The Costs of Being “Humane”.
They are every little girl’s dream and every cowboy’s most reliable companion. Over the past 500 years they have served as weapons, transportation, recreation and pets. Horses were first brought to America in the early 1500s by Hernando Cortez; before that no Native had ever seen this four legged creature. From being used to fight off natives, to being tied to a wheel at a carnival and ridden by little kids, the horse has definitely evolved to suit the needs of the ever so changing America. The person who had the biggest effect on the horse industry in America was Henry Ford. When the first assembly line was created in 1913, cars could be produced for much less than ever before. Now most anyone could afford an automobile. They were faster, more luxurious, and didn’t have a mind of their own. This made cars seem like a great investment and just a better way to go. (The Henry Ford) After the year 1913 horses went from being a necessity to just something that ate your gas money. Granted not everyone went out and bought an automobile at once, but slowly more and more people stepped off their mount and stepped in to the cab of a brand new Model T. The horse was slowly losing its importance as a means of transportation and gradually climbing their way up to being more emotionally important to us. (Taaffe) Today horses are used way more for recreation and sports then are actually used for agriculture and transportation. Using horses for recreation more and more is starting to put them in the same category as our household pets, like dogs, cats, and hamsters. Whether this is wrong or right, it is definitely a long way from what horses have been used for in the past. This gradual change has led the creation of many great sports, famous horses, and a handful of good movies, but it has also led to one of the biggest problems in the horse market today, and that is a surplus of horses. This causes a quite large unwanted horse population. Now up till a few years ago this unwanted horse market has been kept down with the use of horse slaughterhouses. The various slaughterhouses around the country have been a cheap, easy means of getting rid of unwanted horses. Over the past few years horse slaughter has been a really controversial subject. From trying to regulate it heavier to just stopping it all together, it has definitely been on top of most of the headlines. Some people think that horse slaughter is a “necessary evil” but others think it is cruel and not necessary at all. There are holes in each argument just like any other controversial topic. I, myself am for the slaughter of horses in the U.S. and believe that under heavier regulations, the American Government should reopen all U.S. horse slaughter houses because American horses are being treated worse as a whole now than ever before. In 2007 the bill H.R. 503 or the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act was passed by congress and officially made into a law. This law prevents the transportation and sale of horses for slaughter for human consumption and other purposes. This has obviously shut down all slaughterhouses in the U.S. preventing the slaughter of horses. (AAEP 7) Prior to 2007 three major slaughterhouses operated in the U.S., Dallas Crown Inc in Kaufman, TX, Beltex Corp in Fort Worth, TX, and Cavel International Inc. in DeKalb, Illinois. These three slaughter houses slaughtered just over 80,000 head of unwanted horses in 2004, and just over 54,000 were slaughtered in 2007 before the plants were shut down midyear. (Lewis) Even though this only makes up about 1% of the national horse population it sure is a lot of horses, and remember, that is the number slaughtered in the U.S. Before 2007 we also shipped about 45,000 to each Mexico and Canada yearly. (Lewis 1) So why are horses slaughtered?
Horses are mainly slaughtered because it is a cheap, effective, and humane way of getting rid of America’s unwanted horse problem. It also turns our...
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