Thursday, October 30, 2008

The heart of the matter

Funny that anyone would think that New York City activists seeking a ban on horse-drawn carriages would just, well, quit. (Like the way Bloomberg thinks we will forget his despicable end run). Hilarious! Good and decent people from all walks of life are thoroughly disgusted by the sight of horses pulling carriages in New York City traffic. Join some compassionate people for a peaceful demonstration on Saturday, Nov. 1. It's an opportunity for outreach, education, and reflection on the plight of the horses--who don't belong in traffic. Photo credit: Susan Brandt
Chessbuff blogs on the spirit of activism: alive and well
Demo details: Saturday, Nov. 1, 7 p.m., Grand Army Plaza, Fifth Avenue
Sponsored by: New York City Animal Rights Meetup

Monday, October 27, 2008

Day in, day out: horses in traffic

We heard from a Philadelphia carriage horse. Take a look at NYC horses at work in this video from June 2008. What must they be thinking! Check out the 18-wheeler at 2:33, right alongside a horse. It's easy to understand why the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals are among the vast network of organizations that support local efforts for a ban on horse-drawn carriages in New York City. This work is unsafe and inhumane. Horses don't belong in traffic.
Video courtesy of YouTube member "HorsesinNYC"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

From the horse's mouth

A Philadelphia carriage horse tells us, in no uncertain terms, what it's like to walk in his shoes. "The world has moved on," he explains. "But not for everyone, apparently." Read his post on "The Philadelphia Turkey" blog.

Friday, October 24, 2008

No horse is unspookable

No shortage of news lately about horses spooking. Too many to recount, but here are a few. In Portsmouth, R.I., horses spooked and the carriage overturned, injuring 4 people. A carriage driver in Charleston, S.C., was injured after a carriage horse spooked and ran between two parked cars, throwing the driver from the seat. And a debacle last week in the UK, when a horse-drawn carriage carrying a coffin overturned after two horses spooked and bolted before crashing into cars. Three people were injured, including the horseman and his son. In Pennsylvania, a buggy driver was killed in a non-spooking accident when a pickup truck struck the buggy from behind. And some visitors to New York City blogged recently about the "craziest" part of their trip, when the horse-drawn carriage in which they were riding was rear-ended by an SUV. What are the chances? Well, quite high, since the horses travel up to 4 miles daily in heavy traffic to and from their stables, the southernmost of which is on 37th Street.
Photo: Aftermath of the funeral procession that came to a shuddering halt in Ipswich, England after 2 horses spooked.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Democracy: rest in peace

Democracy came to an end in New York City today, with the "Quinn 29" voting without a referendum to extend term limits. And New York City Council member Tony Avella got it right: the 29 members who voted--against the will of the city's voters--to extend term limits for New York City elected officials to three terms from two should be voted out of office. I will make my list, and then vigorously campaign against all of these unethical twits. My little vote can only go so far, so I will have to be creative, won't I! I think I may make that deadbeat Robert Jackson my pet project, for having the unmitigated gall to say: “Let’s have a backbone" (and not back down, presumably). He deserves a job stamping out license plates. No wonder he's hanging onto this one for dear life.

Thank you to the 22 council members who voted "no" to this subversive measure, including Jessica Lappin. Well done.

The billionaire mayor thinks we will forget all about it. Never will I forget this betrayal. And another thing: it stands to cost the city in so many ways. Starting with lifetime retiree health insurance that would cost the city up to $12,600 a year per council member, for any one who serves a third term. Which will amount to millions of dollars over the coming decades. Kind of stupid, isn't it?

Did you know: Tony Avella (D-Queens) introduced the measure to ban horse-drawn carriages; Council Speaker Christine Quinn has blocked it, along with every other piece of animal-friendly legislation that been introduced during her shameful tenure; virtually all council members line up behind Quinn, fearing retribution. No, the City Council is not a legislative body. Far from it. All back-room deals.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Those eyes

"The horse pulling the carriage had really sad eyes," the young woman wrote in her blog post. "I just wanted to rescue him and set him free in some huge field."

Sounds as if she is regretting the ride she took, an uneasy realization that is reached by many tourists. Most every weekend, I speak with people who either avoid a carriage ride altogether--or pledge not to ever take another one. There are plenty of wholesome things to do in NYC.

Support a ban on New York City's horse-drawn carriage industry, a stance that is unanimously supported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Friends of Animals, In Defense of Animals, and dozens of other animal welfare organizations. New York City residents should contact their City Council representatives and ask them to support a ban on horse-drawn carriages. Non-New York City residents should contact the mayor (212-NEW-YORK) and make known their support of a ban on this inherently inhumane industry.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Does she, or doesn't she?

Does Princess Christine Quinn support extending term limits? The Central Park Blogger has rounded up the usual suspects and revealed the ending to this suspenseful saga.
Next: Is Gale Brewer is obsessed with bed bugs? Stay tuned.

Oops! Quinn is not a princess, but the speaker of the City Council! My bad! She is notorious for blocking every single piece of animal-friendly legislation that has been introduced, including the pets-in-housing bill and Intro. 658, which would ban horse-drawn carriages. Seriously!

Embarrassingly off-base

The "sliming" tactics of the New York City carriage industry and the handful of individuals who support this inherently cruel industry are mind-boggling. It takes chutzpah to criticize one of the world's leading authorities on the humane treatment of carriage horses while promoting the under-handed "oversight" of a very biased veterinarian who has essentially been a lobbyist for the industry. Holly Cheever, DVM, eloquently answers her critics, including one Upper East Sider who venomously characterizied anti-carriage activists as "Machiavellian" and hurled insults at Dr. Cheever. The pinnacle of absurdity.
The Machiavellian line was hilarious -- I laughed out loud! But seriously, the insulting letter was so bad that I was embarrassed for its writer. Like that cringe that comes from listening to Sarah Palin.
The ever level-headed Dr. Cheever has previously described New York's carriage horse industry as the worst she has ever seen--and never humane. Read her comments as published in a February 2008 letter letter to Metro.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sign up for the Coalition fundraiser!

Have you signed up yet for the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages fund-raising party? I finally did! (What a deal -- $30 in advance, $40 at the door). And I got around to checking the silent auction items. I know what I'm bidding on ... a vegan organic chocolate gift basket! Helping the horses and getting vegan chocolate--does it get any better than that? I don't think so. And the entertainment is stellar. Mantra 986 may be my new favorite restaurant. I'll see you there, on Tuesday, October 14, at Mantra (986 Second Avenue, between 52nd and 53rd Streets, in midtown Manhattan). If you're bidding on the vegan chocolate, be forewarned: I'll race you to the "Buy It Now" bid! Stand back, I'm a chocolate fiend!
Special guests will include City Council Member Tony Avella, Donny Moss, Joy Askew, Nellie McKay, comics Liam McEneaney and Ann Design, and our emcee, Fiona Walsh. Very cool!