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'Simpsons' Creator Saves 'Gay' Irish Bull from Slaughter

Sam Simon joined with other animal rights activist to pay for Benjy the bull to be sent to a new home at a sanctuary in England.

An Irish bull who was being readied for slaughter because he might be gay has been saved by Simpsons’ co-creator Sam Simon and other activists, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals announced Tuesday.

When Benjy the bull, a Charolais who lived on a County Mayo farm, failed to impregnate any of the females in his herd, a local veterinarian questioned the bull’s sexual orientation. He said Benjy was fertile but more interested in other bulls than females. Benjy’s owner was preparing him to be slaughtered for meat when animal rights activist and gay activists took up his cause.

The Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) of Ireland and the British gay website teamed up to raise more than £4,000 for Benjy. Simon then contributed £5,000, or about $7,800, which was enough to purchase Benjy and pay for his transport to a sanctuary in England.

“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 Simon, a long-time animal rights activist. "It thrills me to help PETA and ARAN make Benjy's fate a sanctuary rather than a sandwich."

Simon was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2012, and has been spending his fortune to help animals, including the transfer of 17 bears to a new home and a chimpanzee to a sanctuary. His anonymous purchase of a U.S. racehorse who was no longer able to race was featured in an exclusive NBC News report earlier this year.