April 17, 2012

Tough Topic

This post will not give you the warm fuzzies. In fact, it may make you sick to your stomach.

Two words to test you to see if you can handle reading forward- horse slaughter. 

In 2007, the last active horse slaughterhouse in the US was shut down. Today, horses are transported to Canada and Mexico, crammed inside low-ceilinged trucks with no food or even a sip of water- to be slaughteredLate last year, Congress restored funding for U.S. inspectors to oversee horse slaughter, making it legal once again for horses to be slaughtered in the U.S. Many "horse people" are all for this, shockingly, stating that 'at least the US can regulate the slaughter' and go on about how many unwanted horses there are.

When I was 10 years old, my family and I adopted a horse named Brandy. He had been abused in every way possible. He was hundreds of pounds underweight and terrified of almost everything and everyone. Everything was an enemy to him. Prior to meeting us, he'd been rescued by another horse-lover who knew he would never survive. Brandy changed my life.

Last year, my life was changed yet again. I walked into a horse barn full of gorgeous horses and saw one tall, sad boy with a blanket on. He was the one I'd driven hours to see. He was walked out into the aisle way- and when his blanket came off, my heart sunk. I could count every rib and place my head into his hip. He was terribly skinny- terribly helpless...I knew he had to come home with me. A little over a year later, he's "as healthy as a horse." Where would he be if there was a horse slaughterhouse nearby? I never would've found him. 

Let me ask you this- where do you draw the line? If horse slaughter is legal, when are the lines for the horses that are abused at their homes? The horses who are abused long before they reach the slaughter? Will these owners be fined or paid for turning in their horses for slaughter? How many people even know what slaughter really entails?! Do you? If you don't and you are squeamish, I encourage you to skip this part. I'm not squeamish at all- and when I say at all...I mean nothing makes me sick. Researching horse slaughter this last day or so- watching the videos, reading the articles, seeing the photos...even I couldn't handle it.

The following video cannot be embedded due to it's content. Click here link to find out the real deal on horse slaughter. (This video is from a slaughterhouse in Mexico.)

These horses are repeatedly bludgeoned with a "dead-bolt" gun- this gun drives a spike into their skull, rendering some, not all unconscious. (Keep in mind, the operators of the guns are not trained.) Many horses are strung up by their hind leg while squealing for their lives- just before their throats are slit and they're left to bleed to death. They're then dismembered and their meat is sent off for human consumption in foreign countries such as France and Japan.

I recently read that the North Carolina Horse Council supports horse slaughter. At this point, I wasn't surprised- as many horse people have argued the "pros" of horse slaughter with me recently. I've argued my point over on the NCHC Facebook page- mostly to have irrelevant questions tossed my way.

One said:
"How would you like YOUR horse to die if it had a broken leg right now? Poison it with lethal injection solution so that the meat is unusable and put it in a hole to rot?"
Like I said, mostly irrelevant. However, if my horse had a broken leg, I would call a vet. I wouldn't transport him to a slaughterhouse. Furthermore- my horses are my family. Not to sound like the crazy horse lady, but they are! Yes, I would poison my horse to guarantee he would be out of pain, kiss him goodbye and bury him in his pasture. I would not eat him, Hannibal Lecter.

Another said:
"PETA even supports it! It's in Horse & Rider!"
Is it? Interesting. Every article I've read regarding PETA and horse slaughter states they are against horse slaughter. However, they did state (supposedly, this wasn't a quote from their website) that they would be in more support of horse slaughter in the US, than transporting horses to Canada and Mexico. I can see how a journalist could chop that quote right up to fit a "Pro-Slaughter" article. (Remember, I majored it journalism...I'm part scumbag!)

Another said:
"This will stop overcrowding! Maybe it will slow down backyard breeding!"
Someone needs to smack the shit out of you. 

This issue clearly bothers me. It hits me where it really hurts. I'm a tenderhearted animal lover- but for reals, ya'll- I will turn into a raging, lunatic, psycho bitch over this. Please sign the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011  and encourage your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.

1 comment:

  1. This is a tough topic. Slaughter itself is hard to handle, and it's worse when the auction lots need attention, too. Up here there's a place called New Holland that is notorious for putting lame, sick, or otherwise not up to appropriate health standards horses (out of date immunizations/Coggins, etc.) up for auction. It's supposed to be illegal and all horses are supposed to be checked. Everyone knows where those horses are going. And of course, they got to that state by abuse or neglect of some sort. I also recently learned that in fox hunting, the retired horses meet the knacker and it's an "honor" for the fox hounds to eat the gross. Seems kind of twisted to feed your prized horse to your dogs.