I’ve been accused of being “elitist” in my opinion that the vast majority of people can’t or refuse to comprehend the big picture about what relationship humans ought to have with animals. I’m going to present that picture right now in the hope that I can be proven wrong.
The big picture is not so much about “animal rights” but rather whether humans have the right — barring circumstances of dire necessity and survival — to use animals, at all, especially as commodities for profit. This is not just about the carriage horses — it’s about all the ways in which we regard and use nonhuman species as slave chattel ... as absent referrents — in food, clothing, cosmetics, medical research and entertainment. It’s about the very quick and slippery slope down to unspeakable acts of cruelty toward the whole spectrum of nonhuman animal species — a reality that I think most people are completely naive about.
We have evolved to the point where human slavery, sexism and homophobism are socially unacceptable; now why, in this 21st century can’t we all open our hearts and minds toward animal liberation? If we as a society say we care about animals, why do we make compromises having to do with their “treatment,” or, as in the case of the horses, some asinine notion of nostalgia, or preserving the jobs of their profiteer slave masters? Anyone who makes a living off of an animal is disgusting in my eyes.
Whether it’s a horse made unnatural by being strapped to a carriage with blinders on, or a poodle with bows in its hair being walked by some lady wearing a fur coat, it’s all moral schizophrenia, and we need to get our heads checked. What we do to the animals we do to ourselves.
And karma is moving very quickly. Animal agriculture, animal consumption, puppy mills, hunting, poaching, fishing, global warming, horse-drawn carriages — you think they are not connected? Think again. A vegan consciousness is our only hope of mitigating the mayhem that is coming down the pipeline.
Lastly, it’s human nature to wait till after a tragedy happens. If the horse-drawn carriage industry continues you can bet there will be an accident involving a human and then everyone will bemoan the mistake that was made in not abolishing it.