Oklahoma Stands Up for Wild Horses and Gives Thumbs Down To Slaughter
Open Letter from R.T. Fitch
Dear fellow Equine Advocates;
Please be advised, up front, that this is neither an OpEd or Editorial of any sort; but instead a most heartfelt thank you note to so many who have given so much to support those who cannot advocate for themselves.
On March 4th and 5th of this year we turned a very sharp and significant corner in the way of advocating for our companion and wild horses and burros. Put quite simply, your voices were heard, not just by ourselves but also by the press, the BLM and the public. That is huge.
Too often I feel that we are preaching to the choir; not that doing so is particularly bad as it is important to get together to build our advocacy tool box and to network/strategize but for one that has a type “A” personality I often feel that we are treading water and not making headway or getting a decent return on our investment of time and money; but not so this week.
We managed to turn some heads, open a few eyes, peak a lot of interest and it was all managed and accomplished by hard working, everyday, regular, stick-in-your-throat, grass roots, American tax payers. That speaks volumes.
No glitzy public relation firms were hired, no professional speech writers were retained, no qualified logistical experts were employed it was just us, the heartbeat of America and I am so very honored to stand amongst you.
A few thanks are in order but if you don’t mind please allow me to give you some background on how the Unified Equine Welfare Press Conference/Rally was born and how it normally works. (If you note, Cloud Foundation, Respect4Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation have fallen into the habit of doing this over the past several years. But this time it was killer.)
Last month, half way around the world I picked up the BLM’s news release announcing the Advisory Board Meeting. I contacted Simone and asked if she was up for another press conference and she was in full agreement and, as usual, Ginger jumped on board. Done deal…I think not.
Ms. Simone Netherlands worked this issue like a full time job for weeks for no pay for no glory and totally for the horses. She made the arrangements, along with volunteer help, and secured services with her own funds and allowed her income generating operation to slide as she prepared, for all of us, the venue, schedule and structure to pull off this major media event.
Terry and I owe Simone a most sincere debt of gratitude for years of hard work and dedication. Little did we know when we first met her while lobbying in D.C., years ago, what a fine friend she would become. The words of “thank you” just don’t seem to reach as deep as they should.
Thanks go to Ginger, as always, and to Lisa Friday from the Cloud Foundation for their continued support and total alliance. The Cloud Foundation and their staunch Director and Board are a living model and showcase of not only how to run a non-profit correctly but how to actually put your money where your mouth is and get things done. We are forever in debt.
Thanks to Doc Friedlander for coming to speak and to further educate not only us but the public on the horrors of horse slaughter and how medically dangerous it would be if it were allowed back into our country.
Thanks to the press for attending and for spreading the word.
Thanks to several members of the BLM Advisory Board for listening, and I really mean that this time, I think several of our messages actually got through to a few folks and the tone of the meeting shifted to a more positive ring on the last day.
And last but not least, thanks to all of you whether you were there in person or sitting listening/watching on your computer…your presence and your support pushed these issues into the spotlight and if we can keep the pressure on and the volume turned up we WILL get to where we need to be.
Below are links to news videos and articles regarding the press conference and the rally. (I know that I have missed several) As is usually the case, due to time constraints and lack of research, several of the reports may not have been as in-depth or accurate as you may have wished them to be and several even highlight an organization that was not even involved but that is how it works in the wild and wacky world of fast paced media news. The main point is that the message is getting out and THAT message is all about the horses…and YOU made it happen.
- Video: Unified Advocate Wild Horse/Slaughter Press Conference and Rally Packs Oklahoma City (rtfitchauthor.com)
- TS Radio: Equine Welfare Press Conference and Rally live coverage (ppjg.me)
- Repeating History: Remember Why Horse Slaughter was Banned (rtfitchauthor.com)
- EWA/WHFF Houston Horse Meat Connection Gains Major Media Attention (rtfitchauthor.com)
- EWA and WHFF Investigators Expose Horse Slaughter Transport Violations (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Equine Advocates Take On BLM Wild Horse and Slaughter Issues in Oklahoma City (rtfitchauthor.com)
- US Animal Advocacy Groups: ‘Nay’ to Horse Slaughter Plan (rtfitchauthor.com)
- Update: Citizen Investigation Exposes Evidence of Wild Horses Sold to Slaughter by BLM Contractor (rtfitchauthor.com)
- BLM Writes to WHFF: ‘Rock Springs Wild Horse Holding Facility Update’ (rtfitchauthor.com)