Interview with ZT Horse

Hello dear readers! Today's a special day here, we're joined by the one and only ZT Horse! He's been the long time owner of the forum Zooville, and just recently announced his retirement! But, even though that might be what you've heard of him from, he's been involved in a ton of other different projects and research efforts as well. We'll get to all of that later, but I want to start simple. I know it's literally the most basic of basic questions as far as zoos go, but everyone has such different answers, and as someone who's been around for a long time at this point, I'm sure your answer'll be different as well. How did you find your way to the zoo community?
Thank you Tarro for the interview,
I've been around the community since 2013 in the background. It was much more personal then and i found some of good zoos in the era of Beastforum and well, also some bad zoos.
In fact some of the current mods of Zooville were a few of those good friends I met from Beastforum.
You see back then, there wasn't a lot of ways for zoos to talk or met other zoos and the easiest path was Beastforum. I felt pretty alone and i remember the first time ever reading anything from other zoos online, my heart was pounding at how similar they felt and experienced.
Ill always be eternally grateful for those years leading up to 2019, because interacting with real zoos online and a few in person, it prepared me for the next phase in the community.
When Beastforum collapsed and i found myself with an opportunity to right the wrong path the zoo community had been on for 20 years.
You're probably best known for being the head of Zooville, arguably the biggest zoo platform in history. I think the modern generation of zoos probably aren't finding themselves on forums, but a lot of the slightly older people found their first place of community there. From what I understand, even ZooTT was started mostly on Zooville. Why did you decide to create the forum? I know Beastforum had a lot of.. Problems. Was it mostly that?
The main reason was that if someone didn't intervene when Beastforum collapsed, there would have been a vacuum. Nature abhors a vacuum, and likely some non-zoo purely porn person would have recreated Beastforum and we'd run into the same problem for another decade. 
Another decade lost to those who took advantage of our sexuality purely for fetish pornography, and ignore the actual sexuality behind zoophilia.
Beastforums main problem was always greed. They wanted to make money with the forum, for profit. This point i cannot overstate is a miracle, that funding a site as big as Zooville requires a lot of money.
Nobody believed me when I pushed to make Zooville purely community funded and NOT sell porn.
Beastforum sold credits, they stole content from creators and resold it under their dummy websites. It was real slimeball stuff.
I told my staff "The day that Zooville cannot fund itself via donations, its time to shut down the site." And credit is due to where its due, to thank the Zooville philanthropist class users who do donate. 
Especially one user guthwulf, he helped big time early early on with funding. He deserves a mention for helping kickstart the forum and i made a promise to him that it wouldn't be in vain. I've only grown Zoovilles funding and the forum is well funded now.
Beastforum's second major problem and i believe has been the most controversial subject of Zooville was its major departure in free speech support policy.
Its a very delicate balancing act to have moderation and free speech. At the time of Zoovilles creation, Fausty and I had a deep conversation about this very subject since he had run a forum before.
His solution on his forum, was an area called "the dumping ground", which he dumped the extreme controversial stuff but the rest of the forum was heavily moderated. 
This was a kinda experimental feature but his forum was never as large as Zooville. It was a very reasonable middle ground so we created the infamous "dumpster fire" section of Zooville that everyone loves to hate on, but also respects the right of free speech sans death threats etc.. etc...
This way, we kept 99% Zooville a general safe space for zoos not to be attacked or harassed. You can enjoy Zooville without ever dipping your toe into the DF, but if you really want to speak your mind you can.
Under Beastforums policy, mods would ban you at the slightest questioning of their power. Under ZV, mods and even myself have to grow a thick skin, because we are also equal to our users. 
We are not above criticism and that's key. You have to be able to challenge leadership or you will become a tyrant.
As for ZooTT, yes toggle started with us early on Zooville. In fact i wished to promote pro-zoo content and creators, and advocate a diversity of opinions and other platforms. 
Again showing I value others opinions, even when they are opposed to my own. Toggle and I have had some heated discussions in private on where the community is headed, but in the end, we always valued our very different roles in guiding the zoo community. 
Being on the "dirty" porn side of the zoo community often gives critics an easy thing to point at. 
However, its the key to reaching deeper into non-zoo territory, since people WILL seek the porn regardless, its better on a zoo owned, moderated and in a information space to welfare the of animals. 
It was the zoo porn's massive userbase that drew in researchers after all. We just leveraged it to our communities advantage unlike Beastforum did to our detriment.
So basically the big 3 things from BF, I fixed with Zooville plus a few new things
1. Funding
2. Free speech
3. Cleaning up the Porn side of things.
4. Advocacy for other zoo platforms.
5. Be an activist forum for zoo interests in general
