Ackerman-Leist: Bill and Lou are a parable for saving our broken food system

Editor’s note: This op-ed is by Philip Ackermen-Leist, a professor at Green Mountain College and author of the forthcoming book, “Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems” (Chelsea Green).

Our society has become increasingly divorced from agriculture, and our assumptions about food and farming are too often based more on emotion or business interests than those of real, on-farm experiences and community decision-making about the food we raise and eat.

The scenario unfolding at Green Mountain College in Vermont is a perfect example of how the narrow, self interests of a few are being used to trump the difficult decisions made by a community connected to, and engaged with, its food and farm system.

By now, you may well have heard the story of Bill and Lou, the team of oxen at Green Mountain College who, after much open discussion within our campus community, will soon be sent to slaughter.

What may not be so evident in the debate now swirling around the periphery of our small Vermont campus is that this decision is another step in our college’s longstanding effort to foster a community-based food system.

However, given the pressures exerted from outside interest groups that know neither the facts nor the animals nearly as well as our students do, it is beginning, to feel more like an issue of food sovereignty.

Green Mountain College is a thoughtful and diverse community charting its own course in an industrialized food system that typically relegates choosing to a grocery store grab-bag experience.

Bill and Lou came to the college a decade ago as our first team of oxen. They were male calves on a local dairy, facing the same fate that most male calves on dairies face these days — an early death. Farm managers and students trained Bill and Lou and have used them for a variety of farm tasks. As Bill and Lou have gotten older, we have been preparing for a transition to a new team, a decision expedited this past summer when Lou injured his leg after stepping in a woodchuck hole. However, we decided not to finalize the necessary decision during the summer, when most of our student body was absent. Rather, we waited until the students returned to help us reflect upon the fate of our livestock, as has been our tradition for more than a decade when we first began rebuilding our college farm and food system.

In 2000, my Sustainable Farming Systems class proposed rebuilding the farm that the college had abandoned 50 years prior. To my surprise, the vegetarians in the class insisted that livestock be incorporated into the farm. They wanted a working farm, not a petting zoo or an animal sanctuary.

These vegetarians wisely observed that the college had a responsibility to provide students with the opportunity to take ownership of their decisions to eat meat and to come face to face with those realities. Furthermore, they believed that contrasting livestock farming practices and the “mystery meat” streaming through the dining hall freight doors might help expose the ills and injustices of industrialized livestock farming.

Bill and Lou have names, faces, and a connection to our community, and others are now telling us how to make decisions for our community and foodshed. Isn’t this the kind of food system we’re trying to avoid — allowing for those with the biggest voice, the most money, or partial facts to make decisions for entire communities to which they have no connection?

Since that time, faculty, students, and administrators from all disciplines and dietary perspectives have gathered to make decisions about the fate of livestock on the college farm: cattle, swine, poultry and sheep. Sometimes, the dialogue has been heated, but on most occasions, the discussions have been tempered and frank, with give and take from all sides.

Such discourse is in sharp contrast with the voluminous, and misplaced, reaction that we have received from outside our community regarding the fate of Bill and Lou. Clearly, this Internet buzz being generated by outsiders is designed to be loud enough to drown out our own community’s difficult decision. That leads to the greatest contradiction: Bill and Lou have names, faces, and a connection to our community, and others are now telling us how to make decisions for our community and foodshed. Isn’t this the kind of food system we’re trying to avoid — allowing for those with the biggest voice, the most money, or partial facts to make decisions for entire communities to which they have no connection?

For anyone who cares about farm animals, caution is warranted in precluding the slaughter and consumption of livestock due to the depth and longevity of the human-animal relationship. If the extensiveness of that relationship is the rationale for not slaughtering an animal, then the logical conclusion is that relationships with any animals used for food should not be fostered. Run with that argument far enough, and you end up smack-dab in the middle of a “concentrated animal feeding operation,” otherwise known as a CAFO.

As a grass-based livestock farmer myself, with 50 head of rare breed cattle, I covet a deep relationship with my animals, and I think that the abolition of livestock farming is unlikely to happen. However, the transformation of livestock farming has to happen, and it will not happen through polarizing polemic. It might happen when communities take ownership of their food systems and responsibility for their own decisions. What better place for it to occur now than at a community-minded liberal arts college, where the pragmatism of the farmer meets the kaleidoscopic prisms of the liberal arts?

If we have any hope of transitioning away from industrialized factory farming and reinvigorating democracy in our food system, it depends more upon rich community dialogue than single-minded activism.

