Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
Buy the #EatForThePlanet book



Super Storm of Compassion: Saving Bill and Lou

Super Storm of Compassion: Saving Bill and Lou

Tis the season of super storms. As Bloomberg Businessweek virally put it, “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.”

First, Sandy devastated the east coast, reminding everyone right before Election Day that climate change is not a hoax. Climate change is here.

And, the biggest way we worsen climate change is by continuing to eat animals and animal products, which brings me to my next storm.

A storm fueled by outrage is sweeping across the country. People are speaking up to save Bill and Lou, oxen who toiled for years at Green Mountain College (GMC) in Vermont, and are now destined for slaughter to feed students as part of the college’s model for “sustainability” after Lou sustained an injury.

Destiny, however, was altered.

More than 47,000 people signed petitions to save Bill and Lou. Slaughterhouses came under pressure from animal rights groups and the media and refused to carry out the slaughter. As of now, Bill and Lou’s slaughter has been delayed.

There are many reasons to save Bill and Lou. They have served as workers and mascots for GMC…after all, no one would retire and reward aging loyal employees by slaughtering and eating them. That they are best friends and share a special relationship with those at GMC…we don’t kill our friends or family just because they become old and injured.

Beyond their immediate context, Bill and Lou offer a portal through which we can see what we would rather not see: our role in perpetuating cruelty. These two oxen represent the tens of billions of animals slaughtered globally every year. They remind us that we are assimilating their terror, anxiety, and karmic burden into our bodies. If we can save Bill and Lou, there is hope for saving all the other sentient beings in the world, including homo sapiens. It takes courage to face this reality and to act to change it; a courage I believe we all possess.

Bill and Lou highlight the destruction of the climate as well. For instance, we use 45% of global land for animal agriculture, with 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions coming from the livestock sector. As Peter Singer puts it: “We are, quite literally, gambling with the future of our planet – for the sake of hamburgers.”

Saving Bill and Lou is about redefining what life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness could mean. To preserve life, we must liberate animals and ourselves by decoupling our search for happiness from the mass destruction and consumption of sentient beings. Sailesh Rao, who heads the non-profit Climate Healers, has been working tirelessly to bring awareness to issues of meat-eating and its direct and enormous contribution to climate change. The day after Election Day, Sailesh begins a month-long road tour of the U.S. from his home in Phoenix, AZ, to raise more awareness about Bill and Lou, and call Americans to action.

Many other local, regional, national, and global organizations are pushing to change unsustainable norms around meat and dairy consumption.  Here’s a smattering: some efforts are through peace and goodwill (People Powered Peace; Karma Kitchen); animal rights (e.g. In Defense of Animals (IDA), Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF); Santa Clara County Activists for Animals (SCCAA)); climate change (Climate Healers, Operation Missing Link); and health and veganism (Evolve!, Vegucated, VeganTalk, Reverse Destruction).

These efforts are converging on a universal message: life, liberty and happiness for everyone is a goal that offers compassion, wellness, ethically and environmentally sound actions, and authentic relationships. So many wins!  Sustainability – defined as meeting our needs now without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs – can be achieved if we work together towards this goal.

Let’s make the next super storm one of compassion. Ask GMC to save Bill and Lou, and let that be a first step to saving ourselves.

What you can do: 

Email or call GMC directly:

802-287-8201 Office of Paul Fonteyn – President;  [email protected]

802-287-8214 Provost William Throop;  [email protected]

508-330-3828 Barbara Wellnitz- Board of Trustees

Sign the Care2 petition to save Bill and Lou: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/843/838/964/spare-oxen-bill-and-lou-from-slaughter/

Join Facebook Group to Save Bill and Lou for updates: https://www.facebook.com/groups/430664400333520/?fref=ts

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

13 comments on “Super Storm of Compassion: Saving Bill and Lou”

Click to add comment
Shelby Anewwe
5 Years Ago

VINE Sanctuary Members are in the game for one reason only. VINE stands for "Veganism Is the Next Evolution." VINE members believe that anyone who eats meat is a sinner and a liar. They seem to especially target small scale farms, perhaps because the small farmer is not subsidized by big companies and corporations. VINE is not from Vermont. Nor do they pay Vermont taxes. On top of all this, they want to cease all animal farming, including the production of milk and eggs. Vermont is filled with farmers. Surrounded by farms. Steeped in agricultural history. Vermont has the highest rate for colleges per capita and Vermonters LOVE TO VOTE. QUOTE FROM MIRIAM JONES: "Factory “farmers” tend to be more honest about their motivations for doing the things they do than happy meat “farmers,” even though they all do the same thing: use and murder animals." QUOTE IN REFERENCE TO SMALL SCALE FARMERS (by Miriam Jones): "They want a paycheck – they want to grill something out in their backyards and it ain’t tofu – and they don’t give a shit about the environment or global climate change or sustainability." If you live in Vermont, if you are a farmer or if you know/knew someone who was a farmer, please take care and take note. These people will say anything to put you, your family, your friends, or your local farms out of business.

