Slaughtering for the Humanness of Horses
The closing of slaughterhouses in the United States for horses has resulted in inhumane treatment and gross neglect for thousands of horses. Congressmen, lobbyists, activists, actors, and every day people have petitioned for these death traps to be destroyed, all for the benefit of the horse. The horse, who cannot speak, can only react to his surroundings. The ones to be benefited are the people who see this as cruel, and inhumane; to give them a clear conscious, because they feel endeared to this animal. I, too, am endeared to this animal, but understand that the horse has been put in, an all too often, precarious situation, that even death, cannot come quick enough.
Without slaughter facilities within our borders, these horses are being abandoned and starved by owners, who have suffered financial losses and struggle just to feed their families. Horses that are taken to auction, with the hopes of attaining a new owner, are often bought by meat buyers and forced to travel even greater distances, out of the country, to suffer slaughter with practices that are abusive and cruel. Continued over breeding floods the market with horses that do not meet the standards for what purpose they were intended for. By maintaining slaughter houses within the United States treatment of horses can be regulated.
In today’s ever depleting economy, the cost of horse ownership continues to be a luxury, but one that’s difficult for some to give up. A horse gives us freedom from the rush of our daily lives, and takes us back to a time that moves in a whisper. In an attempt to prioritize our financial needs, we put off something that we love, hoping in all hopes that “things” will turn around. It is in cases like these it is too late to have time to find suitable arrangements for a 1200 pound animal. Horse rescue groups take in all that they can handle, but at the tune of $200 per month per horse (Smith, 2008, pg.4) it adds up quickly for the average person. One horse rescue farm received calls on 230 horses from April 2008 to August 2009 (Lewis, 2009). That’s an increase of over 1800 percent from the previous year, when slaughterhouses closed. Horse rescue farms rely on donations, whether in the form of food, labor, or money, to make ends meet. “It’s always a struggle,” (Myers), who owns Sunshine Acres rescue ranch, said. “It’s expensive to keep horses, and there aren’t enough donations coming in. Most of the horses I get are underweight and have health problems, which requires more feed.”(Lewis, 2009, p. 4A) Others have horses that are geriatric or have medical issues. They are kept out of compassion, as not many would want the financial burden of a horse that is unusable. These horses are even more difficult to find new homes for and in some instances their quality of life has already passed. Other people refuse to try to make arrangements for them when they experience a financial hardship and just quit...