Friday, February 22, 2008

Extreme Rhetoric

Carolyn Daly and carriage drivers love to invoke one particular image: that of the "extremists" who are seeking to ban horse-drawn carriages. We keep asking, "Why this kind of language?" Is this kind of label their best tactic to distract, divert, and discredit? After all, we still don't know what happened to Clancy, the horse who died in his stable earlier this month. It may never be disclosed, because the ASPCA was forced to file a Freedom of Information Act to obtain the records.

Petitions, flyers, letters: These are the tactics that we use every day in an effort to educate the public about the plight of New York City carriage horses. Seven months have passed since the city audit found that drinking water was scarce for the horses, even in the blistering heat of summer. And still no drinking water. Inadequate water poses extremely serious health risks for a horse year-round, as equine veterinarians have explained repeatedly to the New York City Council and to Mayor Bloomberg. Colic in a horse can be fatal--and is associated with poor water intake. The troughs in Central Park are dry or full of ice or rubbish.

Questions? Learn more about why this industry is inherently inhumane, and then get involved. Start by visiting the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages, where you can read expert opinions and review the reasons why the legislation to ban horse-drawn carriages was introduced by Tony Avella in December 2007. Understand the issues that are being debated. Only then can you make an informed decision.

Note: Iraqi insurgents used a horse and cart in a fatal bomb attack in Baghdad, killing the horse and at least one person. This is tragic, and "extremist" is not a word to be taken lightly. (Feb. 23, 2008)

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