Monday, May 30, 2011

My Soapbox - Skip if you don't like...

 If the environment and other push button topics are on your avoid radar, please skip and we will soon return to our regularly broadcasted selection of van and mundane life issues, BUT if it is on your radar, keep reading:

Okay so I was sitting here today watching my roommate eat chicken. I have been meat free for over 2 months. I quit counting but it was logged on the blog. Its just become a way of life and I like it and should I get another roommate, I prefer the herbivore variety. Anyways, a friend sent me a link to PETA and I am normally not a fan of their work, their track record, general bashing of all breeders and far to graphic scenes geared at children. BUT I was very surprised when I clicked the link in my email to their blog asking me to help promote the PETA 360 plan. Well, I signed it and hopefully it makes a difference to someone somewhere particularly as a horse lover (and having worked for a farm that raced thoroughbreds).

What is it: It basically asks for the horse racing industry to pay 360 dollars per entry fee and registration to a retirement fund for horses. I agree. Greyhounds should as well but less money. According to the article (which I haven't verified for myself) there are 30,000 Thoroughbred colts and fillies produced each year and a given studding with one famous stallion is 150,000 who in one season bred 100 mares. Now given those stats in addition to a poor economy and from friends and family members, you can easily pick up a sound, younger well trained horse for nearly free. Why are so many baby horses being churned out? And why is it so much to ask for them to fork over a few more dollars? There is no shortage of horses but yet tracks are closing or losing money more and more. So why isn't there a general decline of horses being born to reflect this? I get it, if the economy was better, and more people watched horse races, then I could see these numbers. But really, let me borrow a quote from Avatar, "this is sad, so sad."

In addition, now that horse slaughter is illegal in the US, they just ship them overseas for a crueler death and longer ride. The horse in the ad (its not incredibly graphic but the point is well made) is related to Eight Bells and was sold to a slaughterhouse in Japan. I can't imagine what that horse went through to get there, then put on a ship and taken to Japan. Would they have not saved money to simply humanely put this horse out of its misery? Adding to the fact that a HORSE that GIVES SO MUCH should be entitled to a decent retirement in a field somewhere and if that isn't doable, then there are darn well too many being born and too much greed in the industry.

When cats and dogs retire from hobby breeders, they either go to a home to be a lavished pet where they don't compete for attention or they stay in the original environment, aren't horses entitled to the same? If not, why not?

Anyways, here is the link to sign if you feel inclined. I don't typically support PETA but this is an issue we can agree on: along with vegetarian (sorry haven't gotten to the vegan part), no fur, leather or animal experimentation or circuses. Guess that makes me a flaming liberal that still agrees with gun rights (and responsible hunting for those so inclined but not the mass gun dogs being produced, although I support responsible breeding and since mill isn't a definable thing, lets say a breeder should know their animals, where their pups or kits or whatever end up and have a clue who they are selling too besides vet care, healthy diet, clean area, cage free, and do a check on prospective homes before sale, AND provide a health guarantee and take back option).

And while I was over at PETA, take a look at the shelter checklist. Its actually right on the marker and I would expect no different (minus the cages) from anyone with animals as pets, breeders or simply pet sitting for someone. Too many shelters are dirty, managed poorly and don't take care of their animals. The only thing  I disagree with on the shelter checklist is to take any animal in in any condition. No kill shelters are needed just as much as the county pound. But both should be making ALL efforts including use of volunteers, low cost clinics ect to ensure every possible adoption is made and if not, use of trades to places where adoption is most likely, willing to do out of town adoptions, and not adopting animals from other countries brought into our pounds for adoption when we have too many animals needing homes now. Healthy animals, good potential home checking, clean kennels and an active volunteer/foster base is so important. I am particularly fond of Best Friends Animal Society and their stance on Pit Bulls. Punish the Deed, not the breed as the saying goes.

And one more thing: I don't play Frontierville on facebook because you have to club rattlesnakes. If children are doing this, where do lines get drawn? I don't find the beating of any animal ethical or responsible nor any games promoting slaughterhouses or animal fighting/abuse. Yep that includes the one on Android market which makes me sad because I love the Android marketplace and was considering buying an android device but for now I will stay with my Nokia E71 running the Ovi store and the Symbian OS. Its like iphone meets blackberry and doesn't include cruelty in its app selection.

So with that said and I am now off my soapbox: I don't take any liability for PETA nor do I endorse many of their practices or campaigns, nor do I endorse their possible connections to this and that.
There is good and bad in everything and as it stands, PETA has the money (but they won't be getting mine because I want to see where my money goes), and I take these issues to heart so I will sign my name proudly if it saves even one animal, so be it and it didn't cost me a penny. Believe you me, if the opportunity presented itself to lobby congress and the President for that matter, I would do it and put my money where my mouth is, and heck, someday I may. Its in the dream category for right now. I will stick to being eco friendly in my van (and even riding a bike around and parking the van like a house to save gas) and writing letters, sending emails and attending rallies to make my points loud and clear.

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