7/14 – Book Club: The Oxen at the Intersection by pattrice jones

Come one, come all, to what promises to be a unique and fantastic book club meeting. We’ll be reading pattrice jones’s The Oxen at the Intersection, and the author herself will be joining us via Skype.

Here’s Vegan Kalamazoo cofounder Hillary Rettig’s summary and review of the book (from Amazon):

oxen at the intersection“I’d give this book 10 stars if I could. It reads like the best mystery novel, only the events it describes are all true. It’s full of vivid descriptions of people, places, and motives; fascinating buried histories; and razor-sharp interpretations of a series of events that became internationally notorious, all told by someone who was at the center of it all.

“You might have heard of the plight of the Green Mountain College oxen. GMC (in Vermont) was experimenting with 19th century forms of agriculture, and used two elderly oxen, Bill and Lou, for plowing and other farm tasks. Bill and Lou were college and town mascots, supposedly beloved by all, until one day, Lou sustained a (relatively minor) injury and the college decided that both of the “beloved” oxen should be slaughtered and served up in the student cafeteria. (I am absolutely not kidding.)

“jones, who runs a sanctuary for farmed animals, offered Bill and Lou a retirement home at no cost to the College, but college administrators perversely declined–and kept declining other reasonable offers, despite local and international pleas for mercy. They were determined to kill the oxen, and eventually Lou disappeared under cover of night–presumably slaughtered, but no one knows how or what happened to his body.

pattrice jones“Why the College, which relentlessly claimed the moral high ground, chose to act in the “dead of night” like a criminal, I’ll let you decide for yourself.

“jones tells you the facts of the case in measured prose, trusting the inherent power of the story to manifest itself–which it does. When, starting halfway through the book, she gives you her interpretation of the various forces that conspired to “overdetermine” poor Lou’s death, you realize you have the rare privilege of witnessing a first rate mind at work. I learned so much from her analysis, and will be a better person and activist because of it.

“There is so much more I could praise–the book’s integrity and bravery, for one. But I’ll stop here. If you’re interested enough to have read this review you should just go ahead and buy the book.”

The Kalamazoo Library has copies of the book to lend, so get yours now. See you at the club!

Date / Time: Tuesday, July 14, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (7:00 – 8:00 discussion; 8:00 – 8:45 pattrice joins us)

Where: Kalamazoo Public Library Main Branch, Board Room

RSVP:  Our Meetup page.

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