A bit of information in this blog post will lead to the next blog post addressing “Commercial Horse Slaughter and Its Ties to Opportunistic Horse Rescues”.
Understanding the Issue:
The vast majority of people who are in favor of commercial production-line horse slaughter normally fall into only two categories, with infrequent variations: there are the people who are devoid of empathy and/or compassion, and when they are done with the “object” that just happens to be a living, breathing creature who feels pain, and possesses emotions too, they ship them off to slaughter without a second thought, just like throwing away a piece of broken furniture, or a broken TV that holds no entertainment or useable value (de-valuing”) to them anymore in the disposable society in which we have been living for many decades now.
Then there are the people who make money from the commercial horse slaughter industry after people have dumped the horses into the horse slaughter pipeline.
There are people who either save money through the use of the entirely free disposal system that is commercial horse slaughter (“suppliers”), or they make money from commercial horse slaughter (“opportunists”), and sometimes people are both suppliers and opportunists.
So this is an informational article from the perspective of our interaction in many areas of the horse industry, beginning in approx. 1969 for me personally.
A future blog posting will discuss one addition to those who benefit as “opportunists” from commercial horse slaughter (and are sometimes also “suppliers”. which is at the very least unethical, and possibly criminal) – several of the donation-funded, adoption-based horse rescues operating in California where the commercial horse slaughter industry has been banned since November 3, 1998, with ONLY a 1 time enforcement of that law which occurred in 2014.
While collecting data in the past year or so for other future proceedings, the issue of donation-funded horse rescues, many of which are only able to stay in business through the kindness of sweet, but gullible souls and their donation of money and other material goods, came on our radar through the observation of the “rescue” that perpetrated what the FBI calls an Animal Enterprise Terrorism (AET) attack on us, and their solicitation of funds on a consistent basis to “outbid kill buyers” at the sales they attend.
However, it became abundantly clear very quickly from seeing public postings, and the obvious “tells” learned from my experiences with the horse industry, with sales, and dealing with horse traders, dealers, kill buyers, and feedlots dating back to 1972, that what was/is happening in California amongst rescues that “partner” with one another, and also rescues who go it “solo” and are engaged in the “competition for donations” with other horse rescues, that this “rescue racket” being run by “retail rescues” is reminiscent of the movie “The Wolf of Wallstreet”, (which is fascinating to watch the “cons” being run, but in a stomach-turning kind of way: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-11-07/jordan-belfort-the-real-wolf-of-wall-street), but it is a betrayal of horses by those who are supposed to be rescuers making sacrifices for the protection of horses, instead using the horses they are supposed to love to enrich themselves.
Very much like what some people watching the California donation-funded horse rescues antics call the “The Really Shallow Housewives of California Horse Rescue” which is dramatic, cut-throat, exciting, but in real life, is just a sad commentary of master manipulators satisfying the people emotionally who are “addicted to crisis rescuing”, instead of humble, behind-the-scenes “no fanfare rescuing”, that many rescuers are obsessed with, and is a scam perpetrated by women, with a few men thrown in for some testosterone and to make the rescue look a little more “legit”, and not only like a den of peri-and post-menopausal ladies with churning hormones, playing to the emotions of others and living off the free money donations of kind-hearted people.
These “rescues that aren’t” exploit horses who are under the threat of going to illegal, but unenforced, commercial production-line dismemberment slaughter from California, and they operate using others peoples money to further their attainment of more money, material possessions, etc.
And when assertively questioned, or actively challenged, they attack other people who don’t have the benefit of free money being given to them, and who work for a living instead, so most people back down from attacks and walk away with their tail tucked because they don’t have the time, nor the funds to spar with these weasels.
Sickening activities by manipulators, and the overt and obvious manipulations of swindlers with their “marks”, but it happens everyday in animal rescue, and it happens using the exploitation of horses under the threat of going to slaughter illegally from California to continue to rake in the $$$ from a threat that shouldn’t exist.
More on this later, and information of what “regular people” can do to help protect horses from kill buyers and others in the commercial horse slaughter industry, and also horse rescues who use them as pawns to attain money, possessions, glory, and their ego-strokes they can’t live without.
And while I would normally suggest these women become competitors in equestrian events of some kind to build up their self-esteem and get their ego-strokes, many of them would not be successful because they aren’t knowledgeable in any of the competitive events, so competing would only serve to illustrate how little they know, and would make them look bad to their cult-followers who know less than they do……kind of a lose-lose scenario for sure……LOL
The Player’s in the Multi-Billion Dollar Commercial Horse Slaughter Industry:
Let’s get started………
”Suppliers” are people who save money from the availability of commercial horse slaughter that they use as an entirely FREE disposal system for horses they don’t want any more for whatever reasons.
