Eclipse of the Facts

Today, November 30th, 2011, you can go to any major magazine, media or newspaper source, and read that Obama has re-instated horse slaughter in the US.  It’s true that on November 17th, a government committee voted three-to-one to restore funding for the inspection of horse abattoirs by the USDA should horse slaughter ever become legal again in the United States–and they did this by default.  As I understand it, the “de-funding” language was always included up to now.  So the door we thought made of adamantium has opened onto a can of worms, and an old can at that.

It’s quite possible that one of the arguments used to persuade Obama to renege on his campaign and incumbency promises to keep the slaughter ban on the books were whispers that Canada was on the verge of banning it, and then US slaughter-bound horses would all go to Mexico…so perhaps best to prepare the legal ground to re-patriate the horrid industry? The, um, boisterous ejaculations of the American pro-slaughter industry, seem premature to me, however, since even with the permission re-instated, the USDA would still need inspectors for the horsemeat itself.  And then there would be environmental concerns upfront since horse blood cannot be composted or recycled like cow blood and is a contaminant (horses also have more blood by volume than cows as well).  Would there be more funding for environmental specialists to oversee the disposal of horse blood?  NIMBY (Not in my backyard) could well curdle the slaughter industry’s efforts, as well as the funding monies required for monitoring at a time when the US economy is in a recession. 

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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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Primer: the Last Part (possibly)

Next question:

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.

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An Empire of One

I don’t mind getting spam on this blog; my readers will never see it because I have an excellent spam-catcher selected by my excellent webmaster, Tyler.  Just lately, however, there have been comments sent by really rude, and clearly, ill-informed people who think expletives make their message stronger.  They don’t.  Let me respond to you all such now:  this blog is an Empire of One; I’m the Empress, animator, chief cook and bottle-washer, which basically means that all comments go to me for moderation (‘sober, second thought’) and I decide whether the comment appears on this blog.  Hey, one has so little power in this universe, it gratifies me to have even that little pocket of power over my own blog.

As such, any of you who are pro- horse slaughter and wish to intelligently, thoughtfully, and politely respond to my Primer with a civil tongue in your head, you are more than welcome to comment here, and I will be happy to cross swords with you.  Those of you who have the IQ of a gnat, the verbal skills of a three-year-old, and the anger management of a serial killer, are not welcome to comment.  I trust my description helps you identify yourselves. Got it?  Good.  Now let’s get on with the final few questions of our Primer.

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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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