Svansfall at 1 Jun 2006: 15:42
Thanks for showing me how I use the quotes properly.
Fine. I don't think animals are intelligent enough to have knowledge of human sexual meaning and connotations. Since zoos are human, they are, whether they like it or not, bringing said associations into their 'relationship' with an animal. One of these associations is a need for consent. Since the animal can't understand the human meanings of 'sex' in general, much less 'consent' in particular, how can they show it?
No, animals are not intelligent enough to have knowledge of human sexual meaning and connotations. They do however have the sense of their own pleasure, and they know when they like something, or when they don't like something. They know how to ask for it, and they know enough to read my body language in return to see if I'll give it to them or not.
Did you know that dogs learn that when humans pull their lips up and show their teeth, it means happiness and not aggression? It takes a while for each young puppy to figure this out though. So, in communication with the animals, the animals are learning the human body language, as well as we learning the animal body language. And no, I am not making it up. Talk to your local dog-trainer, or read a book on "how to understand your dog", etc. But how animals learn human body langauge goes for horses and cows also.
The need for the human definition of 'consent' is completely besides the point in any relationship, sexual or non-sexual, with an animal. There is the need that the animal understands you, that you understand the animal, that you make absolutely sure you understand what the animal is meaning, when they show what they want or do not want, and that you respect what they are showing.
So, as I mentioned in posts 644 and 653, the animals show very clearly when they want something, or not. You just have to make sure you respect it.