About 15 protesters demonstrated at Green Mountain College Friday in a last ditch effort to save Bill and Lou – a pair of oxen that have worked on the campus farm for ten years.
The school caused an international uproar when it decided to slaughter the 11-year old animals after Lou was injured. The school plans to use the animals’ meat to feed students.
The quiet protest became a heated debate once students arrived.
Laura Slitt, a protester from Bartlett, New Hampshire, faced off against Green Mountain College freshman Emerald Hardiman. Hardiman says she backs the school’s decision to slaughter the oxen and has been taken aback by all the insults and name calling on Facebook – from both sides.
"I’m worked up about this – this has gone on too long," Hardiman said. "So for them to come to our school and say shame on Green Mountain and shame on what we’re doing is wrong. Why aren’t they at all the other farms? Why aren’t they there doing that where they’re treating other animals worse. We gave them great lives."
But protester Kathy Gorish, of the Vine Sanctuary in Springfield, shook her head.
"They just don’t need to eat what they view as mascots," Gorish said. "They’ve paraded them. They’ve fundraised off of them. Some people call them pets. It’s just not right – I’ve seen slaughter houses. I don’t think half these kids have. I think they need to and then maybe they’d change their minds.
College officials say they won’t change their minds and Bill and Lou will be slaughtered next week.