The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

From The Vault Of Art Shay: How Deep Is Your Love (For Your Pet)?

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 6, 2013 8:30PM

(Legendary Chicago-based photographer Art Shay has taken photos of kings, queens, celebrities and the common man in a 60-year career. This week, Germany's recent outlawing of bestiality has Art digging through animal photos.)

I'll bet most of you fellow New York Times readers were combing the sports section last week for clues to Notre Dame's dilemma—was Manti Te'o 's girlfriend real and could she learn to spell his name before she sold her story to the tabloids? (Not me.)

At the same time, back in the news section, the Times' Berlin reporter, Chris Cotrell, had a more lubricious problem: How to get his much sexier story past his prissy editors, out of South Bend, and into the hands of moralist readers such as I and, by extension, several million Gothamist network readers who wisely bait their breath every time I come up to the plate.

Cottrell's job was to disseminate the news that Germany's upper house of Parliament, the Bundesrat, voted last Friday, for the very first time in German history, to criminalize "using an animal for personal sexual activities." So be warned all you buyers of Volkswagens and BMWs who combine your foreign car purchases with deductible sidetrips—leave your sexy pets at home, or bring a human along who's legal.

Cottrell, a much better reporter than the guys who promulgated the Te'o story, pointed out that ZETA, the advocacy group (Zoophile Engagement for Tolerance and Enlightenment), has a co-director, David Zimmermann, who opined: “It's a sexual aspect that is entirely foreign to most people. They just see a man and think, 'What terrible thing is he doing to that dog?' Or vice versa?”

The story dutifully noted that "Mr. Zimmermann had a Great Dane (sex unspecified) with which he occasionally had sex, but it died four months ago," he said. "Now he lives with his similarly zoophilic boyfriend and their Dalmatian."

"For me," he says, "she's just a good friend." The story also mentions a low-budget documentary which features a porn star with feelings for cats and a butcher who fell in love with a pig."

As we punsters like to aver, truth is often stranger than affliction. Here followeth some of the truths I've learned covering (not in the biblical sense, of course) animals.