Source: Cloud Foundation, Respect4Horses and Wild Horse Freedom Federation
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)
Categories: Horse News, Horse Slaughter, The Force of the Horse, Wild Burros, Wild Horses/Mustangs
Thank you to everyone!! My hat goes off to all of you for a job well done! The Wild Ones thank you too 🙂
WELL DONE! The message is loud and clear!!
Thank you, OK!
RT Thank you for the update.. We all appreciate everyone’s voice, time, money and passion spent into saving our Wild Horses as well as stopping the Slaughter bill in OK.
My passion is with you to see them Free’d no more roundups and no slaughter in this country……………….
All I see is: a man sincerity and perseverance, he was at what is happening in that it is moving.
There is no doubt this meeting proved to be more successful than those previous from the perspective of the people. All of our representatives did us proud and spoke eloquently and convincingly. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to all who put themselves on the line for the horses and burros.
As to the BLM and the Advisory Board –
I do find it disheartening…even disingenuous that the public is only allowed a very short time to speak and are not allowed to ask questions of the board or the BLM. Why do they refuse to engage in open conversation with the owners of the horses and burros they are supposed to be fending for? Is it just time constraints? Joan Guilfoyle’s airline ticket wouldn’t have cost any more than it did had she stayed a few extra days…the same is true with Dave, Sally, Debbie, Holly etc.
It’s our tax money they are spending so why shouldn’t we demand that they make the best use of it and avail themselves to open public forums? Even our politicians make themselves available to Town Square Meetings.Do they think we are nothing but dolts? Are they afraid of us?
I watched both days and was so happy that many horse advocates participated and were allowed to voice the concerns of all of us. The BLM people always seem to present themselves as pro-horse, but it is amazing to me how little real emotion they show about the wild horses and how they seem to just go about their meeting and agenda without nodding or agreeing with anything that the pro-horse people say. They are well practiced at this demeanor. It kind of makes your stomach turn when they don’t even have a spec of sympathy toward what we say and that they go about business as usual. Are they actually human or just robots?
I admire Tim Harvey from my state of NH so much for his calmness and composure when dealing with them. I am sure his gut is just churning all the time. Just knowing he gets to associate with them to be part of the meeting is comforting. I just hope he can eventually turn the tide of actually wanting to not zero out the wild mustangs and burros.
The prayer for the horses was amazing. I pray every day and night for them and my prayers go out to all who are concerned enough to keep working at improving the management of the herds…no more roundups, no hysterectomies on the range, careful birth control that will not be permanent, no more holding pens, actual good veterinary care and monitoring, more scientific study before it is all too late.
The holocaust of our horses on public lands is not excusable.
Americans are so intelligent, powerful, and in love with the wild horses. We can never give up this fight as long as the herds are wild on public lands. They will always need protection.
…and prayers. I pray that the BLM wakes up and sees the light and saves our horses right now!
As I was watching the conference, I was thinking “God bless Simone” and was (am) thankful for her organizational skills as this came together very quickly. It seemed to me, that Ginger really turned up the volume this time. I wish the new Sec of Interior & attorney general could have seen Friday’s presentation. We are all in this together and we all need to turn up the volume for our wild ones. I also feel like we are preaching to the choir and we must grow our advocacy base. Many Americans are still unaware of the plight of America’s horses and how their taxdollars are funding eradication of the wild ones. For anyone interested, here’s an easy way to help raise public awareness, http://www.causes.com/actions/1706663.
Well as individuals it is up to us to spread the word about it too. It’s not like there is not creditable information out there at our fingertips because there is. See a post on facebook about it. Share it. Forward that e-mail… I have brought several people I know on board and they are with the preservation of our wild national treasures and anti horse slaughter 1000% all it takes is passing that flier along. After all they don’t know what they don’t know.
I agree that Ginger, usually ever so diplomatic and careful with her words, was much more direct and passionate this time — and I was glad to hear it.
“God bless Simone” is right, and R.T., Doc, Lisa, Ginger, Deb Coffey, Marti, Terry, and everyone else behind the scenes who brought this event together.
Score one for the horse!! This is amazing! Thankyou The Cloud Foundation, Respect4horses and thankyou to the wild horse freedom federation! This is huge!!
Many many thanks to all who were able to attend.
Personally I was appalled at Joan Guilfoyle’s comment that the horses in Utah were trotted into the corrals. That must have been some trot! Video shows quite another story! You might see some condensation from the nostrils with horses breathing on a cold morning. But video clearly shows steam rising from all parts of the horse.
