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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.

Date 2015
Publication Title Humanimalia: A Journal of Human/Animal Interface Studies
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 109-122
ISBN/ISSN 2151-8645
DOI 10.52537/humanimalia.9984
Additional 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. Humans
  13. Ireland
  14. Legislation
  15. LGBTQ
  16. Mammals
  17. Men
  18. OECD countries
  19. open access
  20. peer-reviewed
  21. Primates
  22. Ruminants
  23. Sexual behavior
  24. ungulates
  25. vertebrates
Badges
  1. open access
  2. peer-reviewed