September 25, 2009

"If the cow had the cognitive ability to form thought and speak, would it say, 'Where’s the milk? I’m not getting any milk.'"

What the judge said, explaining why he was dismissing animal cruelty charges brought against a police officer — Robert Melia Jr — who induced 5 calves to suck on his penis.
[Judge James J.] Morley went on to explain that children are comforted by pacifiers and perhaps cows are equally pacified by police officers in these cases: “They [children] enjoy the act of suckling,” the judge said. “Cows may be of a different disposition.” You are allowed to throw up in disgust at this point.
Morley ignored that one cow head-butted Melia in the stomach and appeared far from happy. The prosecutor objected that the cows were “very upset” by Melia’s action and stated “I think any reasonable juror could infer that a man’s penis in the mouth of a calf is torment. It’s a crime against nature.” The problem is that New Jersey does not currently have a ban on bestiality as opposed to animal cruelty.
If New Jersey wants to prosecute people for this kind of behavior, it has to have the appropriate statute on the books. What Melia did with animals may be disgusting, but it is more disgusting to convict human beings of crimes they have not committed.

41 comments:

chuckR said...

Bet Peter Singer approves.

Eli Blake said...

It wouldn't ask, "where's the milk?"

It would instead say, "This milk is bad."

As for punishment, I'd think that just having his name all over the paper is punishment enough for Officer Melia. I bet he won't get a date for a long time.

Maybe he can move to Wyoming, where the men are men and the sheep are scared.

chuckR said...

You know, of the decision and Morley's reasoning....

wv - nesses - where birdses hang out

Robt C said...

Geez, I don't care how you parse it, this sucks.

RLB_IV said...

Those poor little calves. Where was PETA, where was their attorney? The calves expected nipple and all they got was dickle. It's an outrage.

dbp said...

"but it is more disgusting to convict human beings of crimes they have not committed."

I wouldn't say "more disgusting", but certainly less just.

Apropos of nothing, isn't there some legal saying to the effect that 'hard cases make bad law'?

Eli Blake said...

Maybe he was really hoping to fool the milkmaid (or at least convince her to milk him.)

rhhardin said...

Kenneth Burke had a game "playing cow" that he recalls in Language as Symbolic Action.

Search for playing cow.

rcocean said...

“I think any reasonable juror could infer that a man’s penis in the mouth of a calf is torment. It’s a crime against nature.”

Odd - this is right next to a post on Sully. Is there a connection?

William said...

Calves are tolerant of bestiality. It's BBQ that they really find offensive.

jimbino said...

No, the truth is that once men discover calves it will render women obsolete:

No more HIV, etc, risk, no questions like "If I die will you do it with another calf?," no birthday and anniversary presents bullshit.

Freeman Hunt said...

Has Melia been fired? I do not think it possible for a police officer to do his job effectively if everyone in town knows he did that.

EDH said...

I'm assuming he chose "calves" also because they don't have any teeth yet?

That'd be a big item on my pre-bovine oral sex check-list.

Seriously, though, I think that element of scienter should have been used to establish liability under animal cruelty in this case.

I'd argue the defendant may have chosen these animimals to commit these acts precisely because he knew they couldn't express their disapproval by the means natural to their species because of their immaturity.

Just as a human minor cannot grant consent, hence strict liability in statutory rape cases, these "minor" calves didn't have the means to express their refusal or the ability to defend themselves as is natural to their species.

Arguably, that exploitation of animal immaturity is cruelty unto itself.

At least that'd be how I'd prosecute the case.

Flexo said...

it has to have the appropriate statute on the books

Not necessarily.
Common law offenses are not based upon having an "appropriate statute on the books." For example, Virginia does not have a statute outlawing robbery, but it is punishable because it is a crime at common law.

Like the prosecutor said, it is a "crime against nature," which is cognizable at common law (twice over).

Synova said...

Wait... are they calling calves - cows?

Oh for freak's sake... the head butt was what calves do to get more. If you watch a calf nurse on a cow they *slam* their heads into the udder from time to time. Animals are not people. Their body language is not the same as ours.

The guy is a pervert but the calves were not harmed.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I find the animal cruelty charges a little much. What happened to those calves is still better than being killed and eaten.

Fred4Pres said...

Freeman Hunt, I think your statement about a police officer doing his job effectively after that is quite the understatement!

I agree with the outcome, given there was no statute broken and no animal hurt in this meley, but if ever there was an act that should get you on a sex registry (beyond the recognized ones of rape, etc.), this is it. This individual should never be allowed around children or people unable to protect themselves. I assume the New Jersey State Legislature will be passing a new law soon.

