Horse Evangelists: Get a Grip!

Four Behaviours That will NEVER save horses:

Screaming, yelling, raising your voice:  A loud voice carries no information and only irritates the listener.

Name-calling, racism, tribalism or jingoism:  Unless you’re a schoolyard bully, you know how counter-productive all of  that is (and to the person who referred to “you people” on the Radio-Canada site, you need to work on your social skills).

Writing in English on a French-speaking site (or vice-versa):  This is imperialist colonialism at its worst, particularly if you’re not even Canadian.  At the very least, it’s a lack of courtesy which will overpower any message or opinion that you’re trying to share.  When in Rome, etc….

Reducing the importance of a very complex subject by using cliches, like “cut the crap!”:  Again, that is neither useful nor relevant…worst of all, it doesn’t even convey your opinion on the matter, so why even bother?

I just read a series of comments by hot-headed horse lovers on the Radio-Canada website (see their FB posts on Bien dans son assiette; I can’t seem to link to it) who are doing our cause more harm than good.  We are all in pain because of horse abuse and slaughter, but the fact is, that we accomplish nothing and certainly do nothing to save our horses from the abattoirs when we rail wildly against the very fact of it “just because”…just because we love horses, just because the manner of their slaughter is horrible, just because we can’t endure any animal to suffer, just because it’s wrong.  Take a breath, stop a minute and think:  how do you think this sort of horse evangelism will ever persuade the pro-slaughter lobby (which is enormously powerful) or the powers-that-be to change, improve, or ultimately ban horse slaughter?  It won’t.  And that kind of behaviour plays into the hands of the pro-slaughter lobby (although, God knows, their own behaviour is far from rational; I only need to mention Slaughterhouse Sue and the Oregon Couple…’nuff said!).

A salutary example of contrasting behaviours comes from two demonstrations I attended in the past ten years:  one, organized by Global Action Network (GAN) here in Montreal was held outside a Shriner’s Circus in Parc Angrignon in Verdun.  We were about thirty or so, and even when the Circus band tried to drown out our chants, we never wavered.  Demonstrators politely approached incoming cars and explained why animals should never be used in circuses, and, I’m happy to say, that two motorists turned their cars around after hearing the facts and didn’t take their kids (who were in the back seat) to a circus which features exotic animals far from their homelands in grotesque costumes and poses.  There was no yelling, no name-calling, no cursing…just the facts.  And if you think two isn’t much, just think about how long it took Gandhi to change the shape, government and geo-politics of India.

At another demonstration held in front of the Viandes Richelieu horse slaughter abattoir, some demonstrators seemed to get bored at not eliciting a response from the workers inside, so began cursing and calling them names, and the absurdity of it was that they did this in English even though those workers probably didn’t understand a word.  Call me crazy, but I (and a few others present) just didn’t see the point.  If you want to let off steam, do what I do:  take it out on your husband…or the garden (get those earwigs)…or that thick piece of ice on your walkway that no one can maneuver around.

Now, aren’t you glad that I explained my reductive blog title (Get a Grip!) rather than just using it as a vapid release of anger?

1 Comment

  1. Cynthia
    Mar 17, 2012

    As this is my blog (not “an article” as this writer claims below), I have edited some of the vitriol. (You might want to read the post called “An Empire of One”). Again, since this is my blog, I don’t feel the need to defend my opinions. I find it interesting that he/she chose not only to read this particular post, but to take the time and energy to comment. I’m not sure who you were defending because, clearly, I wasn’t referring to horse advocates who actually take action but to people who rant and rave but do nothing to advance the cause…hence the word “evangelist.” Btw, what’s wrong with PETA? They get things done. Here is the comment:
    “Get your facts straight here…. a MAJORITY of so called Horse Evangelists are working very very hard in a professional manner getting petitions done, writing to our MPS and taking directions on how to take action that matters. In this group as in any, there will always be those are cannot contain there emotions and thoughts. Please also be aware that at protest you give an example of was not just horse evangelists, PETA popped up too, uninvited. Most of us who want laws change work quietly and very very hard behind the scenes. Kindly do not judge all who want slaughter to stop by the few acting out. Progress is slow and yes it is uphill battle, however progress is happening in lttle parts. So when you speak up in articles speak for yourself, not the rest of us. ty.”

    I was speaking for myself, not for “the rest of you” (whoever you are). Me, my personal blog, my opinion….

Submit a Comment