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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Ohh, Radio-Canada (Mar 1st, 7pm)

I must apologize to Claude Brunet, interviewer/host of the recent Radio-Canada broadcast, Bien dans son assiette (see When Reporters Get it Wrong )–at least, in part, and I’ll tell you why shortly.  First, I’d like to address a few questions that have come my way, especially since so many are sharing this blog in cyberspace (and, it would be nice if some of you new visitors would actually buy or even read my novel because more than half of what I post here already appears in Ground Manners. A Novel …but I digress).

Q:  Why have the numbers of horses slaughtered in Canada decreased between the years 2008 and 2009?

A:  There were seven slaughterhouses killing horses in Canada; then there were five; then there were four.  

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Canadian Mustangs Menaced

In November 2010, I wrote a blog entitled Saving our Mustangs in Canada (scroll down to last blog on that page) about the great work WHOAS (Wild Horses of Alberta Society) does, and asked readers to sign its petition.  I’m asking again before the few remaining symbols of our history are decimated by the Alberta government’s “cull”.  Go here and sign. 

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Are You Eating Beef Laced with Horsemeat?

The purpose of Section 33 of the Meat Inspection Act was to prevent the mixing of horsemeat with other meats rendered, prepared, packaged, labelled and sold to the consumer market.  By repealing this section of the Act, Canada has jeopardized the food safety of its own citizens (see previous post called “Alert!  Horse Apartheid”). This is a life-altering, backwards step by the CFIA which herein caters only to abattoir owners who don’t want to follow country-wide food safety regulations, and want to butcher horses in their own way.  (For those of who read my book, Ground Manners, you’ll recall the part about “l’abattage au bout de la pelle” [slaughter at the end of a backhoe shovel]. This is where Quebec is headed by pandering to an industry which, rather than be left to its own devices, should, at all times, be monitored for food safety.)

Section 33 repealed as of October 2011 in the Meat Inspection Act of 1990 originally read thusly:

33. (1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), during the time a food animal other than an equine animal is slaughtered at a registered establishment, a carcass of a food animal other than an equine animal is dressed at a registered establishment or a meat product derived from a food animal other than an equine animal is processed, packaged or labelled in a registered establishment, the registered establishment shall not at the same time contain a meat product derived from an equine animal and shall not thereafter be used for the slaughtering of an equine animal, the dressing of the carcass of an equine animal or the processing, packaging or labelling of a meat product derived from an equine animal unless

(aall meat products derived from a food animal other than an equine animal have been removed from the registered establishment;

(b) the registered establishment has facilities that are suitable for handling equine animals and for the slaughtering of equine animals; and

(c) an inspector has certified that the registered establishment meets the requirements of paragraphs (a) and (b).

(2) The meat products required by paragraph (1)(a) to be removed from a registered establishment may be kept in the registered establishment if they are locked in a separate room under the control of an inspector.

(3) Where a meat product derived from an equine animal is processed in a registered establishment, a meat product derived from a food animal other than an equine animal may, for the purpose of being combined with the meat product of an equine animal, be kept in the registered establishment.

For those who haven’t read the text of why Section 33 and other sections were repealed (see link in prior post), the reason the government did this was to accommodate small business owners of abattoirs who cannot afford to meet the requirements of the CFIA’s policies and procedures.  (Well then…why have a CFIA at all?)  

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About Stallions & Women

An ancient Arab saying puts it this way:  “I’d rather face an angry lion than an angry stallion.”  Tornado III was our stallion.  He was taller even than Doc, our 17.5 HH palomino, and, um, broader.  We could ride Toe but, once astride, you had to stay on through his first 15 minutes of bucking and rearing; after that short display, he was a good ride, never gave trouble after that first little bit of show (and, given his size, it was an impressive show).  Lots of chuckling and head-shaking went on (on our parts, not his).  So much for what we knew then, now some forty years ago. Deb Harper has helped me understand, by example and by action, what Toe was trying to tell us all those many years ago:  “I will tell YOU when I am READY to be ridden…and you will not be comfortable on my back until I give the say-so.”  Respect…that’s what we lacked, simple respect.  

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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 ?  

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