Pete’s Equine Independence Day Speech


July 4, 2013

 Pete’s Equine Independence Day Speech

If my horse, Pete, were to give an Independence Day Speech before Congress, this is what he would say: 

Unknown-3I do not know why you have asked me to speak here today, nor do I understand what object you have asked me to represent in the celebration of your Independence Day. You celebrate freedom and justice, reflected in your Declaration of Independence, but that paper does not apply to me, or to any other animal that shares this earth with you. 

For your sake, I am pleased that you have reached such high levels of freedom. Would that sole document reflect your outlook for horses as for humans, I would be first to celebrate with you. Sadly, such is not the case, for horses are not included, nor are the safeties and securities granted to you held in common with those of us who have helped you build this great nation. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. As you celebrate, I must mourn for the loss of millions of my kind to your lust for power and money. 

To halter me, tie a lead rope on me and pull me into this magnificent hall to speak of your freedom is once again a sample of your inhumane treatment and a mockery to the justice of which you are so proud. You, who have thrown the bodies of dead horses in stacks that reach to the heavens, ask one of us to tell you of the glories of America? I think not. 

For it is not your joy I hear, nor the fireworks booming in the skies. I hear the cry of millions of my kind, tied in backyards, stuck in dark, wet stalls, left unfed and unloved. I hear the plaintive moan of those being trucked thousands of miles to face a horrible death at your hands. As I look out at you, I see them and what you have allowed to happen to them in your name. 

On your Independence Day, the future of my kind looks far darker than ever before. Far worse than the conduct of those who occupied these seats in the years before you came, those of you who presently sit within this majestic hall now conduct yourselves with an arrogance that is both revolting and hideous. You have tied yourselves to the pockets of those who profit from the suffering of my kind, you make false statements on their behalf and refuse to represent those constituents whose vote brought you into this once hollowed hall of honor.

I do not stand before you as the honored guest, representing the triumphant battles for freedom I fought with you. I do not stand as your partner in memory of our great history together as we conquered nations, fought our way to the west, plowed fields and fed millions with our combined labor. I will not, for I now know, as do those citizens who call me their friends, what you truly think of my kind. You who occupy these seats have trampled upon the Constitution for the right to pocket pieces of gold. You refuse to represent the horses of this nation when we turned to you. You have made fun, ridiculed and ignored those citizens you represent as they have pleaded our case before you, and for that I can say nothing positive about you, the system you represent or the freedoms you allegedly vowed to protect.

Do I need to stand before you and argue that the slaughter of horses is wrong? That point is past. It is conceded and acknowledged in private and only disputed in public by the repetitious lies of those who profit from your murderous ways. Do I need to show you the truth behind the lies? They are known and open for you, if you are of the mind to look beyond the hands of those who give you money for your next reelection effort. Do I need to tell you of those citizens whom you allegedly represent who want you to stop the slaughter? Look at your call logs, your emails, your fax machines. 

Am I to tell you that it is wrong to have us stolen from our loved humans, to be beaten with sticks, shocked, transported without rest or water, shoved into kill chutes, terrorized and injured by captive bolts or guns, hung by our legs while we are still alive and sold by the pound when we are dead? There is not a man among you who would suffer to the point of death as we do, yet you deny us the right to be free from this horror. 

What then is your argument, that you have a divine right to our death? That your interpretation of dominion gives you a reason to kill us for the dollars it places in your pockets? Is that indeed your concept of God’s will? If that is your God, then those humans who love us are not a part of your world. 

Those days of intellectual debates are a thing of the past. You do not need to hear the arguments, nor do you need to see the light. Instead, you will feel the thunder, stand in the storm and be burned by the firestorm you created, for those humans that support our freedom are aroused and your hypocrisy toward the honor of your Constitution will bring your downfall. 

Do not ask me to celebrate with you, for I am not free. I am your slave, to be destroyed at your whim. Only when you grant the right of the American people to turn their beliefs into laws that stop the insane practice of horse slaughter will I be able to stand before you in honor.


(Pete, at eight months of age, was the first horse to become part of Habitat for Horses. In 1997, I bought him from a killer-buyer at a local auction( the only time i ever gave money to a KBer)DSCF3174. Now, 16 years later, he hangs around the ranch teaching all the newbie geldings where to get the best hay, what mares to tease and how to talk the volunteers out of extra carrots.)

Habitat for Horses is a 501.c.3 nonprofit equine protection organization supported solely by donations. As of this today, we have 172 donkeys and horses under our care, plus one ornery, old mule. Most of them are here because law enforcement removed them from their previous owner. Our ability to rehabilitate and rehome them comes from the financial support of people like you. Please support us by making a donation for the horses we all serve. Click HERE to donate

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Barbara


    July 4, 2013
  • Sue Geiger

    Most Excellent, Pete.

    July 4, 2013
  • Leslie McBride

    By far the most beautiful Independence Day speech I’ve ever read.

    July 4, 2013
  • Maggie Frazier

    Pete (!) certainly tells it like it is. I read this on EWA’s email this morning & sent a reply to them. This applies to not only our horses & burros, but our dogs and cats – any animals that we call “pets” or companion animals. Isn’t it sad that we over-breed all of our companion animals and “cull” the ones we consider excess? Certainly says something about the human race. There’s not a great deal financially I can do to help the cause – Wish there was more.

    July 4, 2013
  • Arlene

    Dear Pete, i have just read one of the most riveting speeches ever made !!! I cried through all of it, please do not make judgement of me and those who truly Love and respect you,, and no doubt we are many and strong and free willed, you have given to these many the power of enlightenment in a most positive way, we who are many will never forsake you !!!! we who are many will fight for your kind with every breathe we take , every waking moment is spent on your behalf we know of your perils, we who many know of your gifts you have brought and given so unselviously throughout the History to this seemingly Great Country, for which you have given your all, we who are many vowed to you and each other that as you have given your all we will give our all in your Honor and fight endlessly for your Freedom and peace!!!!!!! One Awesome wonderful Day this will Prevail !!!!!!! Pete you can count on it !!!!! This is the will of the We the People !!!!!

    July 4, 2013
  • karen

    I love you Pete. You are one of the lucky ones, like my girl Kate, who lives a worry free life in a pasture, in a perfect climate, with another good friend, no one on her back and the best food and care. She worked her whole life until she met me at around 21 years. I never rode her. Immediately retired her. One of the lucky ones. She and I healed each other. That’s what horses do if given the chance. We must be their voice and always speak out when we see them being abused. Look around the boarding stables for that is where the ignorance is.

    July 4, 2013
  • Grandma Gregg

    Thank you Pete. You horses and burros have a lot of truth to share with we humans. I only wish everyone could or would hear what you are saying because our world would be a better place if we all practiced a little horse sense. Thank you.

    July 4, 2013
  • Debbie Tracy

    What wonderful writing, although it made me tear up I still loved reading it, and how lucky your band of horses are, sweet Pete, how fortunate he is and I am sure he knows it too…

    THANK YOU for telling it the way it is no matter how ever sad it is!!!

    July 4, 2013