25th November 2020 Man’s Best Friend – A Skeptical Look at Bestiality

Admin note: At first I wasn’t sure what to make of James Williams’s talks on taboos. So I asked around other Skeptics in the Pub organizers and they all gave rave reviews. I’m assured his talks are entertaining, generate a lot of discussion and DO involve skepticism. Don’t be afraid to come along!


In 2005 a man named Kenneth Pinyan was anonymously dropped off at a Hospital in Washington, where he was later found dead in the emergency room. The man had died from a perforated colon from receiving anal sex from a full grown horse. In the following investigation the police were lead to a rural Enumclaw-area farm, which was known on the internet as a destination for people who wanted to have sex with livestock. There, they seized hundreds of hours of videotapes of men engaging in bestiality and the incident became known as the Enumclaw horse sex case. The case became infamous and lead to a rapid passing of a bill which made bestiality punishable in Washington by up to five years in prison.

But what is bestiality? How is it defined? Why do people engage in it? Where does it come from? What is it’s history? And why is it so reviled?

James Williams will be taking a thorough and entertaining look at the murky world of bestiality; disentangling fact from fiction and discussing its bizarre history, zoology, humanity and philosophy. Humans, deer, monkeys, seals, dolphins, pigs, cattle, dogs and more. A world of Minotaurs, Gods disguised as swans and terrifying sounding grizzly–polar bear hybrids. What separates us from the animals? What makes us human?

DOORS: 19:00

START: 19:30

Admission is FREE but during the interval we asks for donations. This is to cover speaker expenses and marketing costs such as social media fees and flyers. If you cannot afford to make a donation please do not. If you can, £3-£5 would be greatly appreciated. 

Venue: Smoke and Mirrors, 8 Denmark Street

Two for one pizzas available from the bar! 10% off all drinks!

Speaker biography

James Williams is a Bristol-based storyteller, science communicator and skeptic based in Bristol who specialises in critically discussing dark and taboo topics with humour and irreverence.

An enthusiastic humanist and scientific skeptic, he cares deeply about science, education, critical thinking and social justice. His series of talks on cannibalism, necrophilia and bestiality have been given at venues across the country including the annual Skeptics conference “QED”.