Sexuality, Queer Animals, and Ireland


  • Eimear Mc Loughlin




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.


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Author Biography

Eimear Mc Loughlin

Eimear Mc Loughlin is studying Anthrozoology at Master’s level at the University of Exeter. A graduate of University College Cork, Eimear has worked as a veterinary nurse and is currently teaching on an Animal Care Course in St. John’s Central College, Cork. As a distance learner, her post-graduate research explores the conflicting attitudes towards animals as food and animals as livestock. Her research has led her to engage in fieldwork investigating the slaughterhouse. 




How to Cite

Mc Loughlin, Eimear. 2015. “#SaveBenjy: Sexuality, Queer Animals, and Ireland”. Humanimalia 7 (1):109-22. https://doi.org/10.52537/humanimalia.9984.