Category Archives: horses

Butchering Black Beauty

If you aren’t aware, last week in a bi-partisan effort, both political parties with our courageous leader, came together for the sake of slaughtering horses once again in the US. In 2006, Congress effectively shut down all horse slaughtering plants in the US by preventing funds allocated for the inspections of the meat. Without a USDA inspection, the meat could not be sold for human consumption. Thus, the slaughter industry in the US was snuffed out.

On November 18th, Congress re-approved these USDA funds in a budget meeting. The horse slaughter business could be up and running in a matter of weeks again. Obama signed off on the bill, despite the campaign promise he made in 2008 to permanently ban it, and 70% of American’s disapproving of the practice.

http://bit.ly/tf92sz

There are many sides to the argument, but here’s my three point case as to why it should not be tolerated in the States:

1)  Horses are not considered livestock, and should not be treated as such. The USDA does not classify them as livestock, according to the Live Stock Mandatory Reporting Act of 1999. Horses are performance and sport animals, they are companions and pets, therapy animals, and even police officers.

2)  There is no way to humanely slaughter horses in a systematic, factory-like way. Horses are skiddish, head-shy animals with a strong flight response when stressed. Unlike cows, horses are extraordinarily flexible and panic very easily, making an accurate shot with a captive bolt gun in the right place 100% of the time nearly impossible. As we have seen in Canada and Mexico, horses are often strung up and skinned while still alive.

3)  Lastly, horses in the US are not raised for meat. They are used often for riding, driving and racing, which often lends these animals to be administered steroids, wormers and a drug called Phenylbutazone commonly referred to as “bute”, which are banned for use in food animals. These horses going to slaughter have no historical record of the drugs administered in their past lives, making the meat sold for human consumption much more dangerous than the standard feed-lot raised cow.

Shame on Congress, shame on Obama and shame on all the animal rights and horse organizations out there supporting this measure, which now ensures our tax dollars are funding this travesty.

This is what we have to look forward to in the US.

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Friday Funny

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you enjoy the ridiculousness of this video as much as I did.

What In The World?

Coming from the horse world, I’ve seen a lot of wacky things we human do to animals. It got me thinking about some of the commonly accepted practices in the animal world, why we do them, and if some of them really should be tolerated at all. Let me preface this post by saying I am not an animal rights activist. I do believe, however, that we who choose to share our lives with animals have an obligation to respect those that rely on us for their care.

Horse Vaulting

Vaulting

I love horses. It baffles my mind to this day that these magnificent creatures put up with all the crap we do to them; from riding, to driving carriages, to jumping obstacles and even gymnastics or shooting guns off their backs. I whole heatedly believe that some horses genuinely love their “jobs” and so long as an animal is  willing and able to perform any of these feats, all the power to the trainers.

The horse show world on the other hand, has some pretty messed up practices. Just like “Toddlers in Tieras,” some owners or trainers will do anything to get that perfect look. Take for instance the Arabian and Saddlebred horse world, where people literally put hot-stinging ginger up the horses butt so the horse will raise his tail higher than he naturally already does.

Unlike in the Quarter Horse world, where people want the opposite, a flat low hanging tail which is sometimes achieved by “nerving” or “tail blocking.” This is done by literally cutting the nerves the top of the tail so it falls flat, but it also prevents horses from being able to use their tails to swish away biting flies.

It seems like most of the stuff done in the horse world that is demented revolves around competing or showing. What I don’t get is the common practices that we do to every-day pet dogs. Ear cropping and tail docking are really something I never truly comprehended. I understand tail docking in some preventative measures, for hunting dogs, etc. However, as a family pet I never got it. Someone please enlighten me.

Declawing pet house cats so they won’t rip your furniture apart always has been weird to me. A lot of people don’t realize that decawing a cat actually entails amputating part of each of little Fluffy’s toes, including the claws. I have two cats, I have been clipping their toe nails with a $4 set of nail clippers for the last 9 years and have never had one piece of furniture ruined due to scratching. They even have these plastic and rubber claw covers on the market now, if you’re so inclined to have a fashionable kitty while you’re at it.

What other weird practices are out there in the animal-keeping world have you always questioned?

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