For the past two weeks in the series Mrs. Grandma Horse Lover Speaks On End Of Life Issues Part l and Part ll, I’ve talked about end of life issues for horses, guinea pigs, and now goldfish. (I wasn’t aware of goldfish Sadie’s name until my granddaughter, Blondie, and her friend removed her from the garden pond for Christian burial.) Even small as Sadie was, however, her demise posed somewhat of a problem for two little girls–they didn’t bury her deep enough and a number of flies swarmed about her grave. Which helps illustrate the point I ended with last week: Not all beloved animals are created equal. Some are small and easily disposed of, some leave huge, rotting corpses.
This is where horse slaughter facilities–recently legalized in Oklahoma–come in.
As I confessed in Part l, I’m not a lawyer, a politician, an animal rights activist, or politically correct. I’m just Mrs. Grandma Horse Lover and owner out here on the home place presenting a viewpoint my readers won’t get from most media outlets or animal rights groups.
The term ‘horse slaughter’ conjures up horrifying images, so I’ll attempt to present some basic ‘horse slaughter’ issues in the more pleasant terms of an allegorical tale nobody will ever read in popular media. Hold on to your saddle horn, here we go.
Mr. Joe Not-So-Cool, lives in a studio apartment in a big city. He doesn’t have a parking space for a car, so for his fortieth birthday his mom gave him a Segway for his transportation needs. Cars contribute to global warming and she wants him to do his part to minimize his carbon footprint.
Joe, however, has a secret yearning (hidden from his mother) to own a pickup truck all rigged out with big tires, chrome rims, and heavy-duty suspension. A Dodge Ram truck, if possible. In his dreams, he sees himself with his arm hangin’ out the side window, the wind blowin’ on his balding spot…super, super cool.
Joe’s Super Cool Dream:
Joe’s Kinda Crummy Reality:
While Joe is riding his Segway to work one day, a big billboard catches his attention: We Buy Junk Ram Trucks.
He rolls up to the junkyard’s chain-link fence and stares in horrified disbelief at a giant crushing machine loaded with a beautiful Dodge Ram truck. The rest of the yard is stuffed full of other Dodge trucks and some of them are still running! Then right before his very eyes, the crushing machine mercilessly closes. With a scream of wrenching metal and shattering glass, the crusher smashes Joe’s dream truck flat as a pancake. Its lubricating fluids drip slowly onto the ground.
What kinds of heartless dingbats would crush a dream like that?
Joe whirls around on his Segway and heads for his office at top speed where he immediately gets on the internet to find how he can help stop the carnage. The search engine suggests a truck lovers’ group called Dodge Trucks Forever. Joe promptly clicks the link. A large group of truck lovers in his area welcome him into the organization with a vegetable mixer type party.
A few days later, some of his new friends hop on his Segway with him and they roll up to the state capital to hold a press conference and try to influence laws about Dodge Ram truck crushing. Some of his new friends start making angry, threatening gestures and he is surprised by their rudeness, but hey, these are Dodge Ram trucks they are trying to save.
The Opposing Viewpoint are on the capitol steps dodging the rotten eggs and moldy tomatoes as they shout, “Hey, y’all, wait a minute…! What’s everybody supposed to do with all the old Dodge Ram trucks out there? The wrecks? The lemons? The ones without motors, or drive-trains, or that will cost more to fix than even our government and its apparently bottomless bankroll can justify?”
Joe wavers. His social life has finally picked up a little–the vegetable mixers and what not–so he’s been too busy to think about all that just yet.
(For the sake of this strange story, Mrs. Grandma Horse Lover is going to take the part of “The Opposing Viewpoint”, now. And in the interest of brevity, we will just call her Grandma.)
Grandma approaches Joe’s Segway, scraping tomato seeds from her hair. “Joe, you seem like a nice guy. I admire your kind heart, but maybe you just don’t have all the facts of life.”
Facts of life? Ha. In spite of living in the cramped apartment in his mom’s attic, he has recently met a girl and might soon get his own place. Nobody needs to give him facts of life. He plants his feet on his Segway, determined not to let himself be confused by Grandma’s hocus-pocus facts since his mind is already made up. Waving his sign, he shouts with renewed vigor, “Dodge trucks forever…Dodge trucks forever…Heartless goobers!”
“Joe, please…not everyone is like you,” Grandma yells over the noise. “Some people actually use their Dodge Ram trucks and fill them full of very expensive diesel. Some of us ranchers and farmers have fleets of them. They carry our kids and grandkids around, Joe. We love them. But they don’t last forever. Eventually we need new Dodge Ram trucks. This truck crushing issue is complicated. It has no one-size-fits-all solution, Joe. What works for me as Grandma with my rows of rusting Dodge trucks out in the pasture might not work for someone in his backyard. The neighbors will complain, Joe. We have to have somewhere to go with our clunkers, no matter how much we love them. If you have solutions for this problem you and your friends are creating, I will consider them. Joe.”
Please join me next week for Part lV of the Mrs. Grandma Horse Lover Speaks On End Of Life Issues series to find out if Mr. Joe Not-So-Cool lays any solutions on Grandma, or if he just kicks his Segway into high gear and flees to consult the Dodge Trucks Forever website.
Until next time, God bless all y’all.