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Joslin Murphy
3 years 3 months ago

In my effort to understand the stubborn conviction of Green Mountain College and its “community” on this issue, I have done my best to read the opinions of both sides. I struggle with this one. It is apparent to me that the “narrow, self interests of a few” are what have, in fact, sentenced this loyal pair of oxen to a death sentence simply to make a point. The author’s purported concern that “others are now telling us how to make decisions for our community and foodshed” says it all. Empathy and compassion is a much greater lesson.

Patricia Erickson
3 years 3 months ago

The handling of Bill and Lou has disturbed me in ways that I can not find appropriate words for. The feelings that it conjures for me are mean,vindictive,stubborn. I do not “feel” sustainability emanating from the words in the paragraph above. I feel frustration and anger, and a sense that the humans involved believe that they have the right to proceed over the lives of animals in any way they see fit.
I do not feel compassion, kindness, love.
I do not feel compassion, kindness, love.
I do not……………………………

Debilyn McPhate
3 years 3 months ago

What I don’t understand is why is it so hard for you and the community to understand what made this become global. It was said it was part of your sustainable program. If that were true,they could have been sold like other livestock from your project and been sustainable.Proper meat could have been purchased from a farmer. Thereby helping him or her too. The mistake you and other made was this,you shared it was not a petting zoo. Yet so many pictures were shown of the students loving, petting, kissing and holding them as if they were puppies!Apparently no one… Read more »

3 years 3 months ago

I am bemused by the term “proper meat.” I’d love to see a definition of what that is. Here is what I think it means: “An animal we don’t know personally.” In other words, one out of sight, one removed from conflicting emotions and reality that won’t confront us with the paradoxes in our thinking? Someone else’s ox, in other words.
But sustainability is confronting and meeting your responsibility, not shuffling it to the farm down the road.

jack rose
3 years 3 months ago

Bill & Lou’s fate has been sealed by a anthropocentric action and nothing else,this as quoted “is the narrow self interest of a few” To sacrifice them will do nothing it is a waste of resources these animals have a value other than food, they can educate, they can teach one of the most important values a community must have compassion.

Nancy K Brigden
3 years 3 months ago

Do unto others…. earn their trust, then…the ultimate betrayal! I

Stuart Nickel
3 years 3 months ago

So … if you treat your farm animals well, you earn their trust and therefore you can’t kill them … but if you don’t treat your farm animals well then you are inhumane and cruel.

Strange logic.

Eric Rosenbloom
3 years 3 months ago

These are work animals and deserve consideration as such.

Lydia Cypher
3 years 3 months ago

I am one of those “outsiders” petitioning the college to spare the lives of these two faithful oxen who have lived their lives in communion with the land and the students these many years. The article above does nothing to persuade me that the decision to slaughter these oxen is the right thing to do. On the contrary, the most noticeable argument is simply that “outsiders” are sticking their noses in the college’s business. Yet that should hardly be a surprise under the circumstances. If it was truly necessary to kill these oxen for food, that would be a different… Read more »

Renée Carpenter
3 years 3 months ago

My questions to each of these responders: Have you have ever farmed? Do you eat meat? Where does it come from?

Patricia Erickson
3 years 3 months ago

Yes I have, no I don’t.

3 years 3 months ago

Same here: Yes I have, no I (happily) don’t.

Christine Celella
3 years 3 months ago

Yes I have, NO I don’t!

Barry Kade
3 years 3 months ago

Holy cow!
The criticism of the college’s decision does not come from “self-interest” but from a not very well thought out sense of compassion and justice.
To be sustainable a farm must either have working stock and livestock for food and fertilizer, or it must burn fossil fuels in tractors and buy fossil fuel based fertilizer.
The critics of Green Mountain College are advocating India style Hinduism.

Paula Schramm
3 years 3 months ago

I’m speaking as a Vermonter who has earned a living with working animals. Lots of Vermont farmers over the years have allowed this special relationship to temper the otherwise practical necessities of farming and food sustainability. They haven’t looked at it as India style Hinduism, I’m sure ! There is no reason one cannot raise animals intended for slaughter kindly, and have a good relationship with them leading up to the time of slaughter. In fact this makes the whole thing a lot more harmonious & respectful. But it occurs to me that old oxen don’t make the best meat… Read more »

Stuart Nickel
3 years 3 months ago

“old oxen don’t make the best meat anyway.”

They make MUCH better meat than you’ll find at the local Price Chopper.

These oxen are a good, safe, healthy, ecologically friendly food source.

