06.10.2016 07:31 AM

BREAKING: Canada’s highest court plumbs the lowest depths

The Supreme Court of Canada has decided animal abuse is okay. Seriously. If you can stomach it, more here.

Justin Trudeau, we look forward to your first Supreme Court appointment. Because whoever you pick will be a clear improvement on what’s there now.

36 Comments

  1. ABB says:

    The decision has nothing to do with animal abuse.

    The House of Commons can change the law and specify a definition of bestiality, if the legislators so choose.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      Fuck you. You so-cons have tried and tried to link gay rights– the rights of people who are consenting adults– with bestiality and pedophilia forever and a day and you’ve lost that argument. Go back under your rock.

      • gyor says:

        Wtf, he didn’t bring up gay rights, he just pointed out that the ruling isn’t based on the constitution, but how the original law was written, and as such as easily fixed by Parliament properly defining beastiality. Its a matter of legalese kind of stuff and laws that were poorly written, not condoning beastiality.

        Seriously this is so easy to fix, its not worth getting bent over, just make a clear defination legally of beastiality.

        Still honestly I love eating meat like hamburgers, hotdogs, tuna sandwhichs, meat ball subs, steaks, so I don’t personally feel I have the right to judge these people.

        • Derek Pearce says:

          This was actually in reply to his post below about the Pride Parade, I responded to the wrong post but the point still stands.

  2. ABB says:

    On the other hand — This court decision does raise some interesting ideas for a float in the Gay Pride Parade, especially as JT will be attending.

  3. Cath says:

    This country should be ashamed of our “highest” court.
    I sure am. They’re just on the wrong side of, well just about everything on this call.

    • smelter rat says:

      The SCOC doesn’t make the law, they just interpret it.

      • Peter says:

        When they want to. When the mood strikes them, they’re happy to change and update or modernize the law. On other days they’ll throw it out in whole or in part. If they’re tired of that, they’ll maybe just suspend it. They’re unelected, unaccountable, effectively can’t be removed, and all come from one profession. The progressive part of the public likes to bow and genuflect before them and swoon about Charter rights whatever the heck they do. It’s a great gig.

        • Bluegreenblogger says:

          You are welcome to move somewhere Judges are governed by their political masters. I am thinking that Iran, or perhaps Russia might be a good match for you. Here in Canada we prefer to have professional judges applying the rule of law.

      • gyor says:

        Exactly.

  4. Kevin says:

    Holy Mary, I don’t believe it. Started reading your latest post and, being stupid, clicked that link. Then my head exploded. Now I’ll have to go scrape down the walls (and we just painted, too).

    SC, you’re dead wrong here. Listen to Judge Abella: some things are “inherently exploitative” and this is one. How does an animal have the mental capacity to consent to a sexual act with a human?

    And out of a twisted sense of curiosity, could someone explain to me what the link is between bestiality and a Gay Pride Parade?

    • ABB says:

      The connection is obvious to anyone who has attended in the past.

      The parade is a celebration of the full spectrum of sexuality in all manner of expression, some forms of which may involve animals (as legally recognized by Canada’s highest court!)

  5. Mark Bourrie says:

    My take too, at first glance. But maybe — until the law is changed — the right charge would have been cruelty to animals, rather than something like bestiality, in which the term has no clear meaning.

  6. Luke says:

    Yuck.

    I wonder whether any of those justices were wondering what other careers they could opt for. All that expertise mulling over the matter of sexual congress with other species.

  7. Bluegreenblogger says:

    OK, I followed the link, and read the article. I actually retched a bit when I read about the peanut butter… But I find it interesting that in your comments here, everyone says it’s abhorrent, but for different reasons.There is little consensus on why and how bestiality is wrong. And given the penetration argument, the law itself isn’t very informative. It begs the question, ‘What is the basis of criminalising bestiality’. Is it to protect the animal? Is it to protect human victims, like in this case? I am disgusted by using an animal as a tool like that. It is clearly different from what I can only call ‘conventional’ abuse, but does the law recognise a difference? Comments above about bestiality being legalised are actually helpful to focus on prospective issues. For this one specific case, bestiality is confused with abuse of humans. So here’s my two cents worth. Having sex with an animal is gross to me. Really really gross. But it is far from unheard of, and animals may not even care sometimes. If they care. can they even appreciate the concept of exploitation, let alone suffer from it? Even if they are exploited, when it is perfectly ok to kill and eat any critter, exploiting them sexually seems penny ante. So other than ewwww, just how much opprobrium does the perp deserve? Jail, a fine, shaming? OK, now consider that the bestiality was actually forced on his victims. I mean, really. That is not an ewww moment. It is a freaking horrifying crime that transgresses all boundaries. That’s my gut speaking, but the law does not differentiate. In fact, the law does not speak to why it is wrong, only seeks to define a prohibited act. It seems that the first stop is to define why something is wrong, then the next step is to legislate effectively to prevent the wrong. I think legislation is needed, but I cannot think of anybody who would want to have a conversation about it.

