My Gentle Readers—
Today I promised you a guest poster was going to voice his opinion today about this horse slaughter business. And I am pleased to announce my dear friend, Ted, is here with his post. I have known Ted for about a year now and he is a great and a highly intelligent man. He has a interest in many topics. This is what he has to say about horses and horse slaughter:
I have owned many horses. Often they are better than people. Horses do not abort human babies, they do not vote for liberal Muslim presidents that are pathological liars, they do not compromise with Satan, they do not build mega church buildings while the neighbor next door starves, they do not abandon their babies, they are not boozers or druggies, they are not cannibals, they do not poison the earth with chemicals, and they are the ones who get the carrots!
Most of my horses came from a horse auction in Spanish Fork, Utah, where if I hadn’t bid on them and took them home, they would have ended up at the slaughterhouse, and become dog food. My boys were young children at the time and they needed horses to teach them many of the conscientious traits of good citizenship that people learn from caring for animals. Not the least of which is compassion for a creature that is defenseless against the ever relentless pursuit of mankind’s knowledge of good and evil.
Speaking of the knowledge of good and evil, the thought of it takes me back to the Garden of Eden where two famous individuals are about to make the mistake of setting this relentless pursuit into motion. At that time Adam and Eve were immortal humans who were assigned as the keepers of the Garden by God, who visited them each day and spoke with them.
God had warned them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They had Gods permission to eat of the other trees fruits. There were other creatures roaming around in the Garden, as previous scriptures show that God gave Adam the privilege of naming them. I am sure horses were there too among the variety of animals, all pleasantly disposed to eating of the grasses as grazing creatures. None of them, as yet, were cannibalistic meat eaters, as this happened to them, being they, along with the whole earth were cursed with mortality and evil at the fall of Adam and Eve from Gods grace.
Everyone is familiar with the serpent or snake beguiling Eve into eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Apparently the snake had been a companion to Eve and had spoken to her often, as the scriptures do not illustrate she had any fear of it. Now if the snake had privilege to speak, we can probably rightly assume the horses did too. There isn’t time here to engage any dialogue with the lions, tigers and bears. Oh my! But, we can have some fun with our genial companion, the horse.
“Eve” spoke the horse to Eve. “Yo, Eve” the horse spoke a little louder this time. Eve wasn’t listening. She was busy eating and didn’t like to interrupted. Finally the horse clomped over and nudged Eve and said to Eve, “Whats that you are eating?” Eve looked up at the horse and said “What do you think it is?” Eve had by this time already eaten a few bites and was beginning to enjoy this fruit that she had never eaten before. It tasted so good to her. Never had she tasted anything so good before. She began to wonder why she had waited so long to try it. I mean, it has been years that she had spied this odd looking fruit, desiring it, but never actually tasting it. Maybe even centuries. She had forgo actually how long it had been since she first spotted it looking so inviting there on that lone tree right in the middle of the Garden. Adam had warned her about it. Again the genial horse said to Eve, ” Pardon me, Eve, I am so sorry to bother you while you are fancying dinner, but, what is that you are eating”?
Eve again looked into the horses eyes and said, “SHHHHH! Don’t talk so loud. Somebody will hear you. You are making me afraid.” The horse replied, “afraid? afraid of what? And by the way, what is fear? I have no idea what you are talking about. Why do you humans speak in such riddles? Are we playing a new kind of game? Eve, I have always liked playing games with you, but this one is a mystery to me. All the other ones were easy to follow. We’ve had such fun together. But now you are acting and speaking strangely. So tell me what is that you are eating? Can I have a bite too?”
If you are eating fruit or vegetables, horses will always want a bite or two of it you know. Although they have their favorites. Apples, carrots, and don’t forget, they love oatmeal for breakfast! And they don’t mind a bit if it is lumpy. In fact they prefer lumpy oatmeal.
After Eve finished eating the last bite she explained to her faithful horse companion that she had been eating of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden. Upon hearing that the horses eyes got really big and said “Eve, haven’t we been pals for a long time? Haven’t I always looked out for you? Now you have gone and done this thing. I overheard Adam warning you not to do it. You have been talking with that snake again haven’t you? I have always felt there was something different about him. I could never quite put it into words. Now I understand what it was. Oh Eve, do you know what you have gone and done?”
Eve looked up at the horse. She was speechless. There was a look of fear in her eyes. She had never felt like this before, but she clearly understood what it was. At that she looked down at the core, what was left of the fruit, and realized there was part of it that even she could not eat. It had never been like this before. Nothing was wasted, everything was good.
