With things coming down to the wire as far as horse slaughter, I’ve taken some time to do a bit more reading on the issue over the past few weeks. I have to admit, I don’t really like reading endless articles saying the same thing over and over, mostly because I find it all quite depressing. I don’t need to be beat over the head about how horrible slaughter is or what really happens during transport, because I get it. I have my favorite sources I look to for information and I mostly stick to those and what ends up in my emails. If I’m writing a blog, I become a bit more masochistic and actually dig a bit deeper to see what our PSA buddies are saying. Mostly I find it amusing, but lately it’s just kinda annoying. Ok, it’s a whole bunch annoying, but what I find sadly funny is what they pull out as their `expert’ proof and how many of them proclaim themselves authorities, but leave their asses hung out in public. Endless fodder. Because they have beat the GAO Report to death and nobody other than the PSAs really give it any credibility, I thought we’d look at some of their other `irrefutable proof’ today. They truly are grasping at straws lately…..
While not new to the slaughter issue, I’ve seen the name of Baxter Black getting kicked around a lot lately. The PSAs just love this poseur. After all, he wears the cowboy hat and the rest of the asstard uniform that counts for a lot in the PSA’s eyes. If you want to be seen as an authority, jam a cowboy hat on your head and talk with an `aww shucks’ drawl and make sure to use bad grammar. Seriously, WHAT the actual fuck makes this idiot an expert on horses and their welfare? Oh, I can already hear the PSAs stomping their hooves and shrieking, `but he’s an actual veterinarian!’. Actually, no he is not an actual veterinarian. He WAS one many, many years ago, but he was never an equine vet. He was a large animal vet mostly dealing with cattle and, I’m sure, a few PSA type horses thrown in the mix, but we all know that the majority of those types hardly provide a lot of veterinarian care for their equines. The fact is, he ceased being a vet of any type way back in the 80’s after being `let go’ from his last job which was, according to his own bio, a `tech’ position. He quit being a vet in 1982, which for our mathematically challenged PSAs, means he hasn’t practiced in over 30 years. Even then his veterinarian career lasted less than 13 yrs. Not even half as long as many of us have actually been in the horse industry and making a good living btw. Hardly a stellar career in horse husbandry and certainly posing his ass on a few horses and writing lame poetry does not make him any more of an expert than the city guy that paid to go on a trail ride a few times in his life. Naturally, Black is a slaughterphile and he has never spent a single week of his lifetime making his living from working with horses exclusively. He bases a lot of his opinions on the widely ridiculed GAO report. (http://www.tsln.com/article/20110818/TSLN04/110819970).
Now, admittedly, Black isn’t new to the `slaughter em all’ bandwagon, but for whatever reason, he’s getting linked around a lot lately. I guess it’s been a slow few days for their regular mouth pieces or something so it was time to dust off some of his ramblings on the subject. Black’s actual claim to fame, such that it is, is that he’s a cowboy poet. Unlike Slaughterhouse Sue, he can actually pen a sensible verse or two. Because of this, he comes up with some rather interesting euphemisms for slaughter. Now, maybe it has been used a bit before, but I had not heard of CHEER until I read one of his articles (http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2011-02-19/horse-owners-lovers-mull-over-cheer). CHEER, is an acronym for Centers for Humane Euthanasia and Equine Recycling. Doesn’t that sound so incredibly brilliant and amazing? I get visions of fat happy ponies romping in sweet clover and drinking out of crystal clear streams. It almost sounds like the Rainbow Bridge right here on earth! I bet every single horse gets a kiss on the nose and a hug before they are sent over that bridge too! While this all sounds a lot like the United Horseturd’s concept of having a rescue, college, slaughter emporium on one property, as near as I can find, CHEER seemed to be the original brain fart of Black’s. He wanted us to think of CHEER as a `boutique abattoir’ and if you were uncomfortable eating your own horse, you could swap with a buddy. So much awesome to contemplate! If you don’t want to eat the toxic waste at all, you could even donate it to another country like Africa or North Korea. Quite the humanitarian, Mr. Black is! It lead me to extrapolate on that and wonder why not save ourselves a lot of grief and ship all this tainted meat over to countries that have a lot of oil or other things we need. It would save us starting all these wars once they are all suffering and dying from strange maladies brought on by eating our companion animals. Black goes on to say the tired old line of nobody should have a say in what somebody else eats. He’s actually right. I don’t really care what anybody else eats. What I do care about is how you treat that animal, be it a pig, chicken or horse, while it is still living. Perhaps Black realized at some point that his stumping for slaughter was going to hurt his bottom line as far as audio sales and tickets to his little talks as he seems to have not had a lot to say in print on the issue for a while. That’s a real shame as he is fun to pick apart.
