May 21, 2004  Illinois Leader letters to the editor

No justification for horse slaughter

My name is Michele McLaren and I live in Elwood, Illinois. I'm strongly against horse slaughter. I strongly feel it should be banned in all states and anyone who is running this kind of a business should be shut down.

I love all animals--big and small. I have a horse myself as well as three dogs, several fish and an Iguana. I treat all my animals as a family member. I love them with all my heart. They are my pride and joy, as well as my kids. It breaks my heart to know that this kind of thing is going on in our country--or any country for that matter.

I read an article today in our local newspaper about Dekalb and the attempt to ban horse slaughter in Illinois. And when I read that, they said many of the horses they slaughter are bought at auctions. They are mainly ill-mannered and ill-tempered horses, which is a direct result of poor training and neglect. In their own way, they were trying to justify what they do and that angered me.

I know that no animal deserves that. The temperament of a horse can easily be changed with time and a lot of love for the animal. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who can say that as well.

Another part that bothered me is that it is felt that if slaughter is to be banned, we will see a rise of abuse and neglect. If that were to happen, which I pray won't, then those people who do that sort of thing should be punished for their actions. I watch Animal Planet all the time and I really wish that we had an ASPCA in our state.

In reference to the other comment that was made about it being better if people were to get paid for them taking their horse rather than neglecting it, abusing it, or paying to have it put down. Wrong, wrong, wrong! No animal deserves to die in such a cruel manner as that. I would rather see it put down or find a better home for it.

I truly fear for the safety of my own horse and others like myself, where the aspect of horse thieves could surface more widely again if this is allowed to go on.

Michele McLaren and Family

How can you sleep at night?

This is a very strange way of expressing your love and appreciation for another sentient being. Most people would have had him humanely euthanized, petting him while making his transition, and making it as easy for him as possible.

Allowing him to be brutally treated and chopped up for someone's dinner is certainly not an expression of even a minimal amount of caring. How can you sleep at night?

Nadine M. Zimmer
Las Vegas, NV


Saddened and astonished

There are so many fallacies in this opinion piece that I don't know where to begin. Maybe like this:

Or how often repeated attempts must be made to stun the horse? How many times (after all, the captive bolt is hand held)? It takes four or five tries to render the horse unconscious. Meanwhile, the horse is screaming and flailing inside a kill box, slipping on the blood slicked floor. No, not a pretty sight.

I don't know whether to be saddened or astonished by his lack of facts.

We must end the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

Tricia Greene
West Chester, Pa