Something to think about
This is a response to the Horse Story Misleading editorial from Oct. 14. I am the owner of Chance and the one who was interviewed for the first article.
First: I would like to thank the writer of Horse Story Misleading for doing their part and following their convictions about horse rescue. Second: I did want to remind the readers that this story was intended to be a public interest story which celebrated the journey of one horse and not an investigative article and the section on slaughter and rescue were simply my views. Third: Thank you for correcting the technicality that it is not federally illegal. The last slaughter houses in the U.S. were shut down in 2007 “by court order” which I would guess is where the confusion came from.
I totally agree that as long as there is a market for horse meat unscrupulous people will find a way to do what they want to do. My concern is that we will make all the laws we want and then choose to pretend it doesn’t happen simply because “it is illegal.” However we will then have absolutely "no" say whatsoever over how it happens, because it will. I still stand on the belief that the best way to “fix” this problem is to educate people about what happens to a slaughter horse and help them keep their horses from going to the auction block in the first place. It is not a solution that will change things quickly but it is sure to change things for one noble equine at a time.
Regarding over breeding: I want to make a note that, although the writer of Horse Story Misleading said, “Your subject mentions an overage of horses in Maine due to over breeding. The so-called overpopulation of horses here … ” Never once did I say that over breeding was a problem specifically in Maine. In fact if you re-read the article you will notice that Chance came from an auction in Wisconsin. Actually, Chance’s story proves the point mentioned of, “kill buyers and middlemen bringing shipments of many new horses into the state of Maine from auctions elsewhere every few weeks.”
My final point is this: I did think of the fact that if I gave them the price they asked it would just help them continue their business and I must say I struggled with it. I struggled for weeks with it. I attempted to turn my back on Chance and would have had all of the “logical” reasons for doing so. I even looked up statistics and facts about horse slaughter and this particular dealer (including the article from the Boston Globe mentioned in Horse Story Misleading). I think I was trying to convince myself that he might not go there or it might not be as bad as I thought. I spoke with his first owner and listened to her cry as her heart broke over the situation he was in. I lost hours of sleep and when I did sleep I saw him in my dreams, including one where he ran terrified down the road as though chased by an unseen enemy. How, I ask you, how could I look in his eyes and say to him that he was to be the sacrificial horse in order to keep money out of the dealer’s hands. I would challenge anyone to look me in the eye and say that I should have turned my back on this beautiful creature and frankly, I will never apologize for the price I paid for his life.