Readers responded to comments posted last week and the claim du jour of horse slaughter advocates—if we shut down horse slaughterhouses, people will abandon horses or even abuse them. Below is a sampler of the comments we received.
What do you think? Join the conversation by offering a comment below.
The assumption that the backers of this bill are "city people" is made by those who typically have a utilitarian view of animals in general. Cats are worth no more than their ability to catch mice, and dogs are for catching gophers and groundhogs. They are oblivious to the fact that horses have a variety of partnerships with people far beyond the rural milieu of labor. That’s why thousands of horse owners and organizations are in favor of this bill.
Like dogs and cats, horses have a status of companion animals in our culture which excludes them from slaughter like other animals that we typically raise for food. Consistency demands that we stop the slaughter. —Craig DiBenedictis
Slaughter is not humane. Every horse has an owner and every owner has a responsibility to treat and care for their horses humanely… slaughter, neglect and abuse are not humane.
Banning slaughter and enforcing the laws that require owners to treat animals/horses humanely is the answer. Responsible breeding, owning and training are the answer. If you want to mistreat, starve, neglect or be cruel to your horse(s), you’re a sick, cruel and inhumane owner. Horses are not part of the food chain and the foreign plants should be closed, the land/equipment auctioned off, and the proceeds given to horse rescue groups. —Sarah Anne Gill
Bravo for the Unwanted Horse Myth… Horses can be euthanized, adopted, leased or sold—not sent to slaughter, as slaughter perpetuates the utmost of cruelty and perpetuates neglect and abuse. Killer buyers fatten up the horses also—more bang for the buck or money on the hoof… I can’t believe we allow this on our American soil. —Sherrie
The statistics showed that the majority of horses going to slaughter were not old and sick. Ours was stolen and confiscated off of a haul truck going to the Dallas slaughterhouse. A registered Thoroughbred. There is even another side to this issue. Think about that. —Angela Sera, Houston, Texas
Having read all of the above comments pro and con regarding horse slaughter, I stand firmly on the anti-horse slaughter side.
There is no question that all animals raised for food, i.e. cows and pigs, should be treated humanely and with dignity though ultimately meant for slaughter. The HSUS is fighting for them as well, to be treated humanely despite their fate. Horses on the other hand are not raised for food. To see horses at auction is sad, yes. Particularly the ones with health problems which, according to statistics, are very few.
So, kick them when they’re down and send them to slaughter even when the opportunity to live out their days peacefully and usefully is an option provided by many?
To me, that is where the sickening moral character of humans is these days: Get rid of it if it serves no use to them and make some money even if there are people and organizations in place to accept these unwanted horses.
I stand strong in my faith that the anti-slaughter laws will be implemented and efforts of The HSUS and hundreds of thousands of Americans who oppose slaughter will be victorious in ending it. —Margaret Bunce
No matter how you look at it, horse slaughter is wrong! I am behind The Humane Society 200 percent. And I will fight this fight until all slaughterhouses are closed for good. Slaughter is not euthanasia. It is cruel and must stop now. In stables, not on tables. —Patricia Monahan
Would you consider slaughtering your pet dog or cat for "protein?" Anyone who owns a horse and sees them for what they are—intelligent, sensitive, trusting, beautiful creatures, could not possibly be okay with them being slaughtered for food. Horses are not meat animals. —Allison Ciranni
Thank you. I find that people who read my blog or my emails on this subject tend to take the proponent’s stand: "What else are people to do with these horses? And why should we police what people eat in other countries? What’s next—stopping the beef industry?"
NO, NO, NO.
I would never in a million years consider sending my cat or dog to slaughter in their old age, neither would I doom my horse to this fate. I have witnessed friends putting down lame or old horses, refusing to sell them for fear of what may become of them.
Responsible ownership begins the moment you receive the animal to the moment it dies, and if you can’t care for it its entire life, then you deal with it compassionately—hopefully finding a new home, sending it to a rescue, anything BUT slaughter.
Pets are not disposable. —Lisa Jenkins
I agree with your points very much and think the opponents of horse slaughter make a very weak argument. However, I also wonder what the difference is between slaughtering horses and other animals such as cows, sheep and pigs, etc… From what I can tell, they have many of the same expressions, feelings and emotions. I realize the horse has a special place in the heart of Americans, but it is sad to me that we cannot have the same compassion we do for horses with other animals. —Ted Robb