from submitting stuff which features sex with actual live animals (though Shirley Conran got away with it in the early 80s – a random quote from a blog somewhere asks “Does anyone remember anything about Lace apart from that poor goldfish?). In my days as a slushpile reader for an erotica imprint, I once had to send back a story which featured a woman-undergoing-a-sexual-awakening who got coaxed into giving a spaniel a handjob. Calls for submissions do mention (depending on the anthology theme or the genre of erotica) that shapeshifters, whether werewolves, weretigers or even were-cuttlefish, may be acceptable, though some demand that any actual sex only occurs when all participants are in the same form ie human-shape-on-human-shape or beastshape-on-beastshape and no mixing.
Perhaps the final word on this sort of thing should be a reminder not to trust politicians of any party to be sensible about sexuality, as was clearly demonstrated by the Tiger Porn debacle.