Serenity N o w
I picked up my new dental guard today. It’s a plastic appliance I put on my teeth at night because I grind my teeth in my sleep. My dentist suggested that one of the causes may be stress. ”Stress?” I echoed. ”No, I don’t think I’m any more stressed out than anyone else,” I replied. But there are a few things that stress me out…. For example: that some blonde nitwit is now worth $70 million just because she divorced someone (and there are billions of children starving);
that the Egyptian military is still controlling Egypt despite last year’s promise to yield power to the people;
that people still visit Sea World and Marineland when it’s known that these organisations buy their dolphins from Taiji Island which regularly conducts mass slaughter of dolphins;
that every five minutes, a horse is slaughtered somewhere in the world;
that certain Middle Eastern cults (one now in a Kingston court) continue to repress women;
that when a big company like Air Canada decides to do the right thing by refusing to transport primates to cruel experimentation labs, its governing body, the CTA, decides Air Canada must continue the transports;
that PETA whose campaigns I regularly support is pro-horse slaughter (go figure); [see Revision above]
that Canadian Mustangs and seals are “culled” every year and our governments sanction these primitive practices;
that falling back on “tradition” as a reason for anything denies all the “traditions” that did harm (like slavery, anti-suffragism, apartheid, public spittoons, bull-fighting, bear-baiting, cock-fighting, child labour camps, segregation, racism, footwear restraints for Asian women…have I missed anything?);
disingenuous people (ex: someone posted a review on The Stablewoman Gazette saying that, when she viewed the movie, War Horse, she never expected there to be so much violence. She had thought it was about a young boy and his love for a horse). The movie (and the book, which I read) is called War Horse, not My Friend, Flicka, or The Black Stallion, and was not written by Marguerite Henry or Jane Smiley. A horse dispatched to a war zone anywhere in the world, in any historical era, was used to conduct war–whatever that entailed at the time. In Pursuit of Honour, a 1995 movie with Don Johnston, captures precisely the army’s view of horses as “equipment”, nothing more. The Misfits, with Monroe and Gable, captures the problematics which were just beginning to enter the North American psyche with regard to animals, and particularly, mustangs (and real mustangs, sadly, were used in the making of that movie).
Watch any Hollywood Western ever made (and I’ve seen a lot of Westerns), and keep your eye on the horses, not the actors. Don’t you think those stunt horses undergo hardship, pain, and even death just so that a certain scene will happen?
I dunno. We can’t work to save horses if we keep glorifying them as icons, friends, and companions because that rosy view excludes and disdains all the many, many services they’ve given humankind over the centuries. As Penny, the owner of Secretariat, tells trainer, Lucien Laurin in the movie: “You’re going to stay here and take this with me!” Don’t look away. Someone, somewhere is suffering as we speak.