5 Years Ago

I'm apalled. After working their hearts out all their lives, the reward is a trip to the slaughterhouse ! Live and let live ! they've got a right to life, to enjoy the sunshine, fresh air and fields to roam in. Humans have no right to kill anything. It's Bill & Lou's planet too. Karen, England.

Clarinda Karpov
5 Years Ago

A marvelous article, Marilyn, you are such a compassionate and compelling advocate for Bill and Lou. If there are Bill and Lou supporters who can staff a booth for Bill and Lou at the Green Festival in San Francisco (Nov. 10 & 11) and Los Angeles (Nov. 17 & 18), we could reach many potential friends of Bill and Lou and share their story there. The festival focuses on the environment and sustainability issues, and 25,000 people typically attend the Los Angeles event. If you or others you know might be interested and available to do this, we have the booth fee donated and I can go ahead and reserve it as soon as we have volunteers. Please pm me on FB or reply here if this is possible. Heartfelt thanks for your wonderful article, which will move so many to compassionate action for Bill and Lou, and for all our fellow creatures.

Dil Siri
5 Years Ago

if you look closely you can see how painful this Yolk to carry and how heavy it is ,, they cannot turn left or right or eat their meal unless its being removed ,not only that for them to walk , you have to cane them . i have a pic of them carrying tons of grass and on top of that two students cheering .. my God how cruel and ignorant humans beings we can be ? years of slavery ,they nice way to put to end SLAUGHTER and EAT .. how ungrateful humans we have become .. i am really ashamed ..? if Lou become injured may be this is due to carrying that tons and over working . this is an animal abuse which should be looked in to.... God bless you Bill and lou i am sorry you had to go thorough all this pain and suffering in hands of advance ,civilized humans. love you.

5 Years Ago

Wonderfully written!!! Peace and Ecology Now!

Judy P
5 Years Ago

I will be hugely disappointed in GMC if they do not arrest permanently the slaughter of Bill and Lou. I endorsea humane climate change and have 2 chilodren whom I have just put through college. One child considered going to GMC and even paid a visit. What horrow I would feel if she were a recent alumna who attended an incompassionate place of HIGHER learning. Look at the lesson you would have taught her. My life teachings would have been challenged by these cruel and unjust actions. For all the RIGHT reasons, let Bill and Lou live out their days in a sanctuary. There is no need for this slaughter!

aram polster
5 Years Ago

Did anyone notice the wire cage muzzles that Bill and Lou are wearing? No eating grass for them while they are working, I guess.

Enid, Founder & Executive Director, The Queenie Foundation, Inc.
5 Years Ago

A voice of reason! Thank you so much for your great article tying Bill and Lou into the bigger global picture. I think we need to remind people, also, that the most important elements that will sustain us as a planet are compassion, taking care of those who depend on us (children, animals, the environment, the aged, to name a few), being a contribution, and creating justice for those with no voice (again children, etc.). Sustainability isn't just about the planet, although it's VERY important; it's also the intangibles that make life worth living. Thank you, again.

5 Years Ago

Great article, Marilyn. Tried to call the contact on the Board of Trustees, but her voicemail said something like "If you are calling about the oxen, I am not the Chair and cannot help you, so please do not leave a message." So, could you please post another contact for the Board of Trustees that people can call. Also, when we click on the post, the website for the petition says "Closed" "Goal met". And there is also another petition link that does not click open. So, could that all be fixed so people can participate.

Marilyn Cornelius
08 Nov 2012

Homai, thanks for your note - it's great that the petition is closed and several others have reached their targets and been submitted - but there are more, here's one you could sign: http://www.change.org/petitions/bill-throop-kenneth-mulder-release-bill-and-lou-to-vine-sanctuary I'm trying to find another number for the board of trustees. Thank you!

Boe Devi
5 Years Ago

Thank you Marilyn and to all the people who have taken up with cause, including Pattrice from BraveBirds.Org. I hope this movement will continue to educate. I also hope that people will take a minute to learn one new easy vegan recipe. Then share that recipe with everyone you know. I try to do that on my website, www.boedevi.org. Feel free to send me your recipes and pictures and I will post them under a tab I'll call something like Recipes from the Friends of Bill and Lou. Thank you, Boe Devi


Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×