An Afternoon with Horses

By on March 19, 2009 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The Horse exhibitToday, I am in Pittsburgh at the Allegheny HYP Club to give a lecture on animal issues. I was invited by an old Yale college classmate, Matt Meade, who brought me to town. One of my other hosts is Karen Poirier, the president of the Allegheny HYP and a development officer at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, and she and Matt arranged for me to receive a private tour of an exhibit called “The Horse.” It’s been a critical and popular success, first on exhibit in New York and then in Pittsburgh.

More than any other animal, the horse has shaped the course of human history since domestication began about 6,000 years ago in eastern Asia, perhaps in modern Kazakstan, and this is an exhibit worth seeing and studying.

Today, we are at a juncture in our relationship with the horse—loving horses, but with many people still exploiting them for a variety of purposes. The HSUS is working hard to protect America’s wild horses and burros, to halt the slaughter of horses for human consumption, and to stop abuses like the soring of Tennessee Walking Horses. We also support reforms in horse racing, so that horses are not in competitive racing as two-year-olds and not drugged to enhance performance or get unfit horses on the track.

I recorded a brief conversation with Sandi Olson, co-curator of "The Horse" and the museum's curator of anthropology, at the tail end of the tour. You can see it here.


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