Sunday, November 4, 2007

If you're going to talk the talk...

I am beyond disappointed at having to write this blog entry.

The rescuer in question is someone who has tirelessly campaigned against horse slaughter. I have been appreciative, for years, of his efforts in this regard. The problem is, when you're out there telling the politicians that ending horse slaughter is the right thing to do and that people will have to be responsible for their gotta walk the walk. If you don't, it invalidates your entire argument. And for that reason, today, I am terribly, terribly sorry that this individual has become the de facto spokesperson of the anti-slaughter movement. With this posting on the net, and these admissions, he has basically given the pro-slaughter forces more ammunition than President Reagan gave the contras.

I am so, SO disappointed. Beyond words.

Here's the text in case this is deleted from their site, which wouldn't surprise me. My comments are in blue.

The latest breaking news from The Laughing Horse Sanctuary: WE ARE DESPERATE FOR HAY!

Yes folks I said it...DESPERATE! Here in Sandy Level, we have had no rain. I'm not lying about this; none since June. I would post pictures of our pastures for you but it's too depressing to photograph and honestly it looks like January. We have looked everywhere we can think of (within financial reason) for hay around here and the whole region of Southwest Virginia is suffering. Oh we can buy hay for $35 a roll or more but we can't afford that. Currently, no rain is expected to this area and even if we got some, it's too late for hay.

News flash: Hay is like gasoline. The demand is high, it's a necessity, and therefore the prices are high. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. It was the same way last winter. Assuming that rain will fall and everybody will just eat grass all summer and budgeting based upon that gamble is beyond foolish.

So if anybody knows where we can get hay, either by donation or we will buy (at a reasonable price) LET ME KNOW! It doesn't even have to be "horse" hay. Cattle hay will do just fine but it will have to be delivered to us. We have 18 mustangs (The Wild Bunch) here plus the more mellow ones and they need food.

There is no hay "at a reasonable price" unless you're in the midwest. You can, however, buy a semi load there and have it hauled to you by an independent trucker. This shakes out cheaper than what you'll pay locally. It's what the hay brokers and feed stores in your area do. Of course you have to have cash up front and most people don't, which is why the hay brokers and feed stores are making a good profit right now.

The Wild Bunch are doing good. You noticed that I said 18. Yeah, well when you have stallions and mares together and no effective way to separate them, nature steps in and that's where babies come from! Lucky for us, two of the babies have been spoken for so it will be 16 when they are at weaning age. We now (finally) have a round pen and Tom has been working with Whisper, who is now a 2-year-old. We're hoping to get Whisper to the "easy to handle" point and then go to work on the next 2-year-old, which would be Gypsy's Star. The older mares and those stallions will be harder.

I couldn't be more disappointed. Dear God, what did you think you were going to do with mustangs reproducing like bunnies? And what do you mean there is no way to separate them? Hot tape and T posts are cheap! Is this because you can't catch them? News flash, other rescues that work with unhandled adult stock figure it out. They do what they have to ... feed-through tranquilizers, chasing into a catch pen, chute, whatever... and pretty soon Mr. Mustang will never sire another foal. This is not that hard! How can you run around screaming about ending slaughter and responsible ownership for years and then practice the worst form of irresponsible ownership in your own backyard? What were you thinking? Don't you realize how BADLY this discredits literally EVERYTHING you have ever had to say on the topic?

Some of you know and some of you don't know that Tom's health has declined a bit with his pulmonary fibrosis brought on by working with depleted uranium ammo. Thank you Persian Gulf War! It is for that reason that we are switching our focus to more of a retirement home. Tom just doesn't have the strength or breath to work with horses like he would want to. We therefore, will no longer be accepting horses unless they are orphan foals or healthy older horses. We are truly sorry but with just Tom doing the work and me furiously working at my job to provide funds to this rescue, we simply cannot do it. We totally salute those of you who can.

So now we come in with the typical bad health/no help excuse. Ugh. You know what, help is cheap. It really is. You smack an ad on Craigslist and you can find all sorts of young, strong guys to come out and work for $10 an hour. I found a guy to come out and pound t-posts in for me in literally 15 minutes. He was great. People are happy for the work. If Tom can't stand up to the physical demands of working with unhandled stock due to his health, that is understandable. Why doesn't Tom go get a desk job so that you can hire some help? It's this kind of poor-me, throw up the hands, I just don't know what to doooooooo, someone please help us or send us money stuff that drives me insane. Figure it out. It could be the solution here is euthanizing 16 unwanted mustangs. I know rescues that WILL pay for that. I can give you a referral.