The GMC community deserves great credit for being so thoughtful and informed about their farm practices and their food choices.

Barb Latifi
3 years 3 months ago

I beg to differ with Mr. Kade. The “outsiders” are not advocating what he suggests but are attempting to facilitate a happy ending for two service animals that have done a great job and deserve retirement. We also advocate for the dogs used in Iraq and Afghanistan that have served so well. These animals do not deserve to die like this. They deserve to be honored for their service and then allowed to lead the normal lives they were meant to have. While many of the “outsiders” are Vegans and Vegetarians, not all are. We do consume meat and DO… Read more »

patricia rodriguez
3 years 3 months ago

Bill and Lou should be at Vine Sanctuary right now living out the rest of their lives in peace. The whole world of sustainable farming wouldn’t have come crashing down because of these two school mascots being allowed to live. one of the mascots was in good shape. where was the sustainability in slaughtering that animal? You had a choice to let them go to a sanctuary. instead you CHOSE to slaughter them. Way to go Green Mountain. you are heartless. BTW how sustainable is Philip Ackermen-Leist? He should check the ‘made in’ labels on his shirts. or does he… Read more »

Lee Ann Lapierre
3 years 3 months ago

I hope your soul heals one day

Viki Singleton
3 years 3 months ago

I am truly saddened to learn of the deaths of Bill and Lou. The ultimate betrayal. What were you thinking? RIP Bill and Lou…

Sue Gentle
3 years 3 months ago

It broke my heart to see, that while there was a movement to save these beautiful creatures, that they were Destroyed… Shame on you Green Mountain and double shame on Philip Ackerman-Leist… you have this legacy to follow you for the rest of you life…

Ervin Phillips
3 years 3 months ago

I signed the petition and I am a vegan. If the human race survives, we’ll all be vegan eventually and we’ll look back in horror at the barbarity of our ancestors.
The fact that we’re still calling other sentient beings food in the 21st century is appalling and embarrassing. If a much more advanced race than ours came here from a distant world and began to harvest us for food, could we even object to it on moral grounds without seeing the blatant hypocrisy in such a stance?

kimberley richardson
3 years 3 months ago

I think that Philip Ackermen-Leist is an ego maniac who is enjoying wielding the power of life and death over two oxen. They have become sad pawns in his game.

Rhonna Gable
3 years 3 months ago

The scheduled slaughter has been delayed. This is not over. No matter how self-aggrandizing and condescending Ackerman-Leist and the institution that he represents may be, they are obviously nervous about the impact that their decision will have on their reputation and pocketbook. As they should be.
Email the board and the president, call the college. Post on social media. Ask your friends to do same. If you believe that Bill and Lou deserve a peaceful retirement, do all that you can to make it so.

Nick Young
3 years 3 months ago

Learn more about the ghouls at GMC:

http://www.facebook.com/GreenMountainCollegeGhouls

Grace Gershuny
3 years 3 months ago

Wow – the forces of Food Fascism are alive and well. I’m with Philip and the GM College community 100%. Sustainability and face to face democracy are interdependent, and this process is a shining example of ethical decision making that empowers everyone to control their necessities of life in collaboration with their neighbors and the non-human lives (plants included) that sustain us. Thank you Philip for your passionate eloquence!

Full disclosure – I am an instructor for the GM College on-line MA in Sustainable Food Systems – and more proud than ever of this affiliation.

peter harvey
3 years 3 months ago

As someone who abhors the inhumanity of corporate CAFOs, I raise our own chickens, pigs, and beef for ourselves and our neighbors. I strive to give our animals a life of comfort and dignity. They are respected for their part in our lives. They do not become conveniently unrecognizable as plastic wrapped “product” purchased at a supermarket. Raising our own animals has taught me to value their contribution. I now eat much less meat and appreciate it more for having known it’s life. For me, my gratitude for their sacrifice is the good life I give them and the humane… Read more »

Asher Miller
3 years 3 months ago

For those of you so quick to vilify a man and institution who have made this difficult decision with transparency and the engagement of the student body, but a decision of which you clearly disagree: What specifically have you done to oppose the CAFO industry? I’d love to hear details.

And to Patricia Rodriguez and others who question how sustainable is Philip Ackerman-Leist: Do you grow your own organic food? Tell me, please, what is more sustainable than that?

Karen Sterling
3 years 3 months ago

Can we please have some sort of official confirmation as to whether or not Bill and Lou are still with us or if the slaughter has already taken place?

