Sep 6, 2012

Homosexuality & Nature - A Tale of Two Rabbits

My daughter had long wanted to have a pet. Cat, dog, hamster, whatever - she wasn't fussy, as long as she got a pet. Back in March, during the school holidays, I finally relented. We went to several pet shops, looked at many different animals and after a lot of hemming and hawing, decided to get two rabbits.

I gave clear instructions to the shop assistant that we wanted two rabbits of the same gender. Both could be male, or both could be female. The main thing was that I didn't want the pair to be able to make new baby bunnies.

The pet shop assistant helped us to pick two rabbits. She assured me that they were male. This wasn't obvious to me, as both rabbits were still young and sexually immature and their private parts were small (and furthermore, all covered up in fur). But I trusted the shop assistant.

Back home, we put both rabbits in the same cage. Soft, cuddly and cute, both were also very happy to be carried around in our arms like a newborn baby. Everyone in the family loved the two new pets. We named them Blackie and Chocolate.

Then one day, Blackie bit my maid Neslie.

It was quite a bad bite. Small but deep. I saw the drops of blood, falling one by one, from Neslie's finger, onto the floor. I was shocked. Up to then, both rabbits had always been very docile and gentle.

I asked Neslie what had happened. She said that she had seen the rabbits having sex. Neslie knew that I didn't want any rabbit pregnancies, so she tried to catch Blackie and carry him off Chocolate. Evidently, Blackie got angry and proceeded to bite. Or so Neslie claimed.

"But that can't be right, Neslie," I said. "They couldn't have been having sex. Both are male. The woman at the pet shop said so."

But the next day, I saw it with my own eyes. Blackie had clambered on top of Chocolate again, and was excitedly wiggling his rear end in an unmistakeable manner. I got scared. Two pet rabbits is fine with me, add another six or seven babies and that's just too many for me.

I quickly got another cage. I separated Blackie and Chocolate. I was thinking that the pet shop assistant must have made a mistake, and that Chocolate was actually female. In fact, I felt rather annoyed with the shop assistant for causing us all this extra trouble.

** ** ** ** ** ** **

Months have passed. I now know that the pet shop assistant had not made a mistake.

Both Blackie and Chocolate have reached adulthood. Their reproductive organs have become quite  conspicuous. In particular, it's become clear that Chocolate definitely has testicles, just like Blackie.

We still keep the rabbits in separate cages. They have grown bigger, so they do need the extra space. But sometimes we put the two rabbits together to play. During many of those times, Blackie still goes after Chocolate. It is definitely a sexual thing, not just  playing or fighting. For we can see that Blackie gets an erection.

Chocolate never shows any sexual interest in Blackie. Chocolate just looks puzzled when Blackie tries to hump him. Sometimes Chocolate will run away and sometimes Chocolate will just get annoyed and manoeuvre around to get Blackie off his back. At other times, Chocolate just sits still and contemplates the universe and chews on a bit of hay while Blackie carries on enthusiastically.

** ** ** ** ** ** **

It is well-known that homosexuality exists widely in nature. Scientists have observed homosexuality in many different species. According to Wikipedia, these species include sheep, swans, penguins, vultures, dolphins, giraffes, bison, bed bugs, elephants, lizards, dragonflies, fruit flies, monkeys, chimpanzees etc.

So I guess that Blackie's sexual orientation should not be that surprising and is perhaps not that uncommon.

Nevertheless, I still feel that Blackie is pretty special. A gay rabbit! Fancy that. It makes my children laugh, just to talk about it.

I just wonder what a fundamentalist Christian would say about this whole matter.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Gay rabbit, who would have thunk! By the way, could you post pictures of them? NOT in the process of trying to have sex, of course :)

eve+line said...

Actually, you could have adopted rabbits from the House Rabbits Society of Singapore. You would be able to help two abandoned rabbits find a new home, plus you'll probably be able to get better advice from the fosters.

Nonetheless, do still visit the HRSS website for useful information on how to care for your rabbits.

Anonymous said...

I wish to differ. This homosexuality thing is not inborn by nature, more of induced. You have purposely acquired two animals of the same sex and their sexual instincts will always prevail but not because of homosexuality.

Anonymous said...

Then why Chocolate is not interested in Blackie?

And why not every SAF NSF go after every other SAF NSF in the barracks?

Hahaaaa

lumos and zoga said...

oh mr wang, y did u not adopt rabbits either frm SPCA or HRSS?? you could have taught yr kids a valuable lesson in choosing to adopt rather than to buy

please do visit HRSS site for information on caring for the rabbits. they should be let out of the cages quite often as well as sterilised to reduce chances of diseases and such

Chow said...