Yeah, from my understanding BF was a whole different thing, and ZV even in its early days was a HUGE step in the right direction, not even mentioning all the cool stuff happening over there now. Which begs the question. You recently announced that you were retiring from the head of ZV. I think anyone who runs anything can sympathize with the amount of time and energy keeping something going requires, but I'm sure with a project like this it was exponentially more. Was there a specific thing that helped you to decide now was the right time to step down?
I wouldn't say it was a step down as much as a retirement. There was nothing forcing me to leave or anything negative like that.
For me, the reasons were my personal life becoming more complex and i wont be able to focus on the forum. Zooville needs a lot of attention i can't dedicate to it right now.
 Zooville has 200k users, has most of the policy hammered out over 6 years, and has a very nice pocketbook to sustain its size for at least 5 years from now.
I spent 6 years of my life working on the forum, and its in a very good place for a complete transition of power.
That's remarkable considering I didn't have to do it this way, and i could have still retained power in the background but i don't believe in that. 
I believe a new administration is a new administration, for better or worse.
So everything including the pocketbook of Zooville will be transferred to the new administration. I will just be another normal user on Zooville. 
A founder of Zooville who is gone now told me, that i was the only one who deserved to run the community because I never wanted the power in the first place, and i would hand that power over when the time came
That's how people should hand over power, in how George Washington did so after the war and his presidency. 
Return back to being just a citizen and i am doing just that.
So, something I've noticed on forums is that the energy around "Activism" tends to be a lot different. On Twitter, Telegram and Discord you can find a lot more people who feel like we can make a difference and change perceptions around zoos. On forums however, it seems like a lot more people are pessimistic about the future, and feel like we wont accomplish anything in that aspect, or might even make things worse. Is that something that you see as well, and if so, why do you think that separation exists?
Forums tend to have an older audience, so that's the last bit of older generation of zoos who endured a lot of losses from bad activism like randy pepe back when.
The forum reminds the next generation of the failures of the past, and that isn't a bad thing. Just like having multiple perspectives on a given subject.
For example, France is definitely not a good case for deliberate activism. They've shut down all the French forums and are actively persecuting zoos there, instead they need passive activism. Security and protection from the state within their own little zoo community.
Zooville is the king of passive activism, as having a personals sections for zoos to meetup, and to make real friends in their local countries is huge. We have sections in multiple languages that help zoos in bad situations like France.
Id say that any real activism involves your local zoo friends and meetups. Otherwise its just some text on a screen in an ocean of fantasy. You need to have some real tangible trust within your community before you can think of doing legal or other activism.
Telegram, twitter or discord are not even the number 1 item for zoophilia searches on google, its Zooville. Hence it will always be the juggernaut of activism, but in a more real tangible way.
Not to say telegram activism is bad, its just more insulated, inward than outward facing in my opinion.
Speaking of how accessible the forum is, Zooville as a site is somewhat unique amongst zoo spaces in that it's a social space where there's lots of conversations, art shared, stories, etc. But then there's also a very adult side. It's the only place off the top of my head that's public and zoo run that allows pornography to be posted. And I think that's something that's actually very valuable. Why do you think it's important for that side of the site to exist, and are there any complications that come from hosting all that content?
Pornographic interests brings people of a similar sexual desires to one place.
Sexual desire is part of being human, and its easy to be puritanical about porn in some false sense of self righteousness. I've seen this attitude in the zoo community a lot and one of the zeta principles states something of educating about zoo without promotion. This is a real tangible debate and moral choice that will affect how effective zoos will operate in any further activism.
So how do we coincide this moral principle with zoophilia pornography where the animals themselves don't care about public relations? We humans, we Zoos have to be the ones who set the standards of what's acceptable or not.
This is why anti-porn zoos will always fail, because attempting to hide shows you are not sex positive and/or ashamed to show your sexuality. 
And two, someone else who is NOT a zoo, who has no morality around zoophilia, will spin up a porn site anyway and post some actual animal abuse and sadistic content, claiming that's zoophilia.
These hyper idealistic zoophiles who are anti-porn, zeta principled to their own detriment, types of zoos will ALWAYS lose in reality this fight.
Because for zoophilia to come to any form of legalization, the sex has to be seen. It has to be understood and it has to be educated properly on how yo practice zoophilia in a ethical manner.
You need porn to get our sexual orientation out of the shadows and into mainstream understanding of what it is and how it should be practiced. 
So to solve this problem, Zooville makes itself the largest zoo porn site in the world, heavily moderated by zoophiles, for all people interested in zoophilia and bestiality.
WE WANT to be the first thing found when searching zoo porn, this way anyone who comes into the forum, is shown there is rules and guidelines of what is zoophilia and what is NOT. What is acceptable sex and what is abuse. What is welcome and celebrated, and what is abhorred and distained.
