Horse slaughter... hmm not for my horses. Heck I wouldn't even haul them to the vet in unfamiliar surroundings to be euthanized but I do think there is a need for it. So while I am pro slaughter it just wouldn't do for my horses who have served me so well.
This is exactly what it all boils down to.
Now I am in Australia and slaughter has always been legal here. Just because it is legal and an option does NOT mean that MY horses (or yours) will end up on a plate or in a pet food can. It is an option, not a requirement. When the time comes for MY horses they will be euthanised at home.
If somebody else chooses to send them on to a slaughter horse that is their decision. At least if slaughter houses are receiving the funding required to employ inspectors and such, those horses will travel for a few hours and meet a regulated end. As I understand the current situation in the US, horses are shipped for days. The lucky ones go to Canada where there are regulations in place. The unlucky ones head to Mexico where there are few, if any, regulations in place. At least with local plants open, the travel time is reduced and regulations can be enforced.
I am not saying that slaughter is not a scary experience for a horse. But so is a botched euthanasia. Fear is fear no matter the situation it presents in.
Rescues are full and overflowing. There are rescues that have hit hard times so bad that other rescues are having to come in and drag the horses out. They don't have the space or the money to save all the young, healthy horses with potential. They can't be expected to save the old, sick and essentially "useless" horses.
The idea of responsible horse ownership is of course a wonderful thing. It cannot, however, be adequately enforced. If people can not be made to treat other people well, they certainly can't be forced in to doing right by their animals.
In a perfect world it would be that simple. People would act responsibly and stop treating animals as disposable. Unfortunately, this is NOT a perfect world. Things are never simple.
I will continue to do right by my animals, you continue to do right by yours. I'll continue to help any animal that I responsibly can, you do what you can. For the rest I hope that a reasonably quick end to their suffering remains a viable option.