Now What?

Boy has it been a while since I’ve written anything. Blame the kids! Well, no, don’t blame them as they continue to be too adorable. Some recent news is weighing heavily on my mind and completely derailed what I was originally planning to blog out this evening, but I’ll still start with some housekeeping.

Breeze and Leo are both fantastic. Breeze has really settled down and though she is still wary, she is consistently coming up and allowing Dad and I to rub her head. Her favorite activities include eating, bossing Leo around, trying to boss Ziggy through the fence, and demanding Leo itch her butt. Now that her walls are falling down, I suspect she will start to progress very quickly.

Leo has proven to be more challenging in some ways. He is very sweet-natured but has trouble retaining what he has learned from one day to another, which is to say that we have to start from square-one every day. On the bright side, he remembers a little quicker each time, so there certainly is progress.

I will try to get new pictures up of the kids soon. I have a few cell phone pics but am otherwise too busy playing to photograph.

I also would like to thank everyone so much for the well wishes. I did get the job that I interviewed for. Hooray! I know it’s completely unrelated to everything else and a bit boring, but soon I’ll be back to getting off at 2:30. Holler! Getting off early makes a huge difference in the winter, and I am desperate to get away from this 8-5 nonsense. People who like that kind of thing are crazy!

Onwards and upwards!

When I woke up this morning, my plan was to write about bachelors like Euler up there. It was going to be short but sassy. Then I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way home and found myself with nothing better to do than check facebook. This led to discover the latest news coming down the pipeline.

Everyone seems to be a little confused as to what exactly is going on, but the word on the street is that Canadian horse slaughter plants are turning away US horses being shipped up to them. Fascinating.

I am against horse slaughter. I won’t go into my reasoning as there are many other blog posts out there which explain the reasoning more eloquently than I could ever hope to. In fact, from this point forward I refuse to ever acknowledge that I even know that the word “eloquent” exists. It sounds like one of them there sissy words!

At this point, let’s assume that the rumors are true and that Mexico will be quickly following in Canada’s footsteps. What next?

There is a tough road ahead if horse slaughter is to be banned. It will be difficult to accomplish such a ban in the first place. Then there is the question of how to help the horses who have already been purchased and were even on their way to the slaughter plant. These are just the preliminary challenges. At the heart is a much larger issue; how to stop the irresponsible over-breeding that allowed horse slaughter to be considered an acceptable form of population control.

I’m not going to talk about any of that. I don’t pretend to be any kind of an expert; I’m just a country girl with a blog and a camera. In the coming days the experts will come out and give insight on the big picture. Instead I’d like to branch out to a smaller subset of the issues at hand – what does this mean for Mustangs?

Gladiator FTW!

As with domestic horses, this news, if correct, is great for Mustangs in the lon- term. Earlier this month an article appeared in the Denver Post revealing that the BLM has actively sold thousands of horses to Tom Davis, who moved the horses south to Mexico and then conveniently “lost track” of what became of them. Right.

According to Tom Davis, little Brego would taste delicious

The information that the BLM was offloading horses to men who sent them right to slaughter came as a surprise to absolutely no one. Despite all appearances, BLM employees are not morons. Well, okay, some are… *cough* d’Ewart *cough* The BLM knew what was happening and did nothing.

It made me wonder how many three-strikes horses have been knowingly sold to slaughter.

Ziggy would be considered a lucky sale authority horse. Instead of going straight to slaughter, he only nearly starved to death.

The natural progression is to ask what will happen if/when the BLM can’t offload a bundle of horses on kill buyers. There are 50,000 horses stock-piled in holding and the BLM continues to remove over 10,000 every year. In the past, the BLM has talked about mass euthanasia of the horses in holding. If the slaughter pipeline comes to an end, then even fewer wild horses will be adopted or purchased.

Euthanasia will come back on the table, and we can’t let that happen. Now is the time to demand that stay off the table no matter what. Let’s call the BLM. Again. It gets old, I know, but now is not the time to let up! When calling Congressman and Senators, why not also mention the Mustangs? It can’t hurt.

The second risk is that stopping horses from going to Canada and Mexico will encourage U.S. slaughter plants to open. I can’t imagine that the European Union would accept U.S. horses, but when has logic ever stopped enterprising fools? If this was to occur, then folks like Davis the oh-so-innocent friend of the BLM who loves to expound on the sheer pleasure of eating a fat yearling colt.  The BLM also may be more inclined to enter into agreements with a U.S. based slaughterhouse as opposed to the foreign ones. Public pressure would likely put a hasty stop to that, but be wary.

And a final point to chew on is that the BLM may use this as an excuse to conduct more roundups. No, I’m not smoking anything as I type this. In Divide Basin I once came across a skinny little domestic mare who still had her halter on. The band stallion moved the band off before I could try to get close enough to remove it. Horse slaughter needs to be stopped, but in the initial adjustment period, people will dump domestic horses and some of those horses will be dumped in wild horse herd areas. It is cruel, horrible, and rarely ends well for the poor domestic who does not have the genetics or the education to survive like his her wild born cousins.

