Deaths of rescued slaughter bound horses a painful reminder not much has changed

HORSE SLAUGHTER (by Vivian Grant Farrell) — 2017 has been a tough year for many reasons. The toughest for me personally has been the deaths of two beloved horses.

Fourteen years ago, when Texans for Horses became the Fund for Horses I rescued four slaughter bound Quarter horses from a Texas feedlot. They had no papers. No one could or would tell us where they were from or how they had gotten in this hellish place.

Many of the horses in the feedlot had given up. They would not eat or drink, just crowded together for comfort staring vacantly ahead.

There were some however who still showed signs of hope crammed around the fence with terrified eyes beseeching someone anyone to help them. I picked four. It was all I could afford to transport home and care for. I named them after Texas cities — Houston, Austin, Amarillo and Sweetwater.

Turning my back on the others and walking away from them knowing the horrific sufferings and deaths they were about to face haunts me to this day. And for what? So human beings can dine on their dead flesh.

I can feel the awful pain and anguish of that moment just as keenly now as I did that day, and I still hate that I did not find a way to help every pleading one of them.

Two of the four horses I rescued, the mares Houston and Sweetwater, passed away a few years ago. Austin died in February of this year and Amarillo died last month in November. Both geldings, they had made friends in that grisly pasture 14 years ago, ending up spending the rest of their lives together.

Their deaths seem to signal an end for me but of what I am not certain. At first I thought that it might be hope. Very little to nothing has changed. Slaughter continues to thrive on the horses it brutally preys on.

I wish I could say with the passing of those horses that I rescued that day and escaped slaughter, that slaughter had finally been outlawed and no longer threatened any horse.

God knows we have worked as smartly and diligently as we know how to ban horse slaughter as have many, many others. However, it still exists to satisfy the human appetite for horse flesh, and making the people who supply it for them very wealthy.

My Christmas wish this year is that you will do any or all of the following to bring an end to horse slaughter in honour of horses past, present and future.

Continue to work or take up the cause to bring an end to horse slaughter. It does not matter how or where or what. Please take every action you know and hear to bring it to an end.

Support those who rescue horses from slaughter. Adopt a rescued horse yourself or sponsor one. Pledge or make a monthly donation, any amount. Find your local horse rescue and ask them what is on their Wish List — many have one — and gift them something on their list, either individually or with family and friends. Deliver it to the rescue and meet and greet the horses you are benefiting. It will make you feel like a million dollars. I promise.

Make a pledge in your heart right now that this time next year horses will no longer be slaughtered where you live and take action inn support of that pledge every opportunity you get.

We can do this. You can be sure that Houston, Austin, Amarillo and Sweetwater, and all horses like them, will be cheering you on.

Featured Image: AdobeStock_128452626.jpeg. Not for profit use.

10 thoughts on “Deaths of rescued slaughter bound horses a painful reminder not much has changed”

  1. Thanks for your compassion for horses.
    Of course I want slaughter to end, but I also want the industries that are directly responsible for the majority of horses on kill lots/auctions to end.
    The main industries are: Thoroughbred, Quarter-horse, Standardbred HORSE RACING.
    These 3 breeds are bred for profit, doped, beaten with a whip, maimed, killed and/or dumped at kill auctions when they are no longer profitable for the most part.
    All this carnage for what??
    For these poor souls to run in circles for 2 minutes in order to generate BILLIONS in wagering profits.
    These horses are exploited to fatten wallets and egos.
    Shut down horse racing, and the majority of slaughterhouses will follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My daughter and I rescued a beautiful Buckskin QH mare this year. We couldn’t afford more than one, but we’re thrilled we could make a difference in her life. She got to LIVE! Think about the power of that word! Compared to deceased, dead, GONE! Man has demolished entire species of animals! Ask yourselves if thats the kind of monster you would like to be. The crime isn’t just in killing horses, the very animal that hot us to where we are now! They were policeman, fireman, military, laborers just like you and me! They entertained us, and gave us friendship and companionship, and this is how we treat them? The criminals are also the breeders! Yes, the breeders! For you supply each and every horse they slaughter with your GREED and THIRST for money, and trophies, and prizes! Have you not seen the industry? QH breeders will breed 50 or more babies a year at the chance of that futurity winner who’ll make him the big bucks! The racehorse breeders who throw away the tons of horses who just aren’t fast enough! Athletics prize money is actually a major cause of this monstrous machine! Without supply there would be no business! Banning Slaughter has been a losing battle people because there are too many horses, too many rules pertaining to owning horses on property! Laws on acres needed, zoning, etc… SO, the battle we need to fight is not just slaughter, it’s fighting back with opening up the rules on who can have a horse where they live, the prices of realty being sky high just because there’s a barn and a fence, and most of all getting breeding laws set in place to control the irresponsible, money grubbers from producing foals every year like a car lot with the newest models!!! We need a limit!!!! A realistic one!!! No more than 3 goals per year! That’s right! THREE! If you don’t get your champion, too bad!!! What matters is that living, breathing, thinking horse that feels deeply about his own life, that your willing to throw away at the drop of a hat! If the volume of horses is lowered, then more people can adopt or buy one that suddenly becomes available! If the zoning and requirements get changed, then more people can own one! If taking care of them were affordable, they’d have a better life! So many people want to help and can’t because of rules and regulations that are based on human wants, not what’s morally right! They live on this Earth too! They have just as much right to roam free out west as any other animal! Get your cows off the horses land and do what many others have to do… move where you own the land yourself and can raise them! Horses are not food in the USA! Therefore we shouldn’t be having a part in providing them to others! Where are your morals? We are America and we have been so far forward in most things, so why not this??? Say no more to horse slaughter, over breeding, and keeping an American who wants to have a horse from doing so if they have enough room and the money to care for one! We make our own problems, now get solving them!!!!


  3. We must end this atrocity! We must find a way to get the ear of our elected! Our emails, phone calls, texts, seem to fall on deaf ears. We all know the poison in horse meat. What is it going to take to end this nightmare? Another nightmare……a child dying of aplastic anemia related to eating the ‘whole beef hot dogs’ that children live on? A death of a human? Lord only knows how many already have the beginning of cancer in their body from the byproducts of horse meat in their system contaminated by the chemicals we give our horses. What is it going to take? When will this insanity stop? When will the blood bath these horses have to endure stop? When will our elected finally do what is right, ban shipping and slaughter, and bring some accountability instead of lining their pockets with blood money? I’m sick of them turning a blind eye.


  4. I am sorry to say that I live in Canada and many horses from the USA are sent here in dreadful transport conditions to be slaughtered here. It warms my heart to read of what you did for the two horses you rescued. I must look into the situation in Canada and see what can be done if only to improve conditions.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So sorry to hear about Austin and Amarillo. Along with Houston and Sweetwater these beautiful creatures were very lucky to be rescued by you. They experienced a way of living which met their needs and this must’ve been such a comfort to them and made them happy. Remember the care and love you gave them, Vivian. And as others here have commented “you are an inspiration” and we will continue to fight for these magnificent horses, we are unstoppable!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I applaud your article, I’m in the uk and have been fighting horse slaughter of your mustangs for 6 years, it’s big business horse slaughter, it’s evil business this mc Barron guy has agents at all horse auctions buying domestic or wild horses trucking them across the borders to Mexico or Canada for slaughter to eat disgusting!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am so sorry . Just remember we will see them again over the Rainbow Bridge.
    For their and others’ sakes we must keep fighting to save them and never give up

    Liked by 1 person

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