Eve was now as distraught as ever. There was nowhere to run and hide. Even her horse could not help her. The Garden was only so big, and no one ever went beyond the gate into the outer reaches.
At that moment she heard a voice calling her. It was Adam. He was coming to see her. Eve had to think of something fast. Ah-ha she thought. Of course,…why didn’t she think of it before now? She went over to the tree which still had more fruit on it, picked some and waited for Adam. When Adam came to her she looked at him seductively. He had never seen her like this. He was spell bound for the first time in his life. Never had she looked so beautiful. Her eyes mesmerized him as she handed him the fruit and he began to eat. A new kind of heat and desire began to build in them. Something new they had never experienced before. Just as they were wrapping each other in their arms and embrace God spoke.
“Adam !” The sound of Gods voice reverberated loudly, so much so that the earth shook, and it caused both of them to freeze up. Fear went through them like bolts of lightning. Their hearts were racing, and panic became their new bedfellow. They ran.
As they were running they were looking for a place to hide from the Voice. They found a large tree and began to crouch down and huddle together. Adam looked at her eyes and saw the wretchedness of mortality beginning to form in her. His heart pained. He exclaimed, “Eve my Eve, what is happening to you?” Eve looked up at Adam and exclaimed to him that she had been speaking with the snake and he had tricked her into eating of that tree in the middle of the Garden. At that Eve also exclaimed, “Instead of listening to that snake, I should have listened to my horse !!!.”
Case in point is why horses play such a crucial role in our lives and history. We cannot afford to lose them.
Coincidentally, this morning, I came across this article that I thought would be a great tie-in to this post. CBS San Francisco reported on a story called “Undercover Investigation Reveals Little Oversight At California Horse Auctions“
A horse known as Rino-U was bought by Tawney Preisner, who runs a shelter for horses.
“He was injured, he has a fractured knee, and he was no longer useful to the industry, so he was dumped,” Preisner said.
Just months before, the two-year-old thoroughbred was racing at Golden Gate Fields.
Just because a horse is deemed ‘no longer useful for the industry’ doesn’t mean he cannot find a new occupation, such as a school horse, show jumping, or if he injury is that bad, he can be a companion horse. Lots of retired racers or those with injures that aren’t that severe often go on to have a successful racing career.
“It’s quite typical for someone to spend $150,000 on a horse, race it a few times, and if its not performing, just make it disappear,” said Preisner.
Preisner’s group, Horse Plus Humane Society, has rescued over 2,500 horses in the past decade – many of the animals were race horses that she found dumped at auctions.
“If they are lucky, they make it to an actual person that wants to help them and retrain them, but most times they go straight on to slaughter,” she said.
Horse Plus Humane Society is just one of hundreds societies out there who is trying to rescues horses, rehab them if need be and rehome them to forever homes. This is a growing problem. But there is not enough money to cover buying all of them that go through auction though.
Livestock auctions are where horse traders known as “killer buyers” go to snap up horses for pennies on the dollar.
“It’s highly likely that kill buyers are going to scoop up horses that show up at auction,” said Cheryl Jacobson, who heads up equine protection for the Humane Society of the United States.
Jacobson said the auction process is known as the slaughter pipeline. From auction houses, the horses are then trucked to feedlots, and from there to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico.
“They are packed in there. They have long transportation times without food or water or rest,” Jacobson said.
This video I had happened to find on YouTube from the Horse Plus Humane Society. They watched as a kill buyer was trying to load a mare up in a trailer. She effing knows where she was headed and she was doing everything in her power to prevent being loaded up in that trailer. She knew! She isn’t stupid. I balled my eyes out when I saw that video. There was a happy ending though…
California horses, protected by law from slaughter, quietly disappear into the pipeline, simply by crossing first into neighboring states where exporting for slaughter is legal. There is no one monitoring the sales of the horses. The California Department of Agriculture requires auctions to keep records, but the auction houses don’t have to report the transactions to the state. And the state admits there’s no budget for inspections.
Our horses, domestic and wild, are being shipped to Canada and Mexico to be butchered for human consumption for foreign delicacies. These are peoples pets, family members, faithful farm workers or famous race horses. Their flesh goes for $14 lb over seas in parts of Europe and Asia. Most owners who bring their pets to auctions or sell them blindly on classifieds have NO idea what happens to their beloved animals. I have seen people braid tails, bath , clip, primp, polish horses for an auction thinking they would get a good home, and in return end up in a kill pen.
