From Sue. A very smart lady.
The Fundamental Truth of
an informational position paper
A number of people have requested that I distribute this to everyone. In this paper, I attempt to address all of the complicated and interrelated factors that need to be addressed when dealing with the problems created by a ban on the transportation or processing of horses. Please let me know if I have missed something.
Read the entire paper with footnotes and bibliography by clicking the link below:
Here are bullet points of what the paper covers:
- Private property rights – all animals are private property. The elimination of a market results in an unconstitutional taking of property value without compensation.
- The ban on the consumption of horse meat by humans is the first time that ANY domestic animal for food would be prohibited for purely social, and cultural reasons that all Americans do not share.
- The first time that the US Congress has contemplated the audacity of trying to influence or change the culinary traditions and food practices of other nations.
- Even though US horse owners would be criminalized for accessing a world market, that market would not stop eating horses, they will simply turn elsewhere for the meat they seek to import.
- The Basics of Animal Agriculture–Everything that human beings consume as solid food, except for a single mineral, salt, is a living thing. What you put into your mouth, whether that is a piece of meat, or a fresh-pulled carrot out of your garden, interrupts the life cycle of a living thing. The business of agriculture is to produce food.
- Human beings, in order to thrive and be healthy need both plant and animal foods. A purely vegan diet that contains no animal derived products of any kind-spells death for the human species.
- The basic equation of animal agriculture–select breeding livestock, when they can no longer be used for the purpose intended (meat/milk/work/pleasure…) the unusable or unsupportable livestock needs to be sold for salvage value and reinvested in productive assets.
- Animal agriculture is a business. Denying a horse owner access to a salvage market is the same as telling a rental car owner that they can no longer sell their cars once they have reached too many miles.
- Slaughter so that an animal can be used for food, done properly, is a humane way to end an animal’s life–it requires both good management and good equipment design.
- If it is legally established that the slaughter of horses is, in and of itself, cruel and inhumane–then it follows that the slaughter of any animal for human consumption is, in and of itself, inhumane.
- Even a botched death in a processing plant kill chute is over in less than one minute…much, much preferable to a long, agonizing death of starvation, and the meat and other useful byproducts are not wasted, or become toxic waste.
- The horrific unintended consequences of the closure of the last US horse processing plant, and the human health, welfare, and social costs that has created.
- The problem with wild horses, and the ever increasing costs to the environment, and to the taxpayers of continual mismanangement–actually VERY expensive non-managment and undercounting of wild horse herds, as well as the expense and effort required to take care of the more than 30,000 now being held in pens and corrals off of the ranges.
- There is never a good time to eliminate a market, but eliminating a market in times of overall economic distress is especially cruel. Horses have been transformed from valuable assets that you could sell for much needed cash if your circumstances change, into expensive liabilities for which you have very limited, and very expensive options left. The end result…a gigantic surge of abandoned, neglected, and starving horses nationwide.
- The abhorrence for horse meat that some have is a purely cultural attitude that is not shared by all Americans.
- Most of the civilized world considers horse meat just another ordinary food source that is highly nutritious, flavorful, and generally affordable.
- Our closest neighbors in Canada and Mexico are consumers of horse meat, and do not understand why the US would criminalize something for such spurious reasons. The Chair of the Canadian Veterinary Association’s Animal Welfare Committee wrote, “…”governments are generally reluctant to limit personal freedom unless there is some demonstrated, public good”…and “provided horses born in the USA are raised, transported, and slaughtered under conditions similar to those for beef cattle or pigs, in what way is an American injured by Canadians or Europeans and Asians consuming horse meat?”
What little market remains for unusable horses through export to Canada and Mexico would be eliminated.
It will be the first time that Americans are prohibited from using or selling any domestic animal as food. The prohibition will be based entirely on social and political grounds.
Horses are not unique. All livestock animals are intelligent, sentient, living and breathing creatures who have emotions, feel pain, experience fear, and ultimately die.
Once it has been legally determined that the process of killing horses is in and of itself inherently cruel to animals, then there really is no difference between that and telling dairies that they can no longer market steer calves and old cows for beef, no difference between that and making it illegal to use sheep for anything except wool.
The economic incentives to keep, breed, and improve the species will be massively impacted.
Ranchers, breeders, trainers, and all of the related equine service industries will see their livelihoods greatly diminished, and the rural communities which are based, in part, on the horse industry will be deeply hurt and with the entire economy of the United States in a shambles, their ability to adapt, recover, and transform themselves into something else is very, very limited.
Here is the Summary from the paper:
Because these efforts have become such a threat, and the rights of Americans are close to being abruptly curtailed through the efforts of well financed animal rights organizations, and well meaning, but uninformed horse lovers, there have been an increasing number of states, tribal governments, organizations, and animal agriculture supporters across America including the National Council of State Legislatures, the National Association of Counties, the State Ag and Rural Leaders, the Council of State Governments – Midwest, the International Livestock Identification Association, the Horse Councils of nearly every state in the Union, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and many more rising up in opposition. In checking with a nation-wide network of activists it appears that legislative action is taking place in a number of states including Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming–and legislative efforts in support of the horse industry are being considered for introduction in a number of other states including Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.
All of this activity is focused on convincing Congress to oppose legislation that would restrict the market, transport, processing, or export of horses; to recognize the need for humane horse processing facilities in the United States; and not to interfere with State efforts to establish facilities in the United States.
Serious legislative efforts to reverse the court actions in Texas and Illinois and re-open horse processing facilities, are joined by pro-active legislation to encourage investment in horse processing facilities in North Dakota and Montana.
It is unlikely that any foreign investor will take the risk of investing in another plant anywhere in the US until bills which have been introduced in Congress have been defeated. (H.R. 503 – 2009 Prevention of Cruelty to Equines Act & S. 727 – Prohibit Horses for Human Consumption) This misguided legislation would make it a felony for any person to transport or sell any horse for slaughter. If passed, it would result in a number of devastating and far-reaching consequences.
Most importantly of all, the private property rights of individual citizens, and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of states to regulate and conduct commerce, will have been totally compromised. For that reason alone every American should be deeply concerned whether they have ever set foot off of pavement, or ever touched a living animal.
Animal welfare is important. The necessary laws and regulations to protect animals from unnecessary abuse and neglect are already in place. Animal rights are another thing entirely. To give any animal, under any circumstances, the legal rights and privileges of a United States citizen is a folly that leads ultimately to a stupid and senseless suicide for our political system. In the short-term it means the destruction of a traditional and valuable agricultural lifestyle for a few Americans. For the long-term it spells the eventual starvation and demise of the human species because the masses who don’t have a clue how to take care of themselves have eliminated the few who still know how to put food on the table.
Recently a comment attached to a blog post has been circulating the internet:
“To all you Hunters who kill animals for food, shame on you,” it says, “you ought to go to the store and buy the meat that is made there, where no animals were harmed.”
Grocery stores do not make meat. Living, breathing animals and the people who care for them make meat. The hard, cold, truth is that living things die for you to live…this is an irrefutable, unchangeable fact that no human being can avoid… and survive.