I found this incident at Vermont College very sad. The sustainable-farming-oriented school planned to slaughter two oxen it's had for years and serve them at the dining hall. Faced with protests from animal rights activists—who successfully prevented the college from finding a willing slaughterhouse—the college ended up having to euthanize one of the animals, who had a bad injury and declining quality of life. As planned, the ox was killed. But nobody got to eat him.
Canned hunts constitute a burgeoning industry, in part because old-fashioned hunting in the wild has become more difficult—a consequence of diminishing ranges and herds and the encroachment of suburbia and exurbia. At present there are at least 1,000 canned-hunt operations in the U.S. (if bird preserves—which release birds just in time for the hunter to shoot at them—are included, the number is closer to 3,000).It is also a highly profitable industry. Here’s what the hunter pays: Axis deer, $1,350; Aoudad sheep, $1,500; buffalo, $3,000; elk, $3,500 and up; red sheep, $4,500.
Are vegetarians trying to save animals or are they trying to save themselves? Is vegetarianism about changing the world or escaping from it? These are questions the acclaimed novelist and critic J. M. Coetzee raises in a wonderfully inventive and inconclusive book.