Wednesday, October 31, 2007

31 October 2007

I didnt post yesterday as I have been having a terrible emotional struggle with myself over the state of the horse Industry here in the USA.

We had a recent trailer accident in Illinois with a double decker trailer (designed for transporting smaller animals like pigs and sheep) jumping a red light and hitting another vehicle and turning over onto its side.

This is just one of many many incidents, these drivers dont keep logs, drive on the backroads to avoid the weigh stations and regulation checks, and dont have the relevant veterinary documentation that is required to transport horses across some state lines. I am not saying this was the case in this incident, I have read so many articles recently that my brain is a mush and it has left me terribly distressed. Horse slaughter has recently been banned in all states in the USA and the slaughter houses closed down but now the horses are being transported to processing plants in Canada and Mexico in the most dreadful conditions. Can you imagine 59 odd horses (these were primarily Belgians which are a large breed of horse) stuffed into a double decker trailer that doesnt have ceilings high enough to facilitate a horse, these horses were bought in Indiana, I dont know where, they dont say, but were supposedly destined for a horse sale at Minneapolis in Minnesota (which is very close to the Canadian state line) which is 620 miles from where I am in in northeast central Indiana!!! The accident happened on a backroute just north of Chicago, they probably still had more than 300 miles to go. There is no way of proving that they were destined for a slaughter house now I suppose but of course that got me looking at the conditions that these animals are subjected to when they reach their destination and I made the mistake of watching a very graphic video 8 minutes long (I only lasted 1 minute into it and was hysterical).

This has all become a very real thing for me recently with so many of our own horses, many of which I have watched being born, formed bonds with and love like my children. I have adamantly refused to send them to a sale because of the risks of them ending up in this type of predicament. Maybe I am over reacting but I dont breed horses to have them end up on a table somewhere in europe as a steak or in a petfood can.

Yes I do eat meat, but I believe that there are strict rules regulationss and restrictions on how animals bred for human consumption are treated and processed. A horse is a companion animal and so many people are ignorant of just how clever, loving and feeling they are. They are not bred for human consumption, they have been there for us before tractors and cars and have served us forgivingly for hundreds of years despite how they have been treated. I have been amazed at how many people have been surprised when they have asked me about our horses and how I am with them going on about their personalities, likes, dislikes and habits. To so many people a horse (dogs and cats have also had this fate) is just a dumb animal and I can assure you they arent. I am willing to bet that the vast majority of horses that become dangerous have been subjected to force and suffering in the process of getting them "broke to ride". Again I am sure there are always exceptions to the rule but I have had many horses in the last 6 years and every single one has responded to love, compassion and a calm form of training (passive training). They dont need to be manhandled to get them to submit to our will, if they are treated with love, patience and respect they do far better.

I know each one of my horses by the sounds they make, I dont have to see them I can hear which one is whinneying and can see when they are distressed or not feeling good. How can people be so cruel.

I am sorry if this post is all over the show and so negative but it is just consuming me at the moment and I am having a hard time dealing with it all. I am pretty sure that this sort of thing would never happen in England, they have systems in place that protect their animals and justly so. Again there are always the extremists like in everything and I do not always agree with their beliefs too, it can be taken too far but my concern right now is my animals and the hundreds, or thousands of horses, mules, burros and donkeys that are enduring this type of treatment today.

I just don't have the desire to post a photo today, so please forgive me if you have reached this far in this post. Thanks for reading. I would post the link to the video but I am not sure that anyone needs or wants to see it.

((((Hugs))))) to everyone and I hope that I will be on a more positive trend tomorrow.



Rising Rainbow said...

The plight of unwanted horses is dire. There is no doubt about it. I don't know what the answer is but until people realize what a problem it is, there will not even be a search for a solution.

Talking about it is a start.

Mike said...

Such a sad state of affairs we are in. Unfortunately it goes way beyond horses. I am truly concerned about our country and the decay that is eating away at it since the beginning of the Clinton Era and continues to this day.

Greed and lack of any kind of morals seem rampant. We terrorize our animals, our kids, and our neighbors and our land. Where do I stop?

I empathize with your feelings. What a sad state for our nations horses. I agree after having spent the last few months with you that each of these beautiful creatures is a unique individual with qualities that should be preserved. I applaud you for that, perhaps that is the way you can help these magnificent creatures the most. Continue to educate through your words and pictures those like me who know very little about them.

I, like you, could go on about this for some time. I appreciate what you do and what you say. Hang in there my friend.


L said...

Yes, it is a sad time right now for everyone who loves horses. Sometimes it seems like the world is so dark and messed up, and you feel overwhelmed. I often feel like that after reading news, but I've learned that I have to set a limit to how much time I can focus on it, otherwise I really feel horrible.

Please remember, the horses are depending on you, so take care of yourself and don't focus too much on the bad! (We don't want you to get burned out and be miserable) The biggest thing that always helps me is turning off my computer, reminding myself I am not in charge of single-handedly changing the world, and then figuring out one SMALL practical thing I CAN do. It's amazing how much it helps...

Anyway, I hope tomorrow is better!

Anonymous said...

Sad. Animals treated like second-class citizens. Horses and dogs, are citizens in my book and should be given the same treatment we get.

Lulu said...

It's my understanding that the horses were young....weanlings/yearlings, and they were off of a PMU ranch.

The unwanted byproduct of a disgusting business.

Donna said...

I too was saddened and angered by this tragedy. Unfortunately many more horror stories go unreported, but, like others have said, we do what we can and you certainly do your part!

CG said...

Oh, Lori, I cried reading this. I recently watched a TV show where a presenter chose a horse in a field, then had it slaughtered and cooked and ate it.This was in France. The horse was not ill treated in any way and was living free but to me there is a huge difference between eating a companion animal and eating a cow. I was veggie for many years and often think of going back to it;I felt happier that way.
It shocks me that animals can be treated so badly and you are so right about their personalities. Many people describe cats as unfriendly, nasty creatures, yet I have two of the most loving, gentle ones enhancing my life every day. Carry on loving your dear horses and try not to let all the cruelties of the world grind you down! {{{HUGS}}}

Kathy C said...

I had not heard of this tragedy Lori. It made me sick to think read about it. Even seeing the one picture that was associated with it made me want to vomit, so thanks for not posting the video link.

I know you have been deeply effected by the horse slaughter issue, and I wish I had some easy answers. Not only for you, but for all of us who love horses.

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