As most of you are aware, PSAs pretty much refuse to listen to anybody that they identify as anti-slaughter. They don’t like being confronted with truth and fact and often find themselves at a distinct advantage in a battle of wits. However, while I was looking around I found some interesting YouTube videos linked on a social networking page that perhaps they will address (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfzX4Fx5xuE). I’ve linked the first video in a series of three that feature an actual kill buyer talking about his profession as well as transporting horses. This KB is ashamed enough of himself, that his face has been blurred out of the video, but he otherwise lays it all out and is admittedly not too proud of his chosen profession. There is no graphic footage in any of the videos, but they are worth watching if you feel a need to hear it straight from the source. He talks about poking eyes out of horses to calm them down, wiring their mouths shut to transport, horrific injuries, and the scams they ran to buy up horses cheap, telling people whatever they need to hear to get those horses. He even chuckles at the one lady who mistakenly sold her horse to a KB and when she tried to get him back at a profit to the KB, because she SAW him in their pens, they lied to her and ran her off. It was her horse and his buddies thought it quite funny even though she left in tears. They show some notes that owners had attached to their horse’s papers upon selling because they thought they were going to real homes. These weren’t exactly the mythical unwanted horses we hear that KBs rescue and return to dignity all the time. These were naive people that got scammed and never imagined that this nice man buying a horse for his kid was actually a kill buyer. He mentions about filling loads at all costs, including one KB that even pulled the saddle off his favorite horse to make up a full load. Pretty much any horror story you’ve ever heard about kill buyers and transport for slaughter is confirmed by this guy. Admittedly, the video is a few years old, but as we know from organizations such as Animal Angels (http://www.animalsangels.org/) it is still happening every day. It is also interesting to note that this interview took place during a time when domestic slaughter was still available and horses were shipping in country. The simple fact that this KB doesn’t know the difference between a hock, ankle or knee pretty much tells you about the `horsemanship’ of people that choose his profession and this guy claims he started out as a farrier. I’m sure none of you will be surprised to hear that hardly a single PSA made a comment on these videos other than they were `old’. You know, the same PSAs that like to trot out a 23 yr old quote our of context that Wayne Pacelle makes as undeniable proof that the real agenda behind the antis is to wipe out all domestic pet ownership.
The fact is that the PSAs tend to look to people like Slaughterhouse Sue, who doesn’t even own horses or like them, and Douchebag Duquette, failed trainer and industry joke, as their leaders. They allow these people to represent them and speak for them. That, alone, should be enough to disregard anything they have to say about the `industry’ or horse welfare. I mean, it’s not like they have actual successful people with international reputations like George Morris or Beezie Madden out there stumping for slaughter. You know, the people that actually make a really good living with horses. You don’t get any Nick Zitos or Graham Motion type people out there telling you to slaughter horses either. I have even noticed a few PSAs that claim to be involved in racing, but a quick Equibase search on their animals and credentials will soon reveal that they too, are bottom feeders in their chosen fields. Do you see a common thread? Which comes first, the respect of the animal or the success? I guess the answer depends on whether or not you believe in karma. Nobody that truly loves horses would fight so hard for such a horrible death and refuse to look at any other option than slaughter as a solution to current problems. Perhaps if they would take a seat and let the rest of us get on with things, the majority of our time and money could go towards addressing neglect and abuse rather than this never-ending battle to take the path of least resistance. If they cared as much as they claim, they would choose to be part of the solution rather than the biggest part of the problem. IF…….