Save the Antioch Lambs: 84,000 signatures asking to spare lives of lambs

A Yellow Springs man and members of a group trying to save nine lambs that are part of Antioch College’s farm-to-table program delivered a petition to the college president Friday, ignoring orders to not trespass on the campus.

David Nibert, who started the Committee to Save the Antioch Lambs, delivered the petition with 84,000 signatures asking Antioch College President Tom Manley to spare the lives of the lambs and allow them to go to a sanctuary in New York.

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“I think it’s very problematic when you’ve got one of the most progressive colleges in the history of the country now teaching students to raise and kill animals, to eat them is a good thing, when we know now that raising animals for food is one of the leading causes of climate emergency,” Nibert said.

Antioch College is raising the animals as part of its “sustainable farm-to-table dining program,” which seeks to educate students about where their food comes from, college officials have said.

The sheep graze in the college’s 5-acre, fenced-in solar array. They are scheduled to be slaughtered sometime this fall, and the meat will be used to make meals for the students in the college cafeteria, college officials have said.

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In July, the college sent Nibert a letter with the heading “Cease and Desist Order,” telling him and members of his group to stop placing flyers on campus and on college-owned property, which includes the Glen Helen Nature Preserve.

Earlier this month, the college sent a letter telling Nibert that he and his supporters are no longer welcome on campus or college-owned property, and police would be called if he or they do not leave immediately.

Yellow Springs police confirmed that Nibert has been trespassed and is not allowed to be on the Antioch College campus.

Nibert notified media outlets ahead of Friday’s delivery, stating he and his group were “risking arrest” to deliver the signatures.

No arrests occurred on Friday, but campus security asked some of Nibert’s supporters to leave.

Nibert, who said he is vegan, is a Wittenberg University professor who took a hiatus from his teaching position to work on a book. Nibert started the campaign to save the animals from being slaughtered after he saw them and inquired about their presence in the spring.

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Nibert said he’s not telling Antioch to not serve meat in the cafeteria, but the lambs should be spared because they’ve been living in the village’s “backyard” since May and it would be “heartbreaking” for them to be slaughtered instead of sent to a sanctuary.

He said he teaches his students about where their food comes from, “what the consequences are and to be thoughtful citizens of the world.”

“Antioch is teaching students instead that the animals are property. That the animals are objects, that it’s OK to raise them and to kill them and it’s healthy to eat them,” Nibert said.

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