Joe returning to the capitol with his friends
In Part lll of the Mrs. Grandma Horse Lover Speaks On End Of Life Issues series, we left Joe Not-So-Cool in a quandary: Should he try to bluff his way through Grandma’s tough questions, or flee to consult the Dodge Trucks Forever website?
Grandma tells me Joe fled, but he returned with friends who got way out of hand while they were firing their water guns all over the place. Joe’s Segway overturned and one of the other Dodge Truck Forever activists accidentally ran over his bald spot. An ambulance rushed Joe away. Grandma heard later he was released from a nearby facility with a scraped pate and an extra Band-Aid. She can’t positively confirm that.
Grandma did confirm, however, no one on either side of the truck crushing issue changed their minds. Just like very few on either side of the horse slaughter issue change their minds.
So, why do you keep blabbering on about it Mrs. Grandma Horse Lover? some are asking.
This is why: Aside from the fact I have a vested interest in my horses and their welfare, the horse slaughter debate directly affects animal agriculture, in which Gramps and I are in up to our eyeballs. By that I mean, it’s how we live, feed ourselves, our kids, our grandkids, and many others around the globe besides.
Whether they know it or not, anyone who eats meat is in this issue up to their eyeballs, too, because a lot of the same folks who want to stop horse slaughter for any and every reason also want to end all meat animal slaughter. In this day and time, we have a giant collision of world views compounded by ignorance of how our daily food is produced.
But, those are subjects for another time. This series of posts is mainly about end of life issues for horses, so I will actually approach some animal rights websites with an open mind seeking solutions for what other alternatives than horse slaughter are open to me when my horse and I must part.
The first site I approached offered fiery rhetoric, talking-head celebrities, and an embarrassing photo of a woman without no drawers on lying on a giant broccoli. (Uh…ew?) Unfortunately, I could find no solutions except no-kill shelters. (This issue is way too complicated for no-kill shelters alone to solve.)
The next site assumed a one-size-fits-all stance for horse “relinquishment”, (that is politically correct speak for “getting rid of your horse”,) but at least the site attempted to provide some solutions.
On that site horses were listed as pets along with dogs, ferrets, fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, rabbits, and rats. Horses were the only animal on the list that wouldn’t fit in most peoples’ houses, with a size discrepancy of about twelve-hundred-pounds, give or take a couple hundred. As I pointed out in Part ll of the series, the size factor poses a basic problem in end of life issues for horses. This might, too:
Every horse owner needs to plan for the entire life of his or her horse. Carefully locate a caring home for your horse, if you can no longer keep him.
~Humane Society website
(The emphasis is mine.)
The oldest horse on record, Old Billy, a barge horse, born in 1760 and died at age 62. Yikes. Did Old Billy’s owners make a sixty-two-year life plan for him?
Dogs generally live ten-to-fifteen years. Cats a year or two longer if they’re house cats. Rodents lifespans are much less. The goldfish in my garden pond mentioned in Part lll of the series generally live two-to-three years.
But, well cared for horses generally live over twenty-years. Some thirty, or more. Many people can’t even commit to a marriage relationship or keep track of their kids that long, but they’re supposed to plan for the entire lifespan of their horse?
As usual, since this is a blog post and not a book, in the next part of the series I’ll try to come back with the site’s horse relinquishment solutions to see if one, or more, might work for Mrs. Grandma Horse Lover out here on the home place.
God bless all y’all and enjoy Celtic Thunder doing Heartland.
*These artists don’t necessarily endorse my blog, I just love ’em.