OTIS: Optimized Traveling Independent Space

Green Mountain College

REED students in Prof. Lucas Brown’s design/build class unveil their semester project, OTIS, to the community.

“Good workmanship—that is, careful, considerate, and loving work—requires us to think considerately of the whole process, natural and cultural, involved in the making of wooden artifacts […]. The good worker loves the board before it becomes a table, loves the tree before it yields the board, loves the forest before it gives up the tree.”
-Wendell Berry “Preserving Wildness”

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OTIS - Built by REED Students at Green Mountain College in Vermont

A 70 square feet “living system” with a composting toilet, rainwater collection system and solar power that is super lightweight and can be towed by almost any car. Built by REED students at Green Mountain College in Vermont.” – Tiny House Swoon

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Oxen’s Fate Is Embattled as the Abattoir Awaits

“Bill and Lou are not pets,” he said. “They’re part of an intimate biotic community on the farm, in food webs and relationships of care and respect.”

On campus, support for their consumption is strong, even among the 30 percent of students who are vegan or vegetarian.

“It’s about sustainability, and I’ve been a vegetarian for three years, but I’m excited to eat Bill and Lou,” said Lisa Wilson, a senior. “I eat meat when I know where it comes from.”

Green Mountain College to make oxen burgers out of campus animal pals

This is what happens when “working animals” retire: they get slaughtered. Lou and Bill have worked the fields of Green Mountain College’s “sustainable” farm for ten years. Now, at eleven, the college wants to get rid of Lou and Bill. Apparently, at Green Mountain College, that means slaughtering them and eating them in hamburger form. 

Needless to say, many are not happy. But, on the other hand, the college people in charge of this sort of thing make a good point: if these students opposed to killing Lou and Bill eat meat, then why the hell shouldn’t they eat these guys too? And once again, we are back to cognitive dissonance. This is well-worn territory when we discuss omnivore “animal lovers.” In fact, it’s threadbare. Therefore I’m not going to go into it but I will go into how much I resent the way “working animals” are disposed of. 

Look at this video:

That doesn’t look super fun. They’ve done this for ten years. And after they’ve served the school for a decade, the thanks they get is to be made into a month’s worth of artery-clogging lunch. It’s just like dairy cows and racehorses and all the “working animals,” they serve these people and make them money and then they are thrown out like trash. I’m sorry, I can’t even say “working animals” without quotation marks because the idea is so ridiculous. It implies they a. volunteered for this “job” and b. were fairly compensated. Sorry bros: “working animals” don’t have resumes and they don’t get 401Ks. They get worked to the brink of death and then slaughtered for hamburger meat.