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Monday, December 10, 2012

Slog Poll: Horses

Posted by on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 4:58 PM



Comments (45) RSS

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Ipso Facto 47
Wow, thank you for sharing that @45.
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 12, 2012 at 10:01 PM · Report this
Sigh. I find myself growing further and further estranged from the animal rights movement, which for decades made perfect sense to me. It's starting to sound (or maybe always has sounded) like the pro-life movement. So much black-and-white moral grandstanding.

I appreciate hearing stories like mitten's (@45). The sharing of personal experience is much more effective than statements like "one does not put an animal to work for the animal's welfare," which just seem like conversation-enders.
Posted by Drusilla on December 12, 2012 at 3:37 PM · Report this
If anyone cares, I had this job for a living before I wised up (aka, worked two horses to death). I can confirm that it is animal abuse. Every driver in every city with horse and carriages has the same line: "these are sweet country horses who would be doing hard field labor if not for us nice horse lovers who give them lots of TLC...". I'm not saying every carriage company abuses their horses. But every carriage company does lie about the health and treatment of their horses. If you have seen the effects this job has on the animals (just the physical—don't get me started about the mental trauma) you would never take another ride again.

Case closed.
Posted by mitten on December 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM · Report this
Ipso Facto 44
For the record: I have not, in fact, defined the word "abuse" in the way that @41 claims. Search this page for that word, you'll see I used it only once -- in @40 when I said "...and some [horses] are abused."

I do not believe that all instances of employing animals are necessarily abusive. I think the use of assistance animals for disabled people is generally a good thing, for example, as long as the animals are well cared for.

My main gripe in this thread arose from Queen of Sleaze labeling raku an "extremist" for expressing his valid and reasonable concerns about the practice of forcing horses to work in dangerous city traffic and live (at least some of the time) in the confines of urban buildings. This practice is unnecessary and subjects the animals to needless risk and stress.
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 12, 2012 at 1:16 AM · Report this
Ipso Facto 43
Tip: When someone makes it a point to tell you what your own beliefs are (see @41), it's a safe bet that you're not dealing with someone of great intellectual integrity.
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 12, 2012 at 12:41 AM · Report this
Posted by six shooter on December 11, 2012 at 9:13 PM · Report this
Queen of Sleaze 41
Here is the problem with your argument. I never argued that the environment was natural. Nothing about horsekeeping is natural. Fences are not natural. Stalls are not natural. Hay and grain are not natural. Farrier and vet care are not natural. That does not make riding, driving, or keeping horses abusive though. In your eyes asking any animal to do any kind of work is abusive. I disagree. Horses are abused EVERYWHERE, so are dogs, cats, rabbits, etc, etc. But the carriage horses in Seattle are not among those animals and the job itself is not abuse. A horse (or any animal) doing work does not constitute abuse. Having worked in the horse rescue world I can tell you that actual abuse (as opposed to your definition of it) of carriage horses is just about unheard of. It is FAR more likely to occur with backyard owners

Further, horses are injured and killed every day in pasture accidents. One of my own horses, a rescue that I put countless hours into rehabbing dropped dead in the pasture out of the blue from an aneurysm. They are also injured and sometimes killed while trail riding, jumping, doing dressage, what have you. But I can tell you that incidences of injury and death are FAR less common in any domestic setting than they are in the wild. I think you have some pretty picture in your head of horses running free on the range. Life in the wild is harsh and often times painful and deadly. Horses are lucky to make it to their early or mid teens in the wild whereas horses in domestic settings, including a vast majority of carriage horses, routinely live to their late 20's, into their 30's, and I've even known one horse who lived happily and healthily to 42. Carriage horses in particular are far less likely to sustain injury or die than wild horses and many backyard horses precisely because the industry is extremely regulated and there is a ton of oversight. And in fact the owners have MORE incentive to keep their horses healthy, happy, and well cared than your average backyard horse BECAUSE they rely on them for all or part of their income.

