May 19, 2011 § 1 Comment
A good friend gave me a book in January. She knows my love of horses, and this is a story we’d all seen in the news out west in 2008. It was a story about the rescue of a couple of pack horses named Belle and Sundance who were left to fend for themselves in the harsh winter climate of the mountains in McBride, British Columbia. The man who left them there, Frank Mackay, is a lawyer in Edmonton. The horses were slowly starving to death, and the town of McBride came together to dig a 1.3km trench and lead the horses down the mountain. It’s a moving story, even if you know the outcome.
If you haven’t read any of the news stories, or the book, just Google “Belle and Sundance, BC” and you’ll find lots.
I only want to say one thing about the owner – lawyer, Frank Mackay – I don’t care if you think you did “everything you could”, you left those horses there to STARVE. They were skinny the last time you saw them, and you KNEW there was no way out for them. You KNEW they would die slowly, painfully and tortuously of starvation, yet you fucking LEFT THEM THERE.
But I digress…
Anyway, every day I go out and sit with my horses in the pasture – in the spring we only let them on for a short bit each day, slowly lengthening the time they are allowed to eat grass. I always bring a book, bug spray and a drink, and enjoy an hour or so out there relaxing with them. It’s so nice to see them galloping about, having fun, rolling on the grass, and munching away. Yesterday I grabbed a book off the top of the pile inadvertently left there by my spouse. I didn’t care that I’d already read them, I just needed something to help pass the time.
On top of the pile was the book “The Rescue of Belle and Sundance – A Miracle on Mount Renshaw,” the book given me by my friend. I’d read it through on my plane trip home, so it has been five months since I read it. I often read good books more than once.
Today, as I sat reading in the pasture, I came across a paragraph that I find especially poignant. I’d noted it when I read it in January, but never did anything about it. Today I decided to write it here. When one of the people concerned about the horses on the mountain called a guide who had helped Frank Mackay get to the horses previously, the guide said…
“People are more concerned about the welfare of animals than they are about the welfare of people,”
Considering I have heard this argument, oh, I don’t know, a million times, it caught my attention. Again. Especially since I had just been involved in the same old arguments on the Top Chef Canada fan page regarding their airing of a show that included the serving of foie gras and horse meat. That discussion on the fan page led me to start noting “arguments” pro-slaughter activists (and trolls) use for ‘shits and giggles’. Look for that in the future.
The end of this story is that the ‘response’ in the book was so perfect, I just had to post it.
“This is a commonly expressed response to the suffering of animals, and Monika finds it bizarre. Surely every act of generosity has its own genesis? Where is it written that showing kindness to animals comes at the expense of kindness to humans? Helping is helping. Period.”
I love that. Thank you Birgit Stutz, for that absolutely perfect response. I’ll be sure to use it in future.