Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sola, perduta, abbandonata

An observation on the work horses' appearance
Could the horses from Central Park Carriages and the storied West Side Livery look any more pitiful and forlorn trudging up 10th Avenue? Probably not.
In late 2007, equine veterinarian Elizabeth Kilgallon looked at video that had been taken with a hidden camera for CBS 2 HD. Among her observations: some of the horses looked to be crammed into standing stalls so tight they can't turn around or lie down. She also noted the horses seemed to be standing in their own urine, manure, and on very little bedding. "I think the bare legal requirements have been met, but I don't think this is the best way for them to live," Dr. Kilgallon was quoted as saying after viewing the video.

Support a ban on horse-drawn carriages in NYC. Call your City Council member today.
What has City Council Speaker Christine Quinn done for horses, dogs, or cats lately, anyway?

Ed's note: There are many worse things that I could say about the one stable in particular, as readers well know. I took the high road here but may reconsider in the future. Rest in peace, Juliet.


DF said...

Hmmm....."alone, lost, and abandoned"? There are THOUSANDS of horses across the country at this very moment who are being neglected and outright abandoned due to what equine experts have described as a "perfect storm" of astronomic hay & feed prices, a slow economy, horse overpopulation, and the closing of slaughterhouses in the US.
Literally THOUSANDS of horses are being left to rot in fields - don't take my word for it, Google it. You must be confusing those horses with our beloved carriage horses - because with their food, shelter, grooming, farrier & vet care, daily affection & treats, and steady, easy work that gives them a purpose in life, they don't even come close to "alone, lost, and abandoned". Either confused, or you are projecting your own bitterness and misery on our horses - with the latter being much more likely.
"Sola, perduta, abbandonata?"
Dic mihi solum facta, domina!!!

Mary Alice said...

DF, thank you for your comment. Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur.

Did Carolyn give you permission to speak in Latin and not with a brogue, as she is hell-bent on making this an Irish issue, as a diversion tactic? Heck, the recent article even said that one had to be from Ireland to understand the horse "issue." Let me try.

Unlike your other comments, this one is intelligent. I agree with the first part 100%. I have worked with many other people and organizations nationally to get the horse slaughter bill passed in Congress. Now, of course, efforts are redirected toward halting dangerous and inhumane transport in the states, export to horrific slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico, and related issues.

You are also correct about the tragic consequences that a faltering economy is having on rescue organizations, farmers, people who cannot afford to care for their horses, and those who cannot care for domestic animals. I work with rescue organizations and I know this to be true, in New York and across the country. Some simply abandon animals and pets, and flee.

However, that is not the issue at hand. If my post/headline is not clear, I may have to clarify that it was a comment on the horses' appearance as they trudged up 10th Avenue recently.

As you may know, the veterinarian who recently was commissioned by Carolyn to write to bogus health report said in a phone interview something like: "At least the horses aren't ending up on some Frenchman's dinner plate, heh, heh." That is not the appropriate viewpoint. It is comparable to applauding Michael Vick for giving some dogs a "home." I am not comparing people in the carriage industry to Michael Vick. However, to put forth the argument that the horses are fortunate at least to have a "home," or that they are "lucky" to be NYC carriage horses, is indefensible logic. It is particularly misguided for you to say that they have "easy work" as carriage horses. Why is it that the ASPCA, HSUS, Friends of Animals, PETA, and many other organizations say otherwise? I am not confused. Rather, I am a regular taxpaying citizen who is sick of seeing this cash industry get away with murder, if you will. Just the facts? My facts are straight, and you are likely to see more surprises down the road. Just as the industry has promised the activists some surprises.