Synova said...

Calves have teeth early but they extend their tongue over them.

The guy is a certified pervert but the *calf* doesn't care if it's sucking on two or three fingers (which calves like and is a good way to teach them to drink from a bucket instead of a nipple-pail) or on something else.

Synova said...

Calves have *bottom* teeth... just like cows. Not top teeth... just like cows.

William said...

I find it heartening that the boob thread attracted more responses and more thoughtful responses than the calf abuse thread. There is hope for humanity.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Synova -- I always knew you were sharp ... now I understand why. I raised cattle for years and was going to make something of the same comments.

All I would add is if by some chance the calf retracts its tongue, those bottom teeth are SHARP.

The front end of a bovine, however, is rarely the end that causes trouble.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Now, separate comment.

What's the difference between Mick Jagger and a Scotsman?

Jagger sings "Hey, you, get offa my cloud ..."

And the Scotsman says: "Hey McLeod, get offa my ewe."

Since my granny was a MacNeill I figure I have 'moral authority'on that one.

John Lynch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Lynch said...

TOP SECRET COW SCENE

Revenant said...

Calves are tolerant of bestiality. It's BBQ that they really find offensive.

Ok, that was really funny. :)

Fred4Pres said...

I am a big believer in self help.

kentuckyliz said...

IIRC there was a commercial bestiality farm in washington or oregon not wyoming and it was not illegal

it got in the news because a guy died getting fucked by a horse

i can't quit ewe

Ralph L said...

Which calf ratted the cop out?

VW - suppyba -- sheep don't lick and tell.

Alex said...

Pervert. He should have done this in San Fransicko, then they would have let him off with a merit badge.

amba said...

EAT MOR CHIKIN

Gina said...

God, what a world. And why is it that perverts always look like perverts?

As a dairy farmer's daughter, however, I do have to say that "head butting" is normal when a calf nurses. You'll never get me to testify to that in a bestiality trial, of course.

Joan said...

EAT MOR CHIKIN

The BBQ comment was a classic, but IMO amba wins the thread. (What is Chik-fil-A's geographic reach? We've got them here and love them.)

AllenS said...

I've bottle fed calves with milk replacer before, and Gina is correct. Calves head butt. Nothing like a kick to the nuts to get you in the mood.

traditionalguy said...

Reading this new trend in human freedom brings to my mind two questions: (1)If New Jersey is progressive in Animal-human sex relations, will Bill Clinton now see how old fashioned he has been and reccomend beastiality be accepted on a state by state basis? (2)Is it just a lot of us old fashioned traditionalists seeing Man-Animal sex in the light of Scripture to be an abomination who believe that it should remain a crime? Not that there is anything wrong with abominations so long as a Harvard Professor is willing to teach for money and fame that they are the right thing to do.

Jason said...

Since calves can't masturbate, I would argue that it's cruel, having the ability to relieve them, NOT to use it!

Fred4Pres said...

Apparently this same individual is also accused of abusing minor human children.

What a surprise.

I am pretty sure that is illegal in New Jersey.

Fred4Pres said...

Liz, you are correct.

Washington State had to pass a law after the fact. Of course in that case the guy died so no need to prosecute him.

Sheepman said...

Now you see this one-eyed midget
Shouting the word "NOW"
And you say, "For what reason?"
And he says, "How?"
And you say, "What does this mean?"
And he screams back, "You're a cow
Give me some milk
Or else go home"

Ralph L said...

What is Chik-fil-A's geographic reach?
I saw one in Baltimore last month.
We're getting a third one soon. The drive-thru line wraps around the building on ours and parking is scarce. Someone's making a killing. Like their lemon pie, too.

Joe said...

We don't know if calves love giving head.

(More seriously, I'm constantly amazed at what we humans ASSUME animals like. It's major projection of Disney proportions.)

Synova said...

I might testify to it at a bestiality trial, Gina, just because it annoys me so much when people anthropomorphize animals. A calf head-butting is not expressing fear or anger. Baby chicks do not suffer the lack of a mother's love. (No matter how cute a hen and chicks are.) Flock and herd animals don't mind being close together. A snake in a pen feels most secure alone with a cramped place to get into. Baby cockatiels make the most horrible angry hissing sound and it's really the sound they make to their parents when they want more food or attention. Animals have feelings but their needs aren't ours... some are social, some solitary, some hierarchical and some not. They aren't people, they're aliens.