Response to a Pro-Slaughter Comment


While I seldom respond to comments, when a pro-slaughter person writes and expresses their view in a way that requires a response, I believe that opens a way to have an open dialogue. Lynda’s comment to “The Faces of Evil,” poses several questions, I want to take this opportunity to respond.

Slaughter_dollarsLynda writes: I have not watched the video. Nor do I condone any of what I read to be, the intent of his behavior. I do however support the Valley Meat Co. because this is still the United States of America & we are supposed to be able to have the freedom to choose our profession in life, so long as we are not hurting another person.

Response: There is a limit to what is acceptable in professions in America – prostitution, killing dogs and cats for human consumption and slaughtering downer cows for example. As far as hurting others, it is certainly an injury when an act is a confrontation to a given set of morals which is held in common  among the majority of people. 

Lynda writes: How many of you anti-bullet protesters have actually seen (live, in person) a horse euthanized? I have witnessed the process of having a veterinarian come out to my place & put my very first horse down to sleep. It was not a pretty picture! He gasped & gasped & gasped for air. It seemed like it took forever before he took his final breath.

Having it to do over again, I believe I would hire someone to shoot him in his head. It would be over & done in short order! Ask several veterinarians to describe in detail what happens to a horse & how long it takes for them to take their final breath.

Response: “…you anti-bullet protesters…” That is a distortion of the truth and meant to agitate the reader. Such language has no place in a discussion.

While I can’t speak for other readers, chemical euthanasia is far more common than slaughter. In a 2006 survey by the American Horse Council, an estimated 960,000 equine were chemically euthanized annually, while the slaughter industry only accounts for less than 2% of US equine.

At the ranch, we have euthanatized at least 400 horses in the last 10 years. The reaction you described is rare and usually the result of the system being in toxic shock. Normal chemical euthanasia is immediate and with minimal physical reaction.

Lynda writes: I think a lot of you have joined a bandwagon without self education.

Response: Exactly what we know about those who are pro-slaughter. The lack of understanding the “facts” are driving those who promote equine slaughter. The main “fact” is that the only purpose for horse slaughter is money and the drive behind it is orchestrated by those who profit the most.

Lynda writes: If the lady from Louisiana & her constituents get their way, as I understand it, they will not only close the Mexican border(horrible place to send a horse for slaughter but the Canadian border as well,for shipping horses to kill.

I believe in 2012, over 170,000+ horses were shipped out of the US. America is still the best place for horse slaughter because there would be strict governing factors & regulations for operation.

Response: There has never been a “nice” place to send horses to slaughter. If you consider Canada better than Mexico, then would you explain why one of the Canada slaughterhouses was shut down by the government? Are you willing to face the truth about Canadian equine slaughterhouses? Look under “Investigations” on the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition Website. 

Slaughter_GrandinLynda writes: What do you all propose to do with all the unwanted, unable to feed & care for or just plain dangerous horses? Are you at all concerned about the ground water that you drink? Yes, they can be euthanized & buried, but it will affect our ground water.

Response: Once again, consider how many horses are chemically euthanized annually, far more that are slaughtered. The bigger threat to ground water is not leakage from buried horses, but chemical runoff  from farms and ranches.

Lynda writes: Personally, we raise two forms of livestock, cattle & horses. Yes, horses are livestock! We use our horses for ranch work & pleasure. We also sell our livestock, both calves & foals, in the Fall. We sell broke horses throughout the year. They are part of our business, we call ranching.

Response: Ranching? Really, Lynda? It’s always a good idea when discussing a subject with others to throw something in there that makes one feel far superior to the other. As if we needed help in understanding the definition of ranching…

Lynda writes: Prior to 2007, we had an end market for all of our livestock. Since the horse slaughter ban, we were stripped of our end market for horses. It’s tough to keep the renegades around & feed them when hay is at an all time high, $200.00+ a ton!

