From Our Desk: The War Against Slaughter

By December 1, 2011
Paula Parisi and her horse Larry

Photo by Laura Blizinski

It strikes me as bitter irony that the film War Horse is opening barely a month after Congress passed an appropriations bill that excluded the provision preventing horse slaughter plants from opening in the U.S. War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg, celebrates the horse’s nobility and service to man, deftly sketching the partnership that can be a bond like no other.

Congress, on the other hand, took the first step toward relegating these sensitive and noble creatures to foreign dinner plates and the most excruciating death imaginable. I’m a realist. I know there are times when it’s appropriate to euthanize horses. But slaughter as a means of population control—a cull mechanism for those who overbreed and a convenience for owners too stingy and heartless to provide an appropriate end for their animals—is inexcusable.

The sophistry of those who argue in favor of slaughter can be formidible. They are well funded, and getting better organized by the day. This round, we have no choice but to chalk one up in their favor—a victory for lobbyists and agricultural cartels of cattle ranch states like Wyoming and Montana. But the war isn’t over. Read our story on page six and then spring into action, calling and emailing your representatives in Washington to demand they fast track the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (HR-2966 and S-1176). Currently pending in both the House and Senate, the Slaughter Prevention Act will put an outright ban on horse slaughter plants and the export of horses for that purpose.

As tragic as that scenario is, it’s truly uplifting to witness what can be accomplished through a loving and respectful partnership between horse and man (or woman!). This year marked our first trip to the Galway Downs International Three Day Event, and “exhilarating” is the first word that springs to mind to describe this level of world class sport.  Every horse and rider pair, from novice to advanced, was truly impressive. We can’t wait until our next event! This season we also became better acquainted with the members of the Andalusian and Lusitano community. The beauty of the Spanish horses is matched only by the congeniality of their humans. We look forward to making many more new friends in 2012.

Happy Holidays! All the best in the New Year!

Paula Parisi
Editor in Chief

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