But wouldn’t that just be a fantastic excuse to continue to inflate their wild horse population count? Not only can they quadruple count the number of wild horses that legitimately call that range their home, but they can also include the domestics in the never-ending propaganda of “ZOMG the wild horses are destroying the rangeland. It’s all their fault and now everything will DIE!!!!”

Maybe I’m crazy on that last one. Maybe my love of political talk radio has finally destroyed what few of my marbles remained. But maybe not. Time will tell.

Make no mistake folks, the BLM is a classic case of bureaucracy at its worst, and the employees entrenched in the system are very good at playing the game. True spin doctors can find any excuse to accomplish their goal, no matter how thin the reasoning may be. I’m just not convinced that the BLM won’t try to use this opportunity in one way or another. I hope I’m wrong. At the same time, I have faith that the American people can stop any nefarious schemes that may be put forth.

So sorry for the heavy post. Writing helps me understand thoughts that don’t always make sense in my head. I can’t even pretend that I’m good with thinking seriously. What is everyone else’s thoughts about what is going on? Am I way off? What am I missing in the equation? I know something about this is off – it’s inevitable when I’m still typing at 11:30 p.m. Let me know!

I promise I will return to the regularly scheduled goodball blog posts soon.

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6 thoughts on “Now What?

  1. Deborah Prichard says:

    Congratulations on the new job!

  2. Prairie girl says:

    Getting off at 2:30??! Sweeeet. You’ll have three hours of horse time before dark. I know, I know…a ‘regular’ work day would suck!
    The Leo story reminds me of the movie 50 First Dates w/Drew Barrymore. Right? Ha! I’m glad he’s making progress tho.
    And Breeze. What a babe. You must have the best time watching her bossy antics! I love that you guys are able to rub her little head! Please toss the cell phone and grab your real camera and start doing what yer good at! We’re all jones in’ for new pics. 😉
    Sheesh. That moron Tom Davis. He’s friends with that other moron, Salazar. I am so sick about what he’s doing and being allowed to do it. Somehow or another, we’ve GOT to demand the BLM put a halt to selling him ten dollar horses!! Or for that matter, working with him at all.
    It IS fascinating about Canada. Hmmm. I wonder…
    Maybe they are on our side when it comes to wild mustangs. Perhaps they know the shenanigans going on in the good ol’ US of A, and they are passionate about our wild herds, like us, and want no part in removal or round ups? I don’t know.
    With all the heartlessness and greed, the uncaring, irresponsibilty and cruelty surrounding our animal world, I’m just trying to eloquently wrap my head around it all. And, that’s the LAST time I will ever use that word, because, hey…I ain’t no sissy.

    • Oh my goodness! It is exactly like 50 First Dates. Or… was. Though with less Spam which is more than a little tragic.

      Tom Davis absolutely needs to go, and so do other kill buyers like them. It’s also past time the BLM weeded out the employees doing under the table dealings. The reason there is so much focus on the horses in long-term holding is because there is a legitimate question of how many of those horses were quietly shipped to Mexico by the BLM’s own employees.

      We now know that the EU has resumed accepting U.S. horses. All that means is we need to get anti-slaughter bills passed more quickly! The issue should be put into our hands so it can be stopped permanently.

  3. Puller Lanigan says:

    Rachel, my biggest fear is the U.S. will figure out how to unload the 51,000 wild horse in LTH to Mexico AND Canada BECAUSE they are wild horses and therefore not subjected to Bute, et. al. All we can do is point out how many domestic horses have been dumped into wild herds and possibly rounded up as well. Or, as you adroitly point out, U.S. slaughterhouses will become the rage. I think, not unlike dog breeders, horse breeders will need to take responsibility for their own animals. I’ll stop there. I do dog rescue for a specific breed…some have gotten the message, some haven’t. This moratorium on horse sales for slaughter outside the U.S., provides those poor horses assigned to death (including the 51,000 horses in LTH) MORE TIME to be rescued. I personally think this is a knee-jerk propaganda by the horse slaughter community to send the House and Senate into a panic and cave in to U.S. slaughter.

    • Thankfully wild horses are subjected to some carcinogens when they are vaccinated after roundups. That said, clearly such practices don’t bother the Europeans that much, more is the pity. I am against horse slaughter of any sort, but if slaughter plants do ever open in the United States again, I fully expect that the BLM will set forth proposals to use them to dispose of their “excess” horses. I pray for those horses but also shudder to think what the BLM would do with their massive wild horse budget should they ever actually take away the money going to the horses in long-term care.

      I don’t believe that all breeders will ever get the message for horses or dogs. But if slaughter was stopped then it would help. How many breed associations actively support horse slaughter all while telling their members to breed more, more, more? It’s disgusting! It is not just awkward oops babies that end up in slaughter houses. Many are well-built, registered horses.

      All we can do is keep working for real, positive change for the U.S. horses at risk!

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