Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Gallery of Heartbreak, continued
Another chapter in the Gallery of Heartbreak, kids. Last night a young woman, about 20 years old, came to look at my sister's horse trailer, up for sale. As they talked, it turns out this girl goes to horse auctions, to rescue babies.
Babies? In our blissful ignorance we think: horse auction = people purchasing a nice new horse, right? Not so. This girl told us horse breeders breed a hundred mares, to get the top ten best babies. (Old mares are continually bred long past when it is even humane to do so.) The rest (the other 90) go to auction, most to be turned into horsemeat, as are most of the horses at the auction. Apparently this "industry" is struggling; prices have dropped per pound to the point where some ranchers simply abandon their herds to starve, rather than feed them when it isn't "profitable".
She described the scene at the auctions: terrified mares and frantic babies TWO AND THREE DAYS OLD, the babies ripped away, calling for their mothers. Some get rescued. ("I can fit five babies in this trailer," she said.) Most get "processed" for horsemeat. Canada, to my surprise, is third highest in the world in the"global horsemeat trade".
We are apparently one of the largest consumers of horsemeat as well. (What are we eating, kids? Do we even know any more?)
This girl works a regular job as a vet tech. She attends auctions - she says they are everywhere - and rescues as many babies as she can, bottle feeds them, and tries to find them good homes when they are ready. She is my new hero.
(In no way does this post reflect on horse breeders and owners who take good care of their animals. My heart breaks, though, for all the horses channeled into this cycle of brutal and inhumane treatment, once again an "industry" where the bottom line is profit.)
They say you can judge a society on the way it treats its animals. Looks like Canada's record is not too great.