3 years 3 months ago

As a reporter who has written and thought about sustainability and farming and rural life, I’d like to disagree with those who call for the oxen to head off to a petting zoo. The comments of those advocating for Bill and Lou to be “retired” to a happy life, while based on a generally altruistic emotion, miss the larger point. (There is nothing wrong, either, with loving and petting your animals and providing them a good life that still ends with slaughter.) The heart of farming is to raise things for consumption – it has been ever so. But today… Read more »

Bruce Post
3 years 3 months ago

Two thoughts: First, I have friends who live on a small, family farm, and they use their animals for food. They tell me that this is why they never name their animals. Second, I have an herbalist friend who owns some forested land here in Vermont. She allows folks to hunt on it — with permission. She has said, “I believe that there is life and spirit in animals and plants, and while I don’t hunt deer, I don’t want to judge those who do. After all, I hunt carrots.” I recommend folks read Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.” It may… Read more »

Dominique Pennegues
3 years 3 months ago

I just can’t beleive those two sweet animal have been killed !!! I signed so many time for them, just couldnot beleive this manager would do such horror. Shame on him, shame on his school,shame on the students who find normal to stay at this school. Compassion is not for sure in human nature, it’s an animal habit,see those dogs and else who have save human lives so often. Such a sad word. BY THE WAY : I AM VEGAN SINCE I WAS 15 MY 3 CHILDREN ARE VEGAN, MY GRAND DAUGHTER IS VEGAN. AND WE ALL ARE AS HEALTHY… Read more »

Joshua Wronski
3 years 3 months ago

Let me ask you something. Do you know where your vegan produce comes from? After the U.S. the largest producer of soy is Argentina, where you have no way of knowing how farm workers are treated and whether they are systemically oppressed. The vast majority of soy produced in the U.S. comes from large factory farms which receive massive subsidies from the Untied States government and are in no way sustainable. This can be said for most food consumed in the U.S. Unless you are purchasing your produce from local sustainable farms such as GMC, you aiding the environmental degradation… Read more »

kimberley richardson
3 years 3 months ago

Andrew Nemethy – how can the farmers you talk about LOVE their animals yet slaughter them? That is insane.

3 years 3 months ago

Raising an animal for meat production while treating it humanely, letting it live in a natural environment, and getting to know it and appreciate it, is not insane. It is , as I noted, at the heart of farming. Two oxen “put out to pasture” at the end of their useful lives would consume huge amounts of hay or grain that a farmer cannot support. If you are a working farm, not a petting zoo, that is the bottom line truth. The animals have reached the end of the useful lives as working oxen. Also, I might add another aspect… Read more »

kimberley richardson
3 years 3 months ago

You said “When I served in Vietnam I discovered they eat everything without qualm…”. Well Andy, you may also have observed that in Vietnam soldiers on both sides of the conflict killed and tortured human beings on a huge scale! Does that make it right? As stated so eleoquently by John Sanbonmatsu “it is hypocritical and contradictory, not to mention pathological, for us to profess to “care” for other sentient beings while at the same time or in the very next instance to ruthlessly exploit or brutally kill them. To take such a position is not to lay claim to… Read more »

kimberley richardson
3 years 3 months ago

Peter Harvey – Humane Slaughter ? These are two words that are diametrically opposed. Don’t try and assuage your guilt by pretending that cutting an animal’s throat is in any way “humane”. Did you know that there is actually a medal for Humane Action? It was given to soldiers who SAVE lives rather than taking them.

Steven Moyano
3 years 3 months ago

The author does not make a distinction between animals raised for food and the two animals in question who have labored for the benefit of GMC. Does a distinction need to be made here? Does GMC owe the animals for their labor, particularly since a 3rd party is willing to take them? Retirement is not unprecedented in agriculture. If I understand the argument, I should have a relationship with the animal I eat or I am not dealing with the reality of food which leads down the slippery slope of CAFOs. In that case why not have the students and… Read more »

Joshua Wronski
3 years 3 months ago

Vermont state law requires that animals can only be slaughter in permitted slaughter houses. It is a major issue for many small farmers, and am sure it is one of the main reasons they are using an off site slaughter house.

Steven Moyano
3 years 3 months ago

Please note the line “others are now telling us how to make decisions for our community and foodshed. Isn’t this the kind of food system we’re trying to avoid — allowing for those with the biggest voice, the most money, or partial facts to make decisions for entire communities to which they have no connection?” Here is the pivot from sustainability to control and property. We seem to be dealing with a grossly trivialized form of food sovereignty that, instead of dealing with monopoly, glut, low wages and displacing local production, is instead yet another variation of you can’t tell… Read more »

kimberley richardson
3 years 3 months ago

Excelelent responses Steven Moyano. Thank you.