    • Simon says:

      The reason why bestiality is wrong really depends on what your fundamental conception of a human being is.

      If a human being is just a material thing, without a soul, and so without transcendent values of right and wrong, then, from the human point of view, it is very hard to say that bestiality is wrong. It’s just something an individual decides to do that isn’t hurting anyone else. In that case, the only way it can be construed as wrong is it somehow hurts the animal. But if the animal isn’t actually in physical distress, then accordingly it can’t be forbidden. Even if the animal can’t consent as a human being, we do use animals in other ways without their consent (for example for food).

      Bestiality can only be put in its own category and forbidden if we believe human beings (and animals too) have a transcendent value and purpose. It is good that human beings have relations with other human beings but not with animals. The non-human world is good (among other reasons) because it provides us with food, among other tangible and intangible things. And our relations with it our good if we do this responsibly and without exploitation. Our conduct is wrong if we use it the wrong way (such as through bestiality). By doing so we are also forcing animals to act against one of their inherent purposes, which is to procreate with other animals. This is the fundamental view point of Christianity as put forth in Genesis, with a little Plato, as developed over the years by theologians and philosophers.

      Of course, in the modern world, you can’t talk about souls and transcendent values (for many reasons), even though it is that very soul and its value that teaches everyone bestiality is wrong. Since the real reason can’t be articulated, people then have to grope around for ideas like consent or experience of pain to make it forbidden. And, as said above, since consent, for example, is not applied in a consistent manner (no consent to be eaten, painful harvesting), preventing bestiality on such grounds is vulnerable to challenge.

      • doconnor says:

        What you describe as soul are just our instictive adversions encoded in our genes from a time when we didn’t understand how the world works.

        For example we are instictively repalused by eating poop. Now we understand it is because it is full of potentically dangerous bacteria, and it would be safe to eat once sterilized. But our instinctive aversion still stands.

  8. Charlie says:

    First gay marriage and now this.

    Amirite, fellow social conservatives??

  9. Maps Onburt says:

    Next time they rule on it, they’ll rule that the rights of these perverts are being trampled on and force the government to make a new law supporting it. Who’s actually surprised by this ruling? The hypocrisy of the left on the Supremes is astounding. Anything Harper puts up, they’re infallible for tearing down but NOW it’s ok to criticize them.

    • Charlie says:

      Amen, Maps.

      Thank the Lord the lone dissenter on the Supreme Court was a Conservative appointee with common sense. The rest of those Liberal appointees are a catastrophe.

      Imagine if 7 out the 9 Justices were Harper appointees and they had made this ruling; the left would have lost their minds in trying to defend bestiality.

      • Maps Onburt says:

        Unfortunately Charlie, PM Harper picked a bunch of them that went the wrong way too. When you give someone a job that you can’t take away based on a political appointment from one career path where to get ahead you have to be politically savvy in the first place, things are going to go wildly wrong on occasion. The rub is that the Progressives believe they are infallible as long as they are striking down Conservative laws.

      • Bluegreenblogger says:

        ROFL, ok, I ‘ll bite. Explain in a way that an Atheist could support why bestiality should be a crime please. You can write, and I will poke holes in it ok? My point being, ‘but it’s bestiality’ is not a logical or rational argument. So let’s see your version, maybe it has merit.

  10. Jean A Paterson says:

    My hope is that this court case does not delay other needed changes to the law concerning treatment of animals. Bill C-246 has some essential parts to it, such as banning the importation of goods made with dog fur or cat fur. It closes some legal loopholes in animal care, including food animals. It does not change existing hunting or fishing laws, despite what lobbyists are trying to say. The bad news is that once again the hunting lobby (with the NRA??) may succeed with their argument that we are all too stupid to distinguish “animal rights” from competent animal treatment. Grrrrr.