For those of you who don't know the story of The Wild Bunch they were 10 (now 18) of the hitchhiking horses rescued from Slick Gardner's California ranch who arrived here on December 1, 2004. They were a little hungry when they first arrived here since they hadn't had anything to eat since Oklahoma City and the green grass in this pasture looked really good to them. They passed by the grain we had out for them because they had never had grain before and didn't know what it was but quickly learned. We had originally thought we were getting six, but destiny being what it is we ended up with 10. Yes 10! Six of these horses are only babies (six months old or younger). What does this mean? It means we need lots of help! Donations are nice but to tell you the truth what we really need are more hands out here helping out. More fencing needs to go up and we need people who are willing to spend time in a pasture with these horses helping them to realize that human beings are okay. Yes it can be boring sitting in a chair for hours with grain trying to entice a horse to come see you but it needs to be done and would be very helpful.

Again, help is cheap on Craigslist. Hire some. As for people willing to sit and commune with mustangs, your experience should be showing you that it is hard to find those people. It is hard to find volunteers to do horse stuff in general. Hey, we have a girl who came by wanting to volunteer. So far, she's done it once in a month. That's ok. We can do the work whether or not we have help. If we have some help, it's a nice little surprise gift for that afternoon. That's how you have to view volunteers. If you are relying upon volunteers to get necessary work done, you're in trouble. Any rescue will tell you that.

The thought that someone trucked these horses 3000 miles cross country so that they could sit on a different coast and breed like bunnies is giving me a headache. I wonder who paid for that? Probably a bunch of bleeding hearts on the Internet who thought they were doing a good thing. Argh.

So if you live in this area or know people who live in this area, hop in your car and come on out. Please? Pretty please?

Our philosophy is simple. We believe there is no such thing as a bad horse, only a misunderstood horse.

That sounds lovely in theory. Unfortunately, try to compile a list of people who want to adopt the biting, striking, knock you over, misunderstood horse, and you will see that it is a very short list.

We also believe that the practice of horse slaughter for human consumption is deplorable and the fact that this practice goes on in our so-called enlightened times and civilized society is horrifying to us since we in America do not consume horsemeat. If you would like to know more about slaughter, please go to our Slaughter Page and do visit some of the pages we have listed in Links.

I'm completely anti-slaughter. But I'm also anti-irresponsible breeding which LEADS to slaughter. You should be, too. What the hell, how could you have let 8 more mustangs just happen? How? How? What kind of rationalization did you dream up to justify this situation taking place in your own backyard?

We also believe firmly that there are NO UNWANTED HORSES, only horses that have been unfortunate in their lives. No matter what the breed, be it a high-priced Friesian or an everyday Quarter Horse, any horse can end up in a situation where they are abused, starved, neglected or even worse, consigned to the slaughterhouse and their meat shipped overseas to be sold as a delicacy.

I disagree. There ARE unwanted horses. Shit, you've got 18 unhandled mustangs in your backyard and I think you're about to find out just how unwanted they are. You don't want them, do you? Right now they are a financial burden you can't handle, and you can't train them, and you're tired of the struggle. They're unwanted horses, and you created 8 of the 18. You created horses who have an extremely poor chance of a future that does not end on a plate. What the hell were you thinking?

The Laughing Horse Sanctuary is also heavily involved in providing educational materials to the public as it relates to horse nutrition, husbandry, safe handling and the difficult end-of-life options other than slaughter. And believe me there are tons of other options and as far as we are concerned, slaughter is not an option and we will fight for as long as it takes to see this practice stopped.

Oh lord, my head hurts. It's the blind leading the blind. Husbandry? Who the hell are you to lecture anybody about responsible animal husbandry? You have 18 mustangs and you're working with one of them? How are their feet getting done? I'm guessing NOT. If you had knocked them out for hoof trimming, you could have gelded them. Deworming? Vet care? You have a herd of horses you can't touch that you left stallions in to breed indiscriminately. You flunked the test, in spades. In terms of responsible horse ownership, you drove off a cliff with your eyes closed.

If you love animals as much as we do, then come on down and visit for a while. We are always looking for kind-hearted, horse and dog-loving people to give us a hand with brushing and gentling and as an added bonus the coffee pot is always full.

Yeah, 'cause everybody's dying to come work with your batshit unhandled mustangs for a cup of joe...And I've got news for you. You don't love animals. You think you do, just like the crying girl at the shelter who is giving up her dog because her boyfriend doesn't like it, or the family who "sadly" has to place their cat due to a move. It's bullshit. A real animal lover would have tranq'ed those stallions and gelded them in the first week.


I wish you'd cared enough to tranq those things and geld them.

Again...if you are going to talk the talk, you need to walk the walk. I understand that nothing I say has a value unless I live by it myself...and in keeping with that, I will now log off and get off my butt and go out and start mucking.