I sure hope we get to see NBC’s story! Because there video person will have quite the story to tell.
Well Joan definitely stuck her foot in her mouth and tried to ram it down her throat. Not sure what she was trying to prove. I think unless you have clear concise notes you had best literally stick to FACTS.
Do I believe her when she says BLM won’t sell horses to slaughter? Well they already have. What will she PERSONALLY do to ensure this NEVER happens again? In the meantime given what I saw and heard Monday fall from her lips NOPE. Do not, will not and forever won’t believe her.
Thank you RT and Terry for your generosity, your contagious passion, your leadership, your constant ear to the door to keep the world informed, for the loud voice you give to our horses.
It is an honor to be involved in this
Thank you Simone Netherlands you are wonderful. Thank you RT and Terry for your continuous support and everlasting love for the wild horses and burros. Thanks to all of you supporters you made a difference. Strength in numbers. God Bless.
It was awesome and you pulled it off. You all deserve a pat on the back and my heartfelt thanks. ALL OF YOU..EVERYONE THERE, EVERYONE WATCHING, THE MEDIA WHICH ALSO MADE IT TO THE EAST COAST, CHICAGO AND INBETWEEN! I believe that the whole world was watching and i was glued to it! I can’t begin to tell you all how proud i am of you. RT, Simone, Ginger and that wonderful vet! You were awesome!!! I loved to joke about the snake and the rabbit. I felt Simones pain when she talked about the mare. I saw the dedication from everybody, the love. I loved to speech about the voices as well. Thank you to you all!
Could not agree more R.T. I heard one of the members tap his microphone and say – “As one advocate said so succintly, – tap tap tap do you hear us?” And then mentioned a conversation with Mr Fitch I knew you all had made the headway we need. Thank you! All of you.
Thanks should go to Anne Mond for her work on FB as she was a constant presence. I wish I had been there but I feel it was best I was not. BLM was back peddling and implying hope. don’t be fooled.
So what has changed?
another great article by Andrew of the Atlantic
RT, thank you for the positive comments! In my opinion, it is true that there is a change in the wind! I appreciate your acknowledgement of seeing and more importantly, FEELING the shift! I know that feeling is difficult for people watching on live stream or reading reports to feel or appreciate. I saw the look in your eyes when you felt a touch of hope when I was speaking about identifying common goals and working toward those goals together and others on the Board were agreeing and supportive! We have some positive movement to build on. I pray that we can continue that momentum and do so together!
Thank you so much Tim – it did not go unnoticed that you took seriously the task of open discussion and positive faith in the management of the program. This is good.
Thank You !!!!!!! To everyone here and of Course RT, Ginger, Simone and all the behind the scenes people !!!!!! WE all know who they are !!!!! God Bless each one of you !!!!!! The Horses have had years of torment , God Bless all of them…………………………….
Thank you so very much for all you do for the Wild Ones.
horse murderers united sent out e-mail just now..March 14 OKLA rally, to counter the advocates rally, bring your butcher knives and captive bolt guns for a demonstration on a live horse
The bottom line here as the “horse murderers” of US horses are not only horse murderers, but potential causative agents in the long term illnesses caused by drugs provided to horses as non-food animals in this country. There is no moral or ethical way around this reality. As our foodie friend vegan blogger’s metaphor established, consumers might as well eat industrial waste by the time they consume horse meat.
Any US elected representative or food establishment business owner that would advocate that the US should produce a product for human or animal consumption from an animal not raised as food, has a serious moral and ethical challenge. Wild horses and burros may not be treated with as many drugs, but they have much higher levels of parasites which contribute to the comparatively high mortality rate for wild horses when compared to domestic horses.
‘As our foodie friend vegan blogger’s metaphor established, consumers might as well eat industrial waste by the time they consume horse meat.’
Oh, I think they already do. The big milk producers are now petitioning the FDA to be allowed to add aspartame to milk WITHOUT LABELING. What’s next for God’s sake?
This is the other other side of the coin when speaking to “its just like beef.”. The meat industry has been caught with ITS pants down (processing down and sick cattle) and lost a huge share of the global market when Russia refused to further contract for beef after failure of the US CATTLEMEN to clean up its act over an antibiotic (recalling from memory so that might be incorrect) restricted in the Russian food market.
We’ve got a long way to go to clean up our own food market before introducing another messy and potential deadly component.
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