“It's poor journalistic practice to breathe life into unsubstantiated claims.
Are you not aware of the death threats issued to students, faculty and staff of Green Mountain College? Threats of obstruction to slaughterhouses?
Do you really imagine Green Mountain College would allow the same to fall on veterinarians?
Apologies for my tone, but: That sounds pretty daft, lady.”
hp blogger Kathy Stevens on Nov 24, 2012 at 12:01:49
“I hear ya. No, not at all aware of any death threats. Good GRIEF. Perhaps that, too, is an unsubstantiated claim? I certainly hope so. In my view, folks who resort to violence (or threats of it) only worsen an already volatile and sensitive situation.”
“Green Mountain College doesn't require that students be sustainable in their day-to-day, either at the college or after commencement; but they do plant the seed. I believe only one college in the United States restricts dining hall options to a vegan diet.
So, if they're going to eat meat, let them eat the most sustainably produced meat available. After seeing the farm animals first-hand, in some cases taking part in their rearing, many students may choose the vegan diet on ethical grounds; but it is up to them to make this choice. That is the collegiate way; give them the information they need to decide for themselves. Green Mountain College continues to provide students with such information, should they seek it, and they provide it without judgement or pressure.
Thank you for the article!”
Jude Arsenault on Nov 19, 2012 at 17:16:10
“there is no such thing as sustainable meat or animal products.that is an oxymoron.”
“Veg*nism is truly the more sustainable way of life, but what it wins in sustainability it loses in practicality. GMC is not going to restrict the dining service to only veg*n menus, so the better option is to source meat sustainably. A large part of this is providing meat from local farms. Couldn't get more local than Cerridwen.
I believe it is you that have missed the point.”
Lori Woods on Nov 4, 2012 at 12:21:03
“Well, actually no I didn't. Firstly, the only "sustainable" beef they will serve is Bill and Lou. Otherwise, they get their meat from non-sustainable sources. Check it out for yourself.
Secondly, and AGAIN, if this is an environmental college and they have stated that meat is environmentally unsustainable then the ONLY non-hypocritical and practical thing to do is have a non-meat campus.”
“I'm pretty sure this person never actually attended GMC, and is making this claim in order to sound more relevant. When pressed for details on the farms' initiation and subsequent Food and Farm projects, nil was the response. But please, flout this as the unheard voice of GMC, albeit unverified. People who are actually interested can look up that it was veg*ns who decided Cerridwen was not a petting zoo, and that establishing animal husbandry practices on campus would be a great step towards holding GMC omnivores accountable for their dietary preferences.”
“I don't know of a single college or university that caters only to vegans in its dining service. Please enlighten me.
Also, FWIW, I'm sure the vegans of the school will be set at the entrance of the dining hall, with an understanding and approachable smile on their face and a "How to Go Vegan" brochure in their hands.
Free will, and all.”
Lori Woods on Oct 29, 2012 at 12:00:28
“Well, Captain, you've hugely missed the point. This is not a regular college. It's mission is environmentalism and they have already stated that raising meat is one of the most environmentally unfriendly practices.”
“So, your argument is that GMC obtained Bill and Lou illegally? THAT is going to save their lives?
Bill and Lou are not pets. And as non-human animals, they have no rights.
Tens of thousands of bullies, who want to impose their ethics onto others, do not matter.
"But you're being bullies to Bill and Lou!" Not really. Bill and Lou are, again, not pets. They are farm animals. This is their tragic fate. At least they lived good lives. That's more than most colleges can say for their mealplan.”
Liese Marie on Nov 12, 2012 at 23:16:58
“people like you are the ones making their fate tragic. you need to redefine your terms of existence on this planet.”
A lot of folks want to impose their ethics onto GMC, when I don't know a single college or university in this country that has its dining service cater only to vegans.
Animal Rights groups are using the faces of Bill and Lou to promote their agenda - that using animals, for anything, is wrong. They've definitely found a couple of beasts that can pull at the heartstrings.”
