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Horse Slaughter Halted in the US

Horse Slaughter Halted in the US

A Horse of A Different Color:

Last month the Federal Court, through the action of a number of animal welfare groups, temporarily blocked attempts to slaughter horses in the US.

According to the†Huffington Post,†if the temporary block is lifted the horse meat would be “exported for human consumption and for use as zoo and other animal food.”

While I understand the outcry over these incredible animals being slaughtered, I also find it hypocritical. No one seems to be talking about the elephant in the room, or rather, in this case, the cow: Speciesism.*

The outcry over horse slaughter in the US (at least that which is being reported) appears to have little to do with every animalís inherent right to life and more to do with the horseís historic place as a companion animal in the West, as well as their significance to certain Native American Tribes (although some tribal members support the practice of horse slaughtering to “cull” the wild horse population.)

Letís also be clear that if horse slaughter is outlawed in the US it doesnít mean that the horses currently slated for slaughter (from racing, carriage work, the circus, breeding stock and wild horses) will be saved. Although some horses may be rescued due to the publicity this legal battle is creating, most likely the majority will still be shipped to another country and then killed.

Just because it isnít happening in the US doesnít mean it isnít happening somewhere else.

I am by no means in support of horse breeding, abandonment or slaughter. I hope they do outlaw all of these practices in the US and abroad. But if we donít address the bigger issue here (how we view certain animals as friends and others as property, food, clothing and objects for our entertainment) then we will be fighting the same battle againÖ and againÖ and again with more single-issue campaigns and court cases like this.

If we really care about horses and animals in general shouldnít we turn that care into action? Shouldnít we stop breeding them for our use? Neuter and spay when needed?† Adopt and shelter instead of buying? Refrain from killing and eating them? Viewing them as property? Isnít it time to adopt a vegan philosophy that is truly in tune with our “love” for animals?

I think so.

*Some of the slaughterhouses slated to start butchering horses were formerly used for cattle.


- Human Society

- Huffington Post

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


+ add your own
12:29PM PDT on Apr 16, 2015


11:57AM PDT on Apr 16, 2015

A much more complex issue than it first appears. We don't want to pass the problem onto another country, as that just harms the animals even more, as they have to suffer first the stress of travel, and then be slaughtered anyway.
I agree that the answer is a more vegan philosophy; stop breeding them for our use, adopt and rescue, and most importantly stop the racing industry. Wherever animals, people and money are put together, the animals always lose.

12:55AM PDT on Jul 31, 2014

Thank you

7:48AM PDT on May 21, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

7:33PM PST on Nov 8, 2013

Susan, this was for slaughtering horses here in the U.S. only, so they will pack them up and transport unless we write to our legislators supporting Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013 (Senate bill S541 and House Bill H.R. That is a lot to do and most people won't write so I hope someone from within would draft a standard letter to our legislators to stop them from transporting as well and that is the only way to end it, but what to do with 100,000 horses. Will have to continue to spay and neuter.

8:52AM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

To the writer of the article: the difference between equine slaughter and cattle slaughter is that it is NOT possible to humanely slaughter a horse. Horses are flight animals and they can't be restrained, motionless for the captive bolt gun to work. Horses are seriously injured before they ever make it to the slaughterhouse, then the smell of blood and the screams of other horses sends them into a panic and many more are injured, then they are moving when the gun is aimed at them and more times than not the gun does NOT hit the mark and instead the horse is only wounded and shot again and again with the gun until it is finally subdued - it is not dead - the horses are still alive when they are drained of their blood.

To all: This was only a temporary injunction and even if it becomes permanent it will not stop the slaughter, as currently about 100,000 horses a year cross to Mexico and Canada to be slaughtered. The only way to end the shipment of horses for slaughter to is to contact your legislators and urge them to support the Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013 (Senate bill S.541 and House bill H.R. 1094 and The bills WOULD outlaw the transport to slaughter or feedlots for slaughter.

Additional information on equine slaughter:

5:38AM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

Please wake up, Big Brother to the South! You banned "horse slaughtering" MANY years ago...but YOU did NOT stop, rounding up and shipping these horse in totally inhumane conditions, UNDER darkness (because your conditions of transport were illegal) and ship these horses OFF to Canada and Mexico in overcrowded transport. Horses arriving with eyes ripped out, legs broken, huge and sometimes infected wounds to neighboring countries! Now, you sit on your "high-horse" looking down on the slaughter-houses, that you are the BIGGEST supplier of...washed you hands of the dirty deed of slaughter...but have NO regret of maiming these animals in transport and having them suffer 40+ hours with NO feed or water, in these crowded conditions. THIS IS old news, and I have been part and parcel of getting a bill passed for years to stop this horrendous method of transport!

11:40AM PDT on Oct 8, 2013


1:05AM PDT on Oct 4, 2013

Elaine, you really do need to "keep up". The article is not current, the story is misleading, as there was no "halt", only a temporary restraining order filed. There will be continued "round-ups" by the BLM whenever they deem wild horse herd populations need to be thinned.

BTW, horse slaughter isn't all about JUST wild horses. You must have not read the information about where most slaughtered horses come from.

5:46PM PDT on Oct 3, 2013

This is great news~~~Now lets hope no one changes their minds and starts another round up.

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