ExxonMobil & Wells Fargo Urged to Seek Apology from Private Ohio College on the Birthday of a Deceased Student

ExxonMobil & Wells Fargo Urged to Seek Apology from Private Ohio College on the Birthday of a Deceased Student

Yellow Springs, OH (January 13, 2020) — Thousands of members of the public have signed an In Defense of Animals petition calling on Antioch College’s donors to help repair the school’s reputation on January 14th, the birthday of a former deceased student, Jason Seth Houten. Notable College funders include ExxonMobil Foundation and Wells Fargo Advisors.

In September, Houten’s mother, Barbara Pearl, requested the College release nine lambs from its campus farm to a willing sanctuary instead of sending them to a slaughterhouse as a final gesture to honor her son’s life, a devoted animal advocate. 

Antioch College responded by heartlessly asking Ms. Pearl to make a one million dollar donation to spare the lambs’ lives, which the College stated it would use to purchase and slaughter more animals. The College’s unwarranted and vicious assault on Ms. Pearl was met with a backlash from almost 90,000 members of the public who petitioned the school’s President, calling for mercy for the lambs.  

The nine lambs were removed from Antioch College’s farm on November 24, 2019, and are feared most-likely dead. Numerous attempts have been made to confirm the lambs’ fate directly with the school; however, the administration has refused to respond.

Antioch College proclaimed on its website that it would kill the lambs at an “Animal Welfare Approved” slaughterhouse; however, these slaughterhouses use many of the same brutal killing techniques as regular slaughterhouses. According to the USDA, employees at one “Animal Welfare Approved” slaughterhouse shot a bison in the head eight times before cutting the still-conscious animal’s throat. It took an agonizing 12 minutes for the bison to die.

“While Antioch College boasts about the care it provided the lambs while they were alive, it refuses to acknowledge there is no compassionate way to slaughter an animal and serve them to students,” said Nadia Schilling, Farmed Animals campaigner at In Defense of Animals. “Moreover, the College’s “farm-to-table” program is failing its primary mission to educate students by purposefully hiding the violent slaughter process, which is essential to meat production and crucial for the students to make informed food choices. We call on all Antioch College donors to contact the President to apologize and make amends for its shocking behavior.”

While it may be too late for the nine lambs, there are dozens of ducks and chickens in the College’s farm who remain in danger. In honor of Jason Houten’s birthday this January 14th, Antioch College donors are being asked to contact College President, Tom Manley, to encourage him to make a formal apology to Ms. Pearl for the school’s callous and deeply insensitive response to her plea, and to honor former student Jason Houten by discontinuing its plans to purchase and slaughter more animals in 2020. 

Antioch College donors will be rightfully horrified that their money is being used to torment a mourning mother, whose only crime was calling for compassion to honor her son’s memory,” said Matthew Hamity, Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals. “Almost 90,000 people called for mercy for the lambs. Now, thousands more are calling on Antioch College donors to help save the lives of dozens of ducks and chickens and, in turn, begin to repair the reputation of the school.”

Antioch College has thousands of donors, including ExxonMobil Foundation and Wells Fargo Advisors.


Matthew Hamity,, (847) 721-9802 

Barbara Pearl,, (215) 840-1190

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In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 supporters and a 36-year history of fighting for animals, people and the environment through education, campaigns and hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.

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