April 15, 2006
'unwanted horse' theory
In addition to the many points Christopher J. Heyde brought forth ("Slaughtering horses is cruel," Op-Ed, April 7), I would like to bring up another issue, which the slaughterhouses, and their spokespersons, have so far refused to address or offer any kind of explanation.
The horse slaughter industry has managed to stay alive here by
claiming that they provide a needed service by butchering America's
"unwanted" horses. (Correction: inhumanely butchering America's
"unwanted" horses. I have seen the videos, and there is nothing
humane about it.)
But thankfully, we do have enough sense to know that they are not here to provide a service, but rather to gain profit from the meat of our horses. Do we really have the number of excess horses the slaughterhouses claim we do? I would like to hear their explanation to this:
Last year the slaughterhouses were unable to obtain enough U.S. horses to fill the foreign meat demand. They imported 7,095 horses from Canada for slaughter here in America.
Their meat was shipped overseas... and without missing a beat, business went on as usual. So far this year, 2,374 horses already have come to America for the purpose of slaughtering for their meat. Still, the industry has yet to explain the reason for importing Canadian horses.
I would say this fact alone effectively kills the "unwanted horse" theory.
The reality is that U.S. horse meat is highly desired in Europe. As far as many Americans are concerned, the French can consume French or Belgian horses if they like. I'm sure they'll survive without having to eat ours.
But Americans need to ask that Congress make the ban permanent and quickly pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act.
We are losing thousands of horses each week while they are being served up for wealthy foreign dining, to be eaten, eliminated, forgotten; without a care, somewhere overseas. One more life, forever gone.
But Americans do care. Our voices are getting stronger each day. We do care about that horse. That horse may have been a racehorse, or someone's pet, but most surely, that horse was a noble, proud, American horse. This slaughter needs to end.