Animals Angels’ Light Up the Sky

Every year, Animals’-Angels USA holds a vigil by candle light that lights up the sky with the love of humans for animals.  Let me put that another way:  lights up the sky with the love we hold for the others we share this planet with.  I sent a very, very personal missive to AA last year about the horses I grew up with…horses whose very presence lightened a childhood and adolescence fraught with, well, personal and family contradictions I agonized over.  I wasn’t much different from people my age, some of whom knew worse, I’m sure.

Here I offer words I wrote when the CHDC held a Memorial when the Norval Slaughterhouse in Ontario was finally and permanently shut down; the Memorial was held on May 1, 2011 (I posted on that somewhere; look thru my Horse posts).  These slaughtered equines–horses, minis, donkeys, mules and burros–were all owned equines whose service to us went unthanked, ultimately unappreciated to the point of not mere death, but a peculiarly human-engineered death…that of the terror of transport away from safety and love and human kindness to the cruel, unfeeling pathology of the abattoir.  AA’s Vigil is on December 10th of this year:  send your personal tribute to the animal(s) of your choice now.  Herman Melville said:  ‘Silence is the voice of God’…maybe so, but He can see alright, and our candles will be a beacon of love He can hardly miss.

And so I wrote to, and for, the horses who passed through Cerberus at the Norval Horse Slaughterhouse…

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from Sito Italian Horse Protection Society

As a second-generation Canadian of Italian descent, I offer you the following:  La Commissione Europea fallisce nel proteggere gli animali trasportati verso il mattatoi.

The abhorrence towards the slaughter of horses is worldwide…don’t doubt that for one minute.  From www.horseprotection.it

Relazione della Comunità Europea sul trasporto degli animali: la Commissione Europea fallisce nel proteggere gli animali trasportati verso i mattatoi in Europa.
86 organizzazioni non governative europee chiedono la soppressione dei trasporti sulla lunga distanza.
Quasi 900.000 cittadini europei e più di 70 Parlamentari Europei aderiscono alla campagna ‘8hours’.

– Rilasciato oggi un nuovo video sul trasporto su lunga distanza-
Oggi il Comitato Direttivo Generale per la Salute e i Consumatori (DG SANCO) della Commissione Europea ha reso nota la sua relazione sull’impatto della Disposizione 1/2005 sulla protezione degli animali trasportati e sui flussi commerciali di animali vivi nella Comunità allargata.Clicca qui per visionare la relazione.
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An Aside to the Primer on Horse Slaughter

ALERT:  Several of the email alerts I received yesterday stated that the US has decided to re-instate monies so that USDA workers can “inspect” horse abattoirs if and when they re-open for business.  Go here http://www.awionline.org/content/handful-legislators-condemn-horses-usda-approved-abuse    or here   http:///horsebackmagazine.com/hb/archives/12598  for more information.  AMERICANS, go here to learn how your own state can combat this backward thinking: lauraallen@animallawcoalition.com

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What’s so Special about Oregon?

The furor over the couple in Oregon killing their own horse then taking pictures of themselves smiling through the horse’s abdomen and appearing to eat its heart while naked baffles me.  Respect for life means RESPECT FOR LIFE…in what way does this event differ from the horrifically cruel ways horses are slaughtered every five minutes all over the world (just view the youtube video made in Argentina and see which makes you sicker).  I can understand the anti-slaughter movement in the US hitching onto this particular, but certainly, not unique incident because Sue Wallis revealed just how profound her pathology is by publicly supporting the couple’s behaviour (it takes one to know one, or two, in this case).  And I can understand why the incident has gone viral; after all, I’m sure that the friends and neighbours of the couple could do follow-up interviews, looking mildly bewildered and saying things like, ‘I don’t understand it…they seemed like such a nice couple.’  You know, similar to what people said about Ted Bundy.  We just don’t expect evil in someone’s own backyard even though, if you expand the geography of your own backyard by just a bit (and those of you who live in Massueville need only add a very little bit of yardage), this level of cruelty happens everywhere.  If you have no respect for life to begin with, what does it matter if you carry that disrespect to extremes like that psychopathic couple did (in fact, that’s probably why they published their video:  even they know that the world has no respect for life)? In for a penny, in for a pound.  I don’t think what they did was any worse than the testimonial of an abattoir worker in Jonathan Saffran Foer’s book, Eating Animals. Foer cites this testimonial from Gail Eisnitz’s book, Slaughterhouse.

