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Our subjects cover: religion (Christian, Jewish and others); diet and lifestyle (vegan and vegetarian); and other miscellaneous subjects.

Horseback Riding and Animal Rights:
Can They Ever Be in Harmony?
Comments by: Carmel Goneau - 25 Feb 2002

Thank you all for all your thoughtful responses. 

I had heard somewhere that horses do enjoy being exercised, Anna.  I am a "city-girl" and am not personally around them very much, so forgive my ignorance.  And I didn't know that there was kinder equipment to use.  All the rigs I've seen around here look so awful and hurtful.  I just think horses are so beautiful and graceful looking.  And they all seem like relatively gentle animals until humans (mean humans) get involved with them. 

There are some horses in the pasture down the road from my apartment (on the outskirts of Houston we have cows and horses on little pieces of acreage dotted throughout the suburbs).  I just love to see them when I drive past.  But I think for me, it would be a violation of my conscience to ride one.  I just don't think I have the right to control an animal's will.  But then again, when my cat (and I have two even though I am not absolutely certain they have chosen to live with me, after all it was my idea in the first place) is doing something I don't want her to do, like scratching up my sofa, I gently remove her from the area -- that in essence is controlling her will and I can only do that because I'm bigger.  But I don't want my sofa scratched up, so what do I do?  Quite a dilemma, huh?!

And I think it might have something to do with politics too :-)  I could fry my brain with questions like these all day.  What do you guys think?  I mean we control human children's behavior, but they are children.  An adult cat should be allowed to do what she wants to do, or should she?  Can you actually say that a human and a cat, when they live together, enter into a sort of contract of sorts?  The human agrees to provide for the cats needs and the cat -- well, most people would say the cat agrees to do what ever the cat wants to do!  I know I'm making light of it, but how far should we go to control an animal's behavior or in essence superimpose our will onto hers?  -- Carmel

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