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Memo to Green Mountain College President and Board of Trustees

VINE Sanctuary regrets any threats that may have been made by other animal advocates but reminds the Green Mountain College community that all of our communications have been respectful. We have consistently called for dialogue and offered to cooperate with the college in bringing this controversy to a conclusion that is happy for everybody.

Along those lines, VINE Sanctuary has contacted Farm Sanctuary—the oldest and most reputable farmed animal sanctuary in the country—to ask them if they have room for Bill and Lou and to offer to take in animals, if necessary, to create that room. Farm Sanctuary has affirmed their eagerness and ability to offer a home to Bill and Lou. Their communications director has been trying unsuccessfully to reach the college in recent days and will be happy to confirm the offer of sanctuary if her calls are returned.

VINE Sanctuary trusts that this will remove any impediment to sending Lou and Bill to sanctuary on account of Green Mountain College student or faculty hostility to VINE.

VINE Sanctuary reiterates our willingness to provide a permanent retirement home to Bill and Lou. Our sanctuary is closer to the college, so that students and alumni could visit Bill and Lou, and we would be delighted to care for them. However, we understand that the ongoing vilification of VINE on campus makes that an unlikely outcome.

Along with tens of thousands of people here in Vermont and around the world, we continue to implore Green Mountain College to abide by the agricultural tradition of kindly retiring elderly or disabled work animals. We are delighted that Farm Sanctuary can accommodate Lou and Bill, and we urge the college to seize that opportunity to bring this wrenching controversy to a happy ending.

Emailed to President Paul Fonteyn on 1 November 2012 with paper copy to follow.

30 comments to Memo to Green Mountain College President and Board of Trustees

  • David Wachsman
    The only threat which is not a threat but a reality is to see this school be put in the pit of hell for extinguishing the lives of 2 animals that have a home to go to by mentioning on all my web-sites and emails and my connections to the news media and tv media on their decision if they decide to murder Bill and Lou instead of sending them off to VINE sanctuary. YOU CAN TAKE THAT TO THE BANK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Jo Ward
    Excellent letter Pattrice…. and Happy Birthday
  • Daniel FitzPatrick
    Although I myself choose to eat meat and I may not agree with all of your points; let me say that the awareness you have raised over Bill and Lou has definitely caused me to reevaluate my view towards animals. Thats not to say that before all of this I did not care about animals at all, but rather that you have given me more knowledge into this field. Although I have not stopped eating meat altogether, I now think about what it is that I am eating, I now care where it comes from, Knowing whether or not said animal lived a good life, these things have become increasingly important to me ever since you brought these things to my attention. And as I stated before, I do in fact eat meat, but now I do not eat it with as little reserve as I once did. Will I eventually stop eating meat altogether? I am not sure, I enjoy a nice hamburger every once in awhile(and that statement is not meant to be offensive, I understand that you would disagree with my fondness of hamburgers, and I respect your choices). I guess all I’m trying to say here is that, I understand you are trying to do what you think is right, and I respect that, and maybe someday I’ll be beside you outside of a factory farm. I did not post on this to start any kind of argument, I just simply wanted to let you know that although Bill and Lou may not be saved in the end, and although I eat meat (for now), and even if I don’t agree with some of the things you say, you still got my attention, and whether even if I disagree on the solution you think would be best, you were not ignored, and you effected me and the way I view things that I would have never thought about before. Thank you. If we as people cannot be civil(and that goes for everyone, not just those opposed of the slaughter), then nothing will ever get done.
  • Daniel FitzPatrick
    Happy Birthday by the way.
  • Linda Guffin
    I have been blocked from making any comment on Grenn Mountain College Facebook page. I will be writing a letter to them. All of my posts have been respectful but to the point. Reading your open letters has helped my outlook. It was very depressing to read about Bill and Lou. I live where I passed herds of cattle every day as I went to work. They were in pasture. When I traveled from Northern California to Southern California I also passed thousands of head of cattle in feed lots. My heart ached every time. It is a failure of the human species to believe that we can do whatever we want for our own benefit. If we are not looking out for the benefit of the globe with all its systems that make the world as we have enjoyed it, we will all perish together. We can change…. I have to believe that.
  • Beth
    This is just so wrong. Please give these animals the retirement they truly deserve. I’ve contacted the Boston Globe and the Valley News. Please do your part and contact them as well. There are so many other options and to slaughter these mascots and work animals after what they’ve done for the school already feels criminal.
  • Melody
    Happy Birthday, Pattrice… Thank you; GMC now can do the noble thing and allow Bill & Lou to live out the rest of their years together and in peace… there are thousands and thousands of people around the world who are tirelessly trying to communicate their feelings about Bill & Lou ~

    It would be such a gesture of compassion…

  • Happy Birthday Patrice.

