(HORSES CANADA) — There is a thought-provoking article at The Conversation on horses and the people who care for them. The author deals with horses in Canada but many of the points made in the article go across borders.
Here’s an extract:
Horses have long held an important place in our cultures and on the lands we now call Canada. Today there are about a million horses in Canada, and their lives vary greatly depending on how we use them and who is around them.
Some people believe that only the wealthy interact with horses, but this is incorrect. People of all income levels and backgrounds are involved with horses in different ways, including for sport, leisure, friendship and therapy.
Plus, all activities with horses depend on labour, and on the men — and especially women — who care for horses around the clock, 365 days a year. There is no closing time when it comes to looking after horses.
In a number of European countries, regular data collection and research help paint a clearer picture of the many roles horses and horse people play in communities and economies . This information gives us ideas of how we can improve horses’ wellbeing.
In Canada, for a few reasons, we have far less data.
Read on »
We are particularly appreciative of these observations:
In fact, although we often use the term ‘equine industry’ as short hand, it is more accurate to speak of equine industries given the diversity of ways horses are being employed and conceptualized. In many contexts, horses are recognized as partners and sentient beings.
Yet in others, horses are seen simply as commodities. In Canada, some horses are slaughtered and others are exported live to be consumed in other countries.
In the ‘pregnant mare urine’ (PMU) industry, horses are repeatedly impregnated so their urine can be collected and made into hormone replacement products for women (Premarin). Some of the foals are rescued , but most are simply slaughtered and seen as a byproduct (much like male calves in the dairy industry).
We invite you read the full article »
Featured image artwork by V G Farrell