Why we're here

We are taking a stand against horse slaughter returning to the US and are striving to stop the transportation of horses to other countries for slaughter. Some of us are working in those other countries as well.

We are taking this stance as Pagans and Heathens, at a time when it seems some have decided that eating slaughtered horse meat in ritual is somehow cool, edgy and "ancestral." Therefore we want to show that that minority does not represent all of the Pagan and Heathen communities. Many of us worship Horse Deities, many of us are horse people who may see our horses as sacred charges who we care for to honor these Deities. Not by killing but by striving to give them good lives.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

From Simone Netherlands: How to make sense of the pro- slaughter fabrications

(Yes, the following is another repost, this one from Simone Netherlands of Respect4horses this time the complete thing as she gives permission. DO mind the permission given requires the inclusion of the copyright notices, so if you pass it along DO include them)

This is for those who are still confused as to what to say to some of the pro slaughter claims and fabrications: Feel free to share and use as long as copyright stays on the bottom.

The Pro-slaughter claims are, that the slaughter of horses for human consumption is “humane” and “necessary” because of a huge overpopulation or unwanted horse problem. This may sound like a reasonable argument to some, but the reason for this widespread deception of the American public, is easily deciphered:

The business of Horse slaughter is obviously not a service business designed to help us dispose of unwanted horses, it is a FOR-profit, demand-driven business, like any other business. The amount of horses slaughtered, is determined by the demand of horse meat abroad and by the contracts that the kill buyers have to fulfill, NOT by the amount of unwanted horses

While we are certainly going through harsh economic times, and nobody denies that we have an overpopulation problem, when you stop to consider the facts more realistically, it becomes very clear that horse slaughter is the anti-solution to the problem.

The truth is that the abandoned and starving horses are not the ones that end up in the slaughter plants at all, for the simple fact that their owners chose to abandon them rather than send them to slaughter.

The demand of the horse slaughter plants is for healthy, young flesh as this is the tenderest and fetches the highest price per pound. Therefore the killer buyers are in search of the young fat and healthy and leave the skinny, old and sick for society to take care of. Killer buyers bid against good homes and horse rescues at every auction all over the country, because they have contracts with the slaughter plants to fulfill.

In addition to the obvious motives of the slaughter industry, the option of horse slaughter in itself in fact has created, is creating and will continue to create an overpopulation problem, by enabling over breeding (lottery breeding) and encouraging a quick turn around and dumping of horses.

As a convenient and lucrative means of disposal, horse slaughter allows the large breeding industries to dispose of horses that do not have the perfect conformation or speed or strength necessary for their discipline. The larger the quantities they breed, the larger their chances of a winner. The youngster that disappoints simply gets cashed into the killer buyer.

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) celebrated their 7 millionth foal, and reported over 140,000 foals in 2009. This is approximately the same number as the number of U.S. horses slaughtered. Could it be possible that their motives be related to the fact that they need that same amount of horses to go to slaughter in order to make way for their new stock and keep prices falsely inflated? In any case, they seem morbidly afraid of a bill that will stand in their way of making their fortunes.

So while they cleverly make it seem as if they are protecting the individual horseman and as if they actually care about the welfare of horses, it is about pure and simple greed of the big industries, like it always is.

The most creative part of this well funded scam on Americans is that the very businesses creating the overpopulation problem turn around and use this problem to convince good hearted people to side with their cause. They are organizing this summit plus other events all over the country to promote horse slaughter as a necessary evil, so that these businesses may continue to produce “unwanted” horses and keep selling them pound for pound.

Some people might be surprised to learn these breeding industries receive both huge breeding incentives from their perspective breeding associations as well as huge tax advantages and write-offs from the IRS. This further encourages breeding strategies that are not consistent with demand. When you throw in the current state of the economy on top of the overpopulation problem and the breeding incentives for coming years, the future seems rather bleak for American horses.

