word du jour: WEDDING

Earlier this month, we explored the definition of MARRIAGE.  Today we are looking at the word WEDDING.  Our trusted and unbiased friend, Merriam Webster online, defines WEDDING as:

1 : a marriage ceremony usually with its accompanying festivities

2 : an act, process, or instance of joining in close association

This is interesting given the whole Propositions H8 snafu.  My personal feeling is that, unless someone is getting hurt,  love and commitment cannot and should not be considered wrong, existing rights should not be stripped away and people should mind their own business.  (And if it wasn’t bad enough that they wanted existing rights stripped, now they are trying to void existing marriages!)

Okay, now let’s look at some interesting facts.  The feelings of love, commitment, affection and protection of one another is natural and happens with just about all living beings.  In fact, many animals engage in courtship, rituals akin to weddings and (some times) lifelong committed relationships–just like humans.

In July 2004 National Geographic treads on the subject:

Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. So go the lyrics penned by U.S. songwriter Cole Porter.

Porter, who first hit it big in the 1920s, wouldn’t risk parading his homosexuality in public. In his day “the birds and the bees” generally meant only one thing—sex between a male and female.

But, actually, some same-sex birds do do it. So do beetles, sheep, fruit bats, dolphins, and orangutans. Zoologists are discovering that homosexual and bisexual activity is not unknown within the animal kingdom.


Roy and Silo, two male chinstrap penguins at New York’s Central Park Zoo have been inseparable for six years now. They display classic pair-bonding behavior—entwining of necks, mutual preening, flipper flapping, and the rest. They also have sex, while ignoring potential female mates.

Wild birds exhibit similar behavior. There are male ostriches that only court their own gender, and pairs of male flamingos that mate, build nests, and even raise foster chicks.

Filmmakers recently went in search of homosexual wild animals as part of a National Geographic Ultimate Explorer documentary about the female’s role in the mating game. (The film, Girl Power, will be screened in the U.S this Saturday at 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m PT on MSNBC TV.)

The team caught female Japanese macaques engaged in intimate acts which, if observed in humans, would be in the X-rated category.”

Another medical website goes into further detail:

The most well-known homosexual animal is the dwarf chimpanzee, one of humanity’s closes relatives. The entire species is bisexual. Sex plays an conspicuous roll in all their activities and takes the focus away from violence, which is the most typical method of solving conflicts among primates and many other animals.

“Sex among dwarf chimpanzees is in fact the business of the whole family, and the cute little ones often lend a helping hand when they engage in oral sex with each other.”

Lions are also homosexual. Male lions often band together with their brothers to lead the pride. To ensure loyalty, they strengthen the bonds by often having sex with each other.

Homosexuality is also quite common among dolphins and killer whales. The pairing of males and females is fleeting, while between males, a pair can stay together for years. Homosexual sex between different species is not unusual either. Meetings between different dolphin species can be quite violent, but the tension is often broken by a “sex orgy”.

Homosexuality is a social phenomenon and is most widespread among animals with a complex herd life.

Among the apes it is the females that create the continuity within the group. The social network is maintained not only by sharing food and the child rearing, but also by having sex. Among many of the female apes the sex organs swell up. So they rub their abdomens against each other,” explains Petter Bockman and points out that animals have sex because they have the desire to, just like we humans.

Homosexual behaviour has been observed in 1,500 animal species.

“We’re talking about everything from mammals to crabs and worms. The actual number is of course much higher. Among some animals homosexual behaviour is rare, some having sex with the same gender only a part of their life, while other animals, such as the dwarf chimpanzee, homosexuality is practiced throughout their lives.”

Animals that live a completely homosexual life can also be found. This occurs especially among birds that will pair with one partner for life, which is the case with geese and ducks. Four to five percent of the couples are homosexual. Single females will lay eggs in a homosexual pair’s nest. It has been observced that the homosexual couple are often better at raising the young than heterosexual couples.

Now you know the fear-mongering right-wing h8ters are going to say things like:

This line of reasoning is unsustainable. If seemingly “homosexual” acts among animals are in accordance with animal nature, then parental killing of offspring and intra-species devouring are also in accordance with animal nature. Bringing man into the equation complicates things further. Are we to conclude that filicide and cannibalism are according to human nature?

I feel compelled to point out that human parents have been known to kill their offspring on more than one occasion, and Jeffrey Dahmer one of the most heinous serial killers of our time enjoyed the taste of human flesh, claiming it tasted like beef.

Fortunately, a form of Darwinism was at work with Jeffrey Dahmer and he was beaten to death by a fellow inmate, shortly after he was incarcerated.

Point is, killing your children or others has nothing to do with love or commitment.  Weddings and marriage do.  And while we are on the subject, I know of absolutely no one that has gotten married for sex.

P. S.  Anyone who says that humans are superior to animals is an idiot.  This is one planet, with one ecosystem, and we are all interdependent upon each other for long term survival.


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