Response: That, ma’am. is an outright lie. You have always had access to horse slaughter. You just ranted about Canada and Mexico. Now you’re saying that slaughter stopped in 2007? It can’t be both, Lynda.

Yes, hay is expensive in locations where drought has affected production. Did you sell all your cattle, too?

Lynda writes: Ranching is an old business, an honorable business. I would say the majority of ranchers, ranch because they love the life! Certainly not for the money, although that is getting better. Better prices for the calves in the Fall, puts the end price(at the store)higher than it has ever been, especially for the premium cuts, YUM!!

Something to think about…when a horse goes to slaughter, almost 100% is used. A lot of people lost their jobs when the kill plants were closed. Not just the workers at the plants but truckers & others as well, I’m sure.

Response: “…almost 100% is used.” I would like you to give me the exact source of your information. Certainly the equine “pink slime” found a use in the EU beef products. YUM!!!

“A lot of people lost their jobs…” Minimum wage jobs, usually held by illegals. The truckers and others are still in business.

Lynda writes: Another something, how many of you anti-bullet protesters send at least $50.00 per month to a legitimate horse rescue operation? It should be a not-for-profit & tax deductible contribution. You would be helping to take care of just one(1) horse. Are you helping the situation? By government officials admission, was a mistake to close the kill plants!

Response: Throw in another “anti-bullet” slur just to agitate the reader. Why, Lynda, would you assume that just because someone is against horse slaughter, that they are “anti-bullet”? A recent ASPCA poll shows that 80% of Americans are against horse slaughter. That puts you in the minority. Sorry.

And you are misquoting the Federal GAO report. That report also stated that horse slaughter should end.

Lynda writes: In all reality, the thought process should come full circle. What is the problem? What can we do to FIX the problem? What is the end result IF we implement the decided fix? Can we live with our decision?

Response: That’s why SAFE was put forth – to finally solve the problem. Yes, we can live with it.

Lynda writes: Oh, another something! Horses are livestock. They have to be, because people would never dump their “companion animals” out on public lands to fend for themselves. Many to starve to death or become so weak the coyotes or other predators catch them & eat the hind quarters off of them while they are still alive! Now there are some gruesome facts.

Response: Dumping any animal on public land is an illegal act, punishable by fines and jail. It is also the cowards way out of assuming responsibility for the animals they own. In case you haven’t noticed, people are dumping companion animals the same way, so the act doesn’t define “livestock.”

Two things – If horse slaughter is currently available, and it is, then how is having horse slaughter suppose to solve an estray problem? That simply does not make sense. Second – the majority of currently reported estray horses are along the Texas/Mexico border, dumped because Mexico won’t take old, skinny, sick horses.

Lynda writes: The questions I have posed are there for one reason, I would like to know what people are thinking. Different thought processes sometimes shed a new light. Thank-you for being able to express my opinions & some facts to this concerned audience. Another one of our great freedoms we enjoy here in the good old USA!

Response: Open dialogue is good, but please leave the name calling out of it. We represent 80% of the public. Generalizing by grouping all of us into “anti-bullet” protesters is not the way to conduct a positive and open dialogue. 

We have always been open to an intelligent dialogue with those in a position of policy, be they with the AQHA, AVMA or legislators wanting information prior to voting on a bill. While we certainly do not have all the answers, the discussion needs to start sooner rather than waiting until the market for horsemeat closes down due to the EU and Russian regulations coming into force.

On the other hand, we won’t waste our time with someone, such as the AQHA representative in Austin, who opened with statements such as, “I love horses, especially for BBQ.”

AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • Debbie Tracy

    Unbelievable, scary really!! How some folks justify why they are for Horse Slaughter!

    Truth is on the horses side 🙂

    March 24, 2013
  • Sue Wallis Lies

    You certainly answered her questions without resorting to name calling as she did. She misquotes and twists the facts to suit her own ends. Let’s hope this bill passes and saves our horses.