According to very simple economic principals when supply is overabundant, demand goes down and values decrease. The housing industry understands this principal and builders have stopped building. How come breeders cannot do the same? To point to the closing of the American slaughter houses for the decrease of horse values is a cowardly deflection to avoid blame, and a clever rouse for people who don't take the time to investigate any further. Very much like the banking industry the breeding industry is self destructing by not paying attention to the market, horse slaughter is their bail out.

Change is needed, certain questions need to be asked. What if we take a part of the same taxes from the horse races that are currently used as breed incentives, and instead we make humane euthanasia funds and gelding funds and hay funds for horse rescues? If these breed associations care about the welfare of the horse like they say they do, they would have done this a long time ago. The only comon goal we may have is that we all want to see horse prices rise again, but the only way to do this is to slow down the overabundant supply.

We have almost 10 million domestic horses in America. The approximate amount of 100,000 horses ending up in foreign slaughter plants are in all reality only 1% of the horse population. Not an insurmountable amount to be absorbed back into society as the pro slaughter summit organizers would like us to believe. It would take only a slight adjustment of the breeding industry.

It should be noted that without the horse, human civilization would not be where it is today. The greatest conquests in history have been won because of the endurance, bravery and loyalty of the horse. The horse spends its entire life in service to ours.

It is the want and need for human attention and praise that gives the horse its incredible versatility. It is these same qualities that are a major factor in the assessment of the amount of mental and physical suffering involved with horse slaughter. The myth that horse slaughter is in any way quick or humane, is a wishful, far fetched stretch of the truth to say the very least.

We gain nothing by it. Every argument for preserving the barbaric practice of horse slaughter, is greed motivated, un-factual and clearly deceptive. Horse slaughter is unacceptable and beyond un-necessary. It is time to find solutions to the problems we create without compromising our humanity.

For more information see www.respect4horses.com

All rights reserved 2010 Respect4horses.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Support the effort to have Slaughterhouse Sue investigated

Call on WY authorities to investigate ethics and fraud allegations against Rep. Sue Wallis

"Wyoming resident, Patricia Fazio, Ph.D. has filed a complaint with state officials, requesting an investigation of alleged violations of ethics laws and securities fraud by Wyoming State Rep. Sue Wallis (R-Campbell). Wallis is an avid proponent of horse slaughter and is alleged to have used her position as state legislator to promote and misrepresent horse slaughter for her personal financial gain. Wallis is also accused of duping and misleading potential investors in her alleged horse slaughter facility."

Read the rest and please sign!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

American Quarter Horse Association and slaughter

This is an older article from the American Horse Defense Fund, which sadly still shows the standing position of the AQHA. Which is, to support slaughter and PMU as a way for their breeders to breed as many horses as possible and still make as much profit as possible, with no regard to the humane treatment of horses. But they say it so much better:

The Truth About the AQHA and Horse Slaughter

So, yes, this is another link post. So to add that personal touch, here's a baby photo, taken right after she got out of stall quarantine, of Saorsa, my QH PMU foal, who is now 3 1/2 and also running about at the top of this blog and at the side just before she came home. This is what the AQHA thinks should be exploited. QHs are wonderful horses, the people of the AQHA are despicable.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Letter by Simone Netherlands of Respect 4 Horses

Yes, I'm posting a link again. There are many reasons we're not keeping up with this blog but there are people doing better and louder work than we can right now. So if for some reason you're not reading Straight From the Horse's Heart or familiar with Respect 4 Horses but somehow stumbled upon this, well, just go to those links! We are sucking at this, these people are the real horse warriors!