This will be my last post here because arguing with you is like arguing with a religious person. You have a fundamentally different view than I do and I am not going to change that view. Nor are your anecdotes going to change what I know from my lifetime of experience. You can go on believing your animal rights philosophies and condemn all who do not agree with your views while doing absolutely nothing substantive to actually help the horses you are supposed to care so much about. Meanwhile I will continue to put my money where my mouth is by giving my own horses top notch care and devoting my time to working with rescues and horses that have been forced to endure actual neglect and abuse just as I have for many, many years.
Posted by Queen of Sleaze on December 11, 2012 at 7:37 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 40
@20 (Queen of Sleaze): "Absolutely nothing abusive going on except to animal rights extremists who don't know shit about horses or horse care. "

@26 (Queen of Sleaze): "You are very misguided if you believe otherwise, likely because you are completely clueless about horses and most definitely clueless about the carriage companies operating in Seattle. "

@32 (Queen of Sleaze): "you are so deluded. Based on the information you're regurgitating I can tell you're getting your talking points from PETA and/or the ASPCA." [...] "I would laugh you off if extremists like you weren't a serious threat to all horse owners and competitors."

@38 (Queen of Sleaze): You initiated the antagonism in this thread. At least have the integrity to admit that.

You can hem and haw about how great the horses' lives are, and claim to speak to the emotional state of the horses, and insist that the horse keepers really (really!) love their horses, but this fact remains a truism:

One does not put an animal to work in an unnatural environment (or any other) for the animal's welfare.

These people are profiting off the labor and novelty of keeping animals in a busy city. Clearly, some of these animals are injured, and some are killed, and some are abused. And for what? The profit of the horses' "owners".

If you try to sell it as anything else, you're being completely dishonest and disingenuous.
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 11, 2012 at 5:36 PM · Report this
Queen of Sleaze 38
LOL @35. You have no knowledge and no hard facts to back up your opinion so you lash out in a most immature way. I'm not sure how my opinion and my 26 years of actual first hand knowledge about horse care (you know, like, not regurgitated PETA propaganda that comes from people who know zip about actual real life horses) make me conservative somehow. I'm about as liberal as they come... And I form opinions based on reason, fact, and experience rather than baseless emotions and anthropomorphizing. Those horses are not scared. I lived in the city for many years and spent a lot of time working and hanging out downtown. I also patronize those carriage drivers whenever I have the extra cash. I have never, not once, seen a horse that was in a state or fear or terror out there on the street. Those horses have an immense amount of training and aren't phased by traffic and noises. Also, having talked with Seattle's drivers and having been acquainted with drivers in other cities I know that the drivers are as emotionally attached to their animals as any other good horse or pet owner. Equine professionals don't get into the business to get rich... Trust me, the money is absolutely nothing to write home to mom about. They get into it because they love horses and love working with them.

You are free to disagree with me. I won't tell you to shut the fuck up because I acknowledge your right to have a differing opinion from my own. I'm just countering information given here with my own experience and knowledge. This isn't your own personal echo chamber and if you want to argue your view you would be much more effective if you behaved like an adult and provided some semblance of intelligent reasoning in defense of your opinion.
Posted by Queen of Sleaze on December 11, 2012 at 3:21 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 37
@36: Isn't it a little early to be drinking, chief?

While I did respond to QoS's antagonism and insults in kind, the discussion at least centered around claims and counter-claims.

Until you opened your mouth, that is. Your post is nothing but so much hate-filled drivel -- the equivalent of plugging your fingers in your ears and screaming obscenities. You've contributed nothing to the conversation.

What a great detective you must have been. Imbecile.
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 11, 2012 at 3:20 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 36
Fuck you too, shit-for-brains. You and that raku idiot are the two biggest nuts on this forum. Telling everyone who disagrees with you to piss off may work in your chidish mind, but that's not how things work in the real world. Grow the fuck up.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty on December 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 35
@32: Oh shut the fuck up already, "Queen of Sleaze"!

You've done nothing but spew invective and unsubstantiated claims, while raku has attempted to enlighten people about the hazardous conditions of exploited animals. That's right, I said exploited animals.

News Flash! People who love horses DO NOT force them to work in the dangerous, frightening environment of busy downtown city traffic (or stable them in/under city buildings) for the sole purpose of making a buck off their labor and novelty. This is not a loving thing to do.

Go find a conservative blog to grind your axes on, you fucking sleazy asshole. And take that loser Twatt from Denver with you.
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 11, 2012 at 2:03 PM · Report this
God's best (I'm not saying 'good') argument in Job.
Posted by Gerald Fnord on December 11, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
dwightmoodyforgetsthings 33
I'm not a big fan of riding, but I do like horses personally. And out of all the different kinds of manure I've had to deal with , there's no kind I'd rather shovel.

