I plead for compassion for Bill and Lou; allow them to live out their lives at a sanctuary where humans will care for them, and where a friendly herd of their own species will welcome them. Green Mountain College has nothing to lose and much to gain by allowing Bill and Lou to live. Bill and Lou have toiled year-round on a farm for more than 10 years to feed humans.
We who now plead for them to retire in peace and dignity want nothing “extreme,” only to save the lives of two animals who clearly connect with humans and have lives that are still worth living. Killing Bill and Lou (decade-plus-old muscle-bound oxen not usually considered “good eating) to make a point is far more extreme, and irreversible.
Like most vegans I know, I volunteer on behalf of all beings – human and nonhuman. Far from singling out Green Mountain College, the now-high-profile Bill and Lou are among many we hope to help. Additionally, respected organizations, environmental activists and scholars, and many other reputable people support this proposal: VINE Sanctuary in Vermont has offered to pick up and care for Bill and Lou for as long as their lives are worth living, at no cost to the college. Aware that controversy has been swirling (including inappropriate communications from people who have no affiliation with VINE), VINE contacted Farm Sanctuary, the most respected sanctuary of its kind in the country, which has agreed to care for Bill and Lou for as long as they live good lives.
Philanthropists have contacted Green Mountain College offering to donate tens of thousands of dollars toward GMC’s library, scholarships, and more, if only GMC will spare Bill and Lou’s lives. The college says killing Bill and Lou is about “sustainability,” but no environmental groups have stepped forward to support Green Mountain College’s claims, perhaps because animal farming, small and large, is among the most polluting industries on the planet, producing almost 20 percent of the greenhouse gases that trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, in addition to impacts on soil, water, and human health.
Instead of engaging in a power struggle with those pleading for compassion, remember, it’s not about us – it’s about Bill and Lou. Please turn your attention to the beings at the center of this storm: Bill and Lou, who could continue their gentle, peaceful existence at no cost — and, in fact, with increased giving and goodwill — for Green Mountain College.
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