Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Here we go...

Just when you think Congress could not underachieve any worse, we get the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act. My guess is this issue will tie legislators in knots whilst Iraq, et al. burns.
The House of Representatives is set to vote Sept. 7 on the Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, which would ban the killing of horses for human consumption, especially in foreign markets. Animal-rights organizations are urging action from members and horse lovers, and a celebrity-supported rally will be held in Washington, D.C. However, some maintain that the bill could "shut down an industry that provides a practical public service: disposal of the remains of dead horses" and prevent farmers from selling their horses or even using nails in horseshoes. [More]
I think this another one of those issues like ethanol that provides a distraction from the pressing problems currently facing our nation. By shaping campaign rhetoric around "saving horses" instead of trying to find a way to revitalize the middle levels of our economy, just to name one example, Congresshumans can appear caring without having to really risk making real decisions.

BTW, my friend and neighbor Don, who has merely 57 years in the horse business (standardbreds) and has cared for horses with compassion and professional skill, shakes his head in disbelief at this development. Maybe you have to bury a few horse carcasses before you de-anthropomorphize horses. They are not people with four legs.

Still, we seem to have no reticence telling other cultures what they should or should not eat. Willie Nelson, the noted moral philospoher, summed up the logical argument best perhaps: "It's just not right." And if there is one thing we seem to think we are good at it's deciding what is right.

Meanwhile, there are about a billion people in India who think we shouldn't eat cows. How come they are wrong?

Obviously numbers don't count.


milk007 said...

Don't be too eager to brush off this foolishness, John. To me this flows in the same vein as eliminating gestation crates in Florida...go to the place that cares the least a/b something and pass some laws that cater to your beliefs on animal welfare. We all know how important the swine industry is to Floridians, don't we?

"Condemned by animal rights advocates as cruel to pigs, the initiative had no organized opposition and passed with 55 percent of the vote. Almost immediately, Michael Markarian of the Fund for Animals announced that the victory would serve as the foundation to attack the use of crates by pig farmers in other states."

Similar situation...start with banning slaughter of horses and then go to sheep and then to goats and pretty soon we're talking a/b banning swine & beef slaughter. Yikes...!

rhoads said...

I was kind of hoping for a "Human Slaughter Prevention Act".

John Phipps said...

posilac: I didn't mean to seem to blow this issue off. I just think it should rank way below other issues as far as Congress's to-do list.

I am also less susceptible to "tip o' the iceberg" arguments than I used to be. Just because we set the speed limit at 65 doen't mean it will go to 55 or 75. Most of the rules for groups fluxuate both ways.

The strange identification owners have with horses does not seem to me tranferrable to pigs or even cows, and certainly not chickens. People will have to change their tastes first - and I don't see any indication that is going on.

rhoads: Amen, brother.