(Horse, cattle, turkey, goat, sheep, pig, human, dog, cat, and chicken, I've dealt with a lot of shit in my time.)
Posted by dwightmoodyforgetsthings on December 11, 2012 at 10:59 AM · Report this
Queen of Sleaze 32
@27 you are so deluded. Based on the information you're regurgitating I can tell you're getting your talking points from PETA and/or the ASPCA. You do realize that's like quoting "facts" you heard on Fox News right? These are the people who claimed that all of the NYC carriage horses have tumors on their legs. They are in fact called chestnuts and every horse on the planet has them. They are they evolutionary remnant of what used to be a toe. I would laugh you off if extremists like you weren't a serious threat to all horse owners and competitors. Groups like PETA would love to see riding, driving, and horse ownership banned and all horses set free on the range... Where they will starve or freeze to death before they reach the age of 15.
Posted by Queen of Sleaze on December 11, 2012 at 9:12 AM · Report this
@20 - False. I know from first-hand experience that your account is not correct. @19 is correct, except I wouldn't call them "technically already illegal." They are legal, but they are a travesty.

@12 Did you read the article in Sunday's NYT about horse meat? I think that's where I read it. Today's horse meat is so riddled with performance drugs that other countries are refusing it.

I think it's perfectly fine to eat horses if you are going to eat pigs. I personally wouldn't eat a pig, though.
Posted by mitten on December 11, 2012 at 8:13 AM · Report this
Ziggity 29
@27: one horse's death every 1-2 years seems like pretty good odds. Certainly better than pedestrians or dogs in cars or outdoor cats. But LOL math charismatic megafauna whatevs.

@12: I've actually had horse meat - it's still considered a delicacy in parts of Italy. Similar taste to beef, but sweeter. Though for all I know it could've been beef that they serve to tourists for a laugh.
Posted by Ziggity on December 11, 2012 at 1:31 AM · Report this
I could not help myself. I had to, as a smart-ass, choose the third option.
Posted by Mugwumpt on December 11, 2012 at 1:05 AM · Report this
raku 27
#20: Seriously? A horse just died in Portland last year while pulling the same horsedrawn carriages as we have in Seattle. There have been 13 crashes involving horsedrawn carriages in NYC this year as of a couple months ago. Crashes and horse deaths happen in pretty much every city in the US where they're allowed on city streets - it's pure luck there haven't been well publicized crashes or horse deaths in Seattle. Horsedrawn carriages are banned on city streets all over the world - Toronto, Paris, London, Beijing, etc. - even in places where they eat horses.

Even if you believe horses are happy to be tied up and pull people around all day long, they very clearly aren't happy on city streets weaving through traffic, on pavement, surrounded by exhaust, crowds, and constant loud noises.

Do your caring horse people friends keep their horses on pavement with cars and loud crowds zooming around them on their idyllic Eastside farms? If that's how loving horse people take care of horses, they must, right? Or is the Eastside standard for loving horse people to only take care of their horses 50% of the time?……
Posted by raku on December 11, 2012 at 12:16 AM · Report this
Queen of Sleaze 26
@22, I know where you're talking about because my ex lived across the street for several years as well. Yes, they dispatch out of that building but the horses actually live on the eastside very near to my own farm. They are trailered to and from the base. The owners and drivers are lovely, caring, knowledgeable horse people. I love horses, I've ridden and owned horses for 26 years. If there was even a hint of wrongdoing I would wholeheartedly stand in the camp of protecting the horses' well being. There is not, those horses are cared for just as well and in many cases far better than your average backyard horse. You are very misguided if you believe otherwise, likely because you are completely clueless about horses and most definitely clueless about the carriage companies operating in Seattle.
Posted by Queen of Sleaze on December 10, 2012 at 10:42 PM · Report this
balderdash 25
Having had horses growing up, at least the later parts, I can say that horses are kinda okay, I guess. I mean, they're sorta cool? But they're basically big, easily-scared dogs that don't fetch and you can't snuggle with. And they have terrifying rocks for feet. If you desperately want a dog that is too big and not at all snuggly, go ahead and get a horse, I guess. Riding them is sort of fun, for a while.
Posted by balderdash on December 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM · Report this
I think this is a poll to test how negative or positive Sloggers are. Right now, it seems like the results are positive to mixed.
Posted by floater on December 10, 2012 at 10:11 PM · Report this
this guy I know in Spokane 23
I would like to vote both "yay" and "shut up."
Posted by this guy I know in Spokane on December 10, 2012 at 9:47 PM · Report this
I don't know anything about taking care of horses, but I do know that some of those horses you see downtown live in the basement of an old building in South Lake Union. I used to live there, often saw the horses coming back home at night, and asked the guy leading them. At least part of the time, they sleep in a basement near the trolley barn.
Posted by BallardBoy on December 10, 2012 at 9:29 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 21
Why are so many animal rights activists so stupid? It's such a noble cause, but it's absolutely dominated by mental midgets.
Posted by Matt from Denver on December 10, 2012 at 9:28 PM · Report this
Queen of Sleaze 20
LOL @19. Those horses are extremely well taken care of and live on lovely farms on the eastside with plenty of down time. The carriages are so light any adult person could pull them with very little effort. Horses thrive when given a job and a purpose and those horses are perfectly happy and relaxed in their work. Absolutely nothing abusive going on except to animal rights extremists who don't know shit about horses or horse care.
Posted by Queen of Sleaze on December 10, 2012 at 8:59 PM · Report this
raku 19
Seattle needs to ban horsedrawn carriages. They're technically already illegal under animal abuse laws, SPD just needs to arrest and jail the abusers.
Posted by raku on December 10, 2012 at 8:51 PM · Report this
camlux 18
Forks: too pointy? Just right? Sporks are best?
Posted by camlux on December 10, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
Queen of Sleaze 17
I love horses... Got my first pony at 6 (yes, totally spoiled) and never looked back. I pretty much spend all of my disposable income on them but it's totally worth it because nothing puts things right better a ride and a good nuzzle at the end of a hard and/or crappy day :)
Posted by Queen of Sleaze on December 10, 2012 at 8:22 PM · Report this