Julie Ciapas
3 years 3 months ago

Thanks Steven Moyano for providing the most intelligent rebuttal to Ackerman-Leist’s drivel.

jack rose
3 years 3 months ago

PLEASE CALL THE COLLEGE CALL THE MEDIA !!PROTEST!! ITS YOUR DEMOCRATIC RIGHT TO PURSUE JUSTICE FOR THESE ANIMALS THEY MAY BE JUST “OXEN” TO THE COLLEGE BUT THEY REPRESENT THE STIFLING OF THE MAJORITY & THE TRUTH USE YOUR VOICE USE YOUR LOCAL MP WALK! YELL ! DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO< THE REST OF THE WORLD IS WATCHING

Holly Tippett
3 years 3 months ago

Wow, what a wonderful opinion piece. You strike at the heart of the issues. Having been a vegetarian for 38 years and an advocate for humane certification, I wholeheartedly support your work. It is true that only when people can face the animal they’re going to eat that they can make an informed decision. Thank you for all you’re doing. It’s hard work but the best things usually are.

Steven Moyano
3 years 3 months ago

Thank you for the clarification of Vermont law. In that case every effort should be made to allow GMC supporters to witness the slaughter from transport to packaging and allow interested parties to record it. This would make the reality of food available to all, pro or con. Consistency, while important, is secondary to the lack of necessity. That is what is fueling anger and disbelief. Once the rhetoric of sustainability is stripped away we are left with mundane arguments like not eating Bill and Lou would force GMC to get meat from a CAFO. But why is GMC’s meat… Read more »

Stuart Nickel
3 years 3 months ago

“But why is GMC’s meat dilemma Bill and Lou’s problem?”

Because they are farm animals.

“they are seen as property and resources subjected to maximum utilization”

Correct! Welcome to the agrarian state of Vermont!!

“An alternative approach is to work with state legislatures to regulate factory farms.”

It sounds like you aren’t against ‘factory farms’ you are against killing any animal for food regardless of how it was raised.

Joshua Wronski
3 years 3 months ago

Food activists and many folks at GMC are doing all of those things, and have been for decades. You may not be aware that there is a great deal of action on the part of activist groups in Vermont working on legislation to require the labeling of GMOs. The bill failed this past legislative session due to the threat of a successful lawsuit from Monsanto. Strategically speaking it makes far more sense for a state like California to take the lead on constitutionally questionable legislation due to their ability to muster far greater legal resources then the small state of… Read more »

3 years 3 months ago

This letter from John Sanbonmatsu is thought provoking and worth sharing. Bill and Lou are scheduled to die today, and it is unlikely that anything will prevent their being killed. Despite the pleas of thousands of concerned citizens and animal rights activists, and notwithstanding a gracious offer from an animal sanctuary in Vermont to take the animals so that they might live out the remainder of their lives in ease and dignity, the community of Green Mountain College has turned a deaf ear to any talk of sparing the two gentle oxen, who have been found guilty of the one… Read more »

Stuart Nickel
3 years 3 months ago

Sounds like your “beef” isn’t with GMC as much as it is with anyone who eats meat, drinks milk or wears leather.

Joslin Murphy
3 years 3 months ago

Senator William H. Carris – [email protected] Senator Peg Flory – [email protected] Senator Kevin Mullen – [email protected] Rep. Andy Donaghy – [email protected] Dear Senators Carris, Flory and Mullen and Represtentative Donagy: I write to you as representatives of the Poultney district, to request that you use your influence as legislators to prevent the senseless killing of Bill and Lou, the oxen that have been “retired” from their work at Green Mountain College. Although the College has made its position clear, there is so much more than the lives of these gentle creatures at stake. The ill will that people throughout the… Read more »

Stuart Nickel
3 years 3 months ago

Joslin: Serious question: Why not ask these legislators to promote legislation which would ban the killing of any animal, for any reason, in the state of Vermont?

Why do you focus your efforts to these two animals?

3 years 3 months ago

The efforts are not mutually exclusive Stuart and the abolitionist stance can be pursued as well as trying to shave a percent or two off Walmart’s supply chain (which does not address cruelty and over consumption but does yield serious tonnage in pollution reduction).

What is significant about the GMC case is its very smallness. The demonstrated impact is zero and nothing but ideological purity is at stake.

