Red Box will be remembered. He was slaughtered to feed…
By Jay Weiner
I came to Portland Oregon to rescue Red Box (see press release below) after reading the article and this is what happened next…
PORTLAND, OR (September 2015) – A celebrated national nonprofit working to connect children with animals, recently attempted to save a local steer from slaughter from Cascade High School’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter. The Gentle Barn was approached to intervene by local residents and groups, including the Humane Society of the United States, to rescue and take-in the endeared steer—named “Red Box”—who was raised by the school’s teen students. Despite negotiations, Red Box was scheduled for slaughter Wednesday, September 23, with the intent to donate his meat to local food banks.
After a respectful approach by Jay Weiner, Co-founder of The Gentle Barn, the school agreed and welcomed a last-minute dialogue. The day before the slaughter, Cascade High School principal Matt Thatcher and Agriculture teacher Becky Bates spoke with Mr. Weiner. On behalf of Gentle Barn and one of its donors, Mr. Weiner offered a generous $20,000 contribution to the school’s plant farming program, as well as matching the food donation to the local food bank, with plant-based meals from Oregon food companies. These plant-based meals would have been donated every year of Red Box’s life. Despite Principal Thatcher presenting Mr. Weiner’s offer, the students decided to proceed with its schedule to slaughter Red Box, much to the dismay of The Gentle Barn, its followers, and many Oregon locals.
“Our offer to the school and community should not be misconstrued as an effort to discount the importance of the students desire to help feed the community,” says Mr. Weiner, who is currently in Oregon researching a new location there. “Our goal was to work with the students, help them see a bigger picture and sustainable future, and match their efforts with plant-based alternatives while also sparing Red Box’s life.”
The Gentle Barn was drawn to Red Box following a growing community outcry; students and caretakers have grown fond of the gentle steer, highlighting his “shining personality,” Some even claimed that he was “the sweetest animal there is,” and that he “feels like part of the family.” Opposition to his slaughter quickly set off a public outcry and an online petition, including an Indiegogo campaign to purchase Red Box.
The Gentle Barn has successfully taken in many animals from FFA and 4H programs, most recently two baby steers named Oliver and Sage, who will help children for the rest of their lives. The Gentle Barn is saddened and is sorry to say that Red Box will not get that chance.