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:

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

October 25, 2012

Is it “hair on fire” or “pants on fire,” Mr Shumlin?

Write In Annette Smith For Vermont Governor

Smith Calls Out Shumlin and Brock for Hypocrisy on Climate Change and Energy

Working out of her homestead-office in Danby, Independent candidate for Vermont Governor Annette Smith's carbon footprint and renewable energy lifestyle sets an example that others, especially Governor Shumlin, and Randy Brock, could learn from.

“Referring to climate change, Governor Shumlin says ‘our hair is on fire’ and Vermont must do everything possible to stop climate change. Then he burns thousands of gallons of fossil fuel flying to Florida to look for EB5 money for his friends, and flies to California for a fundraiser, and flies again to California for ‘negotiations’ over computer systems with a firm that just happens to have also donated to his campaign,” said Annette. “Shumlin’s supposed desire to fight climate change didn’t stop him from spending four full months traveling out of state in the past year.”

Annette offers a different approach to energy issues, leading by example and empowering local communities. She spends her days advocating for those concerned about their health, their environment and their future; she has been using photovoltaics for her home more than 20 years. She uses solar hot water, drives a car that gets 40mpg, and grows a big garden at her homestead. Annette understands from experience that it is indeed possible to implement “Vermont scale” renewable energy to reduce dependence on expensive and polluting fossil fuels.

“Mr. Brock seems to think that Vermont can have a prosperous future while still endorsing dependence on imported fossil and nuclear fuels to run our economy, but we all know we need to scale back,” said Annette. “And our Governor has made investments in several fossil fuel companies, even as he advocates for the industrialization of our ridge-lines to fight climate change.”

“This hypocrisy and manipulation cannot stand. The best thing that Vermont can do about climate change and peak oil is lead by example and become more self-reliant in ways that actually benefit Vermonters. Vermont’s impact on global greenhouse gas emissions is a drop in the bucket. But we can and must lead by example using realistic, Vermont-scale solutions – not with hypocritical corporate-scale projects that send money and power out of Vermont. We must reframe this discussion, for the health, well-being and energy security of future generations in Vermont,” Annette added. “Shumlin is doing exactly the opposite of leading the way, and is selling out to large corporate interests while thousands of Vermonters struggle with high energy costs. He is a poster-child for excessive personal energy consumption. His advocacy for false solutions like residential smart meters and consolidation of Vermont’s energy infrastructure under foreign-owned mega-corporations make it clear that Shumlin is not a true leader on climate or energy issues.”

Annette believes that the millionaire candidates Shumlin and Brock could also learn something from the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to Vermont. The Dalai Lama responded to a question about what humanity's ethical response to climate change should be, by noting that western society consumes too much and we should be more content and live more simply. Annette lives this perspective in her daily life and recognizes that Vermont’s fossil fuel consumption for heating, hot water and transportation should be the priorities, not our electricity grid which can today be supplied with existing in-state and regional hydro-power.

Annette emphasizes that the first step towards reducing Vermont’s fossil fuel cost and emissions is to reduce consumption: “Turn the lights off. Turn the thermostat down. Button up the house. Convert fossil fueled hot water and heating to solar, wood-fired or heat pumps powered by photovoltaics,” she said. “The key to all of these real solutions is empowering Vermonters with affordable financing to make this transition at the household and community level, instead of subsidizing corporate false-solutions that trick consumers into sending their money out of the state.”


Vermont must aggressively promote energy conservation and reverse the trend of increasing monopoly power over our energy supply. We must support local control over our energy resources instead of subsidizing out-of-state monopolies. Forcing residential wireless smart meters and the corporate industrialization of our pristine ridgelines is not a solution to either climate change or energy security. Distributed solar electric and hot water, sustainable biomass heating fuels, ecologically designed micro-hydro, and the sensible reclamation of our existing hydro-power should be our priorities.

Visit http://annettesmithforvermontgov.blogspot.com/ for more information about how you can get involved in her independent WRITE IN campaign for Vermont governor. Print ads and Palm Cards can be downloaded from her website for volunteer supporters to use.

Email: AnnetteSmithforVermontGov@gmail.com

Save Bill and Lou!

12:00–3:00 pm
Poultney, Vermont

Corner of College and Main Street in front of Brennan Circle on sidewalk

Dress comfortably and warm.

