Petlife is powered by Vocal creators. You support Treble Ranch by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Petlife is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

The Issue With Horse Slaughter

An Unconventional Opinion

I want to preface this blog post by saying that NO horse deserves to be slaughtered. I despise those who participate in this business and want nothing more than for it to be shut down permanently. Inhumane slaughtering of any animal is detestable. Now, here is where it gets controversial.

We created this issue.

We, humans, are the reason horses need to be slaughtered.

We are the reason there are far more horses than can be sustained by the current population, despite the efforts of numerous rescues and sanctuaries. 

Those who protest the existence of slaughter yet continue to breed backyard horses are hypocrites.

Those who discard their horses in old age or injury are the problem.

Now, before you get offended, there are many people who come upon hard times and have no choice but to surrender their beloved companions, and that is understandable as long as it's done responsibly. Also, breeding operations to produce competition horses are necessary to the sustainability of our sport and should not cease to produce top young horses. 

However, the reason slaughter exists is because we have bred more horses than can be provided for. Backyard breeding, the racehorse industry, and irresponsible owners have created a category of horses who have nowhere else to go. If they were not taken to slaughter, they would likely be left to die. Which is more cruel? I honestly am not sure. 

This category of horses includes those who are elderly, badly injured, or just plain unlucky. They pass through auction with no bidders, no interest. They have reached the end of the line. What alternative is there? While there are many very generous individuals who dedicate their lives to providing sanctuaries to these horses with no other options, they only have the time and money to support so many. They make a huge difference in the lives of countless equines, but cannot save them all. These organizations generally rely on donations and volunteers to continue with their mission, both of which are in shorter supply than most would prefer. Many individuals would rather purchase a horse from another owner with a full medical and training history, instead of taking a chance on an unknown horse from an auction or a rescue. 

So, what is the solution? 

I believe the first step is to begin regulating the breeding of all types of horses. From those bred for sport to those bred for racing to those bred for trail riding. By decreasing the number of horses in the market, we decrease the number of those who have no home and nowhere to go. 

Next, we prioritize the rehabilitation, retraining, and adoption of the horses who are in danger of becoming one headed to slaughter. Increase the number of trainers dedicated to this mission and rally the equestrian community to volunteer, donate, and adopt these horses from the trainers and organizations aiming to help. In a few years, the breeding restrictions would begin to lower the number of horses needing this kind of aid.

Eventually, the diminishing number of horses and increasing rate of adoption would no longer leave horses to slaughter. 

I will admit that here are disadvantages to this result. Horse prices would increase as the supply of suitable mounts on the market decrease. Also, breeding businesses would loose money as the new regulations limit their crop of foals each year. However, aren't these sacrifices worth ending the horse slaughter trade? Of ending the inhumane treatment of so many innocent creatures? Of saving so many lives who would end prematurely without a chance for rescue and redemption?

The problem with this overpopulation of horses is that ending slaughter all at once would result in just as many fatalities as it would if the business continued. Horses would be abandoned, tossed out like trash, left to fend for themselves and die a slow, agonizing death at the mercy of nature. Unfortunately, slaughter is a necessity at this point in our society. The way to end horse slaughter is to take these small steps to limit the population of horses left to board that trailer. 

Now Reading
The Issue With Horse Slaughter
Read Next
A Pet Owner's Journey (Pt. 10)