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Horse over-population or slaughter?

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By Sherry Robinson

 

Valley Meat Company in Roswell has become the focal point for arguments over horse over-population in the same way ants become the focal points of bored boys with magnifying glasses. There’s more heat than light.

In the back-and-forth chatter, I’m hearing a lot of arguments that don’t hold water. And, even if the determined Rick De Los Santos manages to open his plant, it doesn’t solve all of our horse problems. 

The most ironic argument against a slaughterhouse for unwanted horses is that the noble animal is a western icon, a star in the Taming of the West. Somebody needs to read more history. To pioneers, the army and Indian tribes, horses were transportation. When a horse was used up, it was eaten: Meat’s meat.  

I’ve read many a description of battles in which combatants aimed for the horse — it was an easier target. Recently, blogger Dan Wilson, on the website Military History, wrote that we have a distorted view of history when it comes to the horse: “Warriors made no distinction between horse and rider in combat. War is brutal and animals suffered from that same brutality.”

Many an army patrol in the Old West ate their horses when their rations ran out. You don’t see that in the movies.


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