Signs: Bring your own favorite or signs will be available

Contact: Jennifer Wolf: jennifer.wolf78/gmail.com, http://www.nhanimalrights.org/

This protest is for Bill and Lou, 2 oxen who have worked for 10 years at Green Mountain College, which now wants to kill and eat them. VINE sanctuary [blog] in Springfield, Vermont has offered to take Bill and Lou, but the college insists that eating them is the best thing to do.

Whatever your motivation is, ALL are welcome who support Bill and Lou not being sent to slaughter!

The whole world is watching!

View Larger Map

View Larger Map

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/455989837780838/

List of petitions:




Media links:


James McWilliams:












animal rights, vegetarianism

October 23, 2012

Freaking Out!

Robin Beck of Moveon.org is "freaking out":
I'm freaking out. Despite President Obama and Vice President Biden dominating the past few debates, the race is still incredibly close. ... It's scary. And I'm not sleeping much any more. This whole election is coming down to which side can turn out the most voters. And the only thought that helps me fall asleep—rather than staying up worrying—is that I know I can count on MoveOn members like you, ——, to step up and help us win.
Relax, Robin.

First, it's a close "race" because it's bogus. The "contest" is set up and reported (shaped) to be close so that real differences are not possible.

Second, it's close because the only difference is that one party and its candidate represents Wall Street and the Military with lip service (but not too much!) to so-called liberals and the other party and its candidate represents Wall Street and the Military with lip service to so-called conservatives). To win, each also has to pay lip service to the other group as well. That's what fighting for the center means. And that's why it's necessarily always "close". It is a system designed not to challenge the hegemony of Wall Street and the Military.

And relax, all of you who receive these Moveon.org or similar e-mails. They are fundraising devices, nothing more. Moveon.org is part of the whole machine that requires this "fight" for the center so that they can foment fear among "liberals" just as the tea party foments fear among "conservatives". Meanwhile, Bush expanded Clinton's security state and submission to the banksters, Obama expanded Bush's, and Romney would only expand Obama's.

The threat of fascism is real, but it is already here, it started in a concerted way 30 years ago with the election of Ronald Reagan, and it continued to grow without slowing under every Republican and Democratic administration, Congress, and Supreme Court since.

So relax about the election. It's a charade.

There's plenty of real stuff to freak out about.

anarchism, ecoanarchism, anarchosyndicalism

October 15, 2012

Plutocrats vs the people

Doug Broome of Vancouver writes:

The British Labour Party had an objective that a quarter of candidates be blue collar workers. And social democratic parties generally have stronger worker representation through legislators who rise from the union movement.

The U.S. is unique among major democracies in its political duopoly which silences social democratic voices. By international stadards the Democrats are moderate conservatives while the Republicans are almost without parallel.

The working class and the poor have few friends in American party establishments. The result is an increasingly impoverished underclass, low unionization and wages, and widespread worker exploitation.

In any other democracy the AFL-CIO would have split from the Democrats long ago to be a foundation of a pro-union, redistributive, socially progressive party of the left which honour taxes as the price of civilization. And long ago the U.S. would have joined all other advanced democracies in achieving universal health insurance.

Unionized teachers are so vilified that education itself suffers. And despite very low taxes and public investment by international standards, a prevalent anti-tax hysteria guarantees that public investment and social programs will be increasingly sub-mediocre compared to other advanced democracies. For instance, neither Obama nor Romney have a word to say about a shameful 22 per cent child poverty rate.

For want of a left-wing party, the U.S. is sacrificing its future to an emergent plutocracy.

October 13, 2012

A million homes ... sometimes. And minus other users.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has announced the approval of the biggest fucking wind energy facility in the country which will take up 350 square miles of Wyoming. Salazar said it will provide the electricity for 1,000,000 homes.

What he did not make clear is that the output of this 3-gigawatt facility will average the average energy use of 1 million homes. That it will actually provide that much energy only 40% of the time. That those times will not necessarily coincide with actual need. And that residential use represents less than 40% of electricity demand.

But if he said that, it would probably be too obvious how ridiculous it is to spend $4.5 billion, and how criminal to industrialize 350 square miles of open land, for an energy source that doesn't really work.

wind power, wind energy, wind turbines, wind farms, environment, environmentalism

October 10, 2012

More Greenwashing

Here are ads from two very non-green companies in the current issue of North American Windpower: war profiteer Lockheed-Martin and polluter Dow Chemical.


wind power, wind energy, environment, environmentalism