Lately, I can’t look at an equine related message board or even my own Facebook feed without getting hit between the eyes with the slaughter debate. I’m tired of it. I’m tired of the asshattery involved with it. I also know I’m on the absolute right side to be on and nobody is going to change my mind. I didn’t choose my side, it chose me. I try to read both sides of the arguments, but to listen to the pro-slaughter advocates angers me. I imagine that if this was playing out in person, rather than online, they would be the ones that shout the loudest and contradict themselves….A LOT. The also lie…..A WHOLE LOT.
When equine slaughter was effectively shut down about 5 years ago, there was a rumble that this wouldn’t be good for the horses and they would suffer. Rescues would be overtaxed and horses would end up wandering our streets and starving to death in front of our own eyes. No regard was giving from the pro slaughter side that there would need to be an adjustment time and a `market correction’. You see, the people who a ban on equine slaughter really affected, were the ones that were breeding anything and everything and your small time gyp dealers. They cried that it devalued their horses and now they couldn’t get $100 for their fine steeds at a sale. According to the pro slaughter group, killing and eating our horses will fix all the problems in the current economic climate. They are a tenacious bunch not to be deterred by facts or realities. They are also fearless in bending facts to suit their agenda, making sweeping generalizations and drawing lines between points that aren’t even on the same page. I’m not sure if the majority of them are creative writers or just profoundly ignorant. I suspect the latter. After all, they are led by the Princess of Evil herself, Slaughterhouse Sue.
A PSA (pro slaughter advocate) will tell you that horses are livestock and just as eligible to be slaughtered as a pig or a cow. They don’t let this stance get clouded with the fact that of all the above mentioned animals, the horse is a flight animal. Put a herd of cattle, pigs and horses in crowded separate pens each. Make sure that none of those animals have ever seen or been touched by a human before. Now, jump in the middle of each pen with a whip and start cracking it. Now, observe what happens in each pen. The cows and pigs will move out of your way. If you have a particularly aggressive cow, she may posture or look to charge you, but by and large, the pen of cows and pigs will just move out of the way with very little drama. The horse pen will be different. You will have these animals try to climb out of the pen, over each other and basically do anything within their power to get away from YOU. Their only instinct is to flee danger. Horses have a much higher adrenaline response than other `livestock’. As a result, they have a keen awareness and ability to sense danger. When left no other option to get away from you, they will go into their `fight’ response and that means here comes the feet. They don’t want to hurt you, they want to get a clear path to get away from you.
Another point the PSAs will make on the whole `horses are livestock’ line of thinking is that it is no different from eating a cow, pig or chicken. Is this an admission that they will begin breeding for slaughter? How is that going to help Joe Average Horse Breeder that is trying to breed a performance horse? Seems like he won’t have this great outlet for his culls that you promise, once that happens. Seems that might drop the bottom line for legitimate horse breeders even further. Hmmm….
Slaughterhouse Sue must be hungry because she goes into great detail on how good for you horse meat is. What a waste it is to euthanize a good horse and waste all that good eating because we have people going hungry every single day. She hasn’t bothered to acknowledged that most of the resulting meat from horse slaughter will be sent overseas or to rather expensive niche markets domestically. Nope, poor people won’t be able to afford to eat horses anymore than they can afford prime rib. In fact, prime rib will probably be cheaper. I’ve `heard’ around the net that Ole Suey might have suggested that we feed prisoners, schools and other institutions with horse meat byproduct. I’m assuming the ground lips and assholes that the rich people won’t want. She has pontificated about that some cultures eat horses all the time and think nothing of it. Yes, and some cultures eat cats and dogs with regularity as well. Are we going to start raiding animal shelters for Sue’s dinner plate? In remote areas of Africa cannibalism still exists too….FINALLY a way to address the foster children problem we have! Sue Wallis is going to fix the country with her culturally diverse palate. Who knew?
Another thing the PSAs will tell you is that slaughter will end the current problem of unwanted horses and starving horses. Oh really? If anything it will exacerbate that problem because slaughter houses want the young, fat and healthy horses. Those old, skinny wraiths that both sides of the argument use as their poster children to drive home different points will still exist. The only thing that bringing back slaughter is going to do is mean even more get turned loose or left to die in sale lots. I guess that beats a one way trip to Mexico in a double-decker trailer, but it won’t mean they no longer exist. There will be more of them and they will be even more visible. Great work, killers! What they fail to recognize is that hoarders and abusers will continue to be hoarders and abusers. That is a psychological disconnect, not a product of no slaughter. Opening ups equine slaughter plants will not fix these people or their problems.Now you will get to see your friendly neighborhood kill buyer buying up the young, healthy and broke horses to put on the dinner plates in Europe at an alarming rate. Awesome!
One of the frequent battle cries of the PSAs is `Don’t tell me what to do with MY property’. Well, my little hypocrites, that goes both ways. Please stop telling me how I should treat my animals, unless I am breaking a law and abusing it. That includes how I see fit to end its life when the time comes. You see, I may own an animal, but I still am expected to treat it a certain way by law. That is, unless I happen to be a kill buyer or own a slaughter-house for horses. Then I can torture, kill and maim it any way I see fit apparently. Stop telling me my horse is not a pet. If I say a ladybug is my pet and treat it as such…..IT IS. Then, the majority of PSAs will tell you that while they are all for slaughter, they would never slaughter one of their own or send it to kill. Why not? If it is so humane to slaughter a horse, then why not do that to your own? Don’t tell me that you don’t have feelings for this `thing’ you refer to as your property. Unless you are prepared to eat your own horses, then do not tell me it’s ok to raise horses for slaughter. Guess what? Just because a horse that is raised for slaughter is likely to have little to no human contact and training, does not make it any less a fight or flight animal. It does not mean it will be any less afraid of what is happening to it. If anything it might be more so than Ole Trigger the saddle horse. Still not humane, still not cool.
I can go round and round on this `issue’ for days. I’m still sick of it and I’m still not changing my mind. I’m not going to devote every blog to the issue but I WILL be featuring the mouthpieces and players of the United Horsemen soon. Let’s face it, this slaughter issue is a battle and the better we know our enemy, the easier it will be to neutralize their efforts. For now, I just want them to STFU and stop polluting my leisure time with their asshattery.