What if centaurs existed?

What would life, technology, and society be like if the mythical half-human, half-horse beings actually existed and formed a significant part of the population? I’m particularly interested in questions such as:

[li]Would the Olympics and other sports organizations have separate divisions for humans and centaurs?[/li][li]Would all restaurants, public bathrooms, and so forth have to be centaur-accessible?[/li][li]Would highways have separate lanes for centaurs to gallop on?[/li][li]etc…[/li][/ul]

Interesting premise. No answers, but here’s another question. Would the centaurs be happy galloping everywhere, or would there be a big market for cars designed for centaur drivers?

A few thoughts:

[li]They probably end up as part of the warrior-nobility a lot of places, historically. They’ll have the advantages in striking power of a cavalry soldier with stirrups long before stirrups are invented, and without the difficulties of controlling a horse to contend with.[/li][li]The horse collar is probably invented a lot sooner. The centaurs will likely invent something similar for themselves, and the design will then be adapted for actual horses. This may curtail slavery much sooner than it did in our time line.[/li][li]Centaurs themselves will probably make poor slaves, especially of humans; they’d be hard to control due to being physically powerful, fast and by nature “armed” with their hooves. [/li][li]They’d need something peculiar in the way of bathing and sanitary facilities; the way they are built means they can’t really wipe their own butts or reach most of themselves to scrub themselves clean.[/li][li]In a modern military they’d probably often carry much heavier weapons than human soldiers. Due to their great mass and having four legs they could handle a much greater recoil than any human can, as long as the weapon is properly strapped on/braced to transfer the recoil.[/li][/ul]

If we assume that the top speed and endurance of a centaur is similar to that of a race horse, long distance travel on hoof would be impractical in the modern world. I can imagine a horse-trailer like vehicle with driving capacity for centaurs. Seating them on planes would be a bit difficult, though.

Would you mind if I asked you a few questions about being a Centaur?

I had a whole bunch of questions I wanted to bring up, but your link answered every one of them. Damn.

That link led me to google Aubesian, which led me to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crfGXmxJ1vM

If centaurs really existed, I predict that they would be considered a privileged class of disadvantaged minority, and would get both government assistance and preference in hiring. And we’d develop all sorts of slurs for them that everyone would know and snicker at in private, but nobody would use in polite company.

Well, I don’t know about Centaurs, but you could ask my boss. He’s a real horse’s ass.

Trains would be more sensible.

More Mass Transit, especially Light Rail.
Inter-species Sex?
Any speculators?

If centaurs were real, nobody would ever buy their daughter a pony. Once adolescent hit, she’d be in trouble big time.

If they are basically psychologically human and thus reciprocate the interest, sure. People do weirder things than that when it comes to sex.

There’s be a whole new category of Porn on Redtube.:eek:

Is there any reason to believe we would treat them as sentient beings and give them any rights at all? Even in mythology where they appear, they seem to be vastly in minority.

The fact that they are bigger than we are. It’s the easy victims who can’t fight back who tend to be persecuted, not people who can reduce any would-be lynch mob to red mush by trampling them.

Really; there’s at least as much question as to whether or not they will be the ones persecuting us.

Because they are sentient beings and deserving of these rights. Duh. Only an idiot or a monster would think otherwise, and the centaur would be quite capable of presenting his or her own case.

There are those who say that dolphins and whales are sentient. Yet we keep them in captivity and hunt them. In some parts of the world human beings are still slaves.

Your argument is stupid. Unlike a dolphin or whale, a centaur could literally tell you that he or she is sentient. And while there are still slavers in the world, they are the exception and not the rule.

Even slavers know that the slaves are humans.

Actually they’ve often gone to great effort to convince themselves that their slaves were less than human. Thus, racism.

However it doesn’t much matter because this is all built on the automatic assumption that the centaurs aren’t going to just kill the would-be slavers. Or be the slavers.