Horse Health

Horses: Sports, Culture, and Slaughter

Video by Alex Brown ~ part one of three

NOTHING GORY. An examination of the horse slaughter issue, in the United States, through the lens of horse sports and horse cultures. A three part series.

12 replies »

  1. Alex Brown has been involved in the anti slaughter issue for very long time. I remember him from my yahoo groups days as I remember John Holland from the same group.


  2. I know hes saying hes anti slaughter all these years however hes complicit in stating that antislaughter is divided and unable to coherently function. He makes no . Mention antislaughter is comprised of just a few otganizations…its more like a few organizations joined the 80 plus percent that revile it. The fact is the first video isnt unbiased its actually sloping the wrong direction in my honest opinion. I look at the fact that proslaughter isnt organized however as we put information together they target each bit as they never thought of it beforehand. The misinformation regarding transport issue as main cause of concern. Thats Never been the main cause…then or now but its a point for the Safe Act. The Entire process of abuse and neglect at private facilities…farms…and homes that lead to many animals being proposed to the food chain then bought and sold to avoid being charged with a crime then those animals being abused and abandoned or dying because they were rejected which Literally is the entire based for proslaughter. In other words the same horses that are neglected and abused die neglected and abused even if not slaughtered when they could have been put down by a vet. While they are screaming they are animal saviors they are the epitomy of abuse and criminal neglect. Their smoke and mirrors isnt mentioned. If this is unbiased and devoid of emotion to balance both sides thats where hed start. Im sorry nothing personal but horses are being shipped repeatedly and they are laying right now sonewhere on the hard ground and dying because some false savior is trying to kill them or let them die trying. This is a morbid travesty. Theres no way to ignore the selfish greed. The antislaughter folks that view jorses as livestock and not pets exist also. They just refuse slaughter. Their are all types of situations which complicate an unbiased approach to slaughter. Our anti slaughter may have some division but UNITED WE HAVE TO STAND. The slaughter camp is constantly back and forth on Dr. Temple Grandin….first shes great then shes in their words the opposite and back again. He should mention that proslaughter cannot decide who to follow or who will lead just that theres a money trail in front ofcthem and a blood trail behind. If we follow their theory of where abused and neglected horses go into the slaughterhouse you wont find it. …the same starving horse bought at auction goes to plant gets rejected and is back at feed lot of another auction justc to be rejected again further neglected abused and eventually dying….without slaughter. Thats even more inhumane. The thought of product uses. When peopke found out majority of English saddles were made from horses they had people selling used saddles for rock bottom prices to get Rid of them. Boot tops made of horses dropped the market for boots sharply in the 90s when it was did covered. The companies dont explain what most goods are made of so when a consumer knows its noticible. Even purses made of thin layers of horse hide caused uprisings. We need to consider the day of horse slaughter is gone.


  3. Lovely words from a lovely man.

    I would like to make a few comments.

    First, a bit of corrective history. Most of the large cattle herds in the west originated from vast herds driven up from Mexico at the end of the Civil War, to take advantage of the Open Range free grazing, and eventual shipping via railroad back east to population centers. The homesteaders migrating West later typically had only a few cattle (many were milk cows or sterile Oxen for drawing heavy wagons), so these are not the source of the big herds or the cowboy legends. Another key historical truth is these introduced Mexican/Spanish cattle were ill suited to the interior climate as the vast die off in the winter of 1887.

    Also overlooked is significant historical evidence (fossils etc.) suggesting horses never went entirely extinct in North America, surely something worth mentioning in this overview.

    At one point the word Burro is misspelled as “Burrow” which seems like a spellchecker intervention, but is incorrect nonetheless. Burro aficionados will surely be disheartened on reading this.

    Additionally, no mention is made of horses being raised intentionally for slaughter, as is done in Alberta, so there is no need for medication ID as one vertically integrated business controls all breeding, fattening and marketing direct to their customers. Where does this practice fit into the horses as or as not livestock dispute?

    And lastly, there is no mention made of horses who end up in slaughter unintentionally through outright theft and sale, or of the market-driven dynamics of horse breeders who can dispose of horses through the slaughter pipeline easily while continuing to breed, raise, and market various types of sport horses. While globally we encourage more companies to be responsible for the entire lifecycle of their products, why do horse breeders get a pass on this? At a minimum, for one example, breed registries could be required to pay an excise tax whose proceeds would fund a nationwide pool to provide grants for humane euthanasia for horses.

    When owners can throw away a live horse for a few hundred dollars rather than have to deal with euthanasia, the problem becomes less one of demand and more one of denial. There are few options for those without funds or the brass to do the right thing, and it’s very easy to hand the problem off to someone else and pocket a few hundred dollars, to boot. Surely we can look at this systemically and alter the cycle by effectively understanding and addressing the problems, not just treating the symptoms. In my view, we breed too many horses, and too many of them cannot remain sound for a normal lifespan, then are expensive to treat and either care for or discard. As it is, they aren’t quite livestock or pets, and fall into a great deal of suffering by human action as a result. Those who breed them should be prepared for a full-circle responsibility. Anything else only leads to more senseless suffering for both humans and horses.


  4. thanks for your feedback, you do raise some great points, and fill in a couple of gaps. I tried to provide a wide scope of covering all the issues, but sometimes stuff gets lost a little. I do agree the wider concept of the disposable society in which we live does not help, and agree some kind of tax would be useful to address end of life issues.


    • Bravo, Alex, for taking on such a broad topic so well, no criticism intended! An excise tax by nature would be charged on breeders, not buyers, so would create a logical funding source for rescues and euthanasia, and might give some backyard breeders pause before proceeding, but it would not prohibit anyone from doing so. Perhaps the larger breed registries could even create their own rescues for registered animals, free of charge to people willing to sign over ownership for whatever reason whilst keeping horses out of the slaughter pipeline “wicked system” which self-reinforces more slaughter.
      We are in agreement the issue is polarizing and intractable through pointing of fingers so new suggestions and new thinking are in order. I have offered here a few, maybe people can get them in front of people who could make them happen? My blessings on any such efforts!


    • Alex, is there some way to get all three of these videos seen by congress people from all 50 states? It would seem timely and important to get in front of as many as possible, as soon as possible, to effect legislative change.


  5. Please ban the export of horse meat! Please close borders of Canada and Mexico where the horses are sent to be slaughtered! Wild horses and burros deserve to live in peace! They are part of American heritage! Please help them!! Thank you!!


  6. I have a few connections in DC, trying to get them to watch the series and use it as an informational tool. If anyone else has connections, please share


  7. what about Ted Talks??? I don’t know but they seem to get a large audience of people who want to see change…


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