And contrary to propaganda set forth by horse slaughter proponents, the “backyard” owners and breeders cannot, and do not, supply the commercial horse slaughter pipeline with the main bulk of horses going to slaughter.
One of the most used lies by the pro-horse slaughterist’s is this little gem:
“Slaughter supporters say regulated abattoirs in the US would be more humane than trucking horses to unregulated plants in Mexico. They argue the lack of slaughter facilities in the US has been behind a rise in horse neglect.”
The VERY interesting fact however that proves this is a lie is that almost the same numbers of horses went to slaughter out of the country after the US slaughterhouses that processed/slaughtered horses were shut down in 2007, but what didn’t change is that the suppliers of horses into the slaughter pipeline (mass production breeders, trainers who train for success, but not success AND longevity, owners of many, many horses, ranchers, the racing industry, etc) still DO NOT have any rules and regulations monitoring them and their activities that allow them to produce, use-up, and dispose of for FREE so many horses, and didn’t slow them down one bit on their unregulated practices.
As anyone who knows this issue knows, it is NOT the typical backyard breeder and/or backyard horse owners who are the primary suppliers of so many horses into the slaughter pipeline because if that were the case, when the economy tanked, we would have seen a spike in the numbers of horses going to slaughter as the backyard folks couldn’t afford to keep their horses, and then we would have seen a decline of horses shipping to slaughter because these people would NOT have been getting more horses they couldn’t afford to take care of.
Instead, the numbers of horses going to slaughter stayed relatively level from 2007 to the present time, so it IS those people, businesses, factions, sectors of the horse industry who have always been the suppliers, who continued to supply even with a “down” economy, and it was NOT the hobby horse/backyard horse people, the hobby/backyard breeders and the regular horse owners that may have 1 horse, or may have more, but they don’t have horses passing through their hands on a regular basis, or in any great numbers.
If we look at the numbers going to slaughter in foreign countries from the US annually, it is staying relatively level and consistent at 160,000 +/- horses a year, with many of them being younger, healthy, or reasonably healthy horses that often have served their purpose for the breeders, trainers, and the owners who pay the bills for board, training, etc and cannot, or will not, keep paying for horses that can’t be used, or don’t perform.
Most of the “backyard” or “hobby” owners of horses will either try and sell their horses for a reasonable amount above kill price in states where the horse slaughter trade is thriving, they keep their horses from the time they acquire them until they pass away or need to be humanely euthanized, they will humanely euthanize their horse if they absolutely can’t keep them, they will give them to a rescue or sanctuary/hospice and “hope for the best” in terms of what is going to happen to them, or they will find them a good home that unfortunately because of horse slaughter existing sometimes turns out to be “not so good” and the horse is instead sold into the slaughter pipeline because to unscrupulous people, a free horse= free $$$.
The Real “Suppliers”:
Mass production “foal mill” breeders who individually produce sometimes 100’s of foals annually just to get the small handful of horses with potential, and are usually breeders of Quarter Horses, Paint Horses, Thoroughbreds, Appaloosas, and Arabians, with not many of what are called the “specialty breeds” such as Gypsy Vanners, Lusitano’s, Friesians, many of the warmblood breeds such as Dutch and Swedish Warmbloods, Hanoverians, Trakhener’s, etc, dumping their unwanted horses through commercial slaughter because specialty breeders breeders are not producing even near the numbers being produced by the breeds mentioned that most often are shipped to slaughter.
These suppliers dispose of the horses with issues, their surplus youngsters that haven’t sold and they can’t rationalize spending more and more money on them because they are already losing money as long as the horse is in their possession/ownership, their breeding stock of mares who are barren, stallions that are impotent, or sometimes just because a particular lineage is being phased-out. And on large acreage ranches in Open Range states where ranchers horses are turned out grazing, along with the cattle, in “breeding remudas” of stallions, mares, foals, and other youngsters, if it is a drought year, or years, and the horses would have to be rounded-up and brought in and “hayed” (instead of grazing, they are fed hay which costs more even if the ranch grows their own), or if the ranch is needing to downsize, they often haul the horses straight to the feedlot that has a contract with the slaughterhouse, and by-pass the livestock “kill” sale entirely.
