(Above: Dolly, my dolphin lover. © 2010, Malcolm J. Brenner)
Let me make something abundantly clear: Wet Goddess was not written to promote bestiality or zoophilia, although I knew if I told my story it would probably come down to that.
I wrote Wet Goddess to share my experience with a creature that I found to be remarkably sophisticated, intelligent, aware, loving and worthy in every way of the designation, “non-human person.”
And she didn’t come out of some alien spacecraft. Her kind exist here on Earth, as they have for millions of years before we appeared, surviving ages of fire and ice in the arms of Mother Ocean.
In the decades since my experience with Dolly, science has, in many ways, caught up with my impressions and anecdotal experience. Now cognitive psychologists and others have explored the mind of the dolphin and arrived at the same conclusions I did in 1971: dolphins are self-aware individuals, able to recognize themselves in a mirror, experiencing a vast range of emotions and behaviors, language users and capable of employing “theory of mind,” the ability to calculate or imagine what another creature is thinking.
We should be devoting a large chunk of our resources as a species to understanding these creatures who have survived so much longer on this planet than we have. What are we doing instead? Some nations still slaughter them en masse in tuna nets, while others conduct murderous drive hunts and butcher them with glee. Some nations take the prettiest ones and commoditize them and sell them into enslavement, where they are forced to perform stupid tricks for our amusement. And we are polluting their environment at such a rate that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. I despair for their future.
My zoosexual love story with Dolly the dolphin is what has attracted most attention, but if I’d had sex with a barnyard animal or a household pet, do you seriously think I’d have spoken up, exposing a practice that most people find viscerally revolting?
Of course not. Zoophiles may still have to keep their sexuality a secret in most situations, but they are humans and accorded certain rights by law. Dolphins are considered chattel, or property, by the same system. I am advocating for changing that and giving dolphins rights under a framework that recognizes their status, as acknowledged by science.
And that, folks, is what I mean when I say “I didn’t write Wet Goddess for zoophiles, I wrote it for dolphins.”
Sorry I had to spell it out for those of you who so perceptively pointed out that dolphins can’t read.