I have to be honest with you, all of this recent talk of horse slaughter and the cruelty that the likes of “Slaughterhouse” Sue Wallis wants to dish out on our companion animals has conjured up some pretty poignant memories on the topic of horse slaughter.
I don’t know if I have ever admitted to this, in a public forum, but personally witnessing the horrendous act of cruel, bloody horse slaughter pushed me over the edge before the plants were finally shuttered. Ole Sue Wallis admits she has never seen the process, so obviously she has no clue, but there are several cursed souls out there who have witnessed the obscenity and are forever scarred; some you know, some you don’t but I am one and I am someone who did not handle it very well.
Looking over the back fence of the Dallas Crowne plant, in Kaufman Texas, I saw, heard and even smelled more than I will ever want to experience again and that is coming from a veteran of two armed conflicts and a former military medic who is no stranger to blood and gore. It was more than my senses could bear and I will be forever soiled by what I witnessed.
There is no soap that can cleanse my mind of the stench, erase the sounds or wipe away the visions of blood, it just does not exist. Even work, toil, activity and time will not make the nightmares go away as they have become embedded into the very fiber of my being…there’s no escape.
I won’t ever forget seeing that young, healthy Paint run up the passageway to the “room” where we couldn’t quite see in the window. I only caught glimpses of the horse through the cracks in the fence as he was driven to the door of the building. It wasn’t a pretty scene with a worker with a stick whacking at the horse to move. Then the silence and the sound of the captive bolt gun, the screams from the horse as the bolt missed it’s mark and did not stun; then the chain from the hoist being wrapped around a rear leg as the screams intensified. The wails began to gurgle as the horse started to inhale its own blood as his throat was cut while hanging upside down. Still the chains rattled as the squeals died away and then silence as the illegal immigrants carved away at the horse’s warm body. Soon, on the conveyor belt that ran out of a hole in the buildings side, came the bloodied hide of the beautiful paint and burned into my memory is the vision of it’s pelt, complete with proud mane, fall off the dripping end of the conveyer belt into a waiting dumpster with a sickening, wet, “plop” while a cloud of disturbed black flies rose up like a small thundercloud from inside the dumpster and then dove back upon the fresh, bloody meal.
I don’t remember much about the weeks that followed. I do know that my good friend Jerry Finch watched over me and that my wife Terry wouldn’t let me near a computer for a very long time. I pulled in, retracted and parts of me, to this day, have never come back out to enjoy the sun and all that is good.
So when an Ed Butcher or a Sue Wallis begins to spout lies and deviously attempts to mislead and distort the truth I see red in more ways than one. They have no right, they have no fact and they have no credibility as they have wasted their lives on planning to cause pain, inflict harm and their life’s hope is to revel in the blood of the innocents who have pledged their trust and faith to we undeserving humans. How dare they.
I have hope that one day, someday soon, we can look into the eyes of our equine companions and say that it is over, there is no more screaming, the blood has stopped running and that they are finally all safe.
And I know that for myself, I will try my best, my very level best, to say that I am sorry and beg forgiveness for the atrocities that my species has committed against one of the most gentle of all creatures on this planet, the keepers of our hearts and sanity, the horse.
I hear the call, it’s the Force of the Horse and it calls not to me alone, it calls to us all.
It’s just a matter of who is listening…