Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Peaceful Ridge Rescue cut the red ribbon at its home in Davie, Florida on Saturday, March 16, 2013. Local government dignitaries participated in the ceremony to officially open the horse rescue facility. More than a few horses also were present for the event. The rescue motto is "A Home for Every Horse".

A few days ago a friend in White Plains, New York told me that a small breeding farm in his neck of the woods had reduced its foal output. Demand for horse acquisition had diminished during the Great Recession.

A veterinarian recently lamented that too many horse owners could not afford to feed their horses, could not place them elsewhere, and could not afford to euthanize them and dispose of the remains. The economy impacts equines.

I do not have reliable statistics to answer the questions. How many horses nationwide have suffered the consequences of the Great Recession over the last few years? How many horse owners bought horses even though their financial circumstances did not justify taking on such a heavy responsibility? Does our equine population exceed our carrying ability, at least in multiple locations, with no likelihood that the excess populations can be relocated to areas with greater carrying capacity?

Perhaps, over time, the market place sorts it all out. Certainly that could happen and likely will happen if we view horses as a commodity, not unlike wheat, or petroleum, or the proverbial widgets. There will be a new equilibrium. But for the most part in the U.S. we do not perceive horses to be widgets, or as mere commodities to be bought and sold like inanimate objects, or even like pork bellies.

There are those who truly care about animal welfare, including horse welfare. But they will tell you that when the equine population significantly exceeds the economic carrying capacity of a given area, it may be more humane to allow some horse owners the option of selling their horses for slaughter, ostensibly in the least distressing manner possible for the horses, then to simply let them die a lingering death over time under the ownership of people trapped by their inability to either care for or relocate their animals. You do not need to accept that viewpoint. You can insist that the only humane alternative, the only moral alternative, the only ethical alternative, is for communities to provide rescue facilities.

Over a period of several years local governments have struggled to fund basic governmental services, including police, fire, schools and programs for the elderly and the homeless among the human animal population also struggling to survive. So the resources to fund the demands for equine rescue services will not typically be provided by government at levels equal to the need. And that is why non-governmental equine rescue services find a ready demand for their efforts.

If you are one of those people who believe that it is morally and ethically wrong to control equine populations by treating horses as just another commodity, as simply raw material for the slaughterhouse, and you cannot ignore the fact that some horses will die lingering deaths caused by malnutrition and lack of medical care due to owner neglect, then perhaps you have a moral duty and an ethical duty to pony up. It takes money to save horses. It takes money to provide a home for every horse. It takes money to provide a home for any horse.

Maybe some of you read my comments about horse meat in my prior blog. If you are convinced of your own virtue, convinced of the rightness of your own values, and your values are not consistent with horse slaughter or horse abandonment, then find your checkbook and write a check payable to Peaceful Ridge Rescue, which is s a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Better yet, go to their website at http://peacefulridgerescue.com/
and click on the "donate" button. Consult with your CPA and make sure your donation is big enough to reduce your federal income tax liability. Don’t be a neigh-sayer. Make a difference. Mount up, Ladies and Dudes.
Gary D. Malfeld

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