    Regarding Daniel Fitzpatrick’s response. I find it very positive. You have planted a seed. Hopefully it will grow. It’s all we can do, is plant that seed. Keep up the great work.

  • catherine podojil
    Feliz Navidad, pattrice. Many thanks for your part in this now international campaign.

    And just why is VINE so anathema to GMC and its students? Interesting that while they focus unendingly on threats (confirmed?)directed toward them, the only real threat is the impending murder of Bill and Lou. So very typical of those in power.

  • Suz
    Happy Happy Birthday, Pattrice! What a wonderful letter you wrote! Thank you a zillion times for all you have done and are doing now for Bill and Lou and all the animals in your care. VINE is definitely on my bucket list to visit now!!

    And… what a GIFT Daniel has given us all on your special day! Thanks for opening the door for him.

    Daniel! Your beautiful, heartfelt words mean everything! Many of us began exactly where you are. Maybe you’ve begun a similar journey. My evolution took me; i didn’t necessarily take it. You’ll see with time. It might be fast, slow or stop where you are now. It may progress when you’re not even aware of it, then something will come up and you’ll be amazed at yourself!

    I am so grateful you took time to share your thoughts here. Thank you for opening your eyes and your heart, for being willing to think more carefully and feel more deeply. Doesn’t matter how much or how fast your journey goes. Don’t push it. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t ignore it. Let it unfold naturally, and if it does, great! You’ll know.

    Either way, BIG CONGRATS to you for taking time to write here about it.

    Best to ALL!! — S :D

  • Kristin
    I’ve been so impressed with the professionalism and knowledge of VINE Sanctuary staff. This is an excellent and thoughtful gesture- one which I hope the college will consider carefully.
  • nita m moccia
    so sorry that VINE is under attack by GMC….what they do is so good…..Farm sanctuary is a well respected place for farm animals to live out their lives free from harm..same as VINE sanctuary………………the are very professional and quite knowledgeable on animal and bird care….if anyone should be threatened it is GMC……………be afraid GMC… enrollment will drop and your doors will close.
  • Olga Deulofeu
    I respect so deeply Vine sanctuary. They are trying like thousand of us to save Lou and Bill.
    Please, COMPASION over killing.
  • pattrice
    Suz, thanks for reminding me–

    Daniel, I’ve been so busy trying to reply to the folks writing me challenging comments that demand lengthy responses that I haven’t had any time to say thanks for the comments that I could just approve without comment. And I do want to say that I appreciated your words very much. Thoughtful people are often quiet, and so it’s easy to forget that the loud voices may not represent what everybody, or even most people, are thinking. Thanks for letting us in on your evolving thoughts.

    And thanks to, to so many of you who have piped up with encouraging comments in the past few days. You have helped to keep my spirits up.

    And, of course, I am grateful to those who have been engaging in reasoned dialogue, often giving comments much more attention than I have been able to offer.

  • pattrice
    Oh, and Daniel? Hamburgers are mostly about texture and condiments. I won’t recommend a particular substitute, because everybody’s tastes are different, but once you find one that works with your favored condiments, you’ll be good to go.
  • Kathy Chadwell
    GodBless both sanctuaries for doing what this college should have been doing all along. Bill & Lou are Global Stars. Along with the beauty of Vermont,, I know people would gladly travel to Vermont to visit them and spend their tourist dollars there. This COULD be a win win for everybody is stubborn pride doesn’t stand in the way of compassion, empathy and MERCY. GodBless all the wonderful people who have offered to chip in to pay for Bill & Lou as another opinion. Thank you so much Vine Sanctuary
  • CQ
    Daniel, I do believe your thoughtful words have helped make pattrice’s birthday a happy one, and I join you in saluting her.

    Suz speaks for me, and I’m sure for many others, when she writes: “Thank you for opening your eyes and your heart, for being willing to think more carefully and feel more deeply. Doesn’t matter how much or how fast your journey goes. Don’t push it. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t ignore it. Let it unfold naturally, and if it does, great! You’ll know.”

    As for the hamburger thing, I’ve tried many brands of beefless burgers, and if it saves you time and money and disappointment with products that aren’t tantalizing, may I please recommend Gardein’s “Beefless Sliders”? I tried them for the first time this week, with “hamburger” pickles and Nayonaise and ketchup and grilled onions and grilled mushrooms and . . . wow, they are utterly amazing. They’re not the least expensive alternative in town, but they’re well worth the extra dollar or two. Probably you’d eat all four at once — if you start out famished! Have ’em with fries. Truly, I think they are better than any beef burger I ever ate in my pre-vegan years, which were many. (They’re in the Kroger natural foods frozen section, and they should also be at some Whole Foods stores.)

    Keep in touch, okay, Daniel? Please think of us as your new friends and supporters. We’re here for you. As we’re trying to be for Bill and Lou. :-)

  • Kathy Chadwell
    If you guys have any legal questions,, please contact our animal rights lawyers,, they will not charge you anything and this is a great group.
  • pattrice
    Kathy, we are working with a top animal law scholar, who happens to have specific expertise in Vermont state law, and have also been in contact with ALDF. I can assure you than any available legal avenues are being explored and will be pursued. Any in-state attorney who wants to pitch in should contact us.
  • Steve
    Governor Shumlin received an honorary degree from GMC. Would he be proud of that degree in light of what is going on at this moment?

  • Melody
    Please please pursue immediate legal action – there are thousands of us who would donate to any fees involved – “Time Is Of The Essence” as GMC is reaching out to slaughterhouses all over the U.S. to get this to “blow over” so they can throw a community BBQ. That is the verbiage being thrown around by their students on their facebook page.

    I want to also thank Daniel for expressing his thoughts ~ my journey started with a visceral reaction to the meat section during a grocery trip and has evolved ever since. I did not know why I started feeling this way, but my body and soul did…

  • pattrice
    Folks, perhaps due to the extremely high traffic we’ve been receiving lately, blog comments have begun acting very strangely. People on both sides write to say they cannot see long comments they they know they posted, and I also see a backlog of comments for approval–some from trusted email addresses that ought to have been automatically approved. I hope to get this all sorted out by the end of the weekend, but I’ve got a couple of more urgent tasks to which I must attend before I turn to what looks like will be an hours-long exercise in frustration.

    Thanks to all who have voiced support. To those who have posted challenging comments in the spirit of true dialogue, I promise a response as soon as humanely possible, given our workload over here. To those posting insults or rants, I make no promises.

    And, again, as per this memo, we are imploring GMC to seize the opportunity to allow Bill and Lou to retire to Farm Sanctuary. So, rants against me or VINE are beside the point anyway.

  • Just who is the main person at the College to talk to?…and does it say in writing ANYWHERE that Bill & Lou belong to him?
  • Change has to come from the heart not the mind. Vegcon means VEGetarian CONscious. Vegconism is the “Conscious Choice” by “Changing Hearts to Changed Minds”
  • Hi Pattrice,

    Thank you for working on helping Bill and Lou through this avenue. Boy, you are such a wonderful person. There’s nothing more I can say. I really hope that they find your letter with its solution as attractive and reasonable and in Bill and Lou’s best interest as it is.

    Hoping for the best for Bill and Lou. Thank you for all your very hard work in securing a wonderful end of life.

    Boe Devi

  • Valerie Traina
    Would you kindly post the status of Bill and Lou?
    Thank you for all your hard work to save their precious lives.
    Centennial, CO
  • Hello everybody,

    I just made some calls to the slaughterhouses on one of the petitions’ lists.

    I called the Canadian slaughterhouses. Left one vm, got hung up twice by one slaughterhouse, one slaughterhouse only spoke French, one slaughterhouse said they are tired of getting all these calls, said they were getting 15 calls a day also said “I’m not killing any animals”

    I called three slaughterhouses in U.S. One hung up on me twice; another one said they are getting bombarded with calls and said “we don’t know anything about those animals – no one has contacted us about them. We getting sick of getting 10 calls a day.” Last slaughterhouse said “I think they’ve already been processed – you need to look into that.” I asked her were they processed at your location and she just hung up. That was the Croghan Meats, 9824 Main St. Route 812, Croghan, NY, Tel: 315-346-6613.

    I’ll call the other 11 slaughterhouses later today.

    Bye for now, Boe Devi

  • mark gil
    They’re all Bill and Lou.

    by Angel Flinn

  • Don
    It’s amazing how silent it has gotten on these blogs the past few days. Does anyone know if Bill and Lou are still with us? I’m getting a bit dis-heartened at the lack of news.

    Sterling, MA

  • miriam
    Hey all!

    We’ve had less time than before to tend to the blog — we are sorry, but other projects were calling. We are still very actively working to save Bill and Lou, as are many others, and as long as Bill and Lou are alive, there is hope!

    For the animals,


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