Portions of this now amended Action Alert were based on representations made to VINE by the Green Mountain College Farm Manager, who led us to believe that he was speaking for the college. We have since learned that was not true and that some of his statements did not reflect the official college position. We sincerely regret any hard feelings caused by that misunderstanding. We encourage the college community to revisit any decisions that it may have made based on inaccurate information
Specifically, we have since learned that the college asserts that (a) killing Bill and Lou would be best for them, and (b) killing Bill and Lou would be the “sustainable” thing to do, to keep them from wasting resources now that one of them is disabled. The college does intend to serve them as hamburger but does not see this as the primary motive for the slaughter.
Green Mountain College does still plan to kill Lou and Bill, and action is still needed.
Please see subsequent blog posts for details.
Green Mountain College is poised to kill two oxen named Bill and Lou who have served their college farm for ten long years. ACT NOW to prevent it!
Bill and Lou have been a working team of oxen at Green Mountain College in Poultney, VT for ten years. They were pressed into service by staff at Cerridwen Farm – the teaching farm on campus – to do everything from plowing fields to generating electricity. Over the years, they became so well loved that they’re even the profile picture for the farm’s Facebook page!
A few months ago, Lou became unable to be worked any longer. Bill won’t work with anyone else. Therefore, the college has concluded that both of them must be killed.
DEATH is their reward for 10 long years of hard work.
Yes, Green Mountain College has decided that Bill and Lou’s long lives of service should be rewarded by their slaughter – and for what? According to their own press releases, the school will get, at best, a couple of months of low-grade hamburger out of their bodies.
This is especially heartbreaking because they have an excellent home waiting for them.
VINE Sanctuary has offered to provide Bill and Lou with permanent homes. We have the ability and resources to care for them for the rest of their natural lives. Sadly, though, the college is determined to kill them instead.
For ten years, they served the needs of those more powerful than they are.
Now it’s time to let them serve their own needs.
Please contact the folks at Green Mountain College and urge them to reconsider. It would be especially powerful for people from Vermont to contact them, and even more so for alumni to add their voices, so if you know someone from Vermont and/or Green Mountain College, please forward this notice to them as well. Feel free to use and/or modify the letter below, or write your own. Please send the letter to the following people:
Bill Throop Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kenneth Mulder Farm Manager, Research Associate & Adjunct Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies: email@example.com (We no longer believe that letters to Farm Manager Mulder would be helpful.)
I am writing to urge you to allow Bill and Lou to live out the remainder of their natural lives, in peace and contentment, at VINE Sanctuary, a reputable organization which has offered to care for them.
Should you choose to reverse their death sentences, the rewards garnered by Green Mountain College will far exceed whatever paltry sum their slaughter would bring to the school.
Conversely, whatever small amount of cash would be made by killing them will be far outweighed by the negative press which will follow in the wake of their deaths. (We now know that economics is not the primary motive for the slaughter.
Bill and Lou have served your college well for ten long years. Students and faculty alike have expressed how much they care about these individuals. They deserve to be given the rest of their lives to live as they choose. Just because they are not human does not mean they do not care about their existence.
We will be watching to see what decision you make.