All right…so if all of this is true, what is the CFIA doing about it? I have cousins in Europe and they’ve told me that there was a spot in the news that the EC (European Commission) put out a not-so-favourable report on Canada’s handling of food animals, especially pigs and horses: what’s the story there?
Before I answer this question, I do want to caution readers that the government’s (that is, any government’s) private password for “we can’t legally fine, admonish or shut you down, but really this is borderline below-standard” is the word, “adequate”. I’m not making this up; I did work in our nation’s capital for a short time, and, needless to say, I learned a lot. ”Adequate” saves a government agency from taking action which might give some bigshots’ or lobbyists’ heartburn, and/or might affect the economy in negative ways. This is what you might call a circumspect view, an all-things-considered, all-things-being-equal position, not unlike the notwithstanding clause in the Meech Accord, or like last year’s redundant declaration by the federal government that ‘Quebec is a nation in its own right’ (as if we didn’t know that)…but I digress.Read More
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: firstname.lastname@example.orgRead More
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.Read More
Every now and then, I have a brainstorm…as opposed to my usual state, “bubblebrain”. I came across Carol Upton’s site almost by chance, circuitously anyway, as most “stumbles-upon” occur on the internet. When I read her site, I just knew that this was the person I’d been desperately wishing into existence to help me market GM and its message to the public. Now don’t get me wrong: I have marketing experience; I’m a pretty smart cookie, neurons only just lately starting to crumble, so I thought I’d done a pretty fair job so far. But now, Carol…well, Carol, like one of those gentle forces of nature–like a sudden wind that knocks you off your feet, or a downpour that wets you through and through before you’ve even processed that it’s raining–just shimmers into your circle like Gwenda in The Wizard of OZ, and carefully assesses your needs, dialogues with you (as a person and as a writer), and then produces results far beyond your expectations, and makes it appear so simple and easy, that you are left quite speechless (which, as you know, is a rare state for me). (I bet she has a magic wand on her person somewhere; it must be another ‘practical magic’ thing, eh.) So, before I go on to list and link to the important horse websites which Carol somehow persuaded to carry her excellent Press Review of GM, let me just say ‘thanks, Carol. I am most beholden to you.’ And one of the most heartwarming results of Carol’s work on Ground Manners’ behalf is that Yvonne Allen, who owns Voice for the Horse in Langley, BC, has asked me to provide, as a prize, a copy of my novel for their First Annual International Writing Competition. Now, I ask you: does lightning strike twice?Read More
As an adjunct to the CHDC petition in support of Bill C-322, I’ve had bilingual postcards printed up which constituents can send to their respective MP’s to let them know that support for this Bill is out there. Download the two sides of this postcard and send a postcard to your own MP (federal); then make more to give to your friends, neighbours, acquaintances, and family. MP’s pay attention to their own constituents in their own ridings, so the more of these postcards that are sent, the more our MP’s in all ridings across Canada will understand how much support for Bill C-322 (which opposes horse slaughter) is out there.
I can also send you ready-made postcards (between 10 and 25 for now). Just send me your postal address. There’s no charge (I’ll pay shipping too if you live in Canada). If I see that demand is more than expected, I’ll have more printed. Americans and international horse advocates are also invited to send these postcards. We need all the help we can get in getting Bill C-322 passed…and if that fails, ANY bill opposing horse slaughter, the import of horses for slaughter and the exportation of (tainted) horsemeat to foreign countries. Selling tainted meat to foreign countries is not part of Canada’s, nor Quebec’s, culture. Now…let’s get on with it and save our horses. If you have a problem accessing or downloading these images, email me at email@example.com .
While at the Virginia Conference, I had the good fortune to meet Katia Louise, producer and director of the outstanding film, Saving America’s Horses. This was a film that I’d been frothing at the mouth to see for nearly two years. (I kid you not.) A Humanion Films production sponsored by Wild for Life Foundation, I’d seen the movie trailer over and over again on different advocacy sites, and in addition to being a total fan of Tippi Hedren, director of Shambala, the wildlife preserve in California, who is featured in the movie (along with Paul Sorvino), I knew–I just knew–that this film could evolve public understanding of the plight of North American horses in one sitting. Katia, who is about the size of a china doll with the accompanying exquisiteness must have the inner fortitude of Samson.Read More