Even those concerned with issues regarding ‘social and ecological justice’ are not immune to treating other living beings as nothing more than mere commodities.
Oxen Bill and Lou, who have served Green Mountain College for ten years, are headed for slaughter. “No big deal,” you say. After all, at least these cows lived free from the horrors of a slaughterhouse. This is true. I’m just trying to figure out how we have so throughly institutionalized the kind of behavior that permits our use of living creatures, ones that enable us to grow our own food (with the aid of a whip, of course), to be killed, eaten, and become human excrement once they are too old to work.
It really is a shame that so many of us–especially those with certain theological convictions about creation–cannot see any other purpose for some animals than becoming our poop.
No symbolism there.
I’m a literalist.
I’m guessing most of you are as well.
So, sorry Bill and Lou. You worked your rumps off for a decade, and now, as a reward, those rumps are going to be eaten.
Here’s more of the story, and below are the email addresses you can use to pose questions to the “Provost” (what a job) and Adjunct Professor of Ecological Studies, Keith or Kenneth or Kevin somebody or another (it’s not important). They sound so ‘esteemed’, don’t they? Institutional representatives always do. Anyway. Tell them I said, ‘Hello’.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Granted, this idea of not allowing some creatures to survive beyond their ability to contribute to our livelihood is intriguing. Though, I wonder if we could be a little more consistent? Perhaps we could . . . oh, I don’t know . . . ‘exile’ academics when they have outlived their usefulness.
The only problem is, how would we know when that moment has occurred?
About the Author
Tripp York teaches religious studies at Virginia Wesleyan College in Norfolk, Virginia. He is the author of more than half a dozen books including, Third Way Allegiance, The Purple Crown, and Living on Hope While Living in Babylon. He is the co-editor of the forthcoming three-volume collection called the Peaceable Kingdom Series. An actor and a lighting designer, Tripp also surfs and spends his weekends shoveling elephant and giraffe poop.