"According to Wikipedia, homosexuality has been observed in sheep, swans, penguins, vultures, dolphins, giraffes, bison, bed bugs, elephants, lizards, dragonflies, fruit flies, monkeys, chimpanzees etc". You forgot homo sapiens.

Anon 4:21pm, you really can't induce homosexuality. It's more of an orientation. You either like the same sex or you don't. I am male and I like (i.e get turned on) by women.

After having seen so many guys in my three decades of life. During NS, in the gym, on the beach, in my daily life but I still only get turned on by women. A similar thing happens in homosexuals.

Anonymous said...

A real proof is if you put Blackie in a cage with both a male and female rabbit and he goes after the male rabbit.

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

We did go to the SPCA, but at that time we were thinking guinea pigs and they didn't have any ....

I didn't know there was such a thing as HRSS. I'll check out the website for tips on rabbit care, thanks.

Anon 10:33, yes, that would be an interesting experiment, if I had a female rabbit ....

Anonymous said...

Animals unable to do it themselves so they need to do it with another animal. So first choice, same species different sex, second choice, same species same sex and final choice any other suitable species of animal.

Anonymous said...

It's not so simple. Read the story of Buddy and Pedro, two male gay penguins at Toronto Zoo.

Given a wide choice of many females, both chose each other. Only when the two were separated from each other, did each choose a female.

Thus for gay penguins, it would appear that the first choice is same species same sex, and the second choice is same species different sex.

Gintai_昇泰 said...

Lol! Gay rabbit? Maybe, he is a bi-sexual? Can you confirmed? Have you spoken to Backie about his true sexual orientation?

Anonymous said...

The AG may go after them under 377A...

SG Girl said...

This is really interesting... I was wondering, could it be that Blackie has very strong sexual desires (like some straight men) but since there isn't any females around, so any hole also can do (for the time being)? Of course I don't think straight men would.....

Anonymous said...

I would like to provide a scientific perspective. Acclaimed academic and clinical geneticist, Dr John Tay, former Head of the Division of Human Genetics in NUS says, "Genes make proteins, not preferences. Genes are responsible for an indirect influence, but on average, they do not force people into homosexuality. This conclusion has been well known in the scientific community for a few decades, but has not reached the general public. “I am born that way, so I cannot change” is simply not true."

Humans are not animals. There are also animals who eat their mates, young, babies. You wouldn't accept that, would you? Animals are not bound by any moral conduct. They do not have human's intellect and conscience. Justifying human behaviour because it has been exhibited by animals, is grotesque / distorting.

Anonymous said...

Leaving aside the whole homosexuality topic, your male bunnies are just going through puberty. Overactive hormones coursing through their system and no females in sight can induce this kind of behaviour. :)

To reduce their aggression and to make them much calmer, and also less susceptible to reproductive cancers and extend their lifespan, you should consider sending them to a vet for neutering. Neutered rabbits live much longer than un-neutered rabbits. It won't cost too much and will give you much less aggressive and laid back bunnies.

Dr Who said...

They were just bored. Can't say for sure either of them is homosexual as they were never given the chance to have a female rabbit around them. Put in one among them and see what happen.

asingaporeanson said...

I'm referring this post to an old friend, which will be most interested to read this story.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

You mean Reverend Dr John Tay, Dean of the Faculty of Biblical Studies at Bethany? Haahaaaha. Religious agenda exposed.

Anonymous said...

From a scientific point of view, I really wouldn't say that humans are not animals. Humans ARE animals, one particular species.

Of course, we are different in many ways, from monkeys or penguins. Then again penguins are also different from monkeys in many ways. Actually come to think of it, penguins are more different from monkeys than humans are different from monkeys.

Ahhh, whatever .... Anyway, there are gay monkeys, penguins and humans .... That is one common characteristic across all three species.

The argument about morality I find quite suspicious. In many different animal species, you definitely do see behavior which we could describe moral values - such as love, courage, loyalty, kindness, responsibility, leadership etc.

Just watch any wildlife documentary. Definitely you'll come across situations like penguins caring for their young; monkeys warning their family members of danger; elephants mourning the death of an old elephant; birds defending their babies against a snake; wolf pups being good friends with each other etc etc.

What hasn't been documented yet is an animal getting ostracized and hated and attacked by its fellow animals, for being gay.

That seems to be a uniquely human sort of behavior. Lousy morals, if you ask me.

