Friday, July 19, 2013

Follow-up Friday: Work, Animal Adoption, Horse Slaughter, Threshing

I'm happy to be joining Heart Like a Dog in the follow-up Friday blog hop this week.  This is the blog hop that lets you wrap up your week and leads you right into the weekend.  Hosted by FUF creator, Jodi Stone at Heart Like a Dog and co-hosted this week by Jodi Chick at Kol's Notes.

I've been busy in the studio this week.  Much as I rant about the bricks and mortar stores pushing Christmas too early (and it seems like earlier and earlier each year), as one of Santa's elves, I'm guilty, too.  I'm working as fast as I can to build up my inventory at For Love of a Dog because before I know it, fall with be here and I'll be too busy shipping packages to create new jewelry.  

This means that I'm not getting around to read and comment on all the blogs I'd like to.  Instead, I'm working.  I feel the need to let you know, if you have any hope of snagging a dog breed Christmas ornament in your favorite breed.... hurry!  This week I'll be adding new ones to the For Love of a Dog online shop and they're limited in quantity.

The dog daddy and I managed to catch a broadcast of one of the Purina Incredible Dogs competitions.  Dog, I love them!  Jeffie and Rudy snoozed through the whole thing.  Rosie watched with us.  At one point she even hopped up close to the TV screen to get a better look.

Nope, no photos of that.  I've discovered the dogs can hear the zip of the camera bag from the other end of the house.  Rudy, especially, is sure that means dog treats and we're going to do another product review!  Candid shots are impossible lately.

I'm breaking my own rules on the blog this week.  Rule #1:  no politics or religion.  Blog the Change happened just as I was gnashing my teeth and screaming here at home about the new horse slaughterhouses being approved by the USDA.  Gandhi said:  "The measure of a society can be how well its people treat its animals."  If that's true, I think we're in big trouble.

Dog Song Saturday: Girls and Horses
Okay, I get it.  You prefer dog songs.  Be sure to visit Talking Dogs tomorrow for a great original song by Jayne Olderman.  It's a treat you won't want to miss!  You'll need tissues for the happy tears you'll be shedding at these positive rescue stories in the music video.

Adopt Amelia a POA Appaloosa Horse
This pretty mare is a rescue horse currently living at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch.  Longmeadow is just one of many rescues for unwanted, abused or rescued horses in the US.

Blog the Change: Ban Horse Slaughter in the US
First, please know that as much as it pained you to read my post, it pained me to write it.  I don't like thinking about the issue; few people do.

Linda asked a number of good questions and I'll try to answer them here.

In my opinion, the cruelty inherent in this industry is intolerable.  And make no mistake, this is an industry.  It's about money.  This industry is not providing some kind of public service for people who don't want/can't keep their family horses any longer.   These corporations are looking to cash in on the market for horsemeat.

Yes, the market for horsemeat.  The horses slaughtered in these facilities are for human consumption.  And, no.  Horsemeat is not safe to eat here in the US.  The majority of the horsemeat will be exported.  US horsemeat is dangerous to humans because of the unregulated administration of numerous toxic substances given to horses before slaughter.

Horse slaughterhouses are not what we need for homeless horses.  The USDA documented that 92.3% of horses sent to slaughter are in good condition and are able to live out a productive life.  These are horses that could be sold, donated or otherwise re-homed, however kill buyers regularly outbid potential horse owners and horse rescues at auctions.  According to the Humane Society of the United States:  
"Based on the USDA's won finding, fewer than 1% of the US horse population may require the help of rescues or euthanasia."
According to the Homes For Horses Coalition:
"The notion that without horse slaughter there will be flood of abandoned horses is simply unfounded. When the number of horses slaughtered in the U.S. fell by approximately 90% between the early 1990s and the early 2000s there was no correlating increase in abandoned, neglected and abused horses.
"Likewise, equine cruelty investigators in Illinois report that horse abandonment and abuse cases actually dropped during the temporary closure of the Cavel slaughter plant in the early 2000s (the plant is now permanently shut under state law).
"In California, not only was there no increase in horse abuse and neglect cases following passage of the states stringent anti-horse slaughter law in 1998, but there was a 34% drop in horse theft."
Estimates on the number of horses that need re-homing or rescue vary.  One thing is for sure - the breed organizations are one key to the solution.  Another is banning horse slaughter.  Without killer buyers, the rescues can be able to afford to purchase unwanted horses and re-home them.  It is a situation very similar to puppy mills.

