I wanted to share a post made in a Facebook group (not saying where or by whom) that I believe is sadly indicative of the way in which most pro-slaughter people approach the concept of horse rescue. In the last few days we’ve seen many people, anti-slaughter and pro, offer assistance to Oklahomans and their animals who have been hurt or displaced by the tornado of May 20th. I don’t want to belittle this tragedy, but as we mourn what happened in Oklahoma, where injuries and deaths of all are in the hundreds and damages may exceed 2 billion, we should not forget that unwanted horses are displaced every day when they are sent for slaughter.
We also must defend the hard and tireless work of the many people who toil in rescues in all manner of weather and circumstance, because they have huge hearts. The timing of this post, so soon after the tornado seems weird to me, but I guess since the pros do not have any problem with the timing and seem proud of their disrespectful post, this is perhaps as good a time as any.
“Dear U’nita Geta’clue,
Thank you for your fervent support of the recent laws that were passed in Illinois and Texas that effectively ended the closely regulated slaughter of horses in the United States. Thank you for pushing the practice past our borders and out of control of the USDAs standards for humane treatment of food animals. We also appreciate your lobbying to pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act currently in Congress, which will end the transport of unwanted horses to foreign slaughterhouses and keep each and every one of them within the borders of our beautiful nation alive and well!
You’ll be pleased to learn that the live and well part is where you come in! A new organization has been created through the cooperative effort of the numerous horse industry organizations and the USDA, called Save Horses In Trouble-Help End Abandonment & Death, or crap-HEAD for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, and to alleviate the pressure on existing rescue facilities to take in the thousands of unwanted horses, we have decided to place one unwanted horse under the personal care of each and every person that supported banning horse slaughter in the United States.
As you may know, since the slaughter facilities have closed, not only have rescue facilities and shelters been inundated to the point that they have to close their doors to new arrivals, but many horses have also been neglected, starved to death, or abandoned because of the record high hay prices. Therefore, your participation in this program is mandatory.
We understand that it is your feeling that horses are pets, not livestock, and since most people in the United States do not choose to eat them, therefore no one should, and all horses should live out their lives in an idyllic pastoral setting. We also understand that while your relatively large 40 X 40 suburban backyard isn’t exactly Yellowstone, it will just have to do. We are certain you will make the necessary adjustments.
Your unwanted horse is of unknown origin, but is roughly 6 years old (although we can’t get close enough to him to tell for sure), weighs approximately 1500 pounds and has a mean streak a mile wide, and has been known to randomly bite, strike, or kick, especially at small children, elderly people, and house pets. We have decided to call him Satan.
While Satan is capable of physical aggression, unfortunately he is not able to be ridden because of his crooked front legs. He is capable, however, of reproducing, as he is a stallion. This is of special import to you, as your neighbors and fellow members of the Horses Are Humans With Hooves group will also be provided with horses through our program, some of which might be mares.
For your information, the $20 you donate annually to the Humane Society of the United States can instead buy you approximately two bales of high-quality hay at the current market rate. Assuming that the bales weigh 100 pounds, and you feed 20 pounds to said beast per day, this will be enough to feed him for ten days. You will be happy to know that the lifespan of a horse averages about 25 years, and therefore Satan can bring you approximately 9,125 days of enjoyment. That is, of course, only if you provide him with the best care possible, which we are absolutely certain that you will. To ensure that Satan is receiving proper care, an inspector will visit your home on a weekly basis.
At your request, we can provide you with contact information for veterinarians, farriers, trainers, equine dental practitioners, whisperers, and tranquilizer gun dealers in your area, as well as the necessary contacts you will need for euthanasia and disposal of Satan’s earthly vessel when he crosses over. We foresee that Satan’s death will be especially traumatic for you, being the enlightened individual that you are, and counselors are already available at 1-900-NO-SENSE. ($3.99 for the first minute, $1.99 for each additional minute).
Unfortunately, there is no government financial assistance for care and maintenance costs of crap-HEAD horses, as all of the funds allocated for such things are dedicated to the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse program.