Illinois Leader letters to the editor  http://www.illinoisleader.com/letters/lettersview.asp?c=14288

Two letters against horse slaughter

Tuesday, April 27, 2004
Howdy from Texas to all of you Illinoisans. We hear some of you want to share our infamous title of 'Horse Slaughter Capital of the US.' Well, that's OK with us, 'cause as the saying goes, misery loves company. All your horse owners can also share the fear of their horses being stolen and butchered without leaving a trace. You know, 'Californy' banned horse slaughter and the first year horse theft dropped by 34%. And that was before they had the "Governator."

We hear there's quite a ruckus going on up yonder about voting yea or nay. And some of the tales being told are rather humorous. Like the one that Cavel spent millions to build a slaughter house that will help the local economy with 40 jobs, but only if they can slaughter horses, not regular food animals. Wooo Hooo..anyone who would believe that would also buy ocean front property in Arizona!

The real thigh slapper is the tale about doing the public a service by killing only the sick, old, lame and unwanted horses. Reckon those French diners would like to hear that? Oh, yeah, Cavel says they will also save you from over population of horses by killing 100 per week when they open up. They're not open now - do y'all have stray horses wondering in the streets and in the parks?

And them horse doctors are jumping on the money wagon, too. Why, they'd have to be dumber than dirt not to! Just think of all the business they'll get when the killer buyers start trucking in horses from all over the country with no health certificates, spreading a trail of germs as long as the Pecos River with their over-packed trucks. It's just a crying shame that with all their education and knowledge of the drugs they give horses and knowing the drugs are chock full of carcinogens, those vets still want horses killed and put on someone's supper table. Whoa, Nellie!

There's another yarn they're spinning about how a slaughter house will stop neglect and abuse of horses. Bubba's still rolling on the floor over that one! You know, if those guys ever get out of the horse killing business, maybe they'll get a job as a stand up comic. They sure have entertained us. (Maybe that's because we live near the two slaughter plants and know the real facts.)

If y'all do start slaughtering horses up there, then we'll be the only two states to have this dastardly business. We can be sister states like some places have sister cities. We can get us a catchy name, like the Dirty Disgusting Duo. But if your legislators are smart enough to vote against slaughter, well, here in Texas we'll just remain the Lone Star Slaughtering State. That is, until they side-wind their way into another state and start another cayuse carnage. Maybe then we can get us a dishonorable "pardner in crime."

Till then, so long and happy trails to you all.

Granny M. Ausley
Ft. Worth, Texas

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Well, it has come down to the wire. The horse slaughter issue can give the appearance of being a complicated issue with far reaching implications that the anti-horse slaughter groups just donít seem to fully grasp. After all, theyíre all just a bunch of tree-hugging animal rights activists that want everyone in the country to turn vegetarian. But itís not about that.

What is the issue of horse slaughter really all about? Itís all about cash. And I donít mean Johnny Cash. I mean cold, hard greed and big bucks. Ask yourself a few questions and answer them honestly.

Are you saying we canít eat meat? No. What weíre saying is that eating horsemeat is just plain wrong on so many different levels. What kind of person will raise a horse, train a horse, ride a horse, show a horse, groom a horse, medicate a horse, bathe a horse, and then eat a horse. What kind of person will plow a field with a horse or take a horse drawn carriage to a fancy high end French restaurant (by the way, the restaurant would have to actually be in France) to wolf down a couple of horse tenderloins? Would a cowboy driving the herd and using his saddle for a pillow out under the stars just hanker for a "hunka horse"? Sick dude!

If horses are not slaughtered, then thousands (yes, thousands people) of horses will just be wandering the streets and highways. Please! First of all, "thousands of unwanted horses" is stretching the truth like saltwater taffy on a hot humid day. The truth is that there will be no unwanted horses because honest people at mostly dishonest auctions cannot outbid the "killer buyers" because they have more money. Itís all about cash.

Some horses are just plain freaky and need to be slaughtered. So put the animal down humanely right there at its home. Donít shove it in a truck with other horses and cart it off to unfamiliar territory. Donít stick it in a feedlot and let it think it just died and went to horse heaven. Donít take it into a blood drenched slaughtering facility, drive it up a ramp and prod it into a kill box and then smack it in the head a few times with a captive bolt gun.

Do you know just how attuned a horseís sense of smell is? Horses in the wild can smell sources of water from miles away. What makes you think theyíre going to just ignore the smell of fresh blood and not react to it. What happens to horses before they are slaughtered is animal cruelty. You canít tiptoe around it. Itís all about cash.

But the poor American farmer needs to be able to make a few bucks off of his workhorse when it no longer serves a purpose. Speaking as a farmer, any farmer worth his salt will not send a horse or mule to a slaughterhouse after a lifetime of service in the fields. Farmers, above all others, know the difference between livestock and pets. Besides, just try to buy feed or healthcare products for a horse and not get taxed on it. Once again, itís all about cash.

So whatís it going to be? It is so obvious that the people of this country donít want this. Whether they own a horse or not, the people do not want this. There are so many things in this nation of ours that is all about the "Benjaminís" and to slaughter horses or not is no different. Itís all about cash.

The AQHA would have to start practicing more responsible breeding because there are just way too many Quarter horses out there, which makes them disposable since the majority of horses slaughtered are Quarter horses. Itís funny in a way because the AQHA claims the Quarter horse as "Americaís Horse" and the people of Europe sure find "Americaís Horse" tasty.

One last thing: if horse slaughter was banned then the horse thieves would have to find another way to make a quick buck. Seriously, do you really think the people at the horse slaughtering plants really care where the horse came from? Do you think they ask? Oh sure, they check for microchips but only after the horse is dead.

Letís end the practice of horse slaughter in America today and start being humane tomorrow.

Julia Durfee
Sandy Level, VA

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Related articles:
"Two letters in support of horse slaughter ban," April 22
"Constituent urges Rep. Lindner et al to reverse horse slaughter vote," April 15
"11 letters skewering horse slaughter company," January 27
"Protect companion animals," January 23
"Legislation proposed to end horse slaughter in Illinois,"