And, once again, I'm being too wordy up here on my soapbox.
Let me put it to you this way:  there are many countries who consume dogs and cats.  We can all agree that there are more pets than there are homes available.  Would you wish this same fate on them?

According to ABC news (July 17, 2013) the newly licensed horse slaughterhouses in New Mexico and Iowa are set to open August 5.  On August 2, a federal judge will decide whether or not to issue a temporary restraining order to prevent the openings due to the lawsuit by animal protection groups.   These would be the first horse slaughterhouses to operate in the US since 2007.

Adopt Sally, A Senior Australian Cattle Dog
Sally is still available for adoption.  Please visit this blog post and share her story and adoption video.   If you're not already a part of the Tuesday's Tails blog hop, why not join us!

Threshing with Horses:  A Farm Story
Thanks for all your comments.  You know, it's not so much hard work as it is slow work when you farm with horses.  In this case, it's harvesting oats without much noise other than the creak of harness and wagon, the soft plodding of hooves, birdsong, and quiet conversation with friends.  Instead of smelling fuel from a tractor, it's smelling the sweet perfume of horsesweat (yes, perfume) and the fresh smell of the grain.  

There's also great satisfaction for me in being a part of the circle of life.  The horses who will consume those oats and use that straw, are a vital part of the planting and harvesting.

Haying is another task like that and I've been on a search for an audio file to share with a future post about the hay baler conga dance at our place.  
That's our follow-up for this week.  Join the blog hop and catch us up with what's been going on in your life!


  1. Great follow-up Sue!! Is there anything we as consumers can do to help with the ruling on slaughter houses? For instance would letters to the judge work or does it become a matter of law more than anything else.

    I loved the farming post, it was awesome.

    Have a great day!!

    1. Thanks, Jodi! The court case will end up being a point of law. The animal welfare groups are fighting those specific permits based on environmental contamination. I know you signed the petitions. You can write to your US elected official and urge them to pass SAFE. The HSUS has some good writing points.

      Special thanks re: the farm post. I think you'll like the post I'm writing about calving :-)

  2. I completely agree with you about the horse slaughterhouses. I don't think this is a political issue, I think it's an ethical issue, so you didn't actually violate Rule #1! And if we are barred from writing about ethical issues, is blogging only for trivia and frivolity? I'm glad you made me aware of this problem.

    1. Big hugs to you, Amy, for taking me off my own political hook! I agree completely that this is an ethical issue. Though I do like to keep things light and positive, sometimes I can't help but use the blog as a bully pulpit on issues I simply can't keep silent about. Thank you!

  3. Gosh Sue, now I see you bent over your workbench surrounded by Jeffie, Rudy & Rosie dressed in little elf costumes :) SEiously, I appreciate you educating me on the horse slaughter industry, difficult as it is to read about

  4. I know in Europe horse meat is still eaten and available and in Asia it made me ill seeing dead dogs and cats on street corners for sale to eat. Just can't deal with that stuff!I have traveled around much of the world but some of the food stuff is just too much for me!

    1. I agree, Emma. I'm not keen on the thought of eating bugs, frogs... well, a lot of stuff makes my stomach roll that might not even be considered cruel.

  5. Oklahoma passed the horse slaughter bill and I think it sucks. Anyway, I passed an award on to you:)
    This is the url:

    1. No comment on OK. Thanks for the award! Heading over to pick it up now :-)

  6. Thanks for answering my question about horse slaughter. I do draw a distinction between farm animals and pets, but I understand where you are coming from on the issue.


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