    March 24, 2013
  • I represent a family of past (privately-owned) ranchers/farmers with experience in both dairy and beef.

    There is no way to separate the sentience of pets, “livestock”, wildlife and human life. We are all animals. WE feel. WE suffer. And . . . when we suffer we suffer as equals.

    The general non-ranching public rarely sees the process of suffering in the animals they apathetically allow to be murdered and eaten. But, ranchers and farmers KNOW the suffering that occurs. They see it on a daily basis. They simply harden their hearts and have no other way to deal with the injustice than to justify it through feelings of superiority or to justify it as that the animals are not persons in their own right, but things for the human animal to use, abuse and consume.

    We are a family of past-ranchers turned animal rights activists, rescuers and advocators for fair and compassionate treatment of all species. We are a family of past ranchers who became a family of vegans.

    Blessings on those who from a place of empathy and compassion, take action to protect, defend and lend voice to innocent, sentient, living beings who cannot speak for themselves . . . horses so mercilessly and incompassionately slaughtered definitely falls under the heading of sentience.

    ~Gerean Pflug for “The Animal Spirits”

    March 24, 2013
  • Just wanted to add this quote to the discussion as it is so appropriate.

    “In such perfect animals as sheep and oxen, in whom…the organs of sense, and consequently feeling itself, are the same as they are in humans creatures, I can’t imagine how a man not hardened in blood and massacre, is able to see a violent death, and the pangs of it, without concern.” ~ Bernard de Mandeville 1670-1733

    Many Blessings!

    ~Gerean Pflug for “The Animal Spirits”

    March 24, 2013
  • Piperboo

    I notice, like most pro-slaughter people, Linda does not acknowledge the drugs known to be in horses, drugs that are banned in all animals destined for the human food chain.

    It seems pro-horse slaughter people like Linda form their opinion based only on what they do personally, and have no regard or perhaps no knowledge, of the bigger picture. FYI Linda, not all horses going to slaughter live on a ranch like yours, many live in cities and rarely see a pasture, many more are from racetracks where it is guaranteed they have been given multiple drugs during their racing careers.

    I wonder if Linda considers cats and dogs to be companion animals? She must be aware that companion cats and dogs are dumped by their owners daily, on public lands, in parking lots, on the street, at shelters etc…

    Linda needs to educate herself on the bigger picture, sounds like she is not very aware of the world around her.

    March 24, 2013
  • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

    Part of the success of chemical euthanasia is the knowledge, skill and judgement level of the vet. In Lynda’s case, part of her horse’s lengthy death may very well be attributable to the vet. They don’t all graduate with A’s.

    Lynda wrote, “anti-bullet…”. Vets don’t generally recommend shooting horses to kill them except in dire circumstances. Surely Lynda doesn’t think slaughter houses use bullets! Just in case she does: it’s a captive bolt that’s used. It is infamous for not doing the job at least a third of the time. I made a site visit to the Cavel plant in DeKalb, IL in 2000, searching for two stolen horses. I saw a horse that wasn’t killed by the captive bolt regain it’s consciousness and scream as it was vivisected. It haunts me still.

    March 24, 2013
    • Cate Wines, Ph.D.

      Let’s think about unwanted horses. I have been published in this area and have been researching solutions for many years. Here are just a few. Regulate breeding practices. 200 foals were recently sent to slaughter. They were all quarter horse foals, produced from registered sire and dam, but they just “didn’t make the cut.” Require DNA/genetic of both sire and dam before mating to determine the liklihood of getting what the breeder wants. Stop sending foals to slaughter because they are the wrong gender or a bad color. License not only all breeders, but also all stallions that stand. Limit the number of bookings per season. Go back to live cover only. Implement stiff fines for those who violate their licenses.

      Start a campaign to get every certified trainer in this country to each take one unwanted horse, rehab it and train it as needed and offer it for adoption.

      I could write pages and pages, but these are just a few. They wouldn’t be popular, but they would help.

