I am sure quite a few of my followers think that horse slaughter is just bad, bad, bad. I am going to tell you all, I am not one of them.
As a life long horse owner, and a realist, I was dismayed when the ban on horses slaughter plants in America came into effect. I could see the writing on the wall, and so could a lot more of my horse owner friends. What I feared has happened and the backlash of that is what we are all feeling right now. Weather you support the ban or not, you will be affected by it financially in your horse lives.
This blog was posted on FB, and at first I wasn't going to read it. I figured it was some one ranting on how bad the ban will be and why we should uphold it, and quiet frankly, I have enough people in my area that have a dreamified view of horse ownership that will give me that grief to my face.
But I did read it and this guy has hit the nail on the head on every point. It's the same thing I have been saying for the last five years, though I am sure I was not quiet as eloquent. His number figures will vary, of course, across the country. Right now hay in my area is nearly $20 a bale and co-opt mixed grains- the cheapest grain you can buy- is about $22 for a 50 lb bag. Shoes for a horse range from $100-$200, vet costs are going up because gas prices are going up. Board in this area is cheap at $400 a month. There is very little pasture boarding. If you need the services of a honest trainer the prices are from $550 -$1000 a month. In other words, it makes horse ownership a real commitment and it makes taking a rehab or a rescue into your fold nearly impossible.
I have taken a horse to slaughter. When there was a plant within 50 miles of me, I did load up an evil horse and have him become chicken food. I didn't feel badly about it. I used the money to feed one that wasn't evil. Some horses are just so damaged that they cannot be rehabbed and need to die before they hurt someone.
But I have had many horses euthanized. And I have stood there when the cocktail was given or the bullet was fired. I have seen them fold and fall. It wasn't noble. It was wrenching.But I did it because it was the right thing to do, I had an emotional attachment to a horse that had given his best and I was able to give the final gift.
I realize that not everyone has the resources to pay for such a gift, and the fact they shouldn't own horses won't ever change that fact. There will always be backyard breeders, and horrible or ignorant or irresponsible owners. Rescue organizations will always be needed. They can still go to the sales and buy whichever horse they choose. The only thing changing there will be that the horses not bought at the sales will not be shipped overland in cramped cars with no food or water. The un-chosen horses will be humanely destroyed. To me that will be a win.
As horse owners we should all be advocates for the welfare of the horse as well as the industry.We advocate when it is fun ( teaching your neighbors to ride) and when it suits you ( going to the Rodeo and passing the PETA fools). We go to the Movies, ( WAR HORSE and SECRETARIAT) and buy the books (SeaBiscuit). Now we need to advocate in the face of ridicule, anger, ignorance and fear. The industry needs the plants back.
Please read this very well written blog.
1 year ago