The said...

/// Humans are not animals. There are also animals who eat their mates, young, babies. You wouldn't accept that, would you? Animals are not bound by any moral conduct. They do not have human's intellect and conscience. Justifying human behaviour because it has been exhibited by animals, is grotesque / distorting.
September 7, 2012 9:33 PM ///

Don't be pedantic. So, let's call both of them mammals.

Are all humans bound by moral conduct? You mean there are no human thieves, murderers, rapists, etc.?

The problem with 377A is that it distinguishes between "natural" and "unnatural" sex. What is the definition of "nature"? That which is found in nature. And there are animals, including humans, who indulge in homosexual sex naturally.

Some humans are worse than animals.


Anonymous said...

Sexual urge has to be satisfied. It's nature. It has to hump something or itself aka masturbation if animals have the such concept of self-satisfaction.

Anonymous said...

"I think, therefore I am" - I rather see myself and our children uniquely. Humans have the ability to control urges, instincts, think rationally before they act, execute deep planning and executive functioning. We can't cross-breed and produce hybrid off-springs - something other species can do, thought their off-springs are mostly infertile. Moreover, we predict outcomes several steps ahead, control the environment we live in, make pets and use other species for our advantage - buffaloes, horses, even lions and elephants.

Animals react instinctively to instincts and stimuli. They run from loud noises and bite when cornered. They eat when they're hungry, sleep when they're tired, and mate when they feel like mating.

Call us a unique species, fair. But call us an animal, even if you push for that, I won't teach that to my children.

And to those who say that humans are not bound by moral conduct...are you agreeing that a stranger can go to your home, mate with your daughter and you will allow him to walk away? If your answer is no, then are you not bound by a moral conduct - an expectation of how humans should behave? No?

The said...

/// And to those who say that humans are not bound by moral conduct...are you agreeing that a stranger can go to your home, mate with your daughter and you will allow him to walk away? If your answer is no, then are you not bound by a moral conduct - an expectation of how humans should behave? No?

September 10, 2012 2:03 PM ///

I am afraid you got this totally upside down.

Those who go to your house to rape your daughters are clearly not bound by any moral code. As those who buggered you. And those who still. And murder. So, not all humans have morals. Some are amoral and some are immoral.

Back to your question. If the answer is "no", then you have morals. Not the other way round.

/// Animals react instinctively to instincts and stimuli. They run from loud noises and bite when cornered. They eat when they're hungry, sleep when they're tired, and mate when they feel like mating. ///

Agreed. And humans are part of the animal kingdom. Think about it. You mean you will rather starve to death when hungry. Keep awake and don't sleep when you are tired?

Gilbert Koh aka Mr Wang said...

In discussing morals, it's important to ask - whose morals?

Morals do differ a lot, from one society to another; from one historical period to another; from one religion to another. Morals also clash with other morals.

In some parts of the Middle East, for example, a thief will get his hands chopped off for his theft; and people who have sex outside marriage can get stoned to death. According to my personal sense of morality, stoning a person to death or chopping his hands off are faaaaaar more reprehensible and immoral than theft or extramarital sex itself.

When someone says "Homosexuality is immoral", I have to ask myself - why does he say so? If the reason has got to do with, say, a tale of angels posing as men in two ancient cities eventually destroyed by an angry God, I have to ask myself - do I believe in angels; how do I know that these cities really existed; how can I truly know the motivations of that angry God, etc.

If I cannot convince myself of the veracity of this story - well, others might be convinced, and that is up to them - but then it follows that I have no reason to be persuaded by their assertion that "Homosexuality is immoral".

Anonymous said...

It may not be homosexuality. Dogs hump each other (male on male, female on female, male on female) as a display of dominance. It does trigger a sexual response in some males but they're not really trying to procreate.

It looks like homosexuality, but that's humanizing the rabbits, imho.

JB said...

hi mr wang, do find out more about neutering your rabbits.

Unneutered male rabbits (or animals) that are not able to mate experience frustration, which can lead to aggression.

nulay said...
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Anonymous said...

Having had rabbits for many years, I would say that the humping is not so much that your rabbit is gay, but rather a show of dominance.

I agree with the previous commenter that you should neuter your rabbits. That would keep their aggressiveness in check, and their spraying of pee too.

Caring for rabbits isn't easy. I hope your family has the patience as they can be quite high maintenance.

Do note that their behaviour can change as they reach adulthood, and remember to keep your house rabbit-proof. They are geniuses at destroying things sometimes. :)