This might be off-topic - Horse slaughter

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by bobjones, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. HungaryTom

    HungaryTom One Too Many

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    Horse breeding without horse slaughter???

    I really can't understand why the slaughtering of horses is different form chicken, pigs, cattle and all other domestic animals.

    There are ways to improve animal welfare during the transport, unloading and in the slaughterhouse (morbid) but to abolish the last step of horse keeping is simply nonsense.

    The fact that horses will be deported to Canada and Mexico, makes their last journey even longer (i.e. more cruel and expensive) - you can't flock those intelligent prairie animals like sheep and pigs into the same truck container.

    As far as I know the ban of horse slaughter for skins and meat was put in place to save the mustangs of the US from extinction. Ok, that is acceptable, if people look at those as noble beasts as wild animals. But with domestic horses???

    In reality there should be many local slaughterhouses for large domestic animals (cattle and water buffalo, horses), to avoid the trauma of transcontinental travels for the animals.

    Message for the bestialists: in mother nature none of the Przewalski horses and Tarpans died a glorious end - being devoured after a chase by a wolfpack, or some feline predator or this way - http://www.griffure.com/mime/jpg/lascaux.jpg - at least that story ends quite quick.
     
  2. Fletch

    Fletch I'll Lock Up

    No more farming with horses plus several generations of Black Beauty-type children's literature and entertainment has taken horses out of the farm/domesticated class and made them idealized symbols for humans to cluck over. Sort of like elephants and whales, only not actually an endangered species.
     
  3. bobjones

    bobjones A-List Customer

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  4. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD One Too Many

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    I beg to differ with you. There are many hundreds, if not thousands of horses still being used as beasts of burden on many farms across the US. I live in Lancaster County, PA where there is the largest number of horses per capita than any county in the nation. That is due in large part to the Amish, the vast majority of whom use horses for all heavy farm work (not to mention transportation). Bear in mind that there are many Amish communities dotted throughout the nation (not just here in PA), and the number of horses still being used for farming is quite considerable.
     
  5. rebelgtp

    rebelgtp One of the Regulars

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    I think what some of you don't understand is that in our country to many people a horse as a symbol. When you think of a cowboy you don't think of some guy on a quad with a cell phone and a latte behind a herd, no you think of a guy up on a horse working. A horse falls into the same category as a dog for many people, they work with us and can be quite loyal to us. I suppose those that just look at a horse as another farm animal have more then likely had very limited experience with them. Me personally my first job was working on a horse ranch when I was 13, I live in a town where just about EVERYONE has a horse. If you look at the history of our country horses have been incredibly important to us. A horse generally is one of those animals that is a partner to man in the work that we do (or rather did). Back 100+ years ago a horse was one of the most important things you could have because heck that was your transportation. Heck maybe its from living out west and having actually worked with horses in the field and gaining that sort of connection with them you only get with something you work with. Heck I take care of my neighbors horses sometimes and they get excited when they see me.

    So I can completely understand why people would not want to see horses slaughtered for meat or leather. There are plenty of other animals out there that we can use for leather, I wouldn't want be sitting there wondering hmm is my jacket made from someones old riding buddy? In other countries yeah the horse may have a different status in their society than we do in ours. Oh and this is coming from a guy that loves a good steak, and does leather work.
     
  6. HungaryTom

    HungaryTom One Too Many

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    I come from a country where horse was also a symbol.
    Our Cowboys were called Gulyás.
    We had also Csikós who were horse breeders.
    Our Hussars were Huszár.
    All these equestrian professions exist since centuries.
    Yes ancient Magyars did soften meat under the saddle - so the wooden saddle did not ruin the horses back by sliding on it all day long. Yes they used 2-3 reserve horses and rotated them, still the wound could not heal that quick as the animal had to be rotated. Ballerinas put also stripes of meat in their shoes when their feet are hurt.
    But if the most beloved horse did break the legs - the owners had to kill them.
    Yes those tough guys were weeping and it was not as easy like blowing your nose.

