After catching wind of of Benjy, the County Mayo bull being sent to the slaughterhouse because he’s “gay,” animal rights and LGBT groups have started campaigns and petitions to save poor Benjy’s life.
His anonymous farmer had purchased Benjy, a pedigree Charolais bull, for purposes of breeding. However, he found that Benjy preferred other bulls to his heifers and wouldn’t inseminate the herd. Rendered useless, Benjy would be sold to the slaughterhouse.
In response, Irish animal protection group ARAN teamed up with TheGayUK magazine to create a crowdfunding page to save his life, and University of Leeds student Charlie Smith has also created a similar ‘lifeline’ petition.
“We hope to raise £5,000 ($7,800) to buy Benjy and have him re-homed within the Hillside Animal Sanctuary where he’ll be looked after until the natural end of his life,” said co-founder of TheGayUK Graham Davies.
"We wanted to do something positive, to make a stand and say someone is on your side. Man or beast,” he said.
John Carmody of ARAN said: “The plight of little Benjy is hitting the hearts and households of Irish society with the reality of what will face this innocent boy if someone somewhere doesn’t step in.”
Davies added: “As a gay man myself, I know only too well what it is like to be treated indifferently; that's why I hope we can give Benjy a second chance in life whilst helping to bring attention to the problems facing all gay people everywhere around the world, and of course the many other Benjys that are brought to slaughter on a daily basis who are not so lucky."
Another activist for Benjy’s rights is Charlie Smith, a Broadcast Journalism student at the University of Leeds. She created a petition called “Save Benjy the Bull” which she plans to send to the agricultural sector of the Irish government once it reaches 1,000 signatures. Currently it has 152.
"It's upsetting that the farmer feels the need to put the bull down simply for his sexuality. It is my belief that all gay humans and animals should be free to love whoever they want, without fear of discrimination, or in this case, death," she told IrishCentral. Charlie has a great interest in animal welfare and LGBT rights, and hosts a weekly LGBT news show on her university's station.
Several Twitter hashtags like #SaveBenjy and #SaveTheBull have started trending as well.
Check out this official campaign video by TheGayUK: