Mascots on the menu
Published: Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 21:11
Green Mountain College officials plan to slaughter their school mascot — and then serve it for dinner.
For the past few weeks, the southern Vermont college has been caught in a controversy about the administrators’ decision to slaughter their two oxen, Bill and Lou, and use the meat in the dining hall.
The decision was made after one of the oxen became injured and could no longer work earlier this year, according to a statement by GMC President Paul Fonteyn.
GMC student and Activism Club member Scott Chernoff said many students at GMC agree that the school is doing the right thing.
“GMC is upholding its values as an environmental institution by doing what a closed-loop sustainable farm does,” Chernoff said.
GMC students, staff and regional slaughterhouses have been threatened by individuals who strongly oppose the killing of the two animals, according to the school’s website.
Senior Kelsey Steele, president of the UVM Students for True Animal Rights, said the slaughter of the oxen would be unacceptable and unnecessary.
“If Bill and Lou had been dogs or cats, we would never even have this question of whether to eat them or not,” Steele said. “And oxen are as equally intelligent as cats and dogs, and they have been loved for the last 10 years, just as a cat and dog so often are.”
Because the oxen have been the college’s chauffeurs and mascots, Steele said they have given so much already and have the right to live out the rest of their lives.
“Truthfully, vegetables, fruits and grains provide far more nutrition than any two sweet and gentle old oxen ever would,” she said.
Tens of thousands have signed a petition pleading for the oxen to be spared as the decision to kill the oxen gained sudden notoriety, a Burlington Free Press article stated.
Green Mountain College administrators have upheld their resolution to kill the oxen so far.