VCBH: Unpopular

Blog hop time.  Don't kill me or think less of me for this one.

"What is 1 unpopular horsey opinion that you have?"

Mine is that I am 100% in favor of regulated horse slaughter on US soil, with an asterisk - as long as people keep breeding unwanted horses.

If you want an elaborated view of my position, I wrote an essay on this blog about it in December of 2011, available here.  I was feeling very soapboxy that day.  This is a summary of my beliefs on it:

1. Horses are so expensive to keep that overloading the market with unwanted ones ensures that some of them will end up in bad situations.  We are not talking dog or cat expenses here - horse rescues have such a rough go of it compared to other rescues.

2. Horses are generally kept in this country for hobby/performance reasons, because of reason #1.  Otherwise all of us would have more than 1, right?  If a poorly bred horse can't physically perform and has never had a job, he has less of a chance at a good future with one of us fine sporthorse bloggers. :-)  (I do know good horses end up in bad situations, but they are usually exceptions rather than rules in the sale barn, at least out here.)

3. Unwanted horses drag the entire industry down price-wise, (the laws of supply and demand) which brings down the business of intelligent, thoughtful US breeders with solid programs.  I want to see people like Connor's breeder or Houston's breeder, and US breeding in general succeed!

4. Regulated horse slaughter on US soil reduces the risk of horrifying days-long truck rides for slaughter-bound horses to Canada or Mexico, or inhumane killing methods.

So really, my stance on slaughter is "Stop breeding so irresponsibly!", but short of that, my stance on slaughter is pro-slaughter.  Fire away.

37 comments:

  1. Good one.... I personally am against horse slaughter, but I also understand that is is a necessary evil unless un-needed breeding slows. For example, a friend of mine wishes to breed her own horse "just because." She is also pro-slaughter, but I find her stand conflicting because she wants to backyard breed as well. o.O This one I understand.
    And then there is the issue of all the drugs and medicines we put into our equines who later get eaten by Europeans. Rather unsafe, IMO.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That doesn't make any sense to me either. Yeah, I didn't get into the subject of eating horses and medication, but that's a big thing as well. I personally won't ever breed a horse, I know people that are way better at it than I ever could be! Ha.

      Delete
  2. When they banned slaughter, it caused so many more problems. Like horses being turned loose in the desert to starve or people coming back from a trail ride to find horses that someone had left tied to their trailer. My dad is a rancher and him and his friend actually found an abandoned, starved horse on the ranch (his friend ended up keeping it and it turned into a really nice horse once it was healthy). I don't believe abandoning a horse to the wild to slowly starve or letting them do so in the back yard is better than slaughter. I agree with you that slaughter only helps with the effect of over breeding, while the cause, over breeding itself, is really what needs to be addressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ugh, agreed. We have domesticated horses to the point that they cannot survive without us, and yet you hear of these valleys famous for people turning out domesticated horses in because they can't afford them anymore. Slaughter really is much more humane (as long as it's done right.)

      Delete
  3. Ha, you totally stole my unpopular opinion! I would even go further than you, in some ways. I'm working on a post about it now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good! I figured I wouldn't be the only one. The way I see it, if you want to see the US horse industry succeed, you almost have to feel this way. This could really destroy our industry if we let it.

      Delete
  4. This is a really interesting opinion and a great post! I think I need to think about it, haha. I agree with you that it is a necessary evil. It is simply a sad one also, and that's the part that probably gets a lot of horse people down. They can't imagine slaughtering their own loved ones so they find it difficult to imagine slaughtering any horses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a sad one. Sad that it's so preventable too.

      Delete
  5. Agree 100%! This was my unpopular opinion as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm surprised by how many people agree with me.

      Delete
  6. I agree. Horses get slaughtered either way but more horrifically. I'd rather have it be in the US and be better controlled.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. I feel like we at least owe that to the unwanted horses, as an industry.

      Delete
  7. This is definitely a "hot" topic. While I do understand your reasoning I can't say that I totally agree. I do agree that back yard and over breeding needs to stop, though, a.s.a.p., however!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Too much backyard breeding and so many horses is rescues b/c they aren't wanted... something needs to happen, I am not 100% sure how I feel about slaughter.... but it being humane apposed to the crap that goes on is a must!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't want death for any horse (or creature for that matter--including spiders!!). But the thought of them starving to death (known rescues that were on that path) or worse, I sadly have to be for it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah - I don't think anyone can happily be for it. We have to be realistically for it.

      Delete
  10. Exactly why my trainer is against back yard breeding.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am on the same side of the coin with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so surprised by the support I got on this! Cool topic!

      Delete
  12. I completely agree on the regulation of slaughter - banning it just makes it worse! How horrific that we can't be burdened with our own responsibilities but pawn them off on other countries who have no regulations and are far removed from any motivation to treat our unwanted responsibilities WITH responsibility. It makes me sick. It's like sweeping dirt under the rug - the appearance of doing good, "Oh no, we do not allow slaughter in the US!" but really we're just sweeping our responsibilities under the rug and these horses are suffering horrifically for it. Better we take responsibility for what we do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree with you. It's going to happen to horses that WE (as a country) bred, one way or another, may as well step up to the plate and admit it.

