MISSOULA – In a surprise turn of events, long-time sustainability advocates and residents of the UM COOP were detained by campus police this weekend on charges of “violating basic human rights,” reported local officials. COOP residents have claimed no knowledge of any violations and have demanded immediate release.
Police claim that the call came from a neighbor who was passing by the COOP Friday afternoon and witnessed “obvious forced labor” and “poor treatment” of the COOP residents’ hominid pets, one of many experimental sustainability projects managed by the COOP and supported by the University.
“We had no idea,” commented University advisory faculty. “The COOP has always benefited to some degree by the presence of the hominids, and we were happy to look the other way when the pets provided small services like waste disposal and cleaning, but we never thought it would reach this level of abuse.” The “services,” which include the removal of waste eggs and the production of food items, are seen by some as unfair. “Those COOP folks are taking advantage of their pets, I’ve always said,” reported one neighbor.
Friday the COOP residents were caught manipulating their hominid pets into weatherizing the COOP main house with hay bales, as well as the rest of the property. “They were being forced to do all kinds of unfair labor, like digging up the whole garden and rebuilding the waste disposal system,” claims the witness, who wished to remain anonymous. “I even saw them lure one into the crawl space under the coop; it was disgusting.” The pet, affectionately called “Tom” by friends of the COOP, is still recovering.
“I don’t know what all the fuss is about,” replied COOP manager Boss Cluckith in response the accusations. “They’ve always been extremely simple-minded and easy to take care of.” Cluckith claims that the hominids were doing the work “voluntarily” and denies any direct involvement.
All three COOP residents have been suspended from university-related activities and are currently under house-arrest at their home. Their six hominids are being considered for foster care.