Once upon a time I thought the U.S.A. was a democracy and what we the people did and thought mattered. I’ve pretty well shrugged all that off. But there is one last issue I cannot let go of because it’s just too much a part of my heart. Grant me ten minutes of your day to share this with you, please. And then if you feel drawn to do so, please write, call, email, share this video, whatever you feel the desire to do.
I like to think that, among horse people and especially rescuers, I’m a bit of a moderate. Truth be told, I’m not even entirely against slaughter. Having a horse put down is incredibly expensive and I can see why people who don’t have much more money than I do might send a horse to auction in full knowledge that it’s going into to be slaughtered simply because they know the animal is suffering and they have no other recourse because they just don’t have the money to pay for a humane death or maybe they harbour some tiny hope the horse will go to someone who can afford the vet care it may need. There are a million stories in the world and we cannot judge, or I cannot judge, anyone too harshly when you don’t know the full story. Shit happens. Especially to us bottom feeders.
But I cannot stomach people adopting from the BLM on the AIP program – getting $1000 and then sending the horse off to slaughter for yet another profit. Although supposedly they have to be able to prove they still have the horse after a year, there are some stories that the horses were immediately sent to auction and to slaughter. Even if they are kept, they are clearly often either barely fed or thrown out on pasture to the mercy of however much grass there might be. These horses are wild, they aren’t tame and easy to handle, but they can sure be driven up a chute into a trailer. Not everyone is equipped to handle a wild horse, no matter how good their heart or intentions. That’s another subject for another day.
Today I just want you to think – is it right to round these horses up off the range (plenty of people profiting off government money for this), put them in some government holding pen (more profit for “some” body with government funds), PAYING someone to adopt them (pure profit for somebody – government money) who then pops them into auction (making a few more bucks), and then the horse is shipped and slaughtered. And by government money, I mean taxpayer money. You (if you’re a U.S. citizen paying taxes) you are paying for this.
I bet, if you think about the last remaining American wild horses at all, this isn’t what you thought was going on with them.
We are paying people to kill them. That’s what it boils down to. It would be less cruel – and probably cheaper, really, to just pay sharpshooters to drive out to their range and shoot them dead. (I know, there are lots of people who think that’s a GREAT idea and would happily volunteer to shoot them for free) Even THOSE people would have to admit this is a ridiculous and cruel situation as it is now.
Okay, I’ll shut up now. You do what your conscience leads you to do.
I know a good many of my readers aren’t U.S. citizens. That’s so cool. Ahem. There are a couple of horse charities and one organization who are really doing exactly what my own heart would lead me to do. Maybe you can send them a contribution.
Horse Plus Humane Society works to save all horses but especially horses in the slaughter pipeline. One thing I particularly like is they do accept owner surrenders – for those who have found themselves unable to care for, pay for vet care, or pay for humane death of their own horses. They take a no harm/no foul policy where they aren’t trying to blame anyone for any thing. Just to help.