Friday, May 23, 2008

Anything but authentic

John B. Moore, like many others, once thought that New York's carriage industry was a harmless tradition that didn't warrant a second look. Now, he writes on the Central Park Blog, he has been forced "to confront the awful truth" about the industry, reckoning that there is no excuse for making the horses live the way they do--living in squalid cells and working in some of the nation's worst traffic.
Like many of us who have discovered this same awful truth, The Central Park Blogger has been confronted with the industry's PR machinery, which is quite elaborate. Between the paid PR person (Carolyn Daly) and lobbyist Thomas McMahon (whose lone associate in his firm, Jean Kim, is lobbying for the carriage industry), and the unfortunate mix of politics and "oversight," given that McMahon's wife, Linda Gibbs, is the Bloomberg appointee who oversees the Department of Health), you can begin to see how politically entrenched this cash-only industry is. Much effort is devoted to making the horse-drawn carriage industry appear to be an inconsequential diversion. Harmless? That it isn't, because putting horses into traffic endangers the horses as well as the public.

Support a ban on horse-drawn carriages

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