Sunday, February 10, 2008
Here we stand at a time in history in our country where we fight against terrorism. This is a contradiction. When do we discuss peaceful resolution? Our country tends to take the "we are right" position. Then we plough through till the end killing and maiming along the way. Where is even the potential of a peaceful resolution?
We are one of the few countries in the world that does not eat horsemeat. Remember we are a nation of people who are "right". Therefore eating horsemeat is wrong, right? The animal rights activists just want the issue to be gone. They want it stopped. In their minds they are right. If this happens, the result will be a new kind of terrorism for the horses they have "helped". There will be dumping and starvation and the backyard breeders and even papered breeders doing a "good" job will not catch up by downsizing for a number of years, if ever. They see the dollar value of more papered horses. Perfect horses.
When someone goes to counseling for child abuse, physical abuse, verbal abuse, etc., they are told to stop. Stop the hurting. But unless you give them something to take the place of this abuse they can't stop, based on their previous life experience. Without having a new behavior learned to take the place of the abuse, the abuse will continue in some form. They will hide what they do. It may go unnoticed, but the abuse, now looking slightly different, will continue.
Mankind is a creature of habit. When you have a learned habit it is difficult to stop or even to begin to change after recognition. We need many repetitions of the lessons and support to change.
We have the recognition. Brutally killing horses for food after awful shipping conditions is inhumane. But if you look at humanity as a whole and think that folks that don't think twice about hauling a horse under the previous conditions are going to stop abusive and neglectful behaviors just because you make it impossible for them to go to a slaughter house then you need to look at humanity as a whole again.
Someone needs to step in with a managed humane program for horses. We have it for dogs. That is at least a start. The U.S. Humane Society is not currently set up to handle the numbers of horses that need to be evaluated and mercifully put down should that be the need. They have, however, dealt with the people and understand that if you take away the Humane Society for dogs and cats, the problem will still be there. There would be more abuse and neglect. That is where we are headed if the slaughterhouses close.
They should be closed as they are. Maybe there need to be more locations, well managed by some of these folks that are screaming humane treatment of horses. Maybe a tax credit for horse owners that don't breed.
The horses need the options. Now they have fewer options and their future looks scary. Yes, our feelings need to be in there, right along with theirs. We can't abandon them to a situation of terror, but we cannot in any honesty or ethics assume that if this slaughterhouse condition is gone that the problem is gone. How blind can we be?
The terror will still be there. It will have a new face, that of starvation and neglect and abandonment. And we will have allowed it to happen. More than that, even, we will have encouraged it.
There needs to be a peaceful resolution as much for our own hearts as for theirs.