The Toronto Star features Horse Slaughter on Front Page

The Toronto Star features Horse Slaughter on Front Page

I was alerted to this information on the Cdn Horse Defence Coalition blog. A heartfelt thank-you to the two reporters, Robert Cribb and David Graham, who researched this article and to The Toronto Star for making it their front-page feature! I was particularly grateful to learn from the video that the reporters actually followed a horse transport to see whether the horses had been fed or watered at any point. (We know they aren’t, but having it published by the mainstream media has an impact.) I read some of the comments from Star readers and it fascinates me that the ratio of pro-slaughter to anti-slaughter is almost two-to-three. Since some of them claimed to be horse-owners, you’d think that the article would compel them to do their own research, but then again, the level of ignorance about nature in general was appalling, eg. “oh yeah…it’s less cruel than to let them be eaten in the wild by bears and wolves.” Huh? Then there was the horse-owner who never gives bute to his five horses…well, not never…well, only three of five…or two of four…or, not in the past four years anyway…or…I got dizzy with the changing stats. Then there were Americans who slammed Canada (“we don’t do it in our country”)…um, no, you send them to us so we can do it for you (shame on us!). Some Americans rightly pointed out that their ban on slaughter didn’t help since so many horses are now left to die, abandoned by a roadside. Overbreeding, anyone? Unable or unwilling to euthanize, anyone? Those with a good appetite revelled in their regular diet of horsemeat: bute a l’orange, anyone?  Here are the links:

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1032379–shooting-horses-canada-s-slaughter-industry-under-fire?bn=1

for the YouTube video:

http://www.thestar.com/videozone/1032378–shooting-horses

and for an exceptional study of, and keen statistical analysis of horse slaughter in the States, go to:

http://www.horsefund.org/horse-racing-through-the-slaughter-pipeline-part1.php by Jane Allin

I’ll blog more on the above shortly.  In the meantime, I’ll keep hoping that The Montreal Gazette will feature something similar; after all, the Massueville Abattoir owned by Viandes Richelieu Meats is one of the worst offenders in terms of the manner in which they slaughter horses.

 

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When No-one Cares for you, I will

Believe it or not, the title of this post is a quote from the John Wayne movie, The Sons of Katie Elder.  My but the world has changed!  The New York Times had an article I found enlightening if only because, when taken together with the following article (written by Animals-Angels USA), it embodies how a new insight into an old tradition evolves into action…

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Horse meat: A Deadly Mouthful

Horse meat:  A Deadly Mouthful

On ne mange pas son ami! shouted the citizenry of Montréal at a raucous demonstration held around Christmas time in 1759 after the Catholic Church had enjoined parishioners to eat their horses during a time when beef was scarce.  “One doesn’t eat one’s friends” arose from a set of rural values which held that your horse was essential to your livelihood as a farmer—as necessary to your survival as agrarian-friendly weather.  Still, traditional recipes passed down from one generation to the next show that at least some Québécois ate their horses, for whatever reason, at some point in Québec history.  In the early 1950s, my own mother’s obstetrician ordered her to eat horsemeat to “enrich her blood”, the very lean meat considered a natural remedy for anaemia.  Today, proponents of horse slaughter for human consumption argue that horse meat is healthier for you than beef, and at the end of his life, a horse can serve yet another human purpose:  to feed the hungry.  

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164,868 in the Stands at the Kentucky Derby (First Leg of the Triple Crown)

164,868 in the Stands at the Kentucky Derby (First Leg of the Triple Crown)

Yes, I watched it.  I swore I wouldn’t this year.  After all, the number of injuries and euthanizing that goes on in the weeks before the Derby (several races are run) is a tragic reminder of what way-too-young Thoroughbreds are put through even before the world-famous Derby is run.  To run this year, 35,000 Thoroughbred foals were born three years ago  (only 19 made it to the Derby:  there was one scratch but 20 ran) so, once you calculate those put in claiming races (not good enough); those put in second- and third-class races (…and then put in claiming races), you must conclude that a great percentage end up either in slaughter or sold to backyard breeders who, at some point, will make horsemeat out of a potential athlete.  Before now, I’d always paid little attention to the fashion aspect of the Derby (a tradition based on the British Derby in which outlandish hats and frocks became a staple), but today I thought about

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