Good News for Some Race Horses

May 20, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Posted in Brain and mind, Fairness, Good People, Humans and other animals | Leave a comment
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When horses lie down to sleep, others in the herd remain standing, awake or in a light doze, keeping watch. Horses on Bianditz mountain, in Navarre, Spain. Behind them Aiako mountains can be seen. Photo by Mikel Ortega from Errenteria, Basque Country, Spain, retouched by Richard Bartz. 8 October 2006.

The usual life-trajectory of a race horse is good treatment followed by horror.

From babyhood until it is no longer considered a contender, the horse is treated as
valued, almost as a pet.

The horse is coddled, and receives affection and care. Horses are sensitive and
emotional, so they are fully aware of the affection and care.

Then, all of a sudden, and for no reason that the horse can discern, affection is replaced
by harshness, and the horse is sent to slaughter, like a person being sent to a
concentration camp.

This practice is a betrayal – a betrayal of the trust of a very emotional, sensitive animal.

Recently, for a few lucky race horses, the horrific ending has been edited out. This good
news is told in an article “When the Race is Over”, by Annie Marie Musselman, with
photos by Jay Hovdey, in the May 2020 issue of Smithsonian magazine.

The title of this post says ‘some’ race horses, because not all middle-aged race horses
are lucky enough to go to the refuge described in the article. Many of the other race
horses are slaughtered.

An analogous betrayal happens to
– a cow who has stopped having calves and giving milk;
– a bull who is sent into a bull-fighting ring.

It is likely that an analogous betrayal occurs for many sled dogs during Iditerod, where
many of the dogs who become too exhausted to keep up the pace are killed en route.

By the way, what happened to all of the puppies, kittens, rabbits and other animals in pet stores, and at breeders, while the new corona virus kept pet stores closed for over a month?

Those last four topics will be discussed further in future posts.

But on a more cheerful note, there are good people who recognize the feelings of animals.

Here is a ring-tailed lemur in Africa who likes having people scratch its back, and who instinctively knows how to tell them to keep scratching.

Here is a young deer who accidentally discovered that it loves belly rubs, and is quite unwilling to let people stop giving them.  (You probably have not previously heard a deer’s voice.)

Here is a lost newborn fawn who is rescued by a little girl.

(If you like animals, Reshareworthy will be a favorite web site.)

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