Nancyeclark's Blog


Why Horses ? kind of an update…
March 30, 2011, 8:14 pm
Filed under: horses | Tags: , , , , ,

They have given us so much. Pulled our plows, carried our worldly goods, carried us, broadened our horizons, gone to war with us, given us milk and food, entertained us with their speed and skill, rounded up our cattle, pulled our boats and wagons, turned the mills; the mail was their province, their speed, stamina endurance and strength ours. They have enchanted us with their beauty and intelligence and spirit, rewarded us with their loyalty. They enthral us with their wild spirit and ability to survive.

We have used them and abused them. Bred them for size and shape, speed and strength, agility and pace. We have shaped them to fit our needs and wants. We have raced them, ridden them, terrified our enemies with them, traded them, eaten them, taken their milk and foals,  cossetted them, starved them, rounded them up and turned them into dog food, worshipped and revered them. They are symbols of beauty and freedom and yet we treat them so damn badly. We overbreed them, we stand them in stalls forever pregnant to produce the hormones that keep our aging at bay, we race them after breeding them for speed at the loss of bone and then put them down when their bones break. We round them up from land and air, terrified and hurt, we fence them from water, we use them for target practice, we protect them by law and then treat them like pests…and no one gives a damn because it doesn’t affect our pocket books. Little girls love them…books and stories and movies are made about them. Their names are part of our culture…Misty…Black Beauty…Flicka…The Black… Our history would be very different without them. We were carried into the frontier by them, and what do we give them in return….crops and whips, starvation and abuse, roundups where foals die and mares abort and dehydration kills, and then send them to god knows where…the end is often a harrowing and horrific transport to an inhumane and awful death at a Mexican or Canadian slaughter house.

What we owe to horses is a debt so big we can never pay it…yet pay they do. We owe them respect, love, affection, food, water, exercise, green grass, flowing water, land to roam on. We owe them decent stabling, exercise, company and not to be over worked or discarded. We owe them a life of fulfillment and peace. They can still work with us, entertain us, enchant us and carry us over jumps and round racetracks…but with care and respect and humanity. We can let the wild ones be free…let them have the land intended for them, allow them access to water, stop seeing them as pests and grazing stealers. Allow the wild ones, the ones that trace their bloodlines in part back to the Conquistadors, the protection and freedom that the bill of 1971 says they should have in the United States and the protection they do not have but should have here in Canada. Politicians in Canada and the States should be ashamed of themselves when they look at the sate of the wild horse, the state of horses in general. In Canada we cannot even agree that they are wild…only feral and not worth protecting…so any Tom Dick or Harry can round them up or shoot them or abuse them…so much so, there are almost none left…about 800 in all. In the States the horses and burros are at least protected by law…but the protectors are now the abusers. In Canada, our oh so kind and gentle and smug land, we slaughter horses for the world…Japan, Belgium, France…and we do it in a way that no animal should ever have to suffer…see the video available from inside a slaughter house. We have rules governing their transport to slaughter…so much headroom on double decker trucks, and yet no one enforces the rules; horses end up injured, maimed and dead before they ever reach the place where they die a horrific, inhumane and terribly cruel death.

What did the horse ever do to deserve any of this? Granted, you cannot curl up on a sofa with one or take them for a drive and a game of fetch…but they are a companion animal more than they are livestock. If you want to argue that point…that livestock are for eating, I mean…but that is for another day. Horses have families in the wild, social structure, communication; they live in groups with specific hierarchies and rules and familial associations…they nurture their young and grieve their losses. Horses befriend us and work with us and provide us with companionship as well as offering up their size, strength and speed. We would not be where we are today without the horse and yet we continue to abuse them on all fronts…by overbreeding and discarding them, by seeing them as competition for grazing on land that was supposed to be for them and not for cattle, by allowing competitions like horse tripping and abuse like soring…there are so many horrible things we do to an animal that deserves none of it…it amazes me sometimes that the news isn’t filled with stories of horses fighting back…horse militias gathering weapons…marauding gangs of horse youths…marches…placard carrying protestors….petitions……..wait a minute…horses cannot do that for themselves….we have to do it for them. So get involved (you will find some links here at this blog)…write your MP, your Representative…sign all the petitions out there…join an Advocacy group…call the White House…get going and get moving before it is too late for the wild ones…before any more horses are eaten in your local restaurant…before another truckload passes you on the highway…………

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