Sloth: the 7th Deadly Sin
A horse owner recently asked me a passel of questions; then, when I took the time to answer them, emailed me back saying that she knew the answers, and had been following the US fight against horse slaughter on the internet. Well, that’s all well and good, but you know what? I don’t have the time to answer every individual, especially after I’ve sent them to this blog which answers a lot of their questions, in detail, but I took the time because I thought that everyone was entitled to the facts. I’m not sure why she bothered: maybe she wanted to see if I really knew what I was talking about. G u e s s w h a t ? I spent two years doing research for my novel, Ground Manners, and prior, spent two years volunteering at one of the busiest horse sanctuaries in Eastern Canada. All of my knowledge and research was topped up when I attended the International Conference on Equine Welfare and Public Health in Alexandria, Virginia, in September of 2011: that confirmed and added to intense research I’d personally conducted from 2004. So…here’s my point. It’s lovely that you care for horses and their welfare, but don’t bother asking me questions when this entire blog as well as the novel it took me 22 months to write are not sources you consider worth reading. Don’t ask me for information privately when you either already know the answers, or haven’t bothered to visit this blog or the CHDC, or the EWA, or the ALC or Animals Angels or the WSPA or the HSI Canada. I don’t do parlour tricks and I have nothing to prove to anyone, especially since I am not affiliated with any group, and advocate for horses simply because they are horses and not food animals. There are tons of horse blogs out there but unless you put your nose to the grindstone, you can’t have the WHOLE picture. I forget who said this but: ‘a little information is more dangerous than no information at all.’
Now…one of the more pertinent questions this woman asked concerned her friends’ queries about ‘what do we do with the unwanted horses if we don’t slaughter them?’ First of all, you have to wonder whence such a question comes. In other words, are these people who regularly over-breed, produce so-called excess horses, horses who in some random way do not meet their expectations–whether for riding, dressage, eventing, carriage, training, hippotherapy, breed purity, etc–and, rather than try to sell them for another purpose to another responsible owner who can make use of him (and, we know that horses, all breeds, are incredibly versatile), think: ’gee, I guess I’ll send him to slaughter. His flesh could feed the poor.’ (See Primers A and B: you can’t afford horsemeat, so neither can the world’s poor; horsemeat contains substances deadly to humans; horse transport and slaughter is so cruel as to be a template for animal cruelty). Geez…need a break now…I have a headache.