Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Some Thoughts From an Emotional Horse-Crazy Girl on Horse Slaughter

It's no surprise if you keep up with this blog, or frequent this blog's facebook page, that I'm an anti-slaughter advocate. This is an emotional issue. I don't think "emotion" for those either anti or pro-slaughter in anyway devalues this issue however. The one argument, that will always get my goat, and get me fired up about this, is when people go on the attack and devalue this issue as an unimportant "non-issue" because of their opinion that it is "overly emotional"

My counter to this is: Aren't all issues that are important emotional? Without emotion, an issue has little chance of debate, of publicity, of improvement, and change for the better? So I say- bring on the emotion! I relish it! I think "emotion" is the fuel behind change, and I think that it's this "emotion" that will be the key to making improvements when it comes to horse slaughter and horse abuse in the United States!

Having said this, the paradox of "emotion" is that what's imperative for progress is reaction to emotion. This is the part we can all work on- myself included! I strive to remain respectful, always, of others opinions. I strive to remain open-minded to the points others make. I don't always succeed- that for sure!!! I'm a work in progress in regards to this!

What I've realized, comes from my upbringing and some great advice from the writer Seth Godin in his book "Tribes" ( highly recommend this btw)

" Reacting is intuitive, instinctive, and usually dangerous. Response is reaction with thoughtful action and a better alternative to reaction. But initiating is what leaders do. Initiative makes change happen." .....

"Initiative is recognizing what others ignore and jumping on it. It is causing change that others have to react to."

How this applies to the horse slaughter issue? Well, I've reacted, I've responded, and I've taken initiative. I've watched others do it as well. I can tell you from experience, I know instantly when what I've done is react....it always leaves a pit in my stomach. I sincerely apologize when I've done so....and for future reactions. I try, to always remember to alternatively respond or initiate. Easier said than done!

Both sides pro-slaughter and anti-slaughter- have excellent points. Both have excellent supporting documentation and research to back up claims as to why one is better than another. My questions are simply these:

  • Have we really found "the solution" in slaughter?
  • Is this really the only avenue possible for "unwanted" horses?
  • Are we too quick to accept dare I say, "the easy way out?"
I've seen slaughter used as a "out of sight out of mind" solution to horses by owners who simply don't want to face the following "realities" of horse ownership.
  • The fact that if you have a horse, that horse will get old.
  • If you have a horse, being responsible means being capable of affording to feed, and care for that horse.
If you can no longer do so....my opinion, is that "responsible" owners should not seek an easy way out, and send a horse away.... to an auction in idealistic hopes that someone there will save "old red"....will want "old red" instead of another more viable horse at the sale. "Because I don't want to deal with the emotional decision of euthanizing "old red...I'll let someone else make the decision that I am too weak to make....We've all done this, we've all avoided something we didn't want to deal with.... But this, this is too important to "pass off" and to avoid.

If you have a horse, can't afford that horse, please, please, let someone know. Try first to find a home, if a home can't be found, please pursue humane euthanasia. If you can't afford it, tell someone! Tell me. I will do my best to help you! I know there are others out there like me too! There is more shame in the alternative! Everyone has friends that would be willing to spare a few pennies to help out!!
! Please don't disrespect "old red" by an easy way out sending to auction. This is not a chance. This is a death sentence, and a long, cruel one at that for an old soldier that deserves the respect of a humane and dignified end.

The thought of all the "Old Reds" out there who have been discarded....whose owners or unfortunate circumstances have led to "The easy way out......" breaks my heart. (I'm emotional) There are more options aside from sending to slaughter if you can't afford, or starvation and neglect.....there is humane euthanasia. This is affordable....saying you "can't afford" it is an excuse if you haven't asked for help. Of course, this is my opinion, but I just can't understand those unwilling to "feel" and "face" this emotion at the expense of Old Red suffering! Old horses, young horses, teenage horses....they all deserve our help in doing everything we can to cast aside suffering....in all forms: neglect, slaughter, abuse....etc.

Again, is slaughter as it stands now the end all be all answer? Are there not reform opportunities that could be researched and implemented and regulated to help abolish suffering? We can create a nuclear weapon, why can't we address such basic ethical questions? Should we not consider addressing over breeding issues? Consider not promoting such through tax breaks? Can't humane transport methods, humane euthanasia alternatives and humane slaughter methods be a goal? For every it's economically unfeasible, there will be a why it is economically feasible argument. Let's stop the Catch- 22 and actually do the "crazy" thing....lets base it on one fundamental human trait- emotion. Does not our "emotion" dictate that we do our very best as "emotional" living human beings to seek answers to limit pain and suffering?

Well, you already know my "crazy" "radical" "silly horse-loving girl" opinion. I'm not afraid to look at the emotional issues and face them. I'm not afraid to be wrong. Being wrong leads to progress, leads to change. Leads to reform. If I'm wrong so be it, but at least I'll stir the thinking of a few who are far wiser than myself. Who may have a better "end all be all solution" than slaughter and create change and reform for the creatures I thank God everyday for bringing into my life. For Horses. I will continue to pay it forward for horses.... they've already done so for me.

I write this for one purpose. To make you think. Don't tell me you agree or disagree with me. This isn't about me. Get out there and do something for horses. Follow your gutt, don't be afraid to be wrong, don't be afraid of criticism. Just do it. "It" can be extraordinary!

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