      March 24, 2013
  • Lisa

    I have ONE question for Lynda–WHY ARE YOU BREEDING RENEGADE HORSES? Horses temperament is dictated by bloodlines, handling and training. A TRUE renegade is few and far between. I have met TWO in 50 years, both geldings, and a friend with one, that was incorrigible. If you need slaughter to dispose of all these renegade horses YOU ARE BREEDING, then there is something seriously wrong with you genetics. Further, are you from another planet (sorry, 2nd question) horses are LIVESTOCK because people wouldn’t dump dogs and cats out on the range??? WHAT??? People DUMP dogs and cats in every conceivable location possible, including in sacks on the road, in dumpsters, in the river, in shelters. People are immoral and unconscienable. You, my dear, are just ignorant.

    March 24, 2013
  • Louise Ouellet

    I had a horse that unfortunately had to be euthanized. The vet gave him a tranquilizer first, and when the horse lied down nicely he euthanized him, and stayed there until he was sure that he was gone. There was no trashing, no screaming , he just went to “sleep”…forever. He was then buried on our property.

    I find that if people would stop breeding horses, dogs, cats etc needlesly , there would’nt have to be slaughter-houses, SPCA.s , refuges etc. There would.nt be so many “unwanted ” animals. Mind you it goes the same for people. If people would stop having so many kids, there would.nt be so much poverty in this world!

    March 24, 2013
  • Louise Ouellet

    I personally think that horses fall in the category of “companion animal” . They are not supposed to be bred for the purpose of eating them. I feel that when a horse is no longer wanted or sick, he should.nt be put thru misery to die not anymore than your cat or dog. I would.nt think of eating my horse! Like I say i.m not in the habit of eating my friends!! If you don.t want him anymore, or can’t afford him, give him away to a good home, or better still have him put to sleep and buried! This way you’ll know he won.t be starved or abused!

    March 24, 2013
  • Marcia

    More pro-business rhetoric. If you are raising animals for the purposes of having them killed and making money in the process, then the interests of the animals are not considered. They are commodities. Some of us believe living creatures are more than means to ecomonic ends and promoters of human pleasures. They deserve the care and consideration that are in their best interest. What is in the interest of unwanted, old, and sick horses is not transportation to a slaughter house.

    March 24, 2013
  • Amy Miller

    I am shocked to how uneducated people could be on horse slaughter. In researching it there were a lot of images that haunt me still today. I think people should be more conscientious to the fact that there is a lot of over breeding done to horses. I have made a decision that if I was going to raise a horse I would find one that needed a family rather than using my beautiful mares. That is something we can all do. Another thing is if we can’t afford to feed horses don’t purchase one to begin with. I think if a horse is going to be euthanized it is the vet who needs to do it in a manner where the horse doesn’t suffer. I have had a horse euthanized and he did not suffer at all. If we want to talk about compassion then the pro-slaughter people need to see what happens in the kill room. I will never allow any of my horses to ever go there.

    March 24, 2013
  • Valerie Wehmueller

    I would like to share a quote that I love, on this beautiful, very snowy, Palm Sunday, “I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection BY man from the cruelty OF man.” Mahatma Gandhi
    STOP horse slaughter, STOP all animal abuse & cruelty! Enough is enough. The human race needs to find it’s humanity, compassion, empathy, & morals, then, maybe, we will find love, peace, caring, beauty, & our real purpose in life!

    March 24, 2013
  • Lola in Wisconsin

    Well “Linda” you are certainly contributing to the problem of unwanted horses as you continue to breed, aren’t you.