Same for Indian “reservation horses” too, but the “reservation horses” are usually more of a “mixed bag” of different types of horses, whereas the horses off the ranches are generally super nice looking and well-bred Quarter Horses and/or Paint Horses.
Next are the trainers in some events and disciplines where high $$$ futurity purses are offered, who train for success only and not success and longevity. They start horses as long yearlings and early 2-year-olds in heavy, repetitious training to get them ready for the big $$$ 2- and 3-year-old futurities in racing, reining, reined cow horse, cutting, and pre-green hunters. And now even some of the competitive dressage horse trainers, as opposed to those that are classically trained and perhaps not geared as much toward the International competition levels, are being started younger and younger.
The goal is to train them to be competitive, win the money, sell them before the abusive, repetitious training on their too-young bodies and minds catches up with them (especially for geldings=no breeding capabilities, or those mares and stallions who don’t have as much value as breeding stock), and for more well bred horses that are mares and stallions, generally people aren’t as worried about physical issues that drugs are used to hold them together to finish being a competition horse, because they are destined for the breeding shed/farm where being unsound isn’t an issue that affects their breed-ability as long as they aren’t “3-legged lame”, but down the line when they aren’t useful anymore, they are in danger of being shipped to slaughter.
Then there are the owners who are suppliers who want them started young to either make the money at the futurities, sell them as winners, or find out if they don’t have what it takes and/or break-down in training, so they are dumped into slaughter.
Opportunists- In It to Make Money:
We won’t spend much time on this group because the bottom line for them, and why they are so easy to understand, is because it is all about making a living and making money from an opportunity that is available to them.
Opportunists include horse traders/dealers, sale yards/auction houses, kill buyers, feedlots, transporters of slaughter-bound horses, slaughter-house workers on the production-line/dismemberment-line, (although, they are usually very poorly paid doing a high stress and higher level of danger job), any other slaughterhouse employees, and of course the owner/s of the slaughterhouse/s.
With opportunists, they would not be making a living and making any money without having the first group, the “suppliers”, supplying the horses into the slaughter pipeline, which is what creates the opportunity for the “opportunists”.
And with the emergence of horse rescues as “opportunists” that are entirely, or almost entirely donation-funded “retail rescues” that have multiplied exponentially since “real time” social media like Facebook came online, they can and do reach out with entirely free marketing and solicitations for donations to donors anywhere in the world.
More on this in a future blog post where we will outline how the scam works, and what people can do to expose and weed-out the “retail rescues”.
Saving $$$; the Name of the Game:
The first group certainly doesn’t make money from horse slaughter; however, they save many thousands of dollars annually by having an entirely FREE killing and body disposal system with horse slaughter.
If they in fact had to pay for HUMANE euthanasia, (which a well-placed bullet to the brain by an experienced shooter is also considered humane by many people, but opinions do vary) and disposal of the body (because lets face it everyone, people disposing of bunches of horses can only bury so many before they have to pay to dispose of the bodies), suppliers would have incentive to change their breeding practices from ‘quantity over quality’ to how it should be which is “quality over quantity” as we still see with many of the “specialty breeds” where we don’t see bunches of those horses going to slaughter (and a few statistics indicate that as much as 70% of the horses going to commercial horse slaughter are Quarter Horses).
Trainers would train for success AND longevity (if they are practical and smart) instead of just for success as they do now in several disciplines, with horses on toxic drug cocktails to hold them together long enough to finish their competition career and win as much money as possible and/or get their names out there as champions, which then increases the price tags on their offspring.
And then back to the breeders again when they wouldn’t have so many breeding stock horses if when their use for them was over they had to humanely euthanize them and pay to dispose of the bodies.
And contrary to the propaganda set forth by the pro-horse slaughter extremists, horse slaughter is NEVER humane because horses, unlike other types of livestock, have entirely different anatomy, physiology, and behavior from other animals thought of as the “typical” commercially slaughtered animals such as cattle (and before anyone gets their panties in a bunch regarding me “down-playing” cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens, etc and their experiences and treatment in the commercial slaughter and factory farm industry: it is because of the lack of regulation and abuses that I became a vegetarian many years ago, I also don’t eat cheese, have phased out ice cream, don’t drink milk, and I also don’t eat eggs anymore either, which is too bad because I really love eggs….), i.e. horses are “flight or fight” animals and they always try to flee from danger first and then fight by striking, biting, kicking, and bashing into the “predator” with their head, necks, and bodies if they cannot flee, cattle are “huddle” animals and tend to hunker down when in danger as if they were “huddling” amongst a herd of cattle, horses have long mobile necks that when in terror or under attack, they fling their necks up and down, side to side, trying to escape the “attack” or hit their opponent or the “predator”, whereas cattle have much shorter, not nearly as mobile necks which makes them easier targets for the captive bolt gun, horses also offer a narrower target for application of the captive bolt gun because of their narrower foreheads, cattle have wider foreheads/targets, and horses brains are set farther back in their skull than cattle, making the stunning into unconsciousness long enough for them to be bled-out (animals are not shot and killed for slaughtering in commercial production-line slaughtering because their heart stops pumping when killed, and they bleed out faster if their heart is still pumping, even though if they are shot and their heart stops, being hung upside down will still cause gravity to drain the blood from a cut-throat, just not as quickly as when the heart is still pumping too), even if it was just a well-placed bullet to the brain, and then disposal of the body, these cheap-skates would have to spend thousands upon thousands of dollars every year for some sort of humane euthanasia and body disposal.
Furthermore, if slaughter was the answer for so-called unwanted horses, why were just as many horses going to slaughter in Mexico and Canada as when we had legal horse slaughter in the US? The FACT is that it is NOT the “backyard” owners and/or breeders who are flooding the market with so many horses, it IS the sectors of the horse industry that I’ve named above who are producing and disposing of just as many as they have always produced before the economy was down because they have no monetary incentive to stop what they’re doing.
I in fact know of many, many “backyard” horse owners and breeders who do not have horses anymore and/or have stopped breeding horses, so why are just as many going to slaughter over our borders?
It’s because the breeders are producing just as many as before horse slaughter was banned in the US in 2006, and the trainers are starting horses far too young in repetitious training because of those big money purses in the futurities, ruining just as many as before.
And for those who are not emotionally attached to the issue of horses being commercially slaughtered, think about this: since we know that only the people named above benefit from horse slaughter in some way that either makes them money and/or saves them money, aren’t the tax payers who don’t benefit one iota from horse slaughter pissed off that we all have to pay for these “user-losers” in their businesses and other equine endeavors to save and/or make money?
For instance, anywhere a slaughterhouse is located, the crime rate for violent crimes such as rape, murder, assaults, armed robberies, etc, rises, so that means that the tax payers always have to pay more for more law enforcement, jails, prisons, etc.
There is also the environmental pollution issues attached to slaughterhouses, and the decrease in property prices in any towns and cities that have slaughterhouses present (Google Kaufman, Texas and mayor Paula Bacon for some of her first-hand experience on this).
Then we have the transport vehicles using the highways that we all pay for, and there is also the increase in fatality collisions with passenger vehicles and slaughter-bound-horses transport vehicles.
There is also factual evidence that some, perhaps many of the people who are in favor of and/or participants in the commercial horse slaughter industry lack the chemicals in their brains that enable other normal people to feel empathy. They just don’t get it because they don’t know what it feels like to be empathetic towards an animal and/or a person. They’re like robots in terms of feeling empathy, and horses and other animals (and yes, other people too in many cases) are only objects to them, just like a stick of wood or a piece of furniture, to be used and then discarded.
Additionally, some people become what is known as “habituated”. Habituation simply means that experiencing, or witnessing things that at first might shock you, then become less shocking as you experience and/or witness them again, and if the experiences and witnessing continues to happen to an individual, as a defense mechanism, they become “habituated” to it so they don’t go nuts, suffer from severe depression, have health issues associated with stress, anxiety, etc instead.
And finally, many people who are involved in the killing of animals indirectly (and some suppliers do experience feelings of guilt from their involvement in disposing of horses to slaughter but they do it anyway, while other suppliers couldn’t care less what the horses go through), and also in the actual killing of animals at slaughterhouses, and also not-surprisingly at animal controls with high kill rate facilities, also suffer from PTSD, which almost entirely disables some people from working and/or even functioning well in their everyday lives, while with others, they go the other direction and become even more inclined toward indifferent, dissociative behavior regarding killing animals, and exhibit violence, rage, etc toward other people because of their PTSD.
The long-term solution to the “problem” is to ban horse slaughter entirely and only then will we see these “suppliers” stop breeding so many horses, and also throwing away the ones that just aren’t working out for them for whatever reason.
Trainers that train undeveloped youngsters far beyond their physical and mental limits would also have a choice to make in terms of training only for success as many of them do now, or training for success and longevity where the horse stays sound physically and mentally into more advanced years, and when they are “done” with them, the horse would have a better chance at another “career” (in the case of former racehorses for example), with the same “career” with another owner, or perhaps humane euthanasia might be the choice even though it costs, but wouldn’t cost nearly as much as it would if the trainer had to pay for 25 horses being “put down” because of abusive or faulty training practices instead of just 1 or 2 that have issues that make them no longer useable.
