Benjy – the Irish bull facing slaughter for being gay – has had his freedom bought by a Hollywood producer.
Simpsons co-creator and philanthropist Sam Simon put up the £5,000 to by Benjy when he learned from PETA that the Co. Mayo bull in County Mayo was being fattened for slaughter after a veterinarian declared his sexual orientation.
Benjy was declared as being gay after he was found to have no interest in mating and his transfer is expected to take place in time for Christmas.
In addition to the money fronted by Simon, more than 250 other individuals have donated to fund the bull’s transfer via a crowd-funding initiative set up by Irish animal-protection group ARAN and TheGayUK.com.
PETA hopes that those moved by Benjy’s plight will extend their empathy to the billions of other animals on farms who, like Benjy, are denied their most basic freedoms. People can do that every time they sit down to eat simply by leaving animals off their plates.
“PETA told me about Benjy, and I felt compelled to help. All animals have a dire destiny in the meat trade, but to kill this bull because he’s gay would’ve been a double tragedy,” says Simon, a long-time vegan. “It thrills me to help PETA and ARAN make Benjy’s fate a sanctuary rather than a sandwich.”
Simon is facing a life-threatening battle himself having being diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012.
He has chosen to use his resources and the time that he has left to help a number of animals in need, including transferring 17 bears from barren concrete pits, helping retire a lame horse used for racing and transferring a chimpanzee who had spent more than 18 years in solitary confinement at a zoo to a reputable sanctuary.
He also runs The Sam Simon Foundation, an organisation dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating homeless dogs.