Green Mountain College has posted an evidently official refusal to reconsider the decision to slaughter Bill and Lou on its Facebook page. We could–and probably will–go line by line, pointing out the inconsistencies and inaccuracies. However, it seems clear that the college administrators—perhaps due to a combination of Groupthink and the confirmation bias–are too set in a defensive stance to either dispassionately decide what is best for the college or compassionately decide what is best for Bill and Lou.
Therefore, we have mailed off this memo to the Green Mountain Board of Trustees. (This follows a letter from the co-founder of VINE Sanctuary, asking the President to either show mercy and stay the order of execution or delay the slaughter until the Board of Directors has a chance to meet and discuss the question.)
To: Board of Trustees, Green Mountain College
From: VINE Sanctuary
Date: 15 October, 2012
Re: Formal request for inclusion in agenda of next meeting
The decision to send the oxen known as Bill and Lou to slaughter rather than accept the offer of a retirement home at VINE Sanctuary has raised an international outcry that threatens the reputation and academic credibility of the college as well as its ability to raise funds from alumni. Since administrators associated with the decision may be too invested in it to dispassionately consider alternatives, we ask that the Board of Trustees direct the President to delay the slaughter until after the Board has the opportunity to meet to decide the question.
Educational institutions generally greet offers of sanctuary for retired animals with gratitude, so we have been mystified by the response of Green Mountain College. Prominent scholars in the fields of ethics, ethology, animal studies, and environmental studies also have expressed their mystification. We welcome the opportunity to inform the Board on this matter and respectfully ask to be informed of the procedure by which we may sign up to address the Board at its next meeting.