Friday, October 26, 2012

Lou and Bill and the desire to eat them

Alison Putnam and Meiko Lunetta tend to Lou, who with partner Bill has become a symbol at Green Mountain College, but they are to be sent to a slaughterhouse.
Photo by Caleb Kenna for the Boston Globe
Alison Putnam and Meiko Lunetta tend to Lou,
who with partner Bill has become a symbol at Green Mountain College,
but they are to be sent to a slaughterhouse.

All they need do now is dress the animals in garlands and fine fabrics and dance and sing around them as they're led to slaughter — sacrifices on the altar of environmental sustainability.

The “moral complexity”, as Green Mountain College Provost Bill Throop called it, clearly means only a web of rationalizations based on the false premise that the students must eat meat. The “complexity” arises to create a fog of distraction from the fundamental fallacy behind their choice. Like Michael Pollan, the students and staff at this college are now traveling over great lengths of ethical deliberation only to arrive right where they started: Kill the beast; We must eat.

We have not seen an exercise of moral decision making. We see only self-serving rationalizations of unnecessary violence.

Lou and Bill

Update:  See the articles by Marc Bekoff:
http://www.greanvillepost.com/2012/10/17/the-animal-file-mascot-oxen-to-be-killed-for-burger-meat/
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201210/bill-and-lou-who-lives-who-dies-and-why
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/animal-emotions/201211/green-mountain-oxen-bill-lives-lou-dies

Update (5 Nov):  "Grass Power at GMC"
Training sessions are usually done by Christopher Bergen who has also lead [sic] general driving and experiential lessons in dealing with the oxen. [Ben] Dube closed out with a few tips. “To be a good teamster, you need to be sensitive and attentive, but also not afraid to express authority and dominance. I think that most people who start out on Bill and Lou have more trouble with the latter. Sometimes you have to be a little mean with them, which isn’t easy to do with such sweet animals. I don’t like it, but over time, you learn that they don’t really resent it or mind it much.” [emphasis added] In being around Bill and Lou I have seen that this is definitely the case, and understanding how to work with them is a good learning experience.
animal rights, vegetarianism, Vermont

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