Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Just south of sanity
FFN, I used to be rabidly anti equine slaughter.
After doing the proper research both for and against, I reached the conclusion that the only reasons people are against it are pretty much emotion-based. After that, I had to side with those who really don't see a problem with it.
We've seen a lot of starving, neglected horses here in the U.S. these past 5 to 8 years. It has little to do with the slaughter plants closing down, and more to do with the economy. If people can't afford to feed and house their families, they're certainly not going to spend money to properly care for a very large animal with expensive needs.
The auctions are still alive and well in this country, and just as many horses still go to slaughter as they did when the plants were open and running. The only difference now is that they have longer trailer rides, and the U.S. has no way to regulate how the animals are treated once they're over our borders.
Horse meat sales are driven by that easiest to understand economic standard, supply and demand. If the demand goes down, so do the slaughter numbers. If the demand goes up, so do the numbers. The demand has remained fairly steady, so horses are still being shunted through Canada and Mexico.
We have to remember that if we deny someone their livelihood, it doesn't just affect them. It affects their whole economy, which in turn affects the global marketplace. If by banning something worldwide we create global economic chaos, that in turn leads to more abuse and neglect, not less.
Don't get me wrong, I love my horses. To me, they're pets. As long as I do everything I can to keep them well fed and cared for properly while they're under my stewardship, I understand that I have no right to say what happens to them if I should sell or give them away.