The Simpsons have always been animal lovers — from saving the greyhound Santa’s Little Helper to now helping to rescue Mayo’s gay bull, Benjy.
The “non-performing” Charolais bull was destined for the slaughterhouse but a local campaign led to a happy ending, thanks to Hollywood.
Benjy, it emerged, had failed to be impressed by, or managed to impregnate, any of the cows in a farmer’s herd.
In fact, after showing more interest in other bulls, the local vet told the farmer, who has not been named, Benjy is gay.
But, on hearing the story, animal rights group ARAN began a campaign to raise enough money to save Benjy from the butcher’s block.
Magazine THEGAYUK also helped to publicise the appeal and lead to the LGBT calling for his rescue.
After hearing about the story through PETA, co-creator of The Simpsons and philanthropist Sam Simon put up the £5,000 (€6,250) to buy Benjy and transport him to a sanctuary in Britain where he will be able to live out his natural life with peace and dignity.
PETA had already raised £4,000 and Benjy’s transfer to freedom is expected to take place in time for Christmas.
“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,” said Mr Simon.
“It thrills me to help PETA and ARAN make Benjy’s fate a sanctuary rather than a sandwich.”
The Simpsons’ co-creator is facing a life-threatening battle himself, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago.
He has since chosen to use his resources and time left to help animals in need, including getting 17 bears transferred from captivity, helping retire a lame horse used for racing, securing the transfer of a chimpanzee that had spent more than 18 years in solitary confinement at a zoo to a reputable sanctuary and running The Sam Simon Foundation, an organisation dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating homeless dogs.
John Carmody of ARAN said the response from Mr Simon and the Irish public was overwhelming and said the farmer was delighted.
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