A ‘principled stand’ against compassion: Green Mountain College and the slaughter of working oxen (Op-Ed)

Visitor greeting Bill and Lou / Photo: Christine Celella

In her first opinion piece for Animal Issues Reporter, Antonia Fraser Fujinaga wades into the controversy swirling around two oxen at a small college in Vermont. 

Please note: As a native of Scotland, Mrs. Fujinaga uses British spelling and punctuation.

By Antonia Fraser Fujinaga

The most recent developments in the saga of Bill and Lou, two retired working oxen whom many of us have been trying to save from slaughter, include the following: Read the rest of this entry »

Butterball’s poor training and pay for turkey farm workers is a ‘recipe for disaster,’ says Mercy for Animals

Butterball is “incapable of preventing egregious animal abuse at its factory farm facilities,” says animal protection group. / Photo: Mercy for Animals

By Katerina Lorenzatos Makris

“Butterball expects a few untrained workers to move thousands of crippled turkeys into transport trucks, and pays workers by the load, not the hour,” Director of Investigations Matt Rice told Animal Policy Examiner in an email interview this week. [Please see full interview below.] “It is a recipe for disaster, and as our investigation proves, it results in horrific suffering for thousands of animals at the hands of Butterball workers.” Read the rest of this entry »

Butterball workers suspended for allegedly abusing turkeys

Injured Butterball turkey allegedly enduring neglect. / Photo: Mercy for Animals

By Katerina Lorenzatos Makris

After an undercover video filmed by an animal protection group last month allegedly showed workers kicking, dragging, stomping on, and violently throwing turkeys at several North Carolina large-scale farms operated by , the company said it has “suspended the associates in question” and “initiated an internal investigation.” Read the rest of this entry »

Undercover video again catches Butterball workers severely abusing turkeys, says Mercy for Animals

Butterball turkey, one of many allegedly abused by the company’s workers / Photo: Mercy for Animals

By Katerina Lorenzatos Makris

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, animal protection group said it conducted its second undercover video investigation of and found much the same that it did earlier this year—severe and extremely unappetizing abuse and neglect of the birds.

Scene after scene of the shot in October shows workers at various North Carolina farms operated by the world’s largest producer of turkey meat kicking, stomping on, and violently throwing the animals whose meat will soon sit on millions of Americans’ plates.

Many turkeys are filmed as they bleed and suffer from various injuries and wounds including broken bones and punctured eyes, with no veterinary attention, simply “left to die,” according to the narration. Read the rest of this entry »

The yoke’s on you, Bill and Lou – or is it? A letter to two oxen slated for slaughter (Op-Ed)

Lou (left) and Bill (right) quietly consuming resources at home, Green Mountain College / Photo: Christine Celella

By Kalypso Arhilohou

You weigh a ton, wield horns as hard as hammers and as sharp as spears, and you could puree a man’s foot with one slightly misplaced step of your mighty hoof. But it’s perfectly safe to kiss you, hug you, and parade you through crowds at college commencements.

This good humor of yours, Bill and Lou, comes about partly because your kind have been bred that way for millennia, and partly because you’re just nice guys.

Apparently you like people. At least you don’t seem to mind hanging out with us, following our lead, and doing our bidding. Maybe you feel that in return we like you too.

The fact is that lots of people like you, and many say they love you.  The curious thing, though, is that some of the people who say they love you also say they want to eat you. Read the rest of this entry »

Eating oxen Bill and Lou is “morally preferable” to retiring them to a sanctuary, says college spokesman

Student cuddles with Bill (Photo: with permission of Nina Keck/Vermont Public Radio)

By Katerina Lorenzatos Makris

With Halloween just a day or so away, and a “monster” storm bearing down on the northeastern United States, a small school in Vermont is reportedly about to commit an act that, for many animal advocates, will add yet another macabre note to the week.

, which specializes in what it calls “environmental liberal arts,” plans to slaughter Bill and Lou, two amiable oxen who have worked at the college’s farm for a decade. Then they will serve students the animals’ flesh.

Animal Issues Reporter interviewed the college’s Director of Communications Kevin Coburn via email, as follows. Read the rest of this entry »

Walmart Cruelty Tour interviews: Pork is from ‘depressed, stressed, and sick’ pigs, says protester

Ten-foot-tall bloody mock pig stars in the Mercy for Animals’ ‘Walmart Cruelty Tour.’
Photo: Krissy Guzman

It’s hard to keep up with (MFA) national campaign coordinator Phil Letten. On his epic “,” he’s been making serious tracks, with a stop in a different U.S. city almost every weekday since July.

Thanks to Animal Issues Reporter’s Krissy Guzman, who we’re proud to have on board at AIR as our very first intern, we managed to catch up with Letten in Texas a few weeks back.

In the towering company of a bloody, wounded, ten-foot-tall mock pig that Letten had parked outside a Houston Walmart store, Krissy spoke with the intrepid MFA campaigner and two of the demonstrators to find out why they were out there in Houston’s blistering summer heat. Read the rest of this entry »

Serial killers’ worst crimes are done to farmed animals ‘on a mass scale,’ says undercover investigator

Undercover investigator ‘Andy’ worked in a slaughterhouse to gather video footage for HBO’s award-winning documentary ‘Death on a Factory Farm.’
Photo: HBO

By Katerina Lorenzatos Makris

annual can be a lovely experience. At a glittering hotel in Beverly Hills, celebrities glow in their gowns and tuxes, banquet tables offer gourmet vegan delights, and applause thunders for quotes and clips from media projects that focus on animal issues.

The event can can also be disorienting. Amidst the glitter and glow, there’s the underlying awareness of why the awards are held: to spotlight the cruelty that HSUS says is perpetrated upon animals of all kinds, every day, around the world.  Read the rest of this entry »

Farmed animals might be the hardest-working Americans

Pigs, cows, chickens and other animals used for food might be the hardest working Americans. Most of them are on the job every day and don’t get time off or holidays. / Photo: USDA

Today, while the U.S.A. pays tribute to “the social and economic achievements of American workers,” as this federal holiday is described by the United States Department of Labor, there might be some irony in the fact that many citizens will celebrate the occasion by eating such items as hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken fajitas, and egg salad sandwiches.

Those Labor Day barbecue and picnic foods come from animals who, in light of the following quotes, might be considered to be the hardest-working Americans ever. Read the rest of this entry »

Is slaughterhouse abuse of cows surprising? Government agency has complained about it for years

Compassion Over Killing said their undercover video shows workers at Central Valley Meat Co.in California committing numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act such as repeatedly shocking, shooting, and scalding sick and injured former dairy cows. Photo: Compassion Over Killing

By Katerina Lorenzatos Makris

An recently released by animal protection group is difficult to watch, revealing horrific abuses of former dairy cows in a California slaughterhouse, such as killing them slowly and painfully, dousing them with scalding hot water, and using electric prods to repeatedly shock animals who appear to be ill or injured—one animal, the narrator says, more than 40 times. But these inhumane and illegal practices might not come as much of a surprise to some observers. Read the rest of this entry »


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