Yesterday I found out that Mark Rashid is pro-slaughter. I was stunned and sickened. Rashid had been one of my greatest influences. I think I have all of his books. I was so impressed about his awareness of the great sensitivity of equines. I am still a little too shaken to know exactly how to address the situation. First, here is a link to his blog where he expresses his pro-slaughter sentiments.
I think I will start with what I love the most, the horses. In the general pasture there are a number of horses that might be considered "cast offs". No one really comes to interact with them or care for them. Thank goodness someone DOES pay their monthly board. They live as part of the herd, and they are my friends. In the "solution" Mr. Rashid describes, they would be fated to have a hook inserted in their hamstring, be hoisted up, and while still alive they would have their throat slit and be bled out. Supposedly they would be stunned by a captive-bolt gun but come on, adrenalin, terror, and the poor aim of barely trained slaughter house minimum wage employees guarantees that many will be at least partially conscious to feel the horror of their death.
Consider Steamer. I know little about this sweet boy. He had been in the GP for about 2 years. He is the wildest and most skittish horse in the GP, it has taken me months and months to become his friend. Now, as soon as he sees me in the distance his head comes up and he makes a beeline to me for scritches and perhaps a little crunchy treat.
He is a dear, timid soul. He is a loyal friend to Ricki. He has become my friend too. Is he a "surplus" horse? Perhaps. To a pro-slaugher advocate he might be a good candiate for slaughter. I don't think he is trained to ride. However, he is also an emotional, sentient creature with preferences and desires. He feels intensely. Have you watched the Chambers of Carnage featured by the Canadian Horse Coalition as part of their expose showing the abusive practices of Canadian Slaughterhouses (warning, this is extremely disturbing footage)? For any horse, this is beyond hell. For my friend Steamer? Torture.
Do you still believe in the myth that horses who end up in the slaugher pipeline are old, lame, or otherwise physically impaired. Please watch the following slide slow. Bear witness.
I realize this post is an emotional response and doesn't offer any solutions. Allegedly Rashid complained to a friend of mine that the do-gooders who are against horse slaughter react emotionally without offering solutions. Solutions are important and there are some good ones out there. I'll be ready for a more cognitive response come my next post. Right now I'll still too disturbed.
For further information regarding equine slaughter, please visit this sites: