Your Opinion: Horse slaughter plant questioned

Dear Editor:

“They Shoot Horses, Don’t They” was a movie. “They will eat horses, won’t they” is being said by people of Rockville, who hope to open a horse slaughtering operation there (News Tribune June 9 and June 17.)

Historically, people have not eaten horse meat, except in starvation. Horses have partnered and worked alongside people in times of war, with plowing fields, transportation, recreation, and helped open the western U.S.

Not all unwanted horses end up “in ditches.” I have four. One was so frightened and abused his owner said, “I hope he does not hurt you” but he went into the show ring and presented me with many nice ribbons.

Care of horses does not cost so much and actually puts much money back into the local economy in feed, hay, stalls and veterinary. This is a Missouri issue not just Rockville’s. Surely there is a better way to help rural communities. Surely there is a better way to produce food for people.

Missouri is a horse and mule producing state. There is much money, public and private, in Missouri horses — breeding, training, feed, hay, and veterinary. We have state-of-the-art veterinary care in Missouri, especially at the University of Missouri Columbia School of Veterinary Medicine — the best surgeons, bone and joint, nutrition.

Does it make sense to have this investment on one end and killing 200 horses a day at the other end? Or, are we raising them for slaughter? Where are 200 horses a day coming from? Who is going to put bullets in the heads of 200 horses everyday.

Tom Smith, in the movie, “Seabiscuit” rescued a lame, white horse as they tried to put a bullet in his head. When asked why he did that, he said, “Besides, he is pretty to look at.”

There is a little boy on the front page of the News Tribune on June 17 riding a little red pony. The pony looks like a horse I rescued whose owner said, “He isn’t worth anything, he is too old and has rheumatism.”

What kind of a society are we living in which allows killing and eating our partners?

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