      Delete
  13. I think it's funny that it seems like the more involved people are with horses, the more they seem to be pro-slaughter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah. You can't study the market that thoroughly without seeing it for what it really does and what it really is.

      Delete
  14. I am with you 100% on this one!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Such a tricky topic! I agree about stopping backyard breeding and I don't think horses should starve to death. But I recently have attended a few auctions (after being traumatized as a child) and seeing 20-30 year old that have worked for a family for 15 years being dumped at an auction and sold at meat price is disgusting. The little QH that packed all your kids through 4H/pony club deserves a retirement. I think there needs to be an attitude adjustment within some parts of the horse community towards horses not being so disposable and people not "breeding them if they can't feed them". I do agree with you, I just wish I didn't live in a world where horse slaughter existed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a really good point, there is a lot of that too. I absolutely believe in giving horses a good retirement if you've kept them for so long. That makes me sick, and is really outside the scope of my slaughter argument, although it technically isn't.

      Delete
  16. Always a good discussion if it can be civil and logical. So I'll be the one to say I 100% disagree. BWHAHAHA!

    But in all seriousness, I do not think anyone should ever be financially rewarded for dumping a horse. And no, I do not accept the "I can't afford to euthanize it" argument.

    (1) How are you paying for care then?

    or

    (2) A bullet is very cheap. People don't like to see it, but the horse doesn't know the difference and it is actually THE most humane way to euthanize an animal if done correctly. Yep, you may have to pay for disposal -- guess what, part of the responsibility of horse ownership (a choice and a privilege) is paying even for the stuff you don't like.

    Where commercial slaughter occurs doesn't matter. Regulations are not enforced, horses are still hauled long distances in poor conditions, it just doesn't work. We had it in place for years -- I work for federal and state gov't and there is no funding for inspections and there will never be an appearance made by the magical "we will make the plants all safe and happy" fairy. And there's a lot of data out there -- presence or absence of US plants has ZERO effect on breeding choices, neglect, number of horses sent to auction, etc.

    I am a biologist and a very practical person (life is 100% fatal after all) -- I have no problem at all with humanely killing your horse if you cannot care for it or it has lost quality of life. Heck, you can process it in your own backyard and eat it, fine with me. I have come to the point in my life that I'd rather a horse be humanely euthanized, no matter what age or condition, than resigned to neglect or sent off to the kill lots. If old style local processing was available where a truck would come to your horse, Dobbin is fed some carrots and shot in his favourite field and his body is hauled away, fine. But it's not going to happen.

    So there you go. Not everyone can keep a horse forever (Solo is damn lucky!) and life circumstances can change beyond your wildest imaginations. But you still have a responsibility to be a conscientious human being and make the ethical choice, rather than pass it on so the part people don't want to think about is "out of sight, out of mind."

    You're welcome, hee.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said! I hadn't thought about the monetary reward. I heartily agree though - it may be painful to watch Dobbin die, but responsible euthanization (and safe and peaceful last moments) is the least we can do for these companions. We euthanized our horses (when it was their time) on our property and had them buried there.

      Delete
    2. I love dissenting opinions, and I love this! I don't want you to think I'm ignoring it. I'm going to think about my response and it for a future post next week, if that's okay with you.

      Delete
    3. Oh, np, and don't worry, I'm not worried, hahaha, I replied late anyway and my brain got carried away. I am way too old to take much personally anymore and one of the reasons I'm in my science-y field is that we are always asking questions, we are always searching for more information, and (good) science is never afraid to adapt or change its mind if the data are strong enough.

      And opinions are just that, opinions (but I'm a woman, RAWR, so my opinions may change but the fact remains that I am always right, hahahaha!). Just wanted to share some alternative perspectives that hadn't appeared in the comments.

      I think too often, people equate "I oppose centralized horse slaughter" to "I am afraid of death and no one should ever kill pretty ponies." So I try to always emphasize that it's not an argument about death, it's really an argument about ethics and responsibility. Hell, I have to sometimes kill animals as part of my job. I hate it, but in the bigger picture, it is for an important reason and I ALWAYS ALWAYS do my best, even though it's "just a minnow" or "just a mussel," to make sure it's fast and humane.

      Delete
  17. Great topic. While I'm not thrilled with the idea of horse slaughter, or the slaughter industry as a whole for any species, it can be done in a humane way. There is a reason they are called processing plants, as it is a process to turn an animal into steaks, ground meat, roasts and the various products we find in the common grocery store.

    Everybody seems to hate the KB, but he's the one cleaning up the mess, much like a janitor. He probably didn't ask for the job, but there's definitely money to be made or they wouldn't be there.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP