Posts Tagged ‘PETA’
I am all for exploring every angle of a situation, and since the comment links are somewhat small, I thought I’d re-post this passionate reply from a fellow blogger to LiivToday’s earlier blog about a carriage ride through Central Park that left us feeling quite guilty for letting a workhorse do his “job.”
On Nov. 30 at 3:10 p.m., MICHALEEN SAYS:
“What a lot of rot.
Obviously you know nothing about horses – or about our business.
Walking through the park pulling a carriage with even 5 adults works no hardship on a horse. (And it just so happens that our carriages are modern and lightweight, and have brakes that make it even easier for the horse when going downhill) You apparently have not an inkling of what horses do and are capable of. But that is schooling I’m not wasting my time on – you should be mature, honest, and responsible enough to research before you talk. But I will tell you about MY industry.
The welfare of the horses is what the decent-minded, casual observer is truly interested in, and for good reason. The horse-drawn carriages are a New York City icon; they are ambassadors to our visitors, and the horses themselves are working animals that are entitled to proper care and good handling.
Fortunately, our record reflects exactly that. Our horses lead exceedingly reasonable and content lives. They each receive a superior, formulated diet, occupy roomy box stalls, receive vet & farrier care, and are groomed and bathed regularly. This amounts to food, shelter, and medical care – which many CHILDREN in this city do not have.
Beyond these basics, they are loved by their owners/drivers; they receive affection, treats, and human interaction everyday.
Every stable has a sprinkler system in case of fire, and every stable has 24/7 stablemen. We are overseen by 5 city agencies, and not one WEEK goes by (and sometimes, day) that our horses are not checked by the ASPCA or the Dept of Health. (Let’s see Child Protective Services match that record)
The horses receive rotation turnout several times a year on farms in both Upstate NY and PA.
When the time comes, we retire them to loving, forever homes; some of the owners retire them themselves on privately owned land. I personally have retired 3 horses, one of which is still living the life of Riley after being retired 6 years ago in South Jersey at a bank president’s home.
Unfortunately for us and our horses here in NYC, we are one of the humaniacs’ primo targets, as we fit the bill perfectly: a small, high-profile industry with very limited resources. You can see what an excellent opportunity our industry not only for misguided people, but for targeted fundraising by large AR groups like PETA.
Many of the AR people would rather see a horse dead than have a job. To them, a carriage horse doing what it was bred to do, and living a comfortable, content existence alongside his driver, is no different from Michael Vick and a pile of mutilated fighting dogs or undercover horror videos revealing grotesque cruelties at factory farms.
Indeed, humaniacs have made public statements comparing the carriage horse trade to the enslavement of people of African descent, and the Holocaust of the Jewish people during WWII.
Can any of you imagine what it is like for someone like me – a lifelong horse person, dedicated to my horses in every way – to be maligned and vilified like this? Even if you are only a pet owner – imagine someone constantly lying and distorting how you treat your pet, and then going public with it.
There are no horse-torturing monsters in our business, no matter what any of them say.
And while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they are not entitled to their own facts.
Our safety record is STELLAR – 68 carriages operating approx 300 days a year /25 years = over 2 MILLION trips in traffic back and forth to the stables. (this does not even include all of the actual rides done!)
We have had THREE equine fatalities due to traffic accidents in those 25 years.
NO equine pursuit can claim a similar ratio (500 horses died onracetracks just since the Kentucky Derby last year – hell, 100 HUMANS were hit by cars and killed in 2008 in NYC alone)
While each of the three horse deaths was a tragedy (I knew each one – Chester ‘85, Tony ‘90, and Spotty ‘07), there is nothing in life with no risk, & certainly not in human/horse activities. Many, many more horses are injured or killed in eventing, jumping, racing, polo, etc. The humaniacs would eradicate all horses in order to eradicate all risk – something I do believe they could live with, & indeed, it’s something that many of them actively seek. They drag out the same ghoulish pics from these accidents on every website & at every demonstration, sometimes even using pictures of dead or injured horses from other parts of the country and saying they were in NYC!
Anybody hell-bent on putting carriages out of business should hop on down to the auction & buy a slaughter-bound horse and care for it for the rest of its natural life. That would actually be doing something to help the horses, not hurt them.
The epidemic of abandoned horses across the country is due to what is being called a “perfect storm” of a slow economy, highfeed prices, &recent national outlawing of slaughterhouses. This is a mammoth crisis – 1000s of horses being left to waste away in fields &paddocks, or surrendered to over-crowded rescues. Closing down a business where horses lead content & exceedingly reasonable existences will only ADD to this problem.