    March 24, 2013
  • ClipClopToday

    Please put your comments in writing and email your local Governors, Legislature, and Senators. 
    #1: No funding, at the same time when all other departments are cutting back too. Where are you going to get the extra funding for proper inspections? Human Services, Veteran Benefits and Tuition Assistance?
    #2: The FDA will not clear it for human or pet consumption but you are willing to ship it to other countries for others to eat? And you complain about the toxic products China sends to us? Are we now following China’s example instead of trying to get them to follow ours?
    #3: We should stop the practice of shipping our horses across the border to slaughter for human consumption. Just like the housing market, it will take a couple years but things will adjust. Breeders will need to start breeding for quality instead of quantity which is what slaughter promotes. Slaughtering drug filled horses is a no win situation for everyone but the auction and slaughter houses.
    #4: DID YOU KNOW… “Senate Bill (SB) 375 revokes a 1963 flat ban on the sale of horsemeat in Oklahoma by allowing horsemeat to be “exported internationally.” Horse sold for slaughter must be sold through livestock auctions and purchased by a livestock dealer.” ALSO: “At least that’s the view of Skye McNiel, R-Bristow, who has proposed legislation that would allow horse slaughter in Oklahoma. She’s something of an expert on the business, because her family operates the largest horse auction house in the state.

    March 24, 2013
  • I’d also like to add that when our own plants shut down…very few people lost their jobs. Those plants simply retrofitted to other species of animals.

    Hmmm….all those ‘unwanted’ horses??? Please explain why the trucks loaded up with horses sitting at Cavel the day it closed, wouldn’t sell them to anyone????

    March 24, 2013
  • sherriey

    a little blurb from me that struck a cord….she complains about having to feed all those “renegades’ that her ‘ranching’ family has and no place for them to go b/c slaughter went bye-bye in 2007…well, duh, if this is a problem….then why don’t she stop BREEDING renegades???? duh! who the heck keeps breeding bad horses anyhoot? time to spay and castrate!!!!!

    March 24, 2013
  • sherriey

    also….i am a Veterinary Tech. i have been one for 26 yrs plus. altho i now work in a small animal practice, i do have a nice herd of 9 horses. at work,we have put down dogs and cats, sickly, at the end of their time, many times. the only time an animal thrashes while being euthanized is b/c of poor circulation. the animal feels no pain. its a body reaction. we do warn the owners of this possible reaction. it doesn’t happen very often.
    in 2008 i had to have my daughter beautiful old mare put down. i worked closely with the vet. first a tranquilizer was given to relax her and she slowly and gently drifted to the ground. once there, the vet gave her the Buthanasia IV and she drifted away very peacefully. no thrashing, no nothing….just restful sleep forever. it broke my heart. i still miss her and cry when i talk of her. her and her mom were a rescue and i loved her dearly. we had 25 great years with her and she holds a place in our hearts that will never leave. she was the best horse we ever owned. but now, she rest without pain or suffering.
    i will do this again, someday for all of my others, one at a time. they will be buried out there, alongside Penny, where they have lived and have been loved. this is the most humane way of ending suffering and pain. this is the way that the people that truly love their animals help their animals pass from a painful existence to a kinder place. cruel? no, kind? yes.
    if only humans could go like that without the long suffering that many endure….what a better place it would be.

    on a happier note…if anyone out there gets EQUUS magazine, turn to page 73 and read…My Good Samaritan summer. its heartwarming.

    March 24, 2013
  • I find that Linda doesn’t know what she is talking about, she talks of renegades why breed renegades and as for drug use, bute is often used in horses. Wormers are used on a regular basis, does she not think it is wrong to ship the meat internationally???

    March 24, 2013
  • christy

    I saw first hand horse slaughter houses in the 90’s. They were full of wild mustangs and Ex racehorses. None of them were lame, some were thin. Kill buyers didnt want the skinny ones. They went after the healthy fit ones. The bigger the better especially draft. All these dumb runoff statements. Give me a break. This is about money. HERES AN IDEA since your all so gung ho on slaughtering the oldest domestic pet on the planet. The first animal that human made as companion then why not mans best friend the dog. Were talking 4 million euthanized a year. People eat dogs and cats in other countries too. WHERE DOES THE INSANITY STOP? YOU PEOPLE ARE SERIOUSLY SICK, THIS COUNTRY HAS GONE DOWN THE DRAIN AND AINT COMING BACK. 80% of Americans are against horse slaughter. I can’t believe the neanderthals in the USDA are even contemplating this. What kind of idiot would want this around there house or even in their city. UGH. This country has no respect for life anymore, kids getting killed, people going nuts in movie theaters, now lets slaughter some horses! What the hell

