The title of this article, “The American horse slaughter lobby fights to hold ground“, published by Time magazine (Time.com), states that the horse slaughter lobby is fighting to hold their ground against the fight to end it.
These lobbyists and politicians would be defeated if everyone who are against horse slaughter took action when called on.
Hundreds of thousands take every action they see against horse slaughter, but just as many rely on these people to make their voices heard for them too. Typical excuses are: I don’t have time. I’ll do it later. A lot of people are already doing. I’ve done it already and it didn’t change anything. What difference does it make?
Sound familiar? All of us have most likely felt like this way at times. The difference is true horse advocates shake it off and just do it — stay involved no matter what it takes or how things looks.
True horse advocates make the time, and expect it to make a difference. They are the Davids defeating the Goliaths more often than you might think.
If you don’t believe it, then look at the forces with million dollar pocketbooks that horse advocates are continually taking on and no matter how powerful they appear, they still have not won.
Look at this guy. Now you don’t think de los Santos is doing all of this with his own money. Who is funding him do you think?
The current face of the horse slaughter lobby is Rick de los Santos, a man from Roswell, New Mexico who wants to convert his beef processing plant into a horse butchering facility. De los Santos says economic opportunity was the reason for his application for USDA inspection, filed just days after the ban was lifted and granted on June 28th. Horsemeat is considered a delicacy in many countries, and since the 2007 ban, Mexico has been enjoying the product’s healthy profit margin. “Why continue to outsource?” Rick’s wife Sarah asked CBS this year. “I mean, this whole election is going to be about jobs.”
The de los Santos family enjoys the support of a number of members of Congress, some of whom commissioned the Government Accountability Office report that helped lift the ban on inspecting horsemeat processing plants in 2011. The report estimated that the average per head price of a horse in the lowest price category—the kind of horse that could once be sold to a slaughterhouse for between $400 to $600—decreased by nearly 21% when horsemeat processing stopped. It also cited 17 state veterinarians who claimed that the cessation of domestic slaughter was one of the two most significant factors contributing to the decline of horse welfare between 2007 and 2011. “While we all love horses and their contribution to our culture, the ban led to unintended consequences and increased inhumane treatment of animals,” said Rep. Jack Kingston, a Georgia Republican who commissioned the report alongside Democrats Herb Kohl and Sam Farr and Republican Roy Blunt.
Horse slaughter is not about creating jobs. It is not about saving horses from abandonment or abuse. It is not about an overpopulation of horses. And it is not about property rights (read Vivian’s winning argument here). This is about a particular circle of people profiting from supplying horse meat to people who eat it. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Insofar as the veterinarians, you can pay them to say anything. Take for example the veterinarians who make statements such as horse slaughter is humane euthanasia. They should lose their license to practice for even thinking such a thought, let alone stating it publicly and before Congress causing horses to suffer brutal and terrifying deaths in slaughterhouses, many conscious at the time they are hoisted with a chain by a back leg and their throats slit for bleeding out.
And what about this from arch-enemy of the horse, Bob Goodlatte?
Members of Congress fighting for horse slaughter still cite the report’s conclusions. “I have serious concerns that measures like [a federal ban on horse slaughter], while well-intentioned, would create a set of unintended consequences with the potential to negatively affect many aspects of the horse industry,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican who is vice chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.
Goodlatte’s view has been supported by the lobbying efforts of ranchers and slaughterhouses. Former Democratic congressman Charles Stenholm of Texas—“the main mouthpiece for the horse slaughter industry” in Washington, according to Pacelle—works on the issue just a few blocks from the Capitol at the lobbying firm of Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Matz PC. “It prevents the immediate creation of hundreds of good, American jobs,” said Stenholm in one of his critiques of a horse slaughter ban. His clients have included the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association and the Livestock Marketing Association, both of which endorse the practice.
Before the Democrats took over the House and Goodlatte was leader of the House Ag Committee, he moved heaven and earth to impede the progress of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act and other pieces of legislation with a similar goal. He stated publicly during that time that his intention was to see horse meat on every supermarket shelf in America.
Don’t you find it disturbing that Goodlatte, still a prominent politician with a great deal of influence in the agriculture industry does not care at all that horses are not traditional food animals and given a laundry list of drugs that prevents their meat from ever entering the human food chain? What other views does Goodlatte hold about foodstuffs that he doesn’t care that you eat, knowing what it contains?
Not surprisingly, we find a group whose abuses and egregious cruelties towards horses are on the list of supporters of horse slaughter. They are the gross betrayers of the true American cowboy — the rodeo cowboy. What a mockery of the name.
The GAO report? It was the pro slaughter lobby and their cohorts who “paid” for a report tilted in “their favor”. For the most part that’s what we got.
So what are we to do? We keep fighting to end horse slaughter and take horse meat off the menu.
Source report: http://goo.gl/rTydz
WHAT YOU CAN DO
The next two weeks are critical.
Please contact the President and ask him to (1) sign an Executive Order banning horse slaughter and export for slaughter or (2) immediately tell Congress to fast track the SAFE Act (H.R. 1094 and S. 541) and he will sign it into law.
Please contact your members of Congress and urge them to fast track the SAFE Act (H.R. 1094 and S. 541).
Pass this on to every single person you know who will make this phone call.
HOW TO DO IT
If you are nervous about calling the White House, rehearse this a few times and read it off the screen. Dial the number, and when you get an answer, say something like:
- “Hello, my name is [name] from [city/town], [state] and I am against horse slaughter. I am calling the President to do one of these two things right away:
Sign an Executive Order banning horse slaughter and export for slaughter or tell Congress to fast track the SAFE Act (H.R. 1094 and S. 541) so he can sign it into law — which ever is quicker.”
OR email the President using his webform:
Contact the White House
Members of Congress
Call them during business hours. Ask to speak with the aide who deals with calls about horse slaughter. Be prepared to speak with them, or leave a message. Be sure to give them your name and address so they will know that you are their constituent.
You may say something like:
- “Hello, my name is [name] from [city/town], [state] and I am against horse slaughter. I am calling on [Rep. _____ / Sen. ____] to use all of his power to fast track the SAFE Act (H.R. 1094 and S. 541) to establish a law barring the slaughter and export for slaughter of US horses as quickly as possible.”
Or leave the same message via their webforms any time day or night.
You can also endorse — support — the SAFE Act on PopVox which the aides use. They also guarantee they will see your endorsement and comments concerning it.
Thank you everyone.
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