Green Mountain College in Vermont has found itself in a bit of a conundrum. The liberal student body is largely in favor of animal rights but the liberal college policy of sustainability demands that nothing be wasted.

Now that two oxen named Bill and Lou (the de facto college mascots) can no longer work the college farm, they may end up on the menu in the dining hall.

Robby Soave of The Daily Caller reports.

College will slaughter animal mascots for sustainability

A controversial decision at Green Mountain College in Vermont has pitted animal welfare liberals and environmentalist liberals against each other.

The college — which prides itself as a sustainable campus, emphasizes environmental studies, and hosts a campus farm — recently decided to slaughter two beloved oxen and serve them up as meals in the cafeteria.

The oxen are named Bill and Lou, and have worked at Green Mountain’s student-run Cerridwen Farm for 10 years, pulling carts and wagons. They appear in promotional photos and videos, and have been called de facto mascots of Green Mountain College and the farm. But the animals are no longer able to work, and the college’s commitment to sustainability requires that absolutely no resources be put to waste.

The oxen will provide a significant food source for meat-eating students in the dining hall, according to a spokesperson for the college.

“When they are processed for meat, the oxen will yield about a ton of beef,” said Kevin Coburn, director of communications at Green Mountain College, in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation.

But for supporters of animal welfare, slaughtering Lou and Bill is both cruel and needless. VINE Sanctuary, an animal shelter in Vermont, agreed to adopt the oxen and provide for them free of charge. The college denied the request, and has insisted on killing the animals.

The denial shocked VINE Sanctuary.

“We’ve been offering sanctuary for 13 years to animals … and never once had anyone ever refused,” said Miriam Jones, cofounder of VINE Sanctuary, in an interview with TheDC News Foundation.