And for those who say “what about the neglect and cruelty cases?”, the response is that if we can rein-in what the FBI calls Animal Enterprise Terrorism (AET) attacks aka “seizure scams” perpetrated on people who do ask for help with their horses and other animals and instead, the “help” is having their horses and other animals seized by “retail rescues” who operate primarily from free money donations from other people (aka “enablers”) seized, they are torn to shreds in the media and to the public by the “rescues” in order to ramp-up thousands upon thousands of dollars in “pity/sympathy” and/or “crisis” donations, which is a huge source of income for “rescues” that do a lot of seizures (unfounded, bogus seizures are known as “seizure scams”, and thousands upon thousands of FREE money donations are collected by these “opportunist” rescues that enable them to do illegal seizures and run this scam), and then we have the attacks not based in fact that tax payers money is spent investigating (more on all of this in future blog posts because this is quite an intricate ploy, scam, and swindle in too many cases), then real rescues who really are there to help could be available to either help people with their animals right where the animals reside, and then they could collect donations to help a struggling animal owner get back on their feet, while also keeping their family members which happen to be animals, or in the cases where the owner does not want to keep their animals, the rescue can collect donations, take in the animals, evaluate them, find or provide sanctuary/hospice for some, and adopt-out horses and other animals that are candidates for great new homes.
If the people who currently use the entirely free disposal system that is commercial horse slaughter had to instead pay for humane euthanasia and also for the disposal of so many bodies instead of getting FREE disposal, than their greed-and-practicality-instincts would kick-in and they’d have no choice but to stop it, or else lose their shirts, and a lot of other material things they can’t live without because they are plainly just superficial individuals that only care about “me, me, me”, but portray themselves as the “victims” (as they wring their hands and cry crocodile tears as we have seen many of these sociopathic people do) when anyone calls them on their BS.
A Short Term “Solution”; Not Ideal, But Better Than Nothing:
The other “solution” which is not a long-term solution, nor does it address the multitude of issues connected to commercial horse slaughter, but would certainly cut-back on the numbers of horses going to slaughter furnished by the suppliers that keeps the “opportunists” in business is to have rules and regulations that most every legitimate industry has……….well, except for commercial horse slaughter that is.
More on particular rules and regulations in a later post that are not outrageous, but are instead practical, common-sense regulations that pertain to those involved as suppliers and/or opportunists in the commercial horse slaughter industry, and will protect horse owners who are anti-commercial horse slaughter, and also who do not participate in the horse slaughter industry in any way, from having rules and regulations placed upon them that pertain to food-chain animals, that cost them money, that restrict the freedom they now experience to travel freely with their horses to horse shows, events, camping, trail riding, etc.
With all that said however, introducing rules and regulations for those who deal in commercial horse slaughter directly or indirectly will in all probability make suppliers and opportunists alike portray themselves as the victims yet again of those mean old people who think that commercial horse slaughter is ghastly and uncivilized, but if we can’t get rid of it yet, we will work toward it costing those who deal in it instead of it being entirely free to throw horses away, and also to protect horses and the public from undue harm from the lack of scrutiny and regulation for those who make money from it.
Also discussed in up-coming posts will be WHY donation-funded, adoption-based horse “rescues” in California have been refusing to work toward, and help with and assist, in the enforcement of the 1998 law banning the commercial horse slaughter industry in CA, and why that hurts thousands of horses, mules, burros, and ponies, and other donation-funded and also self-funded rescues, sanctuaries, and hospices.
The simple and easy asking of questions whose answers can be fact-checked and verified should never be underestimated as a very powerful “tool for gaining the truth”.
Furthermore, acceptance by the followers of a donation-funded, and not self-funded where other people are not paying for euthanasia they may not agree with, animal rescue of the killing of a rescued animal without people demanding factual proof in writing by the rescues veterinarian of the killing as a “necessary evil” or even a “necessary kindness”, and not simply being done for convenience, out of selfishness, not wanting to spend money on an un-useable, unadoptable horse, or all of these things, condemns us as a society to the future acceptance of any kind of killing of animals and/or people, whether they want to die or not, and when its our time to die by another’s hand, we will be getting exactly what we deserve for our indifference, apathy, and acceptance when others died before us and we asked no questions, and turned a blind eye to stopping it.