Northern Star
Letter to the Editor
January 12, 2004

Your Voice
Horses deserve better than Cavel International

I always have loved horses, since I saw my first one many years ago. Horses have always been in my sleeping and waking dreams. I ride them into the sunset. I gently groom them in their stalls. Always, in my dreams, the horses and I show one another love and respect. If I’m depressed, I think of horses peacefully snoozing under the moonlight, or wild horses running fast — the pure essence of freedom. I hear thundering hooves crossing endless green plains. My spirits lift.

When I was young, my heroes from European and American history traveled on horseback, delivering justice in a world full of injustices. What child hasn’t dreamed of being a knight or a princess, a cowboy or a cowgirl? How many of us haven’t dreamed about riding, caring for and bonding with a horse — just like the “good guys” of yesteryear?

Did you know that the symbol of ancient Athens — where democracy was born — is the horse? Similarly, the horse was part of the dream of American pioneers heading farther west to find a new life.

But the bloody greed of three French- and Belgian-owned slaughterhouses, such as Cavel International, which is rebuilding its despicable business at 108 Harvestore Drive in DeKalb, has turned my horse dream into a nightmare. They have brought gruesome, premature deaths to tens of thousands of horses murdered every year, to the three million horses murdered during the last 20 years by these horse-houses of horror.

Yes, those kind horse hearts — the same hearts that love us so much — are bled out, often while they are still conscious and kicking. These loving hearts beat for the last time so the wicked whims of wealthy European and Japanese consumers may be satisfied.

How have horses served mankind? They’ve carried our soldiers to war. They’ve made civilization possible, pulling wagons and carriages through cities and villages, plows through fields and logs through forests. And how are we rewarding them for their endless hours of work on our behalf? By sending them to meet the most horrific and painful death possible, suspended in head-down abject misery, drowning in their own blood.

Why do Americans allow such a barbaric, and immoral practice? Because most of us don’t know it exists.

We can stop this now. On the federal level, we simply have to exert pressure on our congressmen by writing and calling them en masse, persuading them to co-sponsor HR 857: The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which would ban horse slaughtering nationwide and the transport of horses for slaughter to other countries. On the state level, Rep. Robert S. Molaro (D-Chicago) has introduced SB 1921, which would ban horse slaughtering and the exportation of horses for slaughter in Illinois. We must call and write our state representatives and senators asking them to support and co-sponsor this bill.

I have a dream that American horses will never be slaughtered again. Please be brave enough to tell the Belgian and French horse-murderers that they are not welcome here. Have the moral courage to shout: “NO MORE!”

For more information about horse slaughtering and how to contact your state legislators, visit the following Web sites:

Daniel Cordero Fernández