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: "Bill" Was Spared  ( 4388 )
Henry
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« : November 12, 2012, 07:57:47 AM »

When I first read the article a while back about the two oxen being slaughtered at Vermont College and their meat used in the school cafeteria, I thought then, "Boy, there is going to be some problems here.

Having been brought up on a farm on Fairfield Ridge where we raised our own beef and all of our cows had names, when the beef was butchered, never was the name ever mentioned again.  I am sure the meal would have come to a dead halt, had some one at the table said, "Is this Ben we are eating??  It just did not seem right to take and kill these oxen who many students had worked with and use them for meat, especially since they were 11 or 12 years old - I doubt the beef would have been very tender - Anyhow, wise choice I think.  Best to let them retire and live out their last days.  Have no problem with euthanizing them if they have something that would cause them pain and eventually death however.  Have no idea how anybody else feels, but thought I would throw this out and the reason how I feel this way.

"A Vermont college has euthanized one its farm oxen that have been at the center of an uproar following the college's decision to process the animals into meat products following their retirement from the college's farm.

"Lou" is a 2,100-pound ox who, for 11 years, has worked the farm at Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vt. with his 2,300-pound partner, "Bill."
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Green Mountain College in Poultney said the ox, named Lou, was put down Sunday after a recurring injury to his hind leg continued to deteriorate.
 
Lou and another ox were retired this summer from the college's working farm. The school planned to turn them into beef products to be served in the college dining hall.
 
That decision drew fire from animal rights activists who wanted the oxen spared and had found a sanctuary for them.
 
The college says Bill will stay at the school farm and receive care consistent with appropriate livestock practices."


Read more: http://www.wptz.com/news/vermont-new-york/burlington/College-euthanizes-retired-farm-ox/-/8869880/17362678/-/lthx5u/-/index.html#ixzz2C0nze5dv

Henry Raymond
Harold
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« #1 : November 13, 2012, 05:20:21 PM »

Here's another piece, published in the New York Times yesterday:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/13/us/vermont-college-euthanizes-one-ox-spares-another.html

I've been watching this story play out as well, especially as it's my Alma Mater.  I graduated from Green Mountain College a few years back now, and got to know Bill and Lou personally while I was there.  Having grown up on a bit of a funny farm where we had cows in the summer and meat all the rest of the year, much of which came from cows with names (though admittedly names that reflected their purpose in our place such as Tony T-Bone and Bozo Burgers), I found myself on the side of the fence commending Ceridwen Farm for their initial decision to put the team down and consume the meat in the dining hall, which would have been in the form of ground beef so that the expected toughness wouldn't be a major issue.  I thought they went about making their initial decision in a respectable manner, allowing the community to be involved, even waiting for classes to resume earlier this fall before making the decision so that all enrolled students could be aware of the question at hand and thus contribute their voices to the conversation. 

That being said, what struck me most discouragingly about the whole ordeal is how it (combined in time and spirit with the election season) speaks to our society's and culture's over-zealousness to jump to polar stands and take up an argument rather than a conversation.  The decision, I feel, should have come down to a local farm and the place that it is a part of.  What it came down to in the end was another case of s/he who yells loudest winning.  The incivility in the comment strands on GMC's Facebook page among other places, coming from both sides of the argument, was appalling.  It even stemmed so far as threats being made to local butcher shops in the Poultney area. 

The question I've had to take away from all of this to wrestle with is:  Why are we so often so quick to vilify the "other," to seemingly shed any sense of his or her personhood, to prove ourselves right no matter the cost?


"If you don't know where you are, you don't know who you are."
-Wendell Berry
mirjo
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« #2 : November 15, 2012, 02:20:23 AM »

I'm with the NYT article. I thought the whole thing ridiculous and not a matter for the general public to weigh-in on. It seemed reasonable and sensible what the school  intended to do and entirely a matter for GMC to decide. I understand some people have issues with eating meat and can't imagine eating meat that has been named. While I've never named a meat animal, I likely wouldn't have a cow or chicken as a pet either. That said--no one had to eat anything they didn't want to, it naturally would be a choice--so as usual, people needing to argue for no good reason.

If the world gives you melons, you might be dyslexic
Harold
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« #3 : November 16, 2012, 09:10:28 PM »

A letter from NOFAVT:

http://nofavt.org/sites/default/files/NOFA-letter-of-support-to-GMC.pdf

"If you don't know where you are, you don't know who you are."
-Wendell Berry
nhibbard
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« #4 : November 19, 2012, 09:19:54 PM »

I feel bad that the poor animal was put down in such a way that it was wasted according to what I heard. Animals are eaten, with a few exceptions. As long as its as quick a death as possible for the food animal, I'm ok with that. I don't see anyone standing up for the defenseless plants that are crushed and eaten daily.

The animal lovers should have had more respect for the animal and let it be used rather than uselessly put down.
Norton
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« #5 : November 20, 2012, 06:58:15 AM »

The animal lovers should have had more respect for the animal and let it be used rather than uselessly put down.

What makes you think that the "animal lovers" lacked respect or had the ability to "let it be used"?

The college administration made the decision to kill the ox and also to not use it for food.  Are they the animal lovers you refer to?

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