Horse Slaughter Arguments
July 19, 2011 § 28 Comments
After reading comments on many, many pages from pro-slaughter activists, I’ve noticed there are “trends” to the arguments they use. Below are some of the most common pro-slaughter arguments, and my response to them. Most of the arguments were copied and pasted exactly as-is from a multitude of different pages.
I did, previously, have a list of arguments started (https://notabreed.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/horse-slaughter-why/)… but I’ve come across more so thought I’d do another one.
I also created a page with some possible “solutions”, and would love some more feedback: https://notabreed.wordpress.com/2011/02/26/horse-slaughter-solutions/
And now on to the arguments:
Unless you are a vegan, you are a hypocrite to say horse slaughter should be banned.
There are three reasons this statement is blatantly untrue.
1.) While the government has classified horses as livestock, they no longer are required (or even preferred) as working animals on a farm. Tractors, ATVs, etc. have taken over the vast majority of jobs formerly required of horses. Since this change in farming and ranching, the vast majority of horses are considered pets in the eyes of their owners.
2.) Since horses are not raised as food-chain animals, they are given many different drugs that food-chain animals are banned from having. This makes the meat unsafe and unfit for human consumption. It actually makes it unsafe and unfit for any animal consuming it, which is why generally it is not even used in dog food and why zoos don’t take horse meat any more.
3.) Horses are similar to deer in their flight response. Every single slaughterhouse that deals with horses was created and designed for cattle. The design, and treating the horses like cattle, is what makes horse slaughter inhumane.
You should boycott all restaurants, retailers, sponsors, etc. that have anything to do with any meat.
See answer above (specifically item 1 and 2).
Don’t you realize that all meat (cow, pork, chicken) are treated inhumanely?
Many people do realize that, although it is easy to pretend they don’t when they get their meat packaged at the store. It’s easy to ignore. That being said, there is a difference between the mass production farms, and the free range farms.
Some things that would help curb the mass production farms is buying locally raised and processed meat. Visit the farm, check how the livestock looks and what the ‘housing’ is like (do they have access to the outside? or are they all jammed into a barn or cages?).
One more point I’d like to make regarding food-chain animals is that they were bred, born and raised to be food. They are rarely treated as pets, and don’t have the same relationship with humans as horses do.
In India the cow is sacred. They’re not over here protesting us eating beef!
We don’t go to India and slaughter their cows. This is a typical strawman argument. I’m sure they don’t like the fact that we eat beef. Just as I’m sure Jewish people cringe at the thought of people eating pork. The point is, you don’t see Jewish people protesting us eating pork, nor Indians protesting us eating beef. Why? Because they’ve come to a different country, with different beliefs, and they respect and accept that fact. They live here and they just don’t partake.
If an American or Canadian company went and set up a slaughterhouse in India, and started slaughtering cows to send the meat to another country for consumption, do you not think the locals would have a fit? This is the reason that argument is a strawman argument.
Horses are livestock. Just like cows, pigs, etc.
The government classified them as livestock. They were livestock then (when classified). They were used to plough, pull wagons, as transportation, etc. They are no longer livestock in the traditional sense. People don’t need horses, they want horses.
No one has the right to tell me what meat I can or can’t eat.
So, then go to a country where people eat horse. We don’t eat horse in North America (except something less than 3% if you count Quebec, Canada). Since we don’t eat horse meat in North America, we should not be slaughtering horses for meat. Especially horses that were NOT raised in the food chain.
The government tells people what they can and can’t eat every day. The fact that they don’t process and sell dolphin meat is telling you that you can’t eat dolphin. Maybe you should start a pro-dolphin-meat campaign. Or maybe you should start rounding up cats and dogs and slaughtering them for human consumption. Lets see how that goes over.
There’s no proof that this meat in particular is tainted.
IF you do the math… less than 10% of horses slaughtered annually are RAISED for the food chain. Therefore, 90% of the horse meat on the shelves came from old, lame, retired, young, working, race-horses, etc. Until recently (the last few years or so) most race horses went straight from their last race to the kill pen – and considering 99% of those exact horses were given Bute on race day, you know they still had it in their system when slaughtered.
While no stats exist as to how many pleasure horses have received Bute in their lifetime, I would hazard a guess and say 50% have. That’s a low estimate probably.
Horse slaughter is a necessary evil to deal with the problem of indiscriminate breeding. We’re not going to get rid of indiscriminate breeding. It’s human nature and part of living in a free society. We can do what we can to make it as humane as possible but we can’t get rid of it.
First off, indiscriminate breeding can be dealt with. There are several solutions available, they just take time and funding to get set up. See my page: Solutions.