“Down in the blood pit they say that the smell of blood makes you aggressive.  And it does.  You get an attitude that if that hog kicks at me, I’m going to get even.  You’re already going to kill the hog, but that’s not enough….[I] split its nose…a live hog [would just be looking at me]…and I would just take my knife and…cut its eye out while it was just sitting there….One time I took my knife…and I sliced off the end of a hog’s nose, just like a piece of bologna….I took a handful of salt brine and ground it into his nose…[then] I stuck the [rest of the] salt right up the hog’s ass.”  (p.252, Eating Animals, quoting Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz)

Now I don’t think measuring levels of pathological behaviour as it pertains to no respect for life would be useful here:  is this abattoir worker less cruel because, unlike the Oregon couple, he didn’t bother making a youtube video out of that incident…an incident which hundreds of abattoir workers have admitted is no different from what goes on all the time, by everyone?  

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Hickstead: Canada’s Hero

Hickstead:  Canada’s Hero

I haven’t been able to write about it.  I was so lost without him, with knowing that he’d departed this world.  You’ve all probably heard that Hickstead, the horse that brought Gold to Canada in the last Olympics, two days ago, at the age of nearly sixteen, dropped dead after a flawless jumping event in Verona, Italy, a major competition.  If you haven’t heard of Hickstead, whose prime rider was Eric Lamaze, I don’t know where to begin…both in how to describe the intelligence and heart of this horse and in how to describe the intrinsic–let me say that again–the intrinsic value of this glorious creature.  There is a post somewhere on my blog about an interview with Hickstead’s owner who said:  “he was a stumblebum at first…and then, he seemed to get it.  He really got it…so I said to Eric, ‘don’t do anything.  He knows what to do.  Leave it to Hicks, sit back and just enjoy the ride.'”  And truly, after watching many shows in which Hicks excelled, I must say that that is exactly how it looked to me:  Hickstead seemed to analyse each jump, and decide how he was going to take it…and he did…he just did.  Every single time.  In an interview after his death, someone commented:  “Hickstead was not only the top event horse of Canada…he was considered the top event horse ever in history…ever.”  Bless you beautiful boy, we love you and wish you godspeed to the heavens…where you belong.  You made the world a better place and the world is a better place because of you.  Go to:  A Big Ask Answered  on my blog or google Hickstead.  Enlarge your appreciation and love of our horses by learning about Hickstead, “Canada’s Hero”.  Oh, Eric, I do feel for your loss.  Please share it with all of us who were amazed and breathless at the magnificence of a horse whose qualities transcended your riding skills and our expectations.  Rest well, Hicks.

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A Most Unselfish Decision: Part Two

Yes, what to do with this smart, sweet, loving dog who just didn’t quite fit the quieter habits of my brother and his wife?  Now, you know I hate being maudlin, and of course, I am completely objective when I say this, but my brother and my sister-in-law are two of the sweetest people you’ll ever meet.  And their solicitude for this dog is a perfect example.  They could have just turned the dog over to the infamous Berger Blanc, a for-profit agency sanctioned by the city of Montreal to “shelter” stray pets until their owner shows up (more on the nefarious Berger Blanc later), turned their backs on him and went about their business.  But no.  Instead, they tried to find the dog’s owner (after all, he was groomed like a showdog, was perfectly healthy, fixed, house- and otherwise- trained)…to no avail; took him to a vet.  Then they thought maybe they should just keep him, and everyone chimed in “keep it, keep it,” as if he were a brand-new sofa that someone had left on your doorstep.   (Oh people who are good but whose goodness is powered by thoughtlessness rather than sober attention.)

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