World of Sad Ghosts on Oct 31, 2012 at 19:01:15
“I made no equivalency arguments. I made the comment that all forms of exploitation and cruelty are open to scrutiny, with racism being one such form of exploitation among many others. My family members were subject to a nationalistic genocide involving great human suffering, and they are the FIRST to suggest that exploitation is a social justice issue, regardless of species. They don't hold the arrogant position that it's our species alone is deserving of this consideration. What, pray tell, lies in your experience that qualifies you to determine, without question, that killing Bill and Lou is the ethical thing to do? It's cultural relativism at its worst -- "leave us alone, these are our values." By that measure, no evolution would have occurred on any issue of global justice.
The way we treat nonhuman animals is its own form of exploitation and as such, is open to the same level of scrutiny that any form of injustice deserves from a compassionate and thoughtful populace.
The fact that you so simplistically reduced that level of argument to "don't compare meat-eating to racism" suggests that you don't engage a level of reasoning adequate to make the type of decision that's happening with respect to Lou and Bill. That's first. But beyond the flawed logic of your conclusion, there is also a significant academic canon on correlations between all forms of exploitation and patriarchy, Carol J. Adams is just one such scholar who comes to mind. Clearly, the "green" education GMC students”
“Lori - it doesn't matter if there are 40,000 signatures - to me that just means that there may be 40,000 vegans in the world with nothing better to do than try to impose their beliefs onto others. Green Mountain College, as a community, decided to let the students choose for themselves which ethos to follow. Cerridwen Farm takes part in animal husbandry. Wool, milk, eggs, etc. At the end of a productive cycle, wool becomes mutton, milk becomes beef, eggs become chicken. Bill and Lou are no different.
I'm sorry that you're disturbed, though. That was never the intention of the school. Unfortunately, what you're asking for is beyond the pardon of Bill and Lou - you want to disassemble Cerridwen Farm and turn it into a vegetable garden. Guess what? A lot of the students at GMC eat meat. They should confront the face of their meat, and if they can't, they should change their dietary preferences. It won't happen on a whim. Change is incremental.”
Opunutts on Oct 26, 2012 at 14:46:02
“actually i eat meat and i signed the petition. I'm not imposing my beliefs on anyone. I just feel that for a creature that has worked so hard, for so long, deserves to retired, especially when a place has opened it's doors to welcome them.”
“Great article re: Henry Spira and his choice to only use coercive shaming as a last resort in his defense of animal rights. The very title of this article embodies the essence of coercive shaming. My choice of words is not totally out of left field. http://www.societyandanimalsforum.org/sa/sa10.2/munro.shtml”
Kosh 2012 on Oct 19, 2012 at 18:31:19
“The very title of this article -- "GMC's False Environmentalism: Why Is GMC Killing Its Mascots?" -- embodies coercive shaming?
Well, that says a lot about how you define 'coercion', and settles how seriously it should be taken when you consider something to be coercive.”
“Apologies if I'm speaking more towards the issue and animal rights ethics as I've seen them presented in recent days, rather than to the substance of this particular article and subsequent comment section. Here, we're quite a few steps above the VINE Sanctuary discussion page, wherein opposing views are now being deleted (by admission of the moderator).
I leave it to the individual staff members whether or not they'd like to air some of the more emotionally charged and threatening responses that they've received to-date. Until then we can strike that statement from the record.”
“No animal should be killed there? Really? I'm doubting more and more your affiliation with GMC. I believe it was 2004 we killed roosters for the E.A.T. project.”
George359 on Oct 19, 2012 at 16:11:14
“captaincook, the statement "no animal should be killed there unless it has to be" is my opinion, and it was not shared by all farm workers when I worked there. No offense to them but I believe myself to have the right answer here, as I grew up on a subsistence farm, as did my father, grandfather, and greatgrandfather...none of my classmates had this much experience with subsistence farming when I was there, and I doubt if there are any folks there now with this much experience...in the total absence of ego I assert that I am more experienced than they and that my answer is therefor correct.”