I don’t agree that it’s human nature to breed indiscriminately. I agree some people breed indiscriminately; probably due to lack of education, intelligence and / or concern. Unfortunately, those people who are breeding indiscriminately are adding to the problem twofold. One in the basic numbers of horses being bred. And two in the fact that most of the horses being bred indiscriminately are sub-standard, AKA “cheap” horses that there is no market for. The higher-end, talented and well-bred horses are still pulling in the same prices as before.
The only way to make horse slaughter humane, is to raise horses as food-chain animals, and treat them that way.
What do we do with the mean horses?
It’s really that simple. Why can’t pro-slaughter activists see that euthanization is an option?
So you’d rather see them keep a horse they can’t afford to feed and have it starve to death?
No. I’d rather people be smart about taking on a horse, and preparing for every eventuality. If they had a euth fund sitting in the bank, and they couldn’t continue to care for the horse – they could euthanize the horse. That is, if they couldn’t find a suitable home for it, which they should have started looking for long before it got to the option of euthing or starving.
In no uncertain terms, it is never ok to starve an animal.
Unless you’ve witnessed slaughter you have no right to say anything.
This is another strawman argument. Just because someone hasn’t witnessed something, doesn’t mean they don’t understand it. Do you have to witness someone being shot with a gun to understand it must hurt like a sonofabitch? And that it’s wrong? Do you have to witness a child being molested to understand how it will affect them later in life? And that it’s wrong?
No. You only have to understand what is going on, and have the slightest bit of empathy, to know it’s wrong.
Unless you own a horse you have no right to say anything.
This is similar to the argument above. I don’t have to have a child to know it’s wrong to molest them. I don’t have to have a child to know it’s wrong to beat or starve them. And I don’t have to have a child to feel empathy over the plight of the starving children around the world.
Unless you rescue horses you have no right to say anything.
Not everyone can afford to rescue. Not everyone has the skills and knowledge to rescue. If this statement were true, no one would be allowed to speak out against anything, ever. This, honestly, is one of the most ridiculous “arguments” I think I’ve ever seen.
Unless you’re Canadian you have no right to say anything about Canadian slaughter.
Lets use the kids starving in other countries again. So, because they’re in a different country I shouldn’t have an opinion? Give me a break.
Unless you’re American you have no right to comment on the closures.
See previous answer.
Animals are eviscerated in the wild!
(The following answer was completely and entirely stolen from here: http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com/horse-forums/food-network-canada-promotes-eating-horse-meat-407019-42.html)
In the wild, the prey animals has a chance at ESCAPE. In a slaughter house environment, the prey animal has NO CHANCE. To put it bluntly, predator animals don’t have the mental capacity to give two hoots about much pain they are causing, when they kill. We, as the human species are supposed to have the mental and physical capabilities to show kindness, or, if you will, the HUMANE way to kill….
Surely, because in the wild it IS a brutal death, that you’re not suggesting that because wild animals get away with it, that humans should also get away with it?
We, as humans, have and do portray a certain amount of empathy with the creatures that we kill/slaughter. Their deaths are much quicker in spite of the methods used (my bold) in comparison to their wild counterparts who are completely aware of everything, even while they’re being eaten. Slaughter bound cattle, horses, and pigs, are rendered with bolt guns — and are rendered brain dead before they’re stripped of their flesh and quartered. If they aren’t brain dead on the first hit, they will be by the second one — which is a rather quick procedure. A minute or so, give or take.
(Edit in) Saying animals are property is like saying children are property. In my opinion, anything that depends on you for its very survival is not something that can be “owned” like a book
“The question is not, can they reason? Nor, can they talk? But, can they suffer?”
The reason there are so many abandoned and neglected horses is because of the closure of the US slaughter plants.
This is patently untrue. The mere fact that the same number of American horses are slaughtered each year (they’re just shipped to Mexico and Canada) proves this statement to be untrue.
There are many things that have affected the numbers of horses neglected and abandoned, not the least of which is the economy. But no, don’t ever factor that in!
Why shouldn’t people be able to make money on their horse by sending it to auction/slaughter?
The difference between the cost of killing and burying a horse and the gain from selling the horse to slaughter is between $250 and $500, depending on the weight and health of the horse.
(back up stats here)
So, if you consider how much it costs to keep a horse per month, within a few months you will be ‘making money’ just due to the fact you are not paying for that horse any longer (if you factor in the ‘loss’ of $250 to $500 you would have ‘made’ off the death instead of euthanizing).
Well, that’s all I have time for today. I know I’ve probably missed a few ‘arguments’ that are floating around out there. Feel free to add them in the comments section.
Don’t forget to check out the Solutions page, and leave some comments there if you haven’t already.
There is also a page set up to help people Re-Home their Horse (http://rehomeyourhorse.wordpress.com/) and a new chat board to discuss things like slaughter, etc. at (http://rehomeyourhorse.proboards.com/index.cgi). I’d love to start seeing some traffic over there. Feel free to cross-post the Re-Home Your Horse chat board!