Thank you Kate Beaton.
Posted by snakes on December 10, 2012 at 7:20 PM · Report this
douchus 15
Convention is a shitty reason.
Posted by douchus on December 10, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
@12 Because horses are valuable for plowing and transportation so a taboo against eating them in desperate times developed, in the same way dogs are useful at hunting and a lot of cultures don't feel comfortable eating them. In subsistence farming you may be really tempted to eat your hunting dog or horse in the dead of winter, but it guarentees that next year you'll be completely boned. In a lot of societies that rely on oxen for draft or have diets heavy in milk and cheese the same kind of provisions against eating your cow have developed.
Posted by Hanging in C.C on December 10, 2012 at 6:49 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 13
@12: Good question. And the answer, of course, is that it's not OK to eat either!

Animals are not food. Animals are friends. This is food.
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 10, 2012 at 6:37 PM · Report this
douchus 12
Why is it okay to eat cows, but not horses?
Posted by douchus on December 10, 2012 at 6:32 PM · Report this
Ziggity 11
@9: I came here to say just that.
Posted by Ziggity on December 10, 2012 at 6:31 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 10
*POW!* -- And they're off!

"Yay!" gets off to a good start with an early lead followed by "Shutup Cienna"... "Neigh!" is sluggish off the blocks... "Yay!" and "Shutup Cienna" are looking good... It's neck and neck... OH! "Shutup Cienna" makes a strong push to overtake "Yay!"... now it's really heating up!
Posted by Ipso Facto on December 10, 2012 at 6:30 PM · Report this
Zebes 9
I love horses best of all the animals. I love horses, they're my friends.
Posted by Zebes on December 10, 2012 at 6:06 PM · Report this
If you live in the kind of place where land is so cheap that riding horses is affordable even if you are not rich, then riding is not a bad consolation. If I were rich, I'd take up riding before golf or tennis.
Posted by Prettybetsy on December 10, 2012 at 5:56 PM · Report this
blip 7
Posted by blip on December 10, 2012 at 5:54 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6

Fun fact: I rode a stallion every day starting at age 5.

Horses ftw!

Please be nice to ponies and don't ride them when you are too big ...
Posted by Will in Seattle on December 10, 2012 at 5:26 PM · Report this
I'm with @2. Horses are fine, beautiful and all that, but up close they are kind of scary because they are large. Ponies are OK.
Posted by MLM on December 10, 2012 at 5:23 PM · Report this
Horses, what?

To ride? To admire? To bet on? To eat?

Posted by Brooklyn Reader on December 10, 2012 at 5:17 PM · Report this
originalcinner 3
Goats! Not horses.
Posted by originalcinner on December 10, 2012 at 5:11 PM · Report this
I am scared of horses. Ponies are okay, though. But it has to be a pony. Miniature horses are NOT OKAY.
Posted by gloomy gus on December 10, 2012 at 5:04 PM · Report this
Dougsf 1
Neigh, by which I obviously mean, "yes."
Posted by Dougsf on December 10, 2012 at 5:01 PM · Report this

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