FROM THE EDITOR
Horses are not “its”. Nor is any animal.
Inanimate objects are “its”. All animals, including horses, are living, breathing, feeling, sentient beings and should be addressed as such.
Let us therefore be mindful to always use proper language when referring to horses, and all animals, using he, she, his, her, they, them, who and so on.
What difference does it make? A lot. Language shapes perception which in turn sends a signal concerning how the being discussed should be treated.
Those who exploit animals, especially for slaughter purposes, are very clever at manipulating public perception by referring to animals as inanimate objects, or “its”.
They also use other subtle but misleading and potentially dangerous terminology.
In the case of horses, the pro-slaughter movement use such phrases as “unwanted” horses versus “homeless” horses, and horse “processing” or “harvesting” versus horse “slaughter”. This is a blatant attempt to divert public attention from what they in fact do — brutally kill horses for their meat — to something that sounds less offensive, more acceptable to the human ear.
However, this does not have to do with just slaughter horses. All horses are routinely referred to as “its”. Just about any modern day article or report you read involving horses refers to them in that way.
I also notice that people who comment on blogs and in various social media — people who love horses — referring to horses as “its”.
Interestingly, when researching horse issues in newspapers and magazines of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, I noticed that horses were always referred to as he, she or who. When and why did this desensitizing reference to horses as “its” begin? It is not clear.
What is clear is that is time we give horses — and all animals for the matter — the respect they deserve as living, breathing, feeling, sentient beings by giving them their proper and respectful designation.
So watch your language! Horses are not “its”.