Racism and Horse Slaughter

Racism and Horse Slaughter

I was planning to write a post called What You Don’t Know about Quebec Will Kill Your Horse but I’ve noticed that as soon as someone (usually a fellow Canadian, and sometimes, some Americans) discovers that I’m a Quebecker, they turn away as if I had cooties; we’ll get to the reasons for that a little later. Right now, I’ve decided to discuss how insidious human proclivities (you know, bad and/or malignant habits) creep in to animal advocacy arguments and yes, even those against horse slaughter…one of them being racism.  

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To Eat or Not to Eat… your Horse?

To Eat or Not to Eat…   your Horse?

If you read my last blog about the CFIA asking to consult the Canadian public on traceability requirements for food animals (which includes horses),  you also read Roxanne’s comment.  Roxanne sums up everything so well that this blog post is devoted to her comment alone.  Please click the link and read the CFIA’s original notice so you can fully appreciate her excellent points.

How different we are here. A national animal identification system was much protested and rejected in the United States. Implementing an NAIS will be much more difficult for horses. Horses rarely stay on the farm like other animals because they are not “like” other animals, or perhaps better said, other food or dairy animals. Horses go out and off the farm, sometimes every weekend, sometimes daily for trail rides, to riding lessons, to clinics, to horse shows, to see the vet. Horses live a long time and often have several owners. Horses often live in urban environments, in boarding stables. How will that be monitored, Will it further push the cost of horse ownership away from the average person? How will it affect rescues? Local horse clubs? 4H? Pony Club? Wild horses? If they choose a microchip, will that mean another chip for breeds that already have microchip identification? What if it’s retinal scanning? Who is going to pay for all the equipment? This is a strategy for food animals, not companion animals. There is no such strategy for dogs and cats. Along with traceability, what is chosen now will formally define the status of the horse in our society and in our country. It was hashed over for years in the U.S. and rejected. I can’t believe how apathetic the horse community in Canada is to all this, but I’m sure they will complain when it happens. My vote is for choice and for a passport system like the U.K. has, that allows the owner to choose if their horse will ever go to slaughter or not, with tracking necessary only for those who choose that possible end. Let those who would permit their horses to go to slaughter pay the costs of supporting the coming requirements for that industry. Leave those of us who don’t choose that end alone.

 

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CFIA Livestock Tracking Proposal

Maybe I’m naive but I like it when government agencies seek out the opinions of Canadians on pending or potential legislation.  It makes me feel like, well, like a citizen…a citizen in good standing who has an obligation to participate in the making of law, not just someone, who, by accident of birth, happened to be born on Canadian soil.  

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Curves: Another Bankruptcy

No one was a more staunch supporter of Curves, the women’s gym franchise, than I was.  Almost exactly a year ago, I had an exchange of comments (see Curves blog category) with someone named fitdude, and you could almost see my enthusiasm on the page.  At the time, the Curves founder, Gary Heavin, was in the news, and many franchises in the US had either been closed or had gone bankrupt.

When bankruptcy finally felled my own Curves,

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Ground Manners’ First Anniversary

Ground Manners’ First Anniversary

GGround Manners. A Novel was published 13 months ago.  One of the traditional publishers I’d sent it to wrote back saying that it was too political.  At least half a dozen advocacy organizations said they would publicize it on their sites; the only Canadian organizations that did were the CHDC and CHHAPS.  Since then, Carol M. Upton of Dreams Aloud Promotions  (see blog) has had reviews published in six horse magazines for which I am very grateful.

But Evelyne Villers was the very first journalist courageous enough to publish her Book Review on a novel written in English about the Québec horse industry.  And today, she re-published her Review with a few changes and also publicized my upcoming booth at the Salon du Livre in Rigaud this Sunday, March 25th.  I can’t thank her enough for this heart-warming surprise.  Please go here to read Evelyne’s review (en français).

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