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Re: RC: Horse Slaughter

In a message dated 3/15/00 9:59:16 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< What you didn't mention (and here, I will use California prices)
 Cost saved not having to board horse:   $200/month
 Cost saved not having to shoe horse:   ~  50/month
 Cost saved not having to worm the horse:   5/month
 In less than three months of not having the horse (assuming
 you do nothing with it other than maintain it) you have
 more than saved the $670 difference between selling for
 slaughter and euthanizing.
 If you choose to have your horse euthanized and hauled off
 rather than subjecting it to a 3 day trip to Texas (again
 assuming you are in Californis) in cramped transportation
 quarters you are not "throwing the money away" any more than
 you are throwing money away on feed and care for your horse >>

Let's look at a couple of other scenarios and rationales here.

1)  The person who finds themselves in a sudden life altering situation.  
This person may well not have time to "save" the difference.  The choice of 
having cash in hand NOW vs. not being able to make the payment on the old 
beater car to get to work to feed the kids is the issue.  This person also 
does not have the choice to continue to maintain the horse.  The horse goes 
to auction NOW and takes its chances.  (For those of you who express 
disbelief that life can literally change in an instant--you'd better hope and 
pray that it never happens to you, because it CAN, and sometimes DOES.)

2)  The person who does not live in your nice CA economic model.  In my neck 
of the woods, NO ONE boards.  Cost of keeping a horse is the cost of 
feed--about $60 a month in the winter, and considerably less in the summer 
when there is grass (in fact, next to nothing).  Odds are that the backyard 
horse is NOT getting farrier care or regular deworming.  So let's try more 
like TWO YEARS or more to save what you are saying may be saved.  Or let's 
try another non-CA economic model.  I'm not condoning slaughter, but the 
numbers on my own herd on small acreage so there is no grazing are far 
different than your cost figures.  The amount quoted in the post about money 
difference in slaughter vs. euthanasia would pay 3/4 of last month's hay bill 
for not one but 33 head!  Yes, ours get farrier care, but my husband does 
ours, so the cost is zero, other than buying shoes for the two or three that 
are being ridden.  (Most are broodmares and youngsters.)  As for 
deworming--no more expensive than the oral ivermectin liquid is, mine get 
done at two month intervals for $6 per head--so the cost (small difference 
here from your figures) is only $3 per horse per month.  Less for little ones.

3)  The person who really does not give a damn one way or the other, and for 
whom the horse is not really "costing" any money.  If slaughter means that 
this person sells the horse for a few bucks before the horse gets to the 
point of suffering that the Humane Society has to step in, then Hallelujah!!  
Believe me, I've seen FAR worse suffering from neglect over the years than 
what the horse goes through in a trip to Alberta.  (By the way--we don't seem 
to think it is abusive to haul our endurance horses that far to compete--so 
clearly it is not the HAUL that is the problem here, but rather the manner in 
which it is done.  Now THERE is a worthy issue for those concerned about 
suffering--enforcing the regulations that are ALREADY in place to make sure 
that horses being transported are handled in a humane manner!)

Duncan said it best so far:

<<The major point that has been missing from this discussion is that there is
no reason other than religion or human emotional state that would make a
distinction between beef and horse meat. While I well understand that
majority of you would not want your horse to go to slaughter, that is
entirely within your control. But denying someone else the right to send
their horse to slaughter while you enjoy a Big Mac is hypocrysy at its
finest. And sending an animal to the zoo shows the weakness of the vegan
philosphy. If animals shouldn't be food - they shouldn't be food for other
animals. But nature kind of gets in the way.>>

I find it particularly offensive that people are SO judgmental of how others 
choose to deal with the end of life for their horses.  These same people 
likely get upset when the KKK tells us that people of another color are bad, 
or when the fanatic religious right tells us that people with different 
sexual orientation are bad or that women should play second fiddle to their 
husbands.  The "morality police" approach to horse slaughter IS hypocricy, as 
Duncan states.  The sad part is that the emoting on this issue has CAUSED the 
abusive long trailer ride and preceeding auction yard shuffles for slaughter 
horses by literally driving small local plants out of business.  The person 
who originally posted the savings in getting the horse slaughtered lives 
close enough to a plant to still be able to make an appointment, take a horse 
in personally, and have him "put down" virtually immediately upon arrival.  
If you are going to kill a horse, quite frankly, I don't think he gives a 
damn whether you do it with a gun, a captive bolt, or a needle, as long as 
you do it in an effective manner.  We used to have a local plant--as I've 
stated in previous posts, it was burned by arsonists from ALF--the "Animal 
Liberation Front."  So those who care about the abuse of the long ride now 
have had a humane choice denied to them--is THAT fair?  No!  Our horses here 
now go to Alberta, Canada--and those who have seen that plant say that it is 
well run and humane.  At least there are still private individuals who haul 
small loads up, so the horses here don't have to go through what the southern 
CA horses do to get to Beltex--but it is still not a humane way to go for an 
old horse that may not be steady enough on its feet to make a long trip 
comfortablty, etc.

My husband is amazed at the emoting that goes on over horse slaughter in this 
country.  He is from Europe, and where he lived, he could LEAD a horse to the 
butcher.  As Heather from France has stated, in some areas there are mobile 
units that come right to your farm--no different than having the veterinarian 
come and euthanize the horse with a bunch of chemicals, from the horse's 
perspective.  I find it appalling that those who profess to CARE about horse 
suffering are denying such an alternative in this country.  Furthermore, in a 
hungry world, it is nice to be sufficiently affluent to be able to waste a 
large edible carcass for the sake of one's own dislike for consuming it.

I'm not trying to promote slaughter over any other means of compassionately 
ending our horses' lives when the time comes, but I sure get sick of the 
"morality police" attitude of some who belittle others for making the choice 
to go that route and who press to limit choices by initiative or legislative 
means.  Duncan is right that this issue approaches a religious fervor--and 
more blood has been shed in "holy" wars than for any other reason in history. 
 Our society is SUPPOSED to be more "modern" and tolerant of those who have 
other beliefs and value systems.  Don't forget that the government that has 
the power to tell you you CAN'T slaughter your horse also has the power to 
tell you that you HAVE TO slaughter your horse.  Think about it.


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