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#SaveBenjy: sexuality, queer animals, and Ireland

By E. McLoughlin

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Abstract

This paper explores the #SaveBenjy Crowdfunder campaign to save a Charolais bull in the Republic of Ireland who expressed sexual interest only in weanling bulls and not the heifers he was expected to impregnate. The prominence and popularity of #SaveBenjy is anything but coincidental. In May 2015, the referendum on gay marriage sought to legalize same-sex marriage. Consequently, #SaveBenjy provides a timely lens through which to view Irish attitudes towards sexuality, while also raising important questions around nonhuman subjectivity and personhood. #SaveBenjy blurs the boundaries between nature and culture and thus, demands a new paradigm within which the nonhuman animal can be appreciated as being inherently and simultaneously natural and cultural.

Publication Title Humanimalia: A Journal of Human/Animal Interface Studies
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 109-122
ISBN/ISSN 2151-8645
Language English
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Tags
  1. Abnormal behavior
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Attitudes
  6. Bovidae
  7. British Isles
  8. Bulls
  9. Cattle
  10. Developed countries
  11. Europe
  12. Homosexuality
  13. Humans
  14. Ireland
  15. Legislation
  16. Mammals
  17. Men
  18. OECD countries
  19. peer-reviewed
  20. Primates
  21. Ruminants
  22. Sexual behavior
  23. ungulates
  24. vertebrates
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  1. peer-reviewed