Horses in Florida: Save Harmless

I just returned from the International Conference on Equine Welfare in Alexandria, Virginia.  Was I, were any of us, expecting the turn-out we got; the quality of speakers; the commitment that floated in the very air we breathed, the tears shed (not for long but intense nonetheless); the sad but heroic (in the original Greek sense of the word) passion that drives all great and global change?  Maybe 30 or 40 were expected; over 100 showed up…from every state you can name…from as far away as New Mexico, Texas, and California.  And apart from me and my colleague from the Cdn Horse Defense Coalition (CHDC), two other Canadians showed up from Markham, Ontario, at their own expense, just because they wanted to learn about what goes on beyond their local horse farm!  Impossible to comment on the intelligence, willingness to learn, and dedicated love of horses that their very presence showed– simply and without fanfare of any sort (in typical Canadian fashion).

The horror that afflicts our horses spans three countries, not just the United States (I’ve only just begun collating information on which other countries either slaughter or eat horsemeat.  We know that 16 per cent of the world’s population eat horsemeat, concentrated in certain countries…Australia among them.  More on that in a later post.).  One of the eternal flaws of the US is its utter inability to see beyond its own borders.  I’ll speak of American self-absorption more in a later post. I want to draw attention to what happens in Florida because so many Quebeckers are snowbirds (people who spend winter in Florida and return to Quebec some time in April or May).  

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International Conference on Equine Welfare: Two More Sleeps

International Conference on Equine Welfare:  Two More Sleeps

I will be at the International Conference on Equine Welfare in Alexandria, Virginia, in just “two more sleeps”. (See prior blog, International Conference on Equine Welfare). I adopted that phrase from my spouse’s golfing partners; I guess it’s the phrase parents use when their kids are excited about going somewhere–“just two more sleeps and we’ll be at DisneyWorld”!  I like it.  I’ve been counting the hours until I leave for Virginia where I will meet up with crusaders for horse safety, some of whom I have been communicating with for at least two years–in some cases, longer.  I will finally, after much tongue-lolling, be able to view the Humanion documentary, “Saving America’s Horses” http://www.savingamericashorses.org (which, btw, is now in Canada as of this very weekend, in Huntsville, Ontario).  Crusaders may not be the best noun to describe what these people do, what they believe in, and how devoted they are, but I must say, that, in my silly, childlike mind, I’ve often harkened back to images of Crusader Rabbit and Mighty Mouse when I think about the enormous burden placed on people who fight for horses’ lives and security–a veritable David-and-Goliath scenario.  As a child, I watched Crusader Rabbit and Mighty Mouse, despite their diminutiveness, triumph over evil.  Myself being just (only just) 5’2″, you can understand why their successes meant so much to me…and why, in my personal life, size has never been an obstacle to me.  As here, as now…no matter what, we, together with our American colleagues, will bring down the slaughterhouses, the killbuyers, the overbreeders, the minions of a corrupt industry.  Sceptical?  Just how many crusades have you undertaken recently?

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