Friday, February 23, 2007

Horse Slaughter is Unethical

A horse in obvious distress, being hauled to his death

There are three horse slaughter plants in the United States, two in Texas and one in Illinois. Presently, the two in Texas are closed to slaughtering for human consumption, due to a 1949 law that the Texas court decided was in effect, as of January 19, 2007. At least one of these plants is still in operation, slaughtering at a reduced level for zoos.

In addition, Kentucky, Illinois and New York all have pending State legislation to ban horse slaughter for human consumption. If you live in any of these states, please contact your State Representatives and Senators and ask them to vote in favor of these bills.

Our horses are sent to slaughter traveling for days without food or water, crammed together in trailers designed for cattle to be served as a delicacy to Europeans and Asians. Some do not even survive this horrific journey to the slaughter house.

The horses are slaughtered inhumanely with a captive bolt gun to their head designed for cattle. More often than not, because horses are flight animals the killer misses its mark, the brain of the horse. Instead, the bolt is shot into the horses eye, face, ear, or neck. Since this is a mass kill (hence the word “slaughter”) they don’t wait to see if the horse has been rendered unconscious. This conscious horse is then hoisted by his rear leg and his throat is slit, thereby suffering a slow death by being bled out.

You can see this process here (very graphic videos): or here in Mexico where they believe that torturing the horse makes its meat more tender (some of our horses are sent to Mexico to be slaughtered):

The horses slaughtered are not old, nor are they sick. Foals, yearlings, pregnant mares and sound horses of all ages and breeds are slaughtered. Would you want to eat an old sick horse? In addition, two Kentucky Derby winners were slaughtered, Ferdinand and Exceler. Ferdinand was slaughtered in Japan and the sign in the restaurant read, “Come dine on a champion”.

Dogs in America are used with our police forces, our military, and with the general public as seeing eye dogs, for the hearing impaired and for therapy. We do not slaughter dogs.

There are police horses, military horses, seeing eye horses and therapy horses. Many thousands of Americans have benefited, both physically and emotionally, through equine therapy. Yet, we still slaughter horses. We teach our horses to trust us and then without thought send them to slaughter when we have no wish to behave responsibly. Those who would prefer to receive $200 rather than pay that to humanely euthanize their animals can be called nothing less than, Judas. Their 30 pieces of silver snug in their pocket, while the poor horse that worked for them is dropped off at a slaughter auction to begin the nightmare journey leading to unimaginable cruelty and death. It is simply put, unethical. It is immoral. It is wrong.

Laws were introduced last year to the Senate and House. H.R. 503 passed the house in 2006, by 263 to 146, but when it was time to bring S. 2915 to the floor, Conrad Burns, former Senator of Montana, put a secret hold on it. I'd also like to mention that Conrad Burns was the person who slipped in a bill to the Appropriations Bill in 2005, which made it possible to also send our wild horses to slaughter. This favors the ranchers who are using the land that we, as taxpayers, maintain for these horses. But, Conrad Burns had other interests, i.e., the ranchers who are able to lease the public land for very little money so that their cattle can graze, instead of our treasured wild horses. You and I pay for our wild horses to be safe on federal land, but the ranchers who raise cattle for food are benefitting from our tax dollars, rather than the wild horses for which the money is intended. Conrad Burns was defeated in the last election and is no longer a Senator.

I’d also like to mention that these slaughter houses make millions of dollars, but because they show a loss in the United States and take their profit in Europe where they spend their money, they pay the U.S. /no/ taxes. American tax payers, until recently, paid millions for USDA inspectors to serve the foreign owned horse slaughter houses.

American’s do not eat horse meat and for a very good reason: Horses are our companions! Isn’t it time we stopped this atrocity?

If you are outraged by this, please call your representatives and senators to end this atrocity, ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 503 and S. 311. You can also download a flyer at: to help educate people about horse slaughter and sign a petition at:

For a list of the organizations and individuals who support the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, please go to:

A man of kindness, to his beast is kind.
But, brutal actions, show a brutal mind:
Remember, He who made thee, made the brute,
Who gave thee speach and reason, formed him mute;
He can't complain, but God's omnicient eye
Beholds thy cruelty - He hears his cry!
He was designed thy servant; not thy drudge,
But know - That his Creator is thy judge.

Unknown author from The Ladies' Equestrian Guide, 1857.


Gwen said...

Good job, Marjorie. Now I know why you've been so quiet. lol

Shelly said...

Hi Marjorie, I am with you 100% on this! There is just so much misunderstanding about this issue and I feel people should get more information on this. Good luck with your blog and hope you get many viewers and people participating in it. I commend everyone involved with helping the plight of the innocent horse that have been victimized. Being in a state that does not allow horse slaughter and makes it mandatory for a horse to be euthanized by a vet when necessary is a benefit, but I also live in a state that has many horses shipped off to other states for slaughter because it is illegal here.
In hoping that all states pass the non-slaughter bill, that we can continue to work towards helping unwanted horses find a home or require humane euthanizing. Irresponsible breeders and owners need to understand that horse slaughter is to the equine world as abortion is to people using that as a form of birth control.
I believe there is such a misconception of the “unwanted” horse. People react as though horses just suddenly appear out of nowhere and we don’t know what to do with them. Many of these horses are stolen property as there is do accountability at the slaughter house as to legal ownership. Many horses have outlived their usefulness to the owner and instead of rewarding a horse by retiring them to pasture, they throw them to the wolves by putting them in auctions where they don’t know what will happen or actually sell them directly to the slaughter buyer. In many cases, there are culls from breeding stock that didn’t make the grade for the owner to make money. There are very few legitimate owners out there who simply, for one reason or another, whether it be financial, owners ill health or age that make it impossible for them to not be able to take care of their horses. In those cases, there will always be a home for them somewhere. When irresponsible ownership saturates this system, it then creates the “unwanted” horse.
There are many impending issues going on in the world and we should all play an important part in it’s betterment. One day we will succeed with this dilemma and move forward to continue helpless animals in issues they have no control over.
You’re in our thoughts and prayers.
For anyone out there that believes the bibles word is worth listening to, specifically states that horses are not for human consumption.

MJNYC said...

Shelly, thank you so much for your kind words. I hope to educate those that don't even know that this atrocity exists in our country.

Perhaps you might like to join us at:

I'm going to write another blog soon, about this:

Very disturbing, to say the least.

We can certainly use your help!

God Bless,

Marjorie :)

Sabine said...

Great work.

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