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.
Lynda 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.
Lynda 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.”