A well-loved, cared-for horse with a job is a lucky horse.
Now go back to your fetal position – you should be ashamed of yourself, but not for taking a ride.”
I think every little girl dreams of sharing a ride with her Prince Charming through Central Park in a horse-drawn carriage.
I have been coming to New York City at least once a year since I was 17, but always with girlfriends or on business. So when I found myself in the city with my husband for the first time — how we’ve been together for 10 years and managed to avoid this occasion previously I’ll never know — I instinctively steered us toward Central Park South to begin our romantic ride through Frederick Law Olmstead’s age-old landscape.
For some reason, the notion that I normally sneer at carriage passengers before praying for the sad-faced workhorse pulling them along completely abandoned me. Something about New York transports me to another dimension where there are no consequences.
The reality of the situation struck us both as soon as that big, brown-eyed guy started trudging along with us — and our anything but lightweight carriage — through those rolling hills. We were mortified. Cabs and other cars whizzed through the park within feet of the carriage, honking and pumping exhaust into the air. Pedestrians cast a familiar sneer in our direction.
The 17-minute ride was gut-wrenching, and it took all our strength to turn our back on the poor guy when we returned to the Plaza Hotel and tipped the driver. There was no tip for Mr. Ed, who had done all the work. And while we know nothing of his daily treatment, we’re pretty sure he didn’t sign up for the job voluntarily.
Enter my Google search for “New York City Carriage Horses.” For information on carriage horse advocacy groups and some of their horrific findings, click on the following links (I’ll be showering in the fetal position):
I am not the kind of girl who goes vegetarian every time she hears a PETA horror story. I’ve always known where meat, leather and fur comes from, and I’ve still consumed, even craved, all of the above. I’ve read about slaughterhouses, animal testing and tanneries but — color me insensitive — none of it was enough to change my way of life.
Released in 2005 by writer/producer/director Shaun Monson and narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, this award-winning documentary film explores the concept of speciesism as it relates to racism and sexism, comparing the mass murder of animals to the Holocaust.
“Here we go again,” I thought, settling in for another vegan sob story about veal and foie gras. Yes, I know, chinchillas have feelings too – blah blah blah.
Then, in short clips illustrating the validity, frequency and severity of these claims, carnage filled the screen. Real-life and in high definition. Death. Ninety minutes of merciless, filthy, reprehensible, gut-wrenching death. Dogs, cats, cows, pigs, dolphins, whales, monkeys, tigers, foxes, elephants. All those big brown eyes screaming where their voices could not.
Shot over six years from animal shelters, factory farms, slaughterhouses, the leather and fur trades, sporting events, circuses and research labs, “Earthlings” is the reality animal equivalent to the worst bone-saw thriller movie ever made.
I know a few people who haven’t been able to make it past the first 10 minutes of this film, crying uncle when little piglets have their teeth cut, their ears clipped and their tails docked with the same pair of rusty bolt cutters and no anesthesia (this keeps them from chewing on each other in extremely confined spaces). Wincing while the Turkish handle their stray dog population by tossing street muts into the trash compactor. Holding their breath as cows who were supposed to be “humanely” executed by a quick bolt to the brain (but who has time to aim properly and make sure they’re really dead?) twist and contort, dangling inverted from one leg as they head to the slice-and-dice department to become ground chuck, ribeye and tender filet — all while fully conscious and writhing in pain.
Even workers at so-called kosher facilites, which are supposed to treat cows with the utmost sanctity and respect while processing, ignore all protocol, slitting throats and ripping out trachea while the living, breathing cow aspirates to death on its own blood. All in a day’s work! Can’t cut down on productivity, after all…
When I began my foray into eco-friendly living, I wondered whether it was OK to fudge on the whole organic meat thing from time to time, particularly on routine purchases like chicken, because who in this economy has room to double their grocery budget? The answer is no. If you don’t have the balls to burn that chicken’s beak off yourself and shove it into a place where it will likely go insane and start eating the other chickens, then no. If you aren’t bored enough beat a sow to death with a cinderblock for fun on the farm, then no. If you aren’t into slitting a bull’s neck and watching it choke on its own blood until it dies, in plain view of all the other cows, then no. Big-box meat of any kind is no longer an option. It is cheap for a reason — because a knife to the throat is cheap, too.
And if you think I’ve become a whiny vegan preacher, let’s see if you can make it through this film without wanting to slit the throats of a few farmers, fishermen or dog catchers. If you can watch the whole thing without thinking differently about the agony that permeates that fast-food burger, I’m not sure I want to know you.