    Mongoleans -the last equestrian nation par excellence - also process horses.
     
  7. rebelgtp

    rebelgtp One of the Regulars

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    Yes if the horse broke its leg of course it would have to be shot, same deal out here. The point I was trying to make, was that a horse isn't just another livestock animal raised for slaughter to be used as meat and leather in our country, we have more than enough cattle for that.
     
  8. HungaryTom

    HungaryTom One Too Many

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    Rebel, I got your point. Also: I found some articles about ancient tanning in Hungary a year ago and I posted the info from there. And there it was described that the best hide came from the cattle - from their front quater. Italians call it avancorpo. If you imagine the front quarter hide of this http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Magyar_szürke.jpg I don't think it should be weaker than any horsehide... plus it's much bigger. Same goes for water buffalo.

    Yes a sacrilege to the horsehide fans!
    :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    When both hides were available in the pre-motorization era, the hides of the cattle were preferred by tanners and leather workers since the horsehide was more stiff and creak with age. Soft i.e. easily workable and flexible hides come from younger animals. And horsehide has been always a by-product stemming from elder horses.
    The best skins for bookbinding were the goatskins - see moroccan leather.

    I believe that its the tanning excellence that makes the best hides from skins, e.g. Horween makes excellent horsehides, but they can also tan very good steerhide if that is needed.

    P.S. I only have a steerhide A-2 and no FQHH jackets - on the other hand I own a few pairs of shell cordovan shoes.
     
  9. Story

    Story I'll Lock Up

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    Furthermore, the number of horses used in farming is on the increase, due to the rising costs of fuel. There's a couple of websites offering 21st century horse-drawn farm implements.
     
  10. scotrace

    scotrace Head Bartender Staff Member

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    I am surrounded by huge Amish populations here as well. If there is reincarnation, the last thing you would want to be is an Amish horse. Worked to death on skimpy rations, and you never see one that has been near a brush.

    The tourists think it's nifty though.
     
  11. KilroyCD

    KilroyCD One Too Many

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    Some of them (mind you a relatively small number) seem to "get it" though. We specialize in equine supplies where I work, and while the majority of our Amish customers do buy the least expensive feed (and they're not alone the way grain prices are skyrocketing), we have a number who do buy better quality feed that is more rich in nutrients. They also buy quality supplements for their horses. Those customers usually have some of the nicest looking horses when they trot into our lot. Some do take care of their horses, but unfortunately most Amish horses are as you describe. But I fear we are moving off-topic here, and a discussion on the way Amish do things could turn political. Lets get back to the subject at hand.
     
  12. rebelgtp

    rebelgtp One of the Regulars

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    dang HungaryTom I'd hate to be on the business end of the horns on that bull!

    Oh and I have to agree the quality of the leather all depends on the tanner doing the job. I a section of front quarter from a bull that is some of the most beautiful leather I have ever seen (I work leather as previously stated), sadly I can't get it anymore the tanner is long gone. So that leather gets only used under special order and costs a premium. Its tough as nails and buttery soft in its texture.

    Oh yeah as for people using horses more due to higher fuel costs you are right on that. Heck I've seen people here ride their horses up to the grocery store in town.:p
     
  13. carebear

    carebear My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Remember that "anecdote" does not equal "data".

    For every Amish person, working cowboy, farmer or private owner there are hundreds of thousands of city dwellers whose sole connection to horses is the same as their connection to every other animal - TV, movies and maybe the zoo.

    Those are the people who vote and advocate based on emotion rather than personal experience or sound science, those are the people who are usually responsible for the well-meaning unintended consequences of things like bans (of anything).
     
  14. Miss Brill

    Miss Brill One Too Many

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    They are also said to be the worst puppy-mill owners. Animals are animals to them--and profit. My great great great grandparents were Amish, but I'm happy they bailed on the life, I don't think I'd like being a farmer's daughter.
     

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