by PATRICK BATTUELLO
I was at Saratoga Race Course yesterday – along with 40 or so other activists. We were there, of course, to protest the systemic abuse and killing of horses for entertainment. On this gorgeous upstate-NY summer day, 30,000 souls merrily marched through the front gates, anticipating a social scene practically unrivaled on the East Coast.
Sure, Saratoga beckons the hardened “players,” but it also attracts the kinds of demographics you won’t find at America’s more pedestrian (read: cheaper) racetracks – middle-class families, sunscreen and coolers in tow; the upper crusts, styling young and gaudy old alike. And yes, there were limos.
So, with signs hoisted, we dutifully (and respectfully) offered knowledge – flyers containing the facts and figures of this site, the irrefutable truth on Racing. Some took them, most did not; a great many, in fact, were confrontational, even downright nasty:
“Get a job.”
“Get a life.”
“Don’t you have something better to do?”
“Why don’t you spend your time worrying about humans?”
“You’re idiots; those horses are treated better than people.”
“We’re going to have a lot of fun in there!”
“Can’t wait to win some money!”
“Yeah, I bet you’re voting for Hillary too.”
One, to a friend (in a threatening tone): “Better keep me away from them.”
“You people make me sick.”
And, my personal favorite: “You’re obscene.”
Yes, it is we, the advocates speaking in behalf of innocent, defenseless animals, who are the obscene ones.
And so it was with this backdrop that those KIA [killed in action] lists we were disseminating prior to had, by day’s end, grown just a bit longer. Dead: 3-year-old Zamjara in the 1st, 4-year-old Rootformejustin in the 5th.
The party, alas, had been marred – if only a tad, if only for a day.
See also “Two More Killed at Del Mar
Two More Killed at Del Mar
Starting Gate Saratoga Racecourse. Saratoga.com.