Newkirk on Animal Lovers (Or, Is It Okay to French Kiss Your Dog?)

Last week the New York Times ran an article in its arts section about the controversy that erupted after Peter Singer’s review of Midas Dekkers’ book, Dearest Pet: On Bestiality. It looked like this controversy was dead, but buried in the article is a bizarre quote from none other than People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Ingrid Newkirk|. I have no idea of what to make of this,

If a girl gets sexual pleasure from riding a horse, does the horse suffer? If not, who cares? If you French kiss your dog and he or she thinks it’s great, is it wrong? We believe all exploitation and abuse is wrong. If it isn’t exploitation and abuse, it may not be wrong.

Apparently, PETA’s position on pets is that we should let domesticated animals die out, but if you have to keep a pet, French kissing it might not be all that bad.

In an e-mail to the Times reporter, Singer said that the only reason his book review caused such an uproar in the United States is that, “This country is in the grip of a Puritan worldview.” Maybe, but I think I’ll take a Puritan worldview over French kissing dogs any day of the week.


Yes, but Did Anyone Ask the Animals’ Opinion?. Sarah Boxer, New York Times, June 9, 2001.

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