America’s 100 Years War Against Wild Horses and Burros

I did not start out against horse slaughter.  I did not want to watch the footage of what goes on inside slaughterhouses.  I did not like the antics of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.  I did not want to give up horseback riding.  I ate meat.  Not horsemeat, but beef and pork.  In recent years, it has mostly been fish and fowl.  That I can somehow justify.  But I wear leather.  The car I drive has leather seats.  I don’t know how to avoid the killing and consuming of animal flesh, skin and bone.

On the subject of horse slaughter, I was influenced by articles in horse enthusiast magazines that talked about the plight of “unwanted horses” who would be doomed to starve or face transport to foreign slaughterhouses if there were no “domestic” abbatoirs to “process” them.  I was perplexed by the apparent paradox:  Why allow slaughter of pigs, cows and sheep, but not horses?  Is it sentimentality?

I was confused by statements from “reputable” organizations such as the American Quarter Horse Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Equine Practitioners.  All support slaughter.  All actively oppose the R.O.A.M. bill (Restoring Our American Mustangs, H.R. 1018, S. 1579).  All give the “reason” for their opposition as concern about the “crisis” of “unwanted horses.”

Then Barbara Ries posted a rambling comment full of typos on this blog.  Barbara wanted people to know about the Bureau of Land Management’s plans to “round up” and cull free-roaming horses in the Pryor Mountains.  She submitted a second and a third post with the same information.  I got a little irritated, but then I started to look at the plight of the wild horses and burros.  And I started to understand Barbara’s commitment.

Mustangs.  Wild things.  We use their images on ten thousand things.  Public schools, wine labels, automobiles, soccer, baseball and football teams.  We claim to love and respect their freedom and wildness.  But then we capture and kill them.  With what seems to be a vengeance.

According to news reports compiled by the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, for over one hundred years, Americans have pursued and killed or allowed the pursuit and killing of wild horses and burros with a pathological relentlessness.  Wild horses have been called outlaws, vermin, worthless, pests, cayuses, broomtails, nuisances and worse.  They are even accused of being “horse thieves” because of their knack for convincing “domesticated, grain-fed” horses to join them in the wild.

The war against horses decimated the herds from the reported 2,000,000 or so that roamed free at the beginning of the 1900’s to the mere tens of thousands that live on the ranges today under so-called “federal protection.”  Before the killing frenzy was over, millions of horses ended up as chicken feed, pet food or shipped to Europe in cans for consumption by humans.  Before they died, they endured horrible torment at the hands of humans.

You would think the few thousand remaining free-roaming horses and burros would not present a problem to a nation as vast as America.  And yet the horses are still under attack by an unholy alliance of the BLM, cattle, gas, oil and big game proponents, and unfortunately, some environmentalists who view them as “non-native” or “not wild” and so not deserving of protection and liberty.  Today, there are new voices added to the call for killing, people who see horse meat as a solution for world hunger or lost American jobs.  State legislatures are rushing to get horse slaughter facilities legalized.

This is madness.  If we allow it to happen, America is lost.

One Response to “America’s 100 Years War Against Wild Horses and Burros”
  1. compassionate1 says:

    I like what you say here as shows that you have a good grasp of the situation. I see you are one of the ones who took the time to educate yourself and not the SHEEPLE type that believe everything they hear coming from the pro-slaughter camp. However, it is important to take a closer look at the R.O.A.M. Act to see who the REAL beneficiaries will be; and its not the wild horses (and/or burros);

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