That Parrot is Asleep

That Parrot is Asleep

Joe Rescued from Viandes Richelieu

The puerile but concise rant of the postee mentioned earlier–full of a venomous smugness–is in stark contrast to the man who showed up at the Massueville demonstration last Monday.  As luck would have it, this poor sap showed up amongst the demonstrators–some sporting fake bullet holes in their foreheads (I guess he didn’t notice as he pulled in to park beside them)–with the intention of asking the abattoir to slaughter his young stallion for him.  As I shepherded him over to the group (he didn’t notice the big signs they were holding up with “arretons l’abattage des chevaux” written on them either), he told me the abattoir would pay him $350.  So it was that when at least five of us pressed in on him, all talking at once and in two languages, he was taken aback, as if he’d opened the door to what he thought was a room and found himself on the edge of a cliff instead.  (Well, one can never safely predict one’s destination with any certainty at the best of times.)  I’ll give him credit though; he didn’t turn and leave (run away! run away!):  he stayed as the group grew more vocal, imploring him not to do this heinous thing, inundating him with facts and proof and alternatives.  Now nonplussed, he argued back that no cruelty existed at the slaughterhouse.  That wasn’t true, he knew for sure.  They shot the horse dead right in front of him last time because he’d told them he didn’t want it to suffer.  I nearly wiped a tear from my eye. I suggested they might have done that because he was a witness, and judging from the paucity of windows in the building, they didn’t really want witnesses to their daily goings-on.  Furthermore, I asked if he thought they had the time to process 80 or so horses a day in that kind fashion–would that be an efficient way to render a high volume of product?  When he looked back at me blankly, I thought maybe I’d driven the point home to him and that he was processing new information or maybe, old information in a new way.  But no.  The stallion had an undropped testicle and couldn’t be used for breeding…no, it wasn’t that…the operation was too expensive…no, actually, the vets said he was inoperable…anyway, he’d heard about those horse sanctuaries and they weren’t on the up-and-up…they would mistreat, sell, abuse his stallion and he wouldn’t have that.  He was fond of his horse. Horse-owning demonstrators explained to him that none of what he was saying or had been told or suspected was true.  It wasn’t so amazing to me that he refused to take the money quickly rustled up by the group to buy the stallion from him.  What amazed me was that in the face of incontrovertible facts, he, in the end, did drive off, mumbling something that didn’t sound overly complimentary.  That’s where this man and the bute-loving postee meet, their incorrigibility exactly the same, only the styles differing.  It makes me think of the classic Python sketch about the, um, sleeping parrot.  Stupidity, after all, is the unwillingness to learn.  I bet even the dead parrot knew that. UPDATE:  Shortly after Dave and I left, Celine, the owner of les ecuries Diabolo and members of the Ottawa Animal Defense League, finally persuaded the man to give up his beautiful, 5-year-old, registered Canadien stallion named “Macho” to Refuge RR of Alexandria, Ontario.  Since Celine had arrived in her horse trailer, she kindly offered to transport Macho the many miles to RR, to safety.  For more info on this happy ending, go to:  Diabolo and Refuge RR

In many ways, life is unforgiving, but the saving of this horse, this one horse, at a time and a place which embodies the lack of every good instinct God supplied man with, filled me with hope.  Whatever it takes, and I may not live to see it, but whatever it takes, we will stop the cruelty of horse slaughter in this country.  (There’s a great picture of Macho (now renamed) on RR’s site; I’ll ask the owner if I can post it here so you can enjoy the grace and beauty of this young stallion.)

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