I’m sure glad I have been blessed with the ability to think logically for myself. It’s pretty scary out there in the online world of the slaughter debate. I touched on some conspiracy theories earlier, mostly because they were so absurd I didn’t really think anybody could possibly be serious about them. Turns out, I was wrong. Not only do PSAs believe them, they basically think the anti-slaughter movement is some covert strategy to convert the US into a fascist regime. EVERYBODY that doesn’t want to slaughter horses is out to get them.
When I get a little down time, I try to educate myself as to what both sides of the debate is thinking. Neither side is going to win if they don’t understand the other and respond, in some form, to their concerns. I’ve seen lots of good ideas and reasonable alternatives to slaughter floated around. Mostly they have fallen on deaf ears. On some level, I think it’s because of the personalities involved, but then I came across this little gem under the comment section of an online editorial:
“ THAT is exactly WHY it’s scary. Horses get special status? WHY? Or maybe…just maybe, the horse is a scapegoat for the hidden agenda of removing ALL meat from the American diet. The problem is taking away meat is the first step to stopping the slaughter of ALL animals. But, then how are you going to get the products that are part of our everyday life that presently are the by-products of animals. How about this? The valve of hearts come from pigs. If you or your child MUST have that valve are you willing to DIE so one pig can live? I ruge people to look into the products in your every day life, the things you CANNOT live without and see how many of them are made with even the tiniest piece of an animal. Then ask yourself, what happens when these things cannot be made anymore because someone thinks humanely slaughtering an animal for food for ourselves, food for our pets, and products that make our lives better?”
Pretty paranoid stuff, huh? It would be funny if this person didn’t actually passionately believe this was all true. I think I can safely say, that for the anti-slaughter people, the horse slaughter debate is strictly about horses and their suffering. Nothing else. I think a fair number of us on the anti side aren’t even vegetarians. I don’t think that makes us hypocrites either. I love dogs and don’t think we should start slaughtering them for food because some minority culture of immigrants happen to want to do that over here. If anybody ever wants to mass slaughter our abandoned pet population for human consumption over here, I’m going to fight that with all I have too.
I think I can safely calm this person’s fears by telling them that they will continue to have their piggy heart valves unless they happen to come from a culture that forbids that. Pig heart valves are a bi-product of slaughtering pigs and there isn’t any serious movement to shut down all slaughter. I’m sure many of us have varying feelings about any and all slaughter, but for the most part, horse slaughter is its own issue. Unlike cattle and pigs, horses are generally raised to be companion animals. Yes, some people have pet cows and pigs, but let’s look at the bigger picture and talk about the majority. Also, cows and pigs have very different flight responses than horses and, more importantly, they have these handy short necks which make it far easier to knock them down with one shot. Horses have long, very elastic-like necks that make the one shot kill extremely difficult. It also enables them to move and fight far more violently when attempts are made to immobilize their head in a slaughter situation. As a result horses SUFFER far more in slaughter houses.
Our paranoid PSA wants us to believe that if we stop horse slaughter that soon we won’t be able to have any slaughter and as a result will no longer be able to use animal bi-products. I guess they don’t understand the rendering process then. Even if you chemically euthanize your horse, he can still be rendered and put to use if that is your desire. I don’t even have a problem with that as I realize that not everybody has the means or property to dispose of such a large animal. The only thing chemically euthanizing a horse is going to prevent is eating its meat. You can still have your hides, hooves and all that other good stuff you like to wear even if the animals is NOT slaughtered. Nobody is pushing any laws to prevent this.
In an earlier blog entry I posted the definition of rescue. I posted the entire definition, because that is the right thing to do. The definition I used was from Webster’s Online dictionary and was as follows:
1.to free or deliver from confinement, violence, danger, or evil.
2.Law . to liberate or take by forcible or illegal means from lawful custody.
That seems pretty simple, does it not? I even went on to say that horse theft is a felony and if rescues go around stealing horses, they are going to be charged and go to jail. Any reasonable person would understand that. The operative word there is `reasonable’. Right on cue, one of the PSA rocket scientists posts this right after:
“In their minds, it is perfectly acceptable to steal horses because of their own opinion of the owners care.
My friends, dangerous times are upon us.”
Seriously, WTF? This person honestly believes that some rescue will use Webster’s online dictionary to steal their horse. I don’t even think you can develop this kind of stupid. It’s something that has to be born and bred into somebody. I also don’t really have much more to comment on this because any reasonable and logical person would understand the context of the definition of rescue. For once, I am speechless.
Then, just when you think they couldn’t get any more paranoid we have the most recent drama of the online poll. Some small town newspaper posted a poll on their online blog about the proposed slaughter plant in Missouri. Because a certain PSA blogger has nothing better to do than troll around online all day every day, she posted the link and the PSA’s jumped all over this little blog. They wet their collective panties when they figured out how to clear their cache and vote numerous times. They were going to show all us anti-slaughter people there was no 80% against slaughter and, dammit, Missouri wants to eat some horse meat. Now, to be fair, some anti slaughter people rose to the challenge and encouraged voting too. I have to confess I didn’t vote at all because those types of polls mean nothing in the grand scheme of things and I don’t have time for that stuff. From what I gather the PSAs `won’ the initial poll wars, but before they could finish chest bumping and high fiving each other, the poll was reworded and posted again. Surely, this was some sort of government conspiracy to thwart Slaughterhouse Sue and her merry band of morons, so they redoubled their efforts. Rightfully so, somebody contacted the editor in the interest of fair reporting about what was going on. They provided links and quotes from the PSAs about manipulating the numbers and the poll was removed. Most sane people would have just shrugged it off and moved on. Instead the PSAs are convinced that the editor is in the anti’s pockets and a liar. They claim he couldn’t know that people were making multiple votes based on the poll platform. I guess the next time they try to masquerade as a `techie’, they should google up html code and that somebody can grab your IP any number of ways by running a code in something as benign as a poll or a picture. Since I was the one that had to point out to our intrepid blogger about IP addresses and proxy servers, it’s reasonable to assume she doesn’t have a full grasp on how all that works. Sorry, but I’m very amused by all of this and the resulting blogs and justifications that have followed.
I would just like to leave our PSA readers with a few words. No, not everybody is out to get you. Most of us just want to make sure that no horses suffer in slaughter houses. Most anti-slaughter people are resolute in their mission and are able to discern what matters and what doesn’t as far as how this battle plays out. There is NO alternate agenda beyond horses in this issue for the majority of anti-slaughter people. Every cause has rogues, but not every side has such a consortium of lunacy as I have seen from the PSA side. You are your own worst enemies and it becomes increasingly more difficult to take anything you say seriously when you fly your freak flags so publically.