I am writing to point out that the Queens Chronicle grossly misrepresented the view of most New Yorkers when you published a slanted opinion piece that claims the carriage horse industry in Central Park is somehow “humane.” (“Meet the Central Park carriage drivers,” June 19, multiple editions). Nothing could be further from the truth, as this industry is cruel to both horses and potentially humans.
While the writer mentioned that draft horses are in fact capable of pulling large loads of cargo for a great distance, the writer failed to mention that these carriage horses are asked to do this in unbearable conditions here in New York. Cars, buses, taxis, trucks, pedestrians, emergency vehicles and many other obstacles face them every day and at every step of their journey. A potential accident awaits the horses and the citizens at any given moment.
Some call this “romantic.” Is seeing a beautiful horse lying on the street dead after a collision with a vehicle romantic? I don’t think so, and I believe any person with half a heart agrees. God forbid that one of these horses should ever collide with a human head-on; the human will most likely lose the battle versus a 1,100-pound creature. Is that romantic?
These carriage horses are surrounded by a city so feisty and chaotic that many, many people I know can’t stand being here, and they can choose to go elsewhere if the city overwhelms them. These horses have no say in what they get to do. Almost every single New Yorker I know agrees that this archaic practice must end, full stop.
Your piece that attempted to put a positive spin on this brutal industry will only serve to energize the opponents of this abuse and end something that should have ended decades ago. Maybe I should be thanking you for your short-sightedness in this biased article.