Are Horse-drawn Carriages OK?
I've become to epitome of blog slacker. Part of it I think is that I don't have much to say, or I say it all on Facebook and Twitter and then I don't feel like expanding upon the 140 characters. Do you ever feel like our digital interweb world makes us less connected, more introverted, and just plain stupid? LOL!! I really feel like that sometimes.
One thing that I faced this week that I wanted to talk about was an interaction I had with someone on Facebook. It really left me feeling icky but also made me realize that we (the "we" that fight for peace, love, and happiness for all living creatures) have a lot more work to do and gotta keep chugging along. I woke to find that Groupon Dallas was offering a deal on a horse-drawn carriage ride. This kind of thing really upsets me, so I posted on my FB fan page to not support this business or buy these deal on Groupon. One woman said "Don't know if I agree with this, horses like to work". Another woman actually flipped out on me saying something like "How dare you say not to support this business…horse, mules and donkeys have been working for us since the beginning of time and baby Jesus road on it's back…I will not be supporting you anymore!". I was totally taken aback by this outburst. I found it mildly humorous, but when I clicked on the woman's profile and saw she was in Texas, it then made me pretty sad.
Just because we have been doing something for years doesn't make it right and unchangeable. I believe that animals used for all forms of entertainment is just plain wrong, from circuses to horse races to Sea World. It bums me out when I get comments like the one above, because that means this person thinks animals are just ours to be used, abused, worn and eaten. I'm very vocal about where I stand on diet, but I'm not as vocal about other animal abuse that takes place. This kind of confrontation fuels me to be more vocal because all abuse is unnecessary and totally changeable. We don't have to continue these outdated practices just because our fathers and our grandfathers and baby Jesus took part. Be the change you want to see in the world, don't follow the masses.
There are many organizations that are trying to put a stop to this abuse. Horses do not live or work in good conditions, sometimes having to work 12 or more hours a day in heavy costumes, walking on concrete, if the blistering sun. I read on the Equine Advocates site that "the average working life of an urban carriage horse is less than four years, as compared with that of mounted police horses who are able to serve an average of fifteen years before being retired." As the comments in this post on One Green Planet points out, yes there are probably a few horse lovers/owners that treat their horses like kings and queens. But you are still using another living creature for your own benefit and profit. They are your property and must follow your directions. It's the same as slavery, whether you treat them well or not. And I know it will suck when you are out of work if this bill passes but there are plenty of ways to make money not using animals as commodities.
You can head on over to Care2 to sign this petition to stop the abuse of NY horse-drawn carriages and hopefully every city that uses this practice will follow suit. They are close to their goal of 60,000, so head on over to sign! It takes 5 seconds!!
How to you feel about horse-drawn carriages and other things like circuses, dog races, and Sea World?