Ranting on Anti-Slaughter/Abuse
I've made this rant somewhere before, be it on here or elsewhere I don't recall, but while looking up information on an upcoming auction, I rather innocently clicked on a YouTube link. The video was one of those usual "This auction house is killing all the pretty ponies!" ones -- they video taped some goings ons and pointed out every little wrong that happened. I've been disgusted at these types of videos before, but this one hit home; I was familiar with this auction house, I knew the owners (in passing; I wouldn't call us friends. So I can't even claim bias.), and I'd even bout two horses from that very auction house.
Here's the video, for the curious:
"Canadian trucks transporting horses for slaughter arrive at the auction"
Yeah, and? There's a market for horse by-products. It's a fact. If there wasn't we wouldn't have slaughterhouses. No amount of dramatic videos on youtube is going to dissuade whoever out there is using horse by-products from doing so. Picketing/boycotting/etc might do in some, sure. Call me a nay-sayer, but I don't see talking /the entire planet/ into not using horse by-products as a realistic goal.
But, for the sake of argument, let's say that happens. No more demand for horsemeat and such. This would mean no profit for slaughterhouses, so they'd shut down. Win/Win? No. For one, there's the loss of jobs that comes with the closing down of any business. Oh, sorry, we're only worried about horses here; I'll try to stay focused. Now, what do we do with all those unwanted horses? Give them to all of the little girls and boys out there who've always wanted a horse? Uh, yeah, let's ask their parents about that first. Not every person who wants a horse can realistically afford to /buy/ a horse, then there's the matter of where to keep it, and -- oh yeah! -- that pesky upkeep cost that lasts for years afterward, including important stuff, like food! So we've rules out making some kid's dream come true.
Rescue shelters? Nope sorry. I don't run one myself, but the way I understand it, they aren't exactly the most profitable business. A rescue shelter can only support a set number of horses before they're overrun by horses (and thus overrun by people with cameras who post videos to YouTube of 'starved, abused' horses.).
Well, I guess you could euthanize them. You know, a quick shot, and they go take a long nap. Well, see, there's a problem there, too. Say John Doe can't afford to keep Ol' Betsy anymore. He got laid off, bills came in, and the kid's were hungry. Hard times, hard decisions, he has to get rid of the horse. With the horse market as it is (and I'll get back to that), he couldn't sell her and, well, she is getting up there in years, she's starting to get a little blind in that left eye, arthritis is catching up to her. She's had a good life, been treated well as John Doe could manage. Now, John Doe has some options: He could call in the vet and get her euthanized, or he could put a well-placed bullet in her head. Don't just assume euthanization, though: There's the cost for the vet to come out, the cost of the shot, and then they have to dispose of the body. You can pay to have it hauled away, pay to have it cremated, or pay to have it buried. Even if you use your own equipment and such and bury the horse on your own property (where that's even legal to do so), there's money lost in gas and labor. Versus that bullet: You just saved that money on the vet and shot, and that's something.
Another thing to keep in mind? Now, I'm no vet, but the way I understand it, euthanasia basically knocks the animal unconscious, then stops it's lungs, then it's heart. So... it suffocates. And then has a heart attack. That unconscious part is just there to keep the animal from flailing around. Peachy.
That well-placed bullet? Takes the horse out quickly, with minimum pain. (When done correctly.)
Or, and I'll go back to my John Doe example, he can take Ol' Betsy to auction. Hope to get a little cash out of her. She might go to a happy family, she might go to a slaughter house. I can only hope that that slaughter house is well-maintained and follows anti-cruelty regulations -- oops, nope, slaughter houses are illegal in the U.S. now. She'd be shipped miles to Canada or Mexico, where the U.S. regulations aren't applied. I'm not saying they're automatically inhumane, but we have no way of regulating them.
I would also like to giggle and point out that one of those "Canadian kill buyer trucks" they show is my truck. And what's even the point of showing the Amish buggy/horse?
"Approximately 350 loose horses are sold to slaughter buyers that day"
Really now? Do all the winning bidders hold signs above their heads that say "Hey! I'm a kill buyer! Every horse I buy is going to slaughter!" Are the filmers doing exit surveys, standing at the door and asking "Are you a kill buyer? How many horses did you buy today? OK, Thank you, rot in hell. =D"
I've never understood where they get these numbers. Do they just count every horse at the auction and assume they're all going to kill? I've bought horses at this particular auction house; so has my uncle, and several of my friends. Plus, it's in Amish country -- there's always Amish buying horses too. Granted, there probably are kill buyers there, but they're not buying out every horse in the auction house.
Also, that little flash of an injured horse, right at the end of this section: Yes, maybe it got hurt at the auction house. Or maybe it's careless current-owner let it get hurt in the trailer. Or, hell, maybe it just is clumsy and got hurt! It's not a life threatening injury, it doesn't even look like it'll leave much of a scar!
"The slaughter horses are then put into overcrowded pens with an extremely low ceiling. The horses hit their heads on the ceiling beams."
LOL, what? That's nowhere on the property. The pens at Kalona have tall ceilings, are brightly lit, and at most have five or six horses in them.
"Horses are then rushed into overcrowded pens closer to the auction ring. Again fighting, kicking and biting result from lack of regard for these horses."
HEY! HEY LOOK! Those are the pens they keep horses in! See those high ceilings?
And fighting results from horses fighting. They do that sometimes. My six horses have a huge, open pasture to run around in, and they still fight sometimes.
Now, I will admit here: there are too many horses in that pen. But I will also point out that generally, Kalona is pretty empty. Generally, they don't have that many horses. The last one I went to, the most horses they ran in at one time was two or three.
