Horse Drawn Carriages
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Horse Drawn Carriages

by Dr. Deborah Tanzer

Horses are magnificent animals. Strong, proud, beautiful. They run in the wind, manes flying, legs galloping over the earth beneath their feet. This is the horse our stories and lessons teach our children about.
But we teach a different lesson, an ugly one, when we allow horse-drawn carriages. "Carriage" horses have been cruelly deprived of their birthright to run free, to fly with the wind, to feel the earth. Even to see fully with the eyes that nature has given them. Instead, they are exploited for human amusement, and forced to carry heavy loads. They stand imprisoned, their vision marred. Traffic noise, toxic fumes, blazing heat, freezing cold, rain and snow. This is what we have mandated for them.

The lesson to our children is an immoral one. We are saying it is alright to treat horses this way. That it is alright that they are imprisoned, exploited, and sad. Far from teaching compassion and empathy, this message desensitizes us, with harmful consequences for us all. For the sake of the horses, our children, and ourselves, it is time to ban horse- drawn carriages forever. Deborah Tanzer is a long-time animal activist in NYC, and a psychologist who writes about the links between human violence and cruelty to animals .

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