It was established that horse meat contains unhealthy amounts of carcinogenic such as Phenylbutazone. This drug is more commonly known as ” Bute” and is given for the same purpose and as often as Aspirin. It is banned for use in any animal intended for human consumption. It causes serious and lethal adverse effects in humans. The known carcinogen even in very small doses can cause bone marrow suppression, cancer, birth defects and early Alzheimer disease. There has been documentation that some of the horse processing plants in Mexico go so far as to label the contaminated meat as Organic.
Under federal law, horses are required to be rendered unconscious prior to slaughter, usually with a device called a captive bolt gun, which shoots a metal rod into the horse’s brain. The captive bolt was designed for cattle not horses, who are a flight animal. Once they see something coming at their face they swing their head to avoid it, causing the captive bolt to slam into the side of their face multiple times before the horses is finally dead. Some horses, however, are only stunned and are conscious when they are hoisted by a rear leg to have their throats cut. Those conditions are only in Canada, Mexico is a much different story. Horses that are shipped to Mexico are stabbed with a pontilla knife in the spinal cord until paralyzed and then lifted in the air by a back leg and butchered alive.
Horses of virtually all ages and breeds are slaughtered, from draft types to miniatures. Horses commonly slaughtered include unsuccessful race horses, horses who are lame or ill, surplus riding school and camp horses, foals cast off in the nurse mare industry, and foals who are “by products” of the Pregnant Mare Urine(PMU) industry, which produces the estrogen-replacement drug Premarin®. ( Body Parts dumped at Canadian Plant)
Kill buyers ( people who are in the business of buying horses for slaughter) have contracts with slaughter plants over the border, and quotas they need to meet. They will attend auctions and buy horses of any shape and size to meet their needs set by the slaughter plant. They generally want to buy the young, fat and healthy, leaving the sick, old and injured for the rescues to ‘ clean up’.
Several alternatives exist, such as humane euthanasia performed by a veterinarian. The bodies of euthanized
horses can be picked up by rendering plants for disposal.
Horse owners can have their animals euthanized and bury them (where permissible) or have them cremated. Another option is to donate the horse to an equine rescue organization.
Ferdinand (1983–2002) was a Thoroughbred racehorse racehorse who won the 1986 Kentucky Derby and 1987 Breeders’ Cup Classic. He was voted the 1987 Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year. He entered stud in 1989 and was later sold to a breeding farm in Japan in 1994. Much to the outrage of many horse racing enthusiasts, reports indicate that in 2002 Ferdinand was sent to slaughter in Japan with no fanfare or notice to previous owner.
He likely became either pet food or steaks for human consumption. The horse racing industry recently initiated the Ferdinand Fee which will be used to fund retirement homes for race horses to TRY ensure that no more race horses like Ferdinand end up at a slaughter horse.
A lot of pro-slaughter advocates will have you believe that there is an over population of horses, so slaughter is a necessary evil. What they DON’T mention is that 150,000 horses is only 1% of the Equine population in the United States with a population of 9 Million. If the export of horses for slaughter was banned it would take very little to phase that 1% back into society. If the export of horses for slaughter was banned it would also self correct the issue of
there being a surplus of horses. Breeders would be held accountable for their over breeding. Right now, breeders do’ Lottery Breeding’. They will breed a 100 horses for the hope of 2-3 ‘perfect’ horses, the remainder they ‘get rid of’. Right now, they have an outlet to get rid of their unwanted horses. They send them to auction where they WILL get bought up, even if its by a kill buyer who then sends them to slaughter. If they have no outlet, then why don’t have a place to just DUMP horses. With that being said, they will cut breeding back to a minimum to obtain better quality stock with lower numbers. This will eventually raise the quality of ‘sale’ horses and raise the price of horses in the current market.
I am going to post a video that will reveal exactly what happens in a slaughter house if you aren’t already aware of it. It is very, very graphic and not for the faint of heart.
If you heart was broken, if you cried, that is good. Because it is sad and heartbreaking. These are our friends and companions. This why it is such a travesty what is happening over in Europe. Basically it is a genocide, really.
And there are ways for you to help. Donate to organizations, write your politicians Take a stand and show you do not want this to happen anymore. We are so close to having slaughter legal once again in the US. Our food supply could very well one day soon be tainted with horse meat. Stand up and show your support for our horses.
I want to thank Ted again for his post. I really believe it added to my post and make stand against horse slaughter more effective. And also added a little humor to this grave but very important matter.
And I am so sorry the pictures towards the bottom. Just click through the YouTube video to see the whole thing. I just couldn’t get it to set up right. Maybe too many pictures. Sorry. :) I hope you did enjoyed the post at least and learned a lot and it left quite an impression on you to say the least. Thanks again to Ted for providing his take on this sensitive but important issue. I really appreciate it.