"Behind the auction ring, the horses are forced to pass through a heavy hydraulic gate. The horses are crushed between the doors of the gate. Their heads are caught in between solid steel."
Notice him stopping the doors from closing on the horses? Yes, it's kind of a dumb system. But he apparently has a button on there that stops the doors. So the horses got bumped a bit. Example: That buckskin, in the first shot? See the door pause as he heads for it? Then it stays open enough that he can slip back through it?
Also, if those doors are so solid and heavy, why do they look so flimsy?
"After the sale, the horses are loaded immediately onto the trucks destined for the slaughter house. The horses leave for their last ride - through the cold and snowy Iowa night."
I don't have much to say on this. I already went into the "Yes, there is slaughter."
Otherwise, it's just... seriously? Do they have nothing better to do than stalk some truck? Also, they only showed one truck that was positively marked as destined for Canada. What about all those other trailers that were there? They didn't buy anything?
On anti-slaughter in general:
I already went through most of my spiel. I just want to leave you with why I feel slaughter houses are necessary.
With slaughter houses outlawed in the States, unwanted horses, ideally, could be either sold, euthanized, or sent to a rescue farm. Or sold at an auction. I went through all those options earlier. There's also the option that most horse-loving people wouldn't even consider to be an option: Abandonment. There have been reports in my area of horses that were simply abandoned roadside, or left in other people's pastures... a few times, even, the owner would move and leave the horses in their pasture for the house buyer to deal with.
With the horse market as bad as it is, and some, perfectly good, horses going for <$200, Joe Blow from down the street can afford to buy a horse without thinking about the future needs of the horse. So it could receive inadequate care, or end up back on the market again awhile down the road.
Slaughter houses offer a place for excess horses to go. It's not exactly glamorous, but it's a necessary evil. If we allowed them to be reopened, and then kept them closely regulated, horses wouldn't need to be transported for miles to the border to slaughter houses outside the U.S.
If that sounded harsh, well, I won't apologize. That's my opinion. If you have any opposing opinions, I'm not necessarily close-minded to them. If you want to call me out with facts, feel free; but please have resources to back you up.
I completly disagree with you. That video was by far the tamest one i've saw, maybe you should watch one of the "better" ones.
And I think all slaughter houses should be shut down. I don't give a rats ass about people losing jobs, I really don't.
That was a lot of nice looking horses.... Wish I could of got my hands on a few of them.
Let's hope your parents, siblings, significant other, or anyone you care about lose their jobs, since you don't give a rat's ass about people losing their livelihoods, homes, or being unable to feed and clothe their families.
Maybe you'll have to give up your horses and then you'll get to see how the other half lives, barely getting by, wondering where their next meal is coming from.
Rubaiyate, you're mostly preaching to the choir, dear. Except for a few nasty, notable exceptions, most people on this BB don't have a problem with reopening the U.S. equine slaughter houses.
Wouldn't it be better to send your horse to the slaughter house then to someone who isn't going to be able to take care of it?
You hit the nail on the head RB...it is a neccessary evil.
Ray...guess you were lucky enough to get a job where you don't have to worry about being laid off. Must be nice...
I have seen worse ones, and I don't doubt for one minute that there are auction houses that operate under terrible conditions. I just happen to be familiar with this particular auction house, and am angered by the light these people are trying to shine on it. Yes, there are faults, but overall, the auction house is run cleanly and without undue stress on the animals. It's primarily run by Amish -- and the Amish make a living off their horses. Why on earth would they abuse and injure them, thus rendering the animal useless?
And to ShutUpJoe... I've bought horses there before -- there usually are some nice horses run through their ring. I bought my mare Ruby there, and she may be a short little grade, but personality-wise, she's an absolute angel - I can put anybody of any age or experience level on her and she'll do exactly as asked.
I'm not trying to come off as a b*tch I'm really not. If someone I knew did loose their job (If they didn't work at a slaughter house) I would feel bad.
It's just that I am sooo passionate about horses that obviously I don't want to see or hear about them getting slaughtered. I just REALLY love horses.
And I don't have a job... I don't really plan on getting a "normal" job, being paid minum wage.. I have school and two horses that I need to take care of. I don't have time.
I understand the need for horse slaughter, even though I'm not a fan of it. It's just sad to see good horses be sent to slaughter.
My stand on slaughter.
I would rather see a horse go through one or two days of uncomfortable than 6 months of starving to death.
Do I like slaughter? NO! Do I think it is neccessary. Yes. Its sad but true. What I cannot stand is when rescues post a horse that they 'saved from slaughter' who is 400 pounds under weight, 25 years old with COPD. Meanwhile, they passed on 20 registered horses ready to be adopted. I still haven't decided what these people are thinking. Is it a statement buy? "Look at us...we saved this poor old soul" or is it a financial buy? "He only went for $25!" or is it a pity buy? "Poor fella deserves to die fat and happy" I can related to all of those reasons...but I still don't see the sense in it.
You're obviously a child who has no concept of what it means to have to scrape, scrabble, and earn a decent living wage.
If you think you're going to come out of HS or college and make a six figure salary, you're very mistaken. You'll be lucky to get $20,000 a year to start.
So be extremely thankful that Mommy and Daddy are footing all your bills at the moment, and hope you're not kicked out of the nest to fend for yourself sooner than you want.
It's interesting that somehow I found the time to work full time, go to college at night, and manage to care for my own horse. But then, I guess I'm not as delicate and special as some.
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