The Week in Review: Anti-Slaughter Gains with Triple Crown as Backdrop

They say that history is defined as when more happens in ten minutes than happpened in the past ten years. Looking at the round-up of news from the anti-slaughter movement, this was an historic week.

Anti-slaughter legislation in Illinois saw the signature of the governor, effectively ending the state’s DeKalb horse “processing” plant’s chances to continue. Actress Bo Derek targeted Illinois and campaigned in the state in support of the law.

And in Texas, horse slaughter at two plants in the state was dealt double blows by a US Supreme Court decision and the state legislature.

A nationwide ban is still in committee in the US Senate, after passing the House of Representatives this year.

I’m sure that as soon as I post this, I will hear about a gain on the pro-slaughter side.

I ran across a nice blog post on the slaughter issue, positioned on the backdrop of the Triple Crown races. For many people, Street Sense’s loss to Curlin in the final strides of the Preakness was a bitter disappointment: no Triple Crown winner again this year. I think this is sad, since it was such an exciting race and Curlin’s surge to the wire, after being passed in the stretch by his rival, brought to mind the old days of Affirmed and Alydar, Sunday Silence and Easy Goer. A good rivalry will make people interested in horse racing as much if not more than a superior horse devastating his rivals on three Saturdays.

The blogger who agrees with me is Andrew Cohen, legal analyst for CBS News. He posted his take on the week’s event at the track and in the courtroom, on Katie Couric’s “Couric and Co.” blog. Cohen is a racehorse owner himself and used Couric’s blog to advance his own politics, but I think that for horse politics to even show up on a blog like that is evidence of how emotionally-charged this issue is….and that editors in high places agree that This Is News.

People in the horse world who have never blogged or written letters to the editor, or posted on forums are doing so. We are finding out that some very interesting people either own racehorses, love racing, or just care passionately about horses. And, we are finding out that these interesting, influential people are on both sides of the issue.

I find the parallels between horse slaughter and gun control compelling. The opponents have emotion and an all-star lineup of celebrities on their side. The proponents have hard-to-deny arguments in defense of individual or state’s rights on their side. It’s hard for me to understand, but I do recognize that some of us can be as emotionally attached to weapons as we are to horses.

But unlike gun control, both sides of the horse slaughter debate profess to love horses, although it’s a pretty tough “love” or a selective “love” in some cases. If people really do love horses, we should be able to work this out, for their sake.




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