Zooville plays a very fine line of this promotion and education balance. If we were not the single most promoted site for zoo porn, then almost no one would get the education needed to learn ethical zoophile practices.
They'd just go to some zoo porn abuse site and learn nothing.
The "zoo community" is growing, but we're still fairly small. The number of people who are animal attracted is much larger. Like you said, porn is something that really attracts people to things, even if they aren't really interested in the situation around it. Which presents something of a problem in my opinion. We have so much work to do as a community to try and make things better for all of us. Something I think about a lot is how to activate those people towards the cause. Do you think that's possible? And if so, do you have any ideas on how to do it?
Remember back in the fight for LGBT rights, it was often the obscenity standards and laws that came in defense for gay rights activists. If things could be proven not to be obscene, like gay porn or people involved in that, then it could be protected under the first amendment.
we are at the cusp of falling back because there are states passing age restrictions to porn sites. It was often the bankroll of pornographers and sex workers that fought back against anti-lgbt people in those times.
so similarly, those on Zooville who may not be zoos or only ethical bestialists, will bankroll or fund the site for the greater good of our defense of the platform. Hence, this has been our success because we adopted porn for our advancement, not our detriment.
There are some people who feel like Zooville isn't a very welcoming place. A lot of that stems from conversations about misogyny, or from fetishists who only care about sex and not about actual wellbeing. To be honest, even when doing the drafting for this interview there were a few members of the team that felt uncomfortable about promoting Zooville. What do you think causes that perception, and do you feel like it's valid in any way?
Zooville is an extremely welcoming place, for all walks and opinions of life. It is a PUBLIC forum, it is a PUBLIC space to discuss all manners of ideas including very sensitive topics. 
Which put me in a particular position more akin to Jack Dorsey, or Elon Musk with twitter. How do we manage to protect both free speech and user experience? my solution was to keep the toxic subjects in the dumpster fire.
Fetishist will always come to ANY sexual space. Afterall, it is a SEXUAL topic, and there will be those who find zoophilia solely as a kink. Hence also, we restrict those types of conversations to the Zoo as a FETISH section of the forum, to quarantine those types from the majority of zoo talk.
But i have a bone to pick with these self-righteous zoo attitudes again, what is the issue if some view zoophilia as a fetish? LGBTQ people are often objectified and fetishized also, but they don't try to control them or police the entire world against LGBTQ fetishists.
Zooville basically IS the entire zoophilia world online, front and center. We cannot be self-righteous as we are essentially the only house in town on the open web with moderated zoo porn. I don't condemn fetishists who practice bestiality in an ethical manner at all, instead we should educate them and welcome them.
What would you say to anyone who's thinking about coming to check ZooVille out?
If your new to zooville, id say to leave an introduction thread, cruise around in the personals for your area to chat with zoos around you, have a little fun in the DF and porn sections and then maybe check our the resource tabs for the zoo comic and ZTT.
Its a beautiful thing to be in a place so encompassing in all manner zooey.
What are your hopes for the forum now that you're passing on the reigns (pun entirely intended)?
As I'm retiring, i have accomplished an incredible amount of things that I well deserved to speak about. That is a token and my reward i will carry for the rest of my life, that i served the community with honesty, truthfulness and left the zoo world a much better place than i found it.
I'm now handing it over at its peak, in a stable, well funded, and solid grounding with overall massive community support, activism and protections for ultimately, the animals we love and care about.
I'm damn proud i what i have done, and I hand it over when i knew it was time for the next generation to carry it even further. I want to see zoo decriminalized, i want to see regulated zoo activities, and i want to live long enough were society as a whole would leave us be to our animal mates.
Now that you're not as directly responsible for running the forum, do you have any other projects that you're hoping to pick up, or are you just planning on sitting back and enjoying the vacation for a while? Are there things you're still hoping to directly accomplish for zoos? 
I have served the community well, and i will be around for those who what to message me or just chat. I will still be an advisor for ZV's mod team but with no stakes nor power in any actions they do. I have a lot of wonderful zoo friends, and I'm deeply grateful for them.
Thank you so much for the time, I really appreciate you sitting down to chat with me. For anyone that's interested in whatever you have going on next, what's the best way for them to keep up with you?
If anyone wants to contact me, please DM me on Zooville. Do NOT contact me via telegram, as that @zthorse name will be deleted and imposters will arise to doxx you.
Well, thank you all, dear readers, for reading, and we'll see you in the next one! Bye! 
Interview conducted between Tarro and ZT Horse
Questions, comments or concerns? Check out our Discord server!

Related posts

Interview with Mike of DSI

Tarro: Before we start things off, I just wanted to check. I know DSI is pretty secretive with its members,…

Interview with Jade and Lyc

Tarro: Hi there! Fun fact, this is actually my first multi-person interview before, so thanks for both being here! I…