    • Bluegreenblogger says:

      you know, this thread / post is generating a LOT of interesting comments. There is very little consistency in how we as a society deal with animals legally is there? For example, kill a dog for a fur collar, you are a criminal. Kill a wolf for a fur collar, and you have a fur collar that frost will not form on. Yet a dog and wolf can breed. Dogs are actually slightly modified wolves. Why the diff.? Kill and eat a horse, and you are due for opprobrium. Kill hundreds of millions of cows, pigs, or chickens, and you are a vital component of our economy. Save the seals, but kill the Rats. If you want my opinion, passing a law that confers ‘super-animal’ status on the cute cuddlies and friendlies is morally reprehensible, and degrades any argument you care to make about inherent animal rights. If you support the glorification of Cats and Dogs over other animals, what is wrong with enslaving all animals to the master animal (humans) then? We would just be the highest in the animal hierarchy. I don’t have the answers, but I am pretty certain you don’t either. I am interested in hearing what you think.

  11. davie says:

    I just browsed our criminal code (section 160) and some other sites for the definition of beastiality/bestiality.
    The criminal code section 160, says ‘bestiality,’ bu there si no definition. On another site, a judge rules that the section means vaginal or anal penetration, and suggests that a clearer definition is required, arguing that s/he, teh judge, should not expand the definition.

    So, this looks to me like a useful decision by the courts, giving it to our legislators to clarify the definition, rather than the courts expanding the definition.

    • Maps Onburt says:

      Unfortunately that logic only makes sense if you believe that the Supremes shouldn’t create law but defer to the Legislature. The progressives have applauded the Supremes making law at every turn… So why not now? Could it be that they don’t want to dirty the hands on this one but by letting the guy off force the legislature to do it? Then the next time it comes to court, they can change it… You can’t have it both was. Either they stay away from creating new law (by giving the government deadlines such as they do with assisted dying) or they just rule on the basis of existing law. There have been too many instances where they have ruled in one direction and then this new crew of Beverly and the Supremes comes along and changes it. They are unelected lawyers that get to be judges through political appointment but somehow they are supposed to be beyond reproach and assume Godlike powers over our laws and the interpretation of our Constitution. What could possibly go wrong?

    • smelter rat says:

      Exactly, but apparently many posters here prefer to run around with their hair on fire.

    • Scotian says:

      davie:

      I would say your reading of this matches mine. I think the court got it right here, this is something that is ill defined in legal terms, in precedent of usage, and therefore is properly Parliament’s to have first crack at dealing with. Now, I suspect if Parliament punts on this and it ends up before the SCC again down the road THEN they would redefine, but only because they had been provably left as the last remaining authority able to do so. This is how courts are supposed to operate. This to me shows just how non-judicial activist our Supreme Court is, contrary to the whining of some of our Conservative brethren in this nation and on this site.

      For those that feel the need to know, my personal view is any sexual act with an animal is by definition wrong because animals are incapable (as far as we are able to know/determine) to give consent, and for me consent is the cornerstone of sexual ethics and relationships before all else. I would add that there is also an argument to be made that typically under ordinary circumstances animals tend not to have sexual interactions outside their own species when such are available, and that too, tends to make this something of a particular “ick” vibe for me on the personal level.

  12. davie says:

    Just thinking abut the rationale of the dissenting judge: How would a person know whether an animal has, or has not, given consent?

    • Scotian says:

      Your question provides its own answer. For consent to mean anything it must be clear, unambiguous, and positive in nature. If you cannot establish any let alone all of those parameters then consent is inherently unable to be granted let alone received. Seriously, I would have thought this was obvious. Consent in sexual issues is not something that is supposed to be open to possible interpretation, that has been the model we have been evolving towards over the past few decades back from the days when “no means yes” to now. It is something any and every party has to be able to provide clearly and openly, and have the right to withdraw at any point in the sexual progress, animals so far as I know have not developed the communications and/or language skills with the exception of a very few individually trained primates to be able to begin to meet this minimum threshold.

      So I can see where the dissenting judge was coming from, and I admit, a part of me was quite sympathetic to her POV, but in the end I have to concur, as I noted before, with the majority that this is a mess Parliament should be cleaning up first, and that the use of the language as shown in legal precedent does support the ruling the majority went with. Yet another example of why we need to re-examine or laws every few decades to make sure that the language in them still means what we need them to mean.

      • Scotian says:

        Oops. In the second sentence first paragraph “…any let alone all of those parameters…” is wrong, it should have been “…any never mind all the necessary/required parameters I just listed”… my bad, still a little sleep fuzzed because I missed it during proofing, and given how serious this topic is I wasn’t willing to let it stand without correction. My bad.

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