    March 24, 2013
  • carol

    Keeping the actual slaughter debate out of this, but let’s look at economics. To make a profit out of any endeavor, you need a viable market for your products. You need customers and distribution to those customers. What you can’t sell immediately must be stored somewhere until you can sell it. Now, the situation in the European Union is not pretty, but even with the existing supply chain problems, there are rules and regulations regarding suppliers. There is NO RECORD of an application as a horse meat supplier from the US, and once submitted it takes approximately two years to win approval IF the food safety/tracking mechanism is in place. That tracking mechanism is NOT in place, and that means the people thinking they will make a profit from domestic slaughter had better build large cold storage facilities to withstand that two year wait. And even the pro-slaughter folks railed against the institution of NAIS for horses. It would require NAIS or an equivalent to win eventual approval from the EU. I suspect some people had better open their eyes to reality. Slaughter will NOT be their big money-maker, and I rather suspect will be a rather costly mistake. Serves them right if they lose their shirts – it’s just a shame if horses have to lose their lives to prove the point.

    March 24, 2013
  • Donna

    Sometimes I wonder why God gave some people the ability to breath. This Lynda is one of those people that should not be taking up any of our good air. Why do we have to have these nut cases around? Most people are reasonable and do care for those that can’t speak for themselves. I do believe in our constitution, but this Lynda shouldn’t be allowed to speak. You just can’t fix STUPID!

    March 24, 2013
  • Hey Linda…..stop back yard breeding….that is one way to stop slaughter….and your so called ranching……

    March 25, 2013
  • sandra longley

    first off..don’t comment if you cannot watch the video, or the videos that have taken place at all slaughter is NOT what you allow yourself to believe it can have the rendering plant pick up the dead body of the horse..100% use? only 360 lbs out of a 1200 lb horse is usable meat according to the FDA website..840 lbs is waste and is rendered in large vats..there are rendering plants already in the US..If you were a responsable breeder, you would have quit breeding 8 years ago when I stallions and mares are still here..I still feed is not an option to slaughter them, no one raises their horses to slaughter, there is no business sense involved in that..It is good you got out of breeding horses..I am sorry if your horses became a meat product to you

    March 25, 2013
  • Jade

    Standing ovation here, Jerry! As always, your ability to stay focused (and come across quite calmly) on the issue at hand is awesome. We are incredibly lucky to you have as a “spokesman” for this issue – as the rest of us probably could not keep a “civil tongue” in our comments to such over the top crap as this woman wrote. Until you are better paid, thanks for all you do and for being on the front line of this fight! Blessed be!

    March 27, 2013
  • Jerry, thanks so much for challenging what this person “knows.” Civil response can be difficult, but you nailed it.
    Why, I wonder, do marketers of beef so often favor the legalization of horse meat, when it would increase the competition profit?

    June 7, 2013
    • Judy Wendt

      Terri – from what I have read, there is a faction of food “processors” in Europe who want to reclassify horse, or “cheval” (French for horse) as it is known there, as another type of beef. This Lynda person who is so pro-slaughter alludes to that mental construct when she classifies horse with beef as livestock. The Cattleman’s Association use the same lobbyists as Sue Wallis’s pro-horse slaughter group (United Equine/United Horse eaters, or whatever), so I believe they have a similar mindset.

      Best thing horse lovers can do is to boycott beef. There are sssooo many alternatives, and your body does not need all the fat, cancer causing growth hormones, antibiotics (to combat the filthy feedlots) uric acid, and “God know what” cattle are fed which is ingested secondhand.

      June 7, 2013