“There's a petition out, attempting to force a decision that's already been made. There have been threats of physical violence. And, in general, my comment speaks more towards the viewpoint of Animal Rights ideologues; force by ridicule, force by shame, force by threat of infamy.
Thankfully, any critical thinker could spend 5 minutes reading up on the issue and come to the rational conclusion that the right people were in charge of this decision, and it's truly no one elses' business.”
“Hah, no. Animal Rights ethics are all about forcing others to accept your belief system, because you're right and no other opinions matter. Funny how those who stand up for the voiceless tend to do so by stripping away the voices of others.
It wasn't your decision. It's not your decision. It wont be your decision.”
World of Sad Ghosts on Oct 29, 2012 at 03:26:55
“What's sad to me is that GMC doesn't appear to have given any credence to cogent and thoughtful dissent from outside the college. No one seems to have paused long enough to question why the outcry is significant.
The comments I've read from students here and elsewhere seems to suggest that they believe the objections are coming from, as one person said, "soft city people" with no grasp of agriculture. Or, they've minimized those who object to what you're doing by denigrating an appeal to animal consciousness and compassion.
As at least one other person has commented here, some of us do live in the real world and come from a legacy of agricultural families. And for some of us, it's precisely this history and immersion that led us to a more compassionate stance toward other animals. To accuse those who show empathy for animals of naiveté and coercion reveals just how far you are from the type of ethical evolution that tends to occur when you've seen far too much death, suffering and slaughter. My family was in farming, but they were also refugees of a brutal war. Witnessing violence toward humans and nonhumans both tends to make pain and suffering far less exciting and "necessary."
Lou and Bill will experience extreme pain in the hands of commercial slaughter. The voice of the exploiter always deserves scrutiny, and sometimes voices of racism, cruelty and exploitation should, indeed, be quieted in the interest of protecting those they would exploit.”
Kosh 2012 on Oct 19, 2012 at 12:58:09
“I hope eventually there will be some substantiation to the talk about forcing and coercion, so we can move forward from the stage of pure speculation and hearsay. Regardless, in this discussion on Huffington Post, no coercion or forcing has taken place, but rather, exchange of ideas.”
Kosh 2012 on Oct 19, 2012 at 11:14:07
“A petition isn't forcing, it's a petition. To my understanding, petitions are a legal and accepted part of democratic society.
As for threats of physical violence -- maybe, maybe not. I'd need to see some evidence of that, otherwise it's hearsay at this point. If there have been such threats, I think they are stupid and unethical.
In any case, you can't generalize from the violent or threatening actions of a part of the animal rights movement to the whole general notion of "animal rights ethics". There are plenty of people in the movement who are vehemently against threats and any kind of violence; Google one of the foremost proponents of animal rights, Gary Francione, sometime.
Among those who are associated with the ideology of anti-animal-rights, there are people who are violent or threatening towards animal activists, or who abuse, starve or otherwise neglect the animals in their care. That doesn't mean I can generalize from those actions to anyone who disagrees with animal rights.”
Kosh 2012 on Oct 19, 2012 at 09:28:07
“What kind of forcing has been used in this discussion? Have animal activists entered the college and used physical force? Please define what you mean by 'forcing'.”
“Good quote. But I really don't think this boils down to money. Seems to me that it's more a case of "practice what you preach."
Fact: The farm uses animal labor.
Fact: The cafeteria serves meat.
Both of the above may be considered cruel by some, but neither will change anytime soon. Making a case out of Bill and Lou is heartfelt but naive. They aren't pets, and they aren't mascots. IMO, FWIW, passing the buck off to anyone else, beit animal sanctuary or glue factory, is an attempt at keeping our hands clean, when they are, in fact, most definitely dirty.
That is, of course, if you submit that the above listed facts are indeed "cruel."”