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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Vermont college announces new animal sustainability program

Green Mountain College, a 4-year "environmental sustainability" college in Poultney, Vermont, has decided to do something about the problem of unwanted pets.

With the nation's animal shelters overburdened with the numbers of abandoned and rescued cats and dogs, most of which will never find homes, the sustainability professors at Green Mountain College have long been troubled by the "terrible waste of resources," as Bayley Hazen described it.

Hazen is assistant director of sustainable animal management at the college and was visibly excited to announce the new program.

"In GMC's continuing development of the nation's most progressive sustainable campus, many alumni and current faculty, staff, and students came together and realized that our unique resources and philosophy could be leveraged to make a huge contribution to the sustainability issues surrounding animal shelters."

In short, she said that GMC would adopt dogs and cats from "no-kill" shelters and then kill them as part of their animal sustainability curriculum.

"The numbers are still being worked out: we are carefully calculating, using the best science available, what level of funding should be budgeted, and we need to find a way for the college to benefit directly, but the commitment is already there, because this is something we can do to give back to the community in a way that has no price," Hazen said.

Animal rights organizations, including shelters in the region, as expected, expressed outrage.

"I don't mind," Hazen said, "because secretly they're glad we're doing this."

Hazen added that she is "mostly vegetarian" and loves animals, and that's why she loves Green Mountain College, because "they make the hard decisions that love requires."

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