Oxen slaughter is hypocritical
The reason everyone is so upset over Bill and Lou’s fate lies in the fact you don’t slaughter a pet.
From the day the two oxen were placed into the care and custody of the folks at Green Mountain College they were declared pets by the simple fact they were given human sounding names: Bill and Lou. Through personification they took on human-like characteristics: friendly, kid loving, people pleasing, stunning, beautiful and strong in character and brawn. Unequivocally this made the College a pet owner of these two oxen.
After eleven years of being Bill and Lou’s pet owner, President Fonteyn, you cannot now declare yourselves farmers for the convenience of declaring them livestock to rationalize taking them to slaughter. That would be immoral and hypocritical. Not to mention a “poor teaching tool.”
You do not want the College collectively to be forever thought of as immoral and hypocritical do you?
If you are so possessed to be farmers owning two oxen you need to buy two new ones, put tags in their ears, number them 1 and 2, declare each as livestock, never personify them and slaughter each at will. No one will raise an eyebrow.
Your best move, President Fonteyn, is to give Bill and Lou a nice public party style send off to the VINE shelter where they can be appreciated and cared for as the pets the College has defined them as being. To do less, once again, as a pet owner is hypocritical and immoral.