Weir Only Human: Just Say Whoa! by Bob Weir
Posted on Thursday, September 18 @ 15:00:00 EDT by eHezi
http://yonkerstribune.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5122

Author/Columnist Bob Weir

One end of the rope is attached to a crane, while the other end is looped under one of the hind legs of the horse. The wrenching sound of gears cannot drown out the whinnying cries of the terrified animal as itís lifted high off the ground and positioned over a bloody, flesh-strewn pit. A slaughterhouse worker reaches over with a captive-bolt pistol and fires a metal rod into the brain of the struggling victim. The powerful impact of the specially designed weapon will either stun the horse or kill it. Either way, the butchery begins. I wonít describe the gruesome details of "bleeding out" or ultimate dismemberment. Iíll simply say that it would not only shock you, but it would likely bring you to tears to view the barbarous treatment of one of natureís most elegant, beautiful, and historically significant creatures. The horse has been a close friend to mankind since the beginning of recorded history. They provided transportation for thousands of years; assisted in the growth of agriculture by pulling our plows; provided the "Pony Express" speed behind our first postal system; and even fought and died with us in our wars.

Why then, has this magnificent symbol of our glorious past; this tried and true companion to millions of Americans today, been turned into a delicacy to be consumed at the dinner tables of French, Belgian, and other European diners? The answer lies in the coldhearted greed of those who would do anything for money. Americans donít put horse on the menu in our kitchens or our restaurants. It would be as disgusting and uncivilized as putting dog or cat on a list of favorite dishes. What I find scary is that many people will refuse to get involved in anything that doesnít directly impact the order of their day-to-day lives. If someone wants to turn our erstwhile comrades into gourmet meals for the upper crust of European society, why should we care? After all, we no longer need them to help us explore and settle any new frontiers. The only Mustangs most people ever encounter these days are made by Ford Motor Company. Why should we have any loyalty toward the relics of a time long past?

When I was growing up in NYC, the only horses I saw were those who pulled the fruit and vegetable wagons and those ridden by cowboys in the movies. Yet, the grace and majesty of the horse cannot be fully appreciated until you sit astride one of the mighty beasts and feel the incredible power of their heavily muscled locomotion. When I moved to Texas 14 years ago, my fiancť and I decided to have our wedding reception at the Circle R Ranch in Flower Mound, about 25 miles north of Dallas. The festivities included a bevy of well-groomed mounts to allow guests, many of whom were from other states, to get the feel of the Texas landscape. To me, having watched so many Westerns on film, Texas and horsemanship were synonymous. My wife and I have saddled up many times since then, at other ranches in the area. Itís easy to see how people can become so attached to those splendid examples of 4-legged nobility.

What I find morbidly ironic about the repugnant business of horse slaughter is the fact that Texas is the only state that operates these ghastly chambers of horror. One is in Kaufman, owned by a Belgian company, while the other is a French owned equine extermination factory in Fort Worth. Even before they meet their doom, the ill-fated steeds are stuffed into narrow trucks, designed for smaller animals, as they get transported across state lines, often suffering painful injuries along the way. Is this how we reward one of the most valuable contributions to the opening of the American West? Thankfully, there are some people with enough love and compassion to defend our longtime allies against the brutal and noxious pursuits of the mercenary monsters in our midst. HR857, known as The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives and is awaiting passage. You can obtain all the facts at Just Say Whoa! and decide if saving horses from a torture-filled death is worth a few minutes of your time. Lord knows they gave all they had to the advancement of the human race. How human would we be if we refused to allow them a dignified demise?

Note: Bob Weir's five published novels, "Murder in Black and White," "City To Die For," "Powers That Be," "Ruthie's Kids," and "Deadly To Love," are available through Barnes & Noble , Books-A-Million ,and other major online book sellers, accompanied by reviews. Share your point of view by sending e-mail to Bob Weir or by placing a comment at the bottom of this article.