Letter: Unconvincing Claim of Victimhood

Monday, February 04, 2013

To the Editor:

Lisa Rathke’s Associated Press story about Green Mountain College representatives presenting their case to the Vermont House Committee on Agriculture (“College Pleas for Vt. Aid in Ox Crisis,” Jan. 17) shows how unwilling they still are to take any responsibility for the consequences of their decision to kill the hard-worked and beloved oxen Bill and Lou.

It was the cold heartlessness of that decision that outraged, first, some of GMC’s own students and alumni and then, as the news got out, so many people around the world. The reaction intensified as the college adamantly refused offers of sanctuary and even monetary compensation to let Bill and Lou live out their lives in peaceful retirement with attentive veterinary care.

In response, the college only invited more outrage by: smearing as “extremists” all those asking GMC to show mercy; responding to the offer of sanctuary for these two special oxen as a threat to all animal agriculture; and characterizing the resulting publicity as “terrorizing” them.

This was a crisis of the college’s own making, in both the inhumane decision itself and the paranoid and misplaced sense of victimization that this latest “plea” exemplifies. GMC’s quest for absolution and vindication only reminds the world — and perhaps themselves — of its guilt.

One hopes that someone on the Agriculture Committee kindly suggested that they might stop being so childishly stubborn and show some human kindness — and let Bill, who the college has not killed yet, retire to a sanctuary.

Eric Rosenbloom and Joanna Lake


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