We’ve all seen the pictures. Carriage horses bolting or collapsing among the grime noise and dirt of NYC downtown streets. Many people, including celebrities, are shocked and concerned, and activists have been fighting for years to get these poor, overworked horses off the street. This has led to the creation of last year city council’s Carriage Horse Bill aimed to get the horses housed in nice clean stables in Central Park so they don’t have to take the dangerous and stressful journey across town to their dingy and uncomfortable stable blocks. Horses have died, some have disappeared after activists began to try to rescue them, a situation that shows clearly an industry that doesn’t care about it’s animals, and is all about making money. People’s livelihoods are important but we must never put that ahead of animal welfare. The two are equally important and as a civilized society we must never allow animal abuse for any reason. If the bill had been passed, it would have greatly elevated the suffering of these horses but even this moderate, cooperative bill was too much for the industry, their union and misguided celebs such as Liam Neeson, who all fought to get the bill killed and so it was.
Carriage horse work on average 9 hours a day, 7 days a week. They stand in rain, snow, hot and cold. There are new rules that forbid them being worked in extreme hot and cold which is good but that doesn’t make their everyday lives any better. The stress of standing on concrete all day and night, having to withstand the boredom, constant noise of people and traffic, the city lights and noise at night, the lack of time and area to rest, graze and frolic makes the lives of carriage horse very sad indeed, and their treatment abuse, if not torture.
People say they love animals, but is abusing them really love? I think its more a selfishness born of ignorance. In the past, even recently, animals were not thought to be equal or to have rights, feelings and thoughts. Our understanding of this has changed over the past 100 years, and so our attitudes, and actions need to change as well.
Carriage horses are a picturesque and romantic idea or so the industry tells us but look at these pictures. Are these horses happy and well cared for? Is this how horse lovers want to see and interact with horses? The answer is no, absolutely not. The carriage horse trade is not fine for horses, and must, if we care about the welfare of animals, be abolished.
Ending the carriage horse industry is easy if people just refuse to take rides while visiting Central Park. If instead they choose a pedicab, rented a city bike, or even walked. You get better views, exercise, and chance to integrate with the city and no one, including horses gets hurt.
It doesn’t take anything from our lives to change to accommodate the needs and rights and welfare of animals, and in doing so we get alot in return. Please keep this is mind this summer and say no to a carriage horses and all forms of entertainment that feature the use and exploitation of animals.
Horses belong in the country and in nice, bright spacious stables. They are meant to graze, gallop and sleep in green pastures and meadows. They are meant to be cherished not abused, used and exploited. Its 2017, its time to leave the past and our ignorance behind.
These collisions and collapses are all too common. Sadly horses injured are not retired; instead they are sold for slaughter or simply disappear.
The interior of the downtown stable. Imagine a life without being able to gallop or graze in fields. Where your whole world are these dark 8 x 10 feet stables or the grey concrete of the city.
Here is the entrance to one of the carriage horse stables. Its hardly suitable for horses.
Dinner time is eating your meal off a dirty city street
Its not just animal rights activists. Tourist have also noted the poor condition of the horses and their clearly apparent misery. It time for NYC to end this abuse.
From rehousing the horses in a clean, bright Central Park Stable and retiring many of them to sanctuaries to retiring and replacing them all with Edwardian Steam puck E-carriages (see below), there’s alot that can be done but sadly no one in NYC seems to be willing to do so.
A video of what could be. Please say no to the carriage horse industry and help keep horses safe.