Sunday, September 13, 2009

Better Off in Captivity?

I have to confess my ignorance. Of the many causes and issues I try to stay current on, and participate in, mustang welfare and advocacy was not in the top ten. Life is full, I am busy. The recent media attention on the BLM round up of Pryor Mountain Mustangs caught my attention. On several levels. Yeah, emotional - images of healthy Pryor Mountain horses that have been made so visible through the Cloud Videos sure conflicted with any rationale for human intervention to "manage" the herd at this time. I was moved, and I was pissed. On other levels, my intellectual curiosity was intensely engaged - what was that undercurrent about uranium mines recently sold in the Pryors? What about all the "not starving" cattle grazing on public land? And what about the 33,000 plus mustangs already filling the BLM gulag?

I cannot adopt a mustang. My responsible horse ownership is limited to Red and Lyra. I can donate a small amount of money. But to who? For what? I sure can write - but again, to who and about what? A recent popular blog suggested that the ruckus about the Pryor Mountain was much ado about nothing - it happens all the time and after all, captured mustangs are better off in captivity. Are they? Again, I confess my ignorance. And since I dont' have alot of tolerance for ignorance, I am racing to transform my level of information when it comes to the issue of how the BLM manages our wild horse herds and the bigger picture of how they manage our public lands. What is their multi-use policy and who decides the criteria for which competing "multiple use" interests get consideration and ultimately policy decisions that champion their cause.

For now, four things:

1. Wild Horse Adoption Day is September 26th. The horses could use all the publicity they can get.
2. The upcoming meeting of the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board is on September 28th in Arlington, Virginia. Read more about it by clicking here.
3. If you chose to increase your own education regarding the complex issues that shape the existence of our wild horse herds, here is a pretty amazing resource where laws, policies, and statistics are already gathered and available for your reading. The site is "Save Our Wild Horses." Please ignore the annoying hoof beats audio, there is some good stuff here. This link will take you to info on BLM policies related to mustang management. Once there, click on "BLM" in the menu bar for laws, statistics, etc.
4. Are mustangs better off in captivity? Perhaps those lucky few who are adopted into homes with the skill and resources to provide for them. The others? I think not. The following video may be more emotion provoking hyperbole, yet I think it offers images and information to challenge both our hearts and minds.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Of course they are not better off in captivity. These are for the most part healthy independent horses living free who are tricked into imprisonment. It's all about money be it the uranium or the cattle lobbyists. I've had people tell me kill them all and feed France they are nothing but vermin and I'm a bleeding heart. Well I may be but at least I know right from wrong and this is so wrong on so many levels it would take a book to say all I have to say.

Unfortunately, this administration is so wrapped up in it's current policies and getting them passed and the wars there isn't time to see what's going on with one of their most misguided corrupt agencies right under their noses. I'm afraid the BLM will keep getting away with murder, literally, for a long time to come. And I fear it might be too late by the time anyone realizes what's happening to the mustangs and their freedom and their lands.

I'm also deeply disturbed that so many 'horse' people don't even seem to care what is happening. I guess everyone is so wrapped up in their own lives they don't have time to make a call or write a letter. So yeah, I'm also pissed and fed up and feel like this is a losing battle and the BLM is giving everyone the finger and doing what they want because no one will stop them. They are laughing at us and thumbing their noses because no one is listening to us.

One Red Horse said...

Standing Ovation for you Grey Horse Matters!!!!

I have personally been shocked at how many strong anti-slaughter advocates seem to have a partition in their brains when it comes to mustangs.

I'm trying to do some speed learning about the administration of our public lands. Found it interesting that recently Secretary Salazar called a temporary moratorium on uranium drilling in the 1,000,000 acres of public land feeding into the Grand Canyon. Wonder what kind of conversations went on about access to mineral rights in less visible parts of the country.

Michelle said...

I'm with you on this - before the recent controversy, I knew essentially nothing about these horses and certainly nothing about Cloud. I confess, I still don't know much, and therefore haven't commented on any of the numerous posts I've read about it. I just wanted to say that regardless of the political or whatever other reasons are behind this roundup, I can relate to the horrible, HORRIBLE management of the herd as a whole. Has no one learned from endangered species like the cheetah? Once you fall below that critical population point, THERE IS NO TURNING BACK! It's just frustrating and a damn shame that this sort of thing is still happening, here in our own country. When I worked in Kenya 6 years ago, I was appalled by the culling of the elephant herds due to increased interaction with the farmers. Elephants have excellent memories and suffer the loss of their loved ones for a very long time. It was heartbreaking to watch then, and I'm ashamed to see it happening here now.