Saving the American horse
March 20, 2010
"The horse. Here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet never a slave." -Ronald Duncan.

As Ronald Duncan said the horse is all of these things and more. Yet how are horses in America being treated? They're being sent to slaughterhouses along with America's last wild horses who are being driven from the lands they have roamed on for years and sent to their death. Horse slaughter is not illegal in the United States; it is only illegal in some states. There is even talk of opening a slaughter house in Montana. It is our job to save these beautiful animals. We need to help make horse slaughter illegal in the United States.

Slaughter is a cruel act against horses. Their senses are more advanced than other animals; as they enter the slaughterhouse they do not act calm like chickens and other animals. They know what is going on; the sight of a dead horse is enough. Horse slaughter in the United States in is a cruel way to kill an animal. Inhumane things are done to put the horse down.

When there are no horse slaughterhouses in the United States, horses are being shipped over the borders to Canada and Mexico. The horses are shipped in overcrowded trailers and driven without stopping to the slaughterhouse. The trailer ride alone could kill a horse.

If one would call a American horse slaughter house inhumane, then a Mexican slaughterhouse would need a new word, something beyond foul. American slaughterhouses at least knock the horse unconscious. In a Mexican slaughterhouse the horse is only paralyzed and is fully aware of its surroundings. The details of how each slaughter occurs I know fully, but to write such things on paper would only give nightmares and make the person who read this sick.

Horses are being sent to slaughterhouses because of overpopulation, and most horses sent are young and healthy horses who could make great riding horses. In the United States there are not many people buying horses, and many people are breeding horses. With no horses selling there is an overpopulation of unwanted horses. With no homes, these horses are sent to slaughterhouses to try to fix the overpopulation problem. There are two main causes for overpopulation.

The first is the premarin drug. This drug comes from the urine of a pregnant mare (female horse). This drug helps manage the symptoms of menopause and reduce changes of developing osteoporosis for women. To make the premarin drug, thousands of pregnant mares have foals each year. Over one thousand horses are born each year because of the premarin with no home, registration, or hope of better futures. Some of these foals (baby horses) are sent to horse heavens which are already overcrowded and others are sent right over the borders to slaughterhouses.

There are two sides two horse slaughter, and most people who hear of the problem think something like Katie H., 8th grade student, who said,  "I don't like it, but I understand why some people do it."

The other main cause of overpopulation is not needed breeding. Many people around the United States breed horses for fun, just to have a foal looking cute in their pasture while premarin foals are sent to slaughterhouses. Breeding should not be allowed unless it is the person's main source of income. If a person wants a foal in their pasture, they should adopt a premarin foal.

The United States is also limiting horses' space. The wild horses that have been on the range are now being flushed out. Once they flush out the horse, they replace them with cows. The wild horses are driven into small pastures and taken to slaughterhouses or are left in the pastures to die of dehydration of starvation.

"I have seen things so beautiful they have brought tears to my eyes. Yet none of them can match the gracefulness and beauty of a horse running free," said an unknown author.

Killing of horses is not the way to control the population. Controlling breeding and land for wild horses will help the population number. Most people are unaware of what is happening to our horses.

Our horses are something to be proud of, not to be thrown away.

Sharon Ralls Lemon, editor of Horse Illustrated magazine said, "The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit and freedom."