In artificial insemination, all that's done 'artificially' is the introduction of the semen into the prospective mother by, er, something other than a penis.

The term, and the practice, I suppose, was first a big deal for cattle in the second half of the 20th Century, when the man from the Ministry (of Agriculture) would go round the farms with a load of bull's semen and impregnate all the cows. The artificial insemination, or AI, man, was known to farmers as The Bull in the Bowler Hat.

In humans, AI is used whenever the woman in question doesn't want to have sex with the sperm donor, or the sperm donor doesn't want to have sex with her, but pregnancy is the desired result.

So you thought YOUR job sucked?!?

When I was going to Purdue, way back when the world was young, the Indianapolis Zoo was trying to institute an elephant breeding program. Having several cows and only one bull, they did not want to start inbreeding, so they received frozen semen from other zoos. One of my vet student friends was in a class where the class project was to assist in the artificial insemination of the cows. He described the experience to me thus:

"ok,imagine yourself standing on a stepladder, wearing a raincoat and a rubber glove that goes up to your armpit, covered in KY and holding a turkey baster..."

I'll leave the rest up to your imaginations (because I know they're WELL up to the job..) :-)

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