The days are numbered for two oxen that have worked the fields at Vermont’s Green Mountain College farm for more than a decade.
The Poultney college says the oxen, named Bill and Lou, are being retired because of injury and will be processed into beef products to be served in the college dining hall.
College officials tell the Burlington Free Press that the animals are regarded with affection, but that it’s a traditional understanding that cattle working at the farm are turned into beef when their working careers end.
The college farm produces vegetables and animal products for the dining hall and a community-supported agriculture program.
But more than 3-thousand people have signed an online petition started by an animal sanctuary in Springfield asking that oxen be spared.