Stuart Nickel
3 years 3 months ago

The efforts don’t NEED to be mutually exclusive — and yet you pursue one effort and not the other. Where are the sanctimonious cries for a total ban of meat?

You don’t protest the serving of meat at any other college in Vermont. You don’t push lawmakers to shutter slaughterhouses. And yet you focus so much wrath on this one institution that is actually raising healthy meat in a sustainable way.

Leave GMC alone. The own these animals and they have the right to slaughter them & eat them.

Laura Slitt
3 years 3 months ago

Yes WE DO! There is far more at work here than meets the eye. This just happened to come to light when our environment suffers like never before in human history, from our arrogant entitlement that every life on earth, be it birds, fish, bees, belong to, are the property of, humans. Ask your Chaplain, she’ll tell you. Dominion over earth is interpreted as human lords, everything else subjects. That is what students at GMC are taught. The boys are OURS, here to SERVE US, right up until they serve our addiction to flesh. SO entitled. Who gave us jurisdiction… Read more »

Steven Moyano
3 years 3 months ago

This proposed compromise is really cheesy (sorry Vegans) but I thought it would not hurt to lighten up. It was sent to GMC: Dear Provost Throop and Professor Mulder, When time permits, I would like your input on the following idea. Both sides are united against CAFOs. Could we design a common pledge along the following lines? United as we are in opposition to industrial farms and as we all appreciate Lou and Bill’s hard work over the years, we will come together in an extended Honoring Lou and Bill Retirement Festival. All sides agree that the Honoring the Lou… Read more »

Laura Slitt
3 years 3 months ago

It is nothing of single mindedness to challenge the ancient thought processes, behaviors, and dominionist behavior, religiously sanctioned, that paved the path to human exploitation of nature for our own self centered gratification and economics. It is not single mindedness to ponder our speciesist attitudes towards animals, learned when humans “domesticated” wild creatures and manipulated their bodies and DNA into what we commonly refer to as “farmed animals.” Read The World Peace Diet, by Will Tuttle or Eternal Treblinka, Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust, by Charles Patterson for the history of human barbarity towards other humans, ALL learned… Read more »

Joslin Murphy
3 years 2 months ago

Frankly, Professor, it appears that the College made its decision and simply waited until early October to “offer students a forum to discuss the ethics of slaughtering draft animals.” Isn’t that more accurate?

3 years 2 months ago

I understand the concept of sustainable farming. I grew up on a self sustaining farm in Michigan and homesteaded organically in Oregon in the 70’s. I now live on a small farmette where I grow fruit and garden and farm eggs. I am a vegetarian but understand those who eat meat as long as the meat is raised and dispatched humanely. And here is the problem. Had Bill and Lou been “raised” for food then the point would be moot. I would be in absolute agreement with you and the college. The return for being raised humanely, well fed and… Read more »

Eric Rosenbloom
3 years 2 months ago

There seems to be a conflict of interest in Ackerman-Leist’s facilitation of the “discussion” about GMC’s food sourcing, since he himself would probably benefit handsomely in providing the college with local grass-fed beef. Just one more sign of the utter lack of academic rigor there, as evidenced already by every member of the faculty and administration who has written or spoken about this issue. Since when does a college present such a unified front? It’s one thing to accept the decision, but it’s quite another to then support it if you didn’t before (as has been expressed by many of… Read more »

Elaine Sloan
3 years 2 months ago

It’s time that GMC, which I attended yrs ago, come to terms with the fact that a plant based diet is the way to save lives – human and animal – and to save the planet!!! GIVE UP farming animals. ALL animals have the right to live a full and peaceful life on this earth. Do the RIGHT THING and GO VEGAN.

Shelby Anewwe
3 years 2 months ago

VINE Sanctuary Members are in the game for one reason only. VINE stands for “Veganism Is the Next Evolution.” VINE members believe that anyone who eats meat is a sinner and a liar. They seem to especially target small scale farms, perhaps because the small farmer is not subsidized by big companies and corporations. VINE is not from Vermont. Nor do they pay Vermont taxes. On top of all this, they want to cease all animal farming, including the production of milk and eggs. Vermont is filled with farmers. Surrounded by farms. Steeped in agricultural history. Vermont has the highest… Read more »

Eric Rosenbloom
3 years 8 days ago

I add this late comment only to correct Shelby Anne We’s claim that VINE is not from Vermont. VINE Sanctuary is in fact in Springfield, Vermont. So are many of the people — vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike — appalled by GMC’s heartless plan to kill their beloved oxen.

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