Wednesday, January 16, 2008

He Sees Red When He Sees Pink

Willard Paul dismisses efforts to ban horse-drawn carriages as follows:
See the cruel man and the cruel tourist inflicting inhumane and cruel treatment on the nice horsey. See the famished horse as he shivers and shudders, breathing in all that foul and polluted Central Park air, pulling those lazy, self-indulgent tourists being pampered by its unethical and tyrannical owner. Doesn't that just make you see red?

Mr. Paul's comments, posted on his blog "Ponderifications," go on to poke fun at the singer Pink, who has erected a billboard in Times Square in support of the ban outlined in Intro. 658. He says that he "sees red when he sees Pink." He writes that he's no supporter of animal cruelty--it's just that he doesn't think horse-drawn carriages are cruel.

The facts show otherwise. Between 1994 and 2007, there were 26 accidents involving horse-drawn carriages. We know that two of these were unreported, and this raises questions about how many accidents have gone unreported. Five horses died, four others collapsed and died from other causes, and 31 people were injured.

Surprised? Jill Weitz describes details of a few more accidents that involved spooked horses:

"In 2000 a carriage horse bucked, tipping over a carriage and injuring a family of 4. The horse then took off through the park heading straight for a hot dog vendor who had to jump out of the way. "Thank God no one was killed," said the driver, The Daily News quoted the driver as saying. In 1999, a runaway horse and carriage struck a car and jumped the sidewalk, where it knocked down a 70-year old man and a 68-year-old woman. The woman was pinned under one of the horse's rear hooves. Also in 1999, a cab driver suffered head and neck injuries after a horse bolted, and got stuck between a parked car and the cab. In 1997 a runaway horse ran over a tourist, knocked her to the ground and dragged her for a few feet. The driver allegedly took off with the horse, but was later apprehended by police, The Daily News reported.

An 1800-pound bolting horse is a weapon, as we've seen over and over again. Horses take off in flight when they are afraid because they are prey animals. And there is a lot to be afraid of if you're a horse in the middle of a city. How much longer does the carriage horse industry--and the city council and mayor-- expect us to look the other way and pretend that this is a quaint, harmless industry?
Other major cities, such as Toronto, London, and Paris, as well as smaller cities in the US, have banned horse-drawn carriages. It's time to put this inhumane and dangerous industry out to pasture."

Mr. Paul, a self-described former Baptist pastor, elaborates on his viewpoint about animals in general and horses in particular: "I believe that humans are far superior to the most superior animal. I also believe that God gave us animals to make our labor easier, and for eating," his online profile states.

Blog editor's note: Lordy.

It is time for ban horse-drawn carriages. SUPPORT Intro. 658 and OPPOSE the dangerous industry bills Intro 652 and Intro 653.

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