Dear Horse Eaters: We Know It and You Know It

"We know it and you know it: Your concoction of “let’s save the poor starving horses” doesn’t fly, because the killer buyers are praying on the young, fat and healthy horses, instead of the old, sick and skinny ones, don’t they." and so much more....READ IT!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Why I'm against horse slaughter

I recently was asked this on FaceBook, the person, a meat eater, wondering how I as a meat eater could be so vehement about the eating of horses when I ate other animals. That he had ignored what I had already written, that he had ignored my statement that anyone who supported horse slaughter should remove themselves from my friends list, that it wasn't something I discussed politely, of course sent me off. It ISN'T something I discuss politely. (mind you, a similar question from a vegetarian would have simply been "read what I wrote already" but this person supports horse slaughter, that...well...)

What I had written, after another "friend" had attacked me on his on FB and was removed from my flist and life (both these people were people I had met at least once) and was ignored was:

Seriously, any hint of supporting the slaughter of horses is a serious deal breaker with me. This is just something you're going to have to realize. So, fuck off if you're okay with it.

See the mare in my profile photo (here she is to the left, also on the side bar with a buddy when I went to pick her up)? Her name is Saorsa. She was destined for the feedlots. This is what happens to PMU foals and those from outfits that breed for quantity over quality, most go to slaughter, spending six months in crowded pens being stuffed with grain.

See the two horses in this photo
(that would be to the right)? That's Midnight and Trouble. They were sold to slaughter by their owner, when I was trying to get up the money to buy them. He didn't want to be troubled with waiting, it was a quick if smaller buck. And he'd sent many, because he used to run an quantity rather than quality breeding outfit. I didn't know it as a kid, now I do.

Midnight was the best damn trail horse in the world. Ever. He had the worst tro
t, but he'd go anywhere, wasn't afraid of a thing. The sort of horse that you could track a bear with if you happened to want to track a bear. He was run through a chute, scared out of his mind! After a lifetime of trusting and loving people.

We do NOT eat horses in the US, we send them out of sight out of mind.
And if you think this is okay, you can go fuck yourself.

Followed, in the comments:

Note, I also do not believe in factory farming of meat animals, period. NO animal should be in a small pen force fed grain until a traumatic run through chutes. This is why I am a localvore. Any animal that is raised for food should be raised humanely and sustainably.

When thinking about it, that truly answered his question completely. The horses slaughtered in this country are not slaughtered either humanely or for local consumption. They are not raised humanely as livestock, some are, truly, not treated humanely to begin with. Many show and racing horses have rather sad lives, before being shipped off when no longer in their prime (which is hardly old or broken down, we're talking usually under 10 years old....but much older in spirit).

Wild Horses are rounded up in horrific ways, with many horribly injured or killed, with those not caught separated from their herds which can lead to a slow lingering death. Some go to holding pens for years, before being sold for slaughter when "too old" to adopt. Often sickly, due to bad feeding practices as well as being in small, closed quarters. These round ups, coupled with other mismanagement, are wiping out the Mustang.

The AQHA and the APHA along with other breeding groups promote quantity over quality breeding because after all they can sell what won't sell as for riding horses as meat. And, hey, maybe they can make some extra cash in mare urine. These foals are sold through auction to feedlots, where they are kept in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) for roughly 6 months until big enough to slaughter. That's where my Saorsa and her friend on the side there was headed.

Many people innocently sell horses they sort of love, but not enough to keep when they "out grow" them or "things are tough" (sorry things are tough for all of us, some of us will fight tooth and nail to see our animal cared for) and just fool themselves into thinking their horses won't go to slaughter. But a lot do, maybe from the hands of the dealer posing as a "good home" or maybe somewhere else along the line.

Most horses stolen go to slaughter. It's the quickest buck and the easiest way to get rid of the evidence.

None of these horses were raised as livestock, none of them were slaughtered humanely. I don't believe that commercial abattoirs are remotely humane, any more than I believe that CAFO is humane.

