December 15, 2011
War Horse: An Unbreakable Bond Between a Boy and His Horse
Steven Spielberg's moving new film is a reminder of why horses have earned our protection, not betrayal
Movie-goers who flock to Steven Spielberg's must-see film "War Horse" this holiday season are certain to be moved and inspired by this epic celebration of the unbreakable bond between a young man and his horse.
An age-old fact and a burning question
Much like the "Black Beauty," "War Horse" is destined to become a classic portrait of our special connection to horses. Joey, the title character, exemplifies a fact that those who love horses already know: Horses are sensitive, loyal companions for life, capable of engendering compassion and devotion from people, even in a time of war. But as they leave the theater, filmgoers may want to ask themselves how, then—as a nation of horse lovers—can we possibly allow Congress to turn back the clock and pave the way for the resumption of horse slaughter on American soil?
Congress is putting horses in danger
The Agriculture Appropriations bill passed by Congress and signed into law last month stripped the House-approved language prohibiting the use of U.S. Department of Agriculture funds for horse slaughter inspections, a defunding provision which had been in every agriculture spending bill since 2005.
Do you want to bring horse slaughter back to America?
What Congress has done is reverse 6 years of U.S. policy against subsidizing foreign-owned horse slaughter plants. And what this could do is pave the way for the return of horse slaughter to America. Allowing federal funds—an estimated 5 million of your tax dollars per year—to be used to inspect horse-slaughter plants is a waste of tax dollars. It's also a step backward. Americans don't eat horses, and they don't want them inhumanely killed for human consumption in Europe or Asia.
Horse slaughter isn't humane
More than 70 percent of Americans are against horse slaughter. They understand that horses are not raised as food animals but as our companions. Horse slaughter is not equivalent to humane euthanasia. The slaughter process is horribly cruel; many horses suffer inside the bloody, panic-stricken environment of a slaughterhouse, especially during the misguided and often repeated attempts to render them unconscious. Prior to closure of the last domestic slaughter plant, USDA inspectors documented numerous instances of cruelty.
Horse slaughter is a betrayal
Slaughter is a horrible betrayal of horses who, like Joey, have faithfully served mankind with loyalty and trust throughout history. The cruel and predatory slaughter industry is motivated solely by profit, with no regard for animal welfare, making the transport and killing of horses for their meat a brutal practice—not humane euthanasia.
You can be a hero for horses
Help prohibit the slaughter of American horses in the U.S. as well as the export of American horses for slaughter.