Sunday, July 15, 2012

For the Love of Horses...

For the love of horses, please do not go on a horse-drawn carriage ride this year. I know there are all too many opportunities to do so at heritage farms and museums, as well as in Montreal and New York City, among other places. But these horses-- especially the big-city ones-- are treated very poorly and are in for a lifetime of suffering.
According to the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages,
"The average working life of a carriage horse on NYC streets is under four years compared to a police horse whose working life is about 14 years. ... On the streets of NY, these horses are constantly nose-to-tailpipe and often show corresponding respiratory impairment. Because they are not given adequate farrier care, lameness is often a problem, especially walking on pavement. Horses must work in hot humid temperatures and in the brutal cold – nine hours a day, seven days a week and go back to stuffy stable where they have no opportunity for turnout. Many of the stables are firetraps with inadequate sprinkler systems and fire protective devices and only one means of egress. Most house the horses on upper floors, which makes it even more difficult to evacuate them if there were a fire. It is not unusual to see urine and feces stains on the horses. Because of their previous uses on the racetrack or on Amish farms, many of the horses come into this industry with preexisting injuries or arthritis and are forced to pull carriages containing heavy tourists – upwards of 7-800 pounds. When these horses are no longer fit to work the demanding streets of NYC, they are “retired” – many go to auction where their fate is unknown. “Killer Buyers” often buy these horses by the pound for the slaughterhouse. Horsemeat is a delicacy in some European countries."
 There is no reason to exploit the horse's strength in this way. Horses may be strong, but they are also delicate. These horse-drawn carriages are outright cruelty, comparable to the trail-riding industry, circuses, and zoos. It is much worse than cockfighting. (Don't believe me on that last one? Read next week's post to learn more. [But next week's post hasn't come out yet, so you'll have to wait!])
Image Detail
I love horses. They are another animal that I have been attracted to for my whole life (along with cats). This one doesn't look too happy, though. Maybe he's getting back at people for treating him like a slave...
Photo courtesy of

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