Now, I'm going to be honest, and I know Lysippe agrees with me but we might be a minority of two in this movement, but I have no issue with traditional people of the Steppes, the traditional peoples of Mongolia, Kazakhstan and that area, raising their horses traditionally and eating the meat and drinking the milk. Mind you, I would probably not be able to eat the horse meat even there, but their relationship with the horse is so very different than ours. It is a relationship that should be preserved, in fact. These horses are not in danger from these people, although the governments they are now under might offer danger...I won't get into that. When the people are allowed to do so, these horses are raised in conditions suited totally to just being horses, and they are not then rounded up with helicopters. There is a respect, no matter what religion the people may practice, there is an honoring. And it is a strong example of true localvorism.

I know some in this movement are staunch vegans who may not want to associate with me due to my believe we can raise animals humanely and sustainably. I know a lot of other meat eaters in the movement too. Including some cattle ranchers who are horrified by their colleagues who want to see the extermination of the Mustang so they can have more land for cattle.

Because horses in our country are not raised for meat. We do not practice a sustainable localvorism with them and few of us are so inclined. Many meat eaters do have animals they won't eat and animals they will; some for religious reasons, some for taste, some for just how we feel about them. Dogs, cats, horses....typically are not considered food in our country. Sometimes we totally consider something off limits to eat, as I do dogs, cats and horses. Sometimes there are animals I won't eat but have no problem with others eating, as long as they don't eat mine...right now, this is how I feel about goats which I have as pets but not livestock (and I do raise chickens as livestock, doing my best to give them happy lives, the goats I just can't).

This is just a reality. And this, relatively calm, posting is NOT what someone supporting horse slaughter is ever going to get from me. Perhaps at some point I will write more about the loss of Midnight and Trouble. But, right now, this is the best I can do. But get in my face and I'll tell you to fuck off. And that will end it. It might not make me the most effective warrior for the horses, but in many ways, that loss has affected me too much for any civility.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Boosting the Signal: from R. T. Fitch

Straight from the Horse's Mouth is a must read for anyone concerned with this issue. A few items there you should read (although you should read everything) now:

Re-Elected Wyoming Horse Eater Plans Slaughter Gala

Here we go, again. Less than a week after retaining her seat in the Wyoming state house, Rep. “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis and her faithful sidekick Dave Duquette are brewing another big pot of steaming hot horse crap in an effort to mislead and dupe the American public over facts surrounding the predatory business of horse slaughter in the United States. ..read more....

Commercial Interests, Not Overpopulation, Behind Largest Wild Horse Roundup of 2010

Obama’s “Wild Horse Harvesting Machine” has Shifted into High Gear

Rock Springs, Wyoming (November 10, 2010) . . . . As one of the largest wild horse roundups in recent history enters its final week in southwest Wyoming, a coalition of environmental and wild horse conservationists is charging that commercial interests, not overpopulation, are the driving force behind the mass mustang removal. The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has previously claimed too many horses as the reason for the costly helicopter stampede and capture operation, which has killed at least seven mustangs to date. ....read more.....

So, sorry to just be a relinker here, but sometimes one just has to face others are already doing a better job out there and the best task is to just boast the signal

Friday, November 5, 2010

Small Steps

In getting back into action on this, after being offline for awhile, it's daunting even for me to figure out what to do. Sometimes it's got to be baby steps. Online petitions get dismissed by many, but at least it is getting some noise made. And it's something so easy to do. So do it! Go sign

Prevention of Equine Cruelty Act (H.R. 503/S. 727) at Change.org

Then you can personally contact your lame duck reps. Let's get this done before the process comes to a complete halt!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Horse Slaughter, An Unnecessary Evil

I figured I'd start this off by offering links to two very valuable papers regarding why horse slaughter must be stopped. The first is Horse Slaughter, An Unnecessary Evil by Raymond Goydon and Stephen Kindel for the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. 

The Relationship Between Abuse to Slaughter by John Holland focuses on the strawman argument that slaughter is needed or there would be more horse abuse. It's actually quite the opposite.

Please remember, the horses most likely to go to slaughter are the young and healthy, primarily products of over breeding for PMU or "quantity over quality" breeding practices, as well as the racing industry and others considering relatively young horses to be discardable.