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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: James Hall - 27 Feb 2002

I thank you, Anne-Marie, for your very insightful comments about horse riding.

You see it correctly that what we are talking about here are "systems" or "traditions" of abusing animals that are not generally questioned.

Let's look a little bit at the "tradition" of humans saddling and riding horses, using them to pull carriages, etc.

Throughout history, horses have been slaughtered in every war and violent  encounter.  They make good targets.  A marksman knows he can bring down the rider by first bringing down the horse. 

I urge those who defend horse riding to do an in-depth study of the carnage to horses during the American Civil War. 

Even the practice of having mounted policemen puts horses in harm's way.  Sure, it gives policemen and women an ability to move a little faster.  But why not cycles or other motorized vehicles for this purpose?  because the horse can serve to give the police officer physical distance from an angry mob of rioters.  But who does the mob turn its violence on?  The horse. This is also seen with "police dogs" that are routinely shot and knifed because they are serving as sacrificial animals for the officers - to provide them physical distance from the violence.

I am sure that the folks who advocate horse riding, etc., on this board are humane and would never do anything intentionally to hurt an animal.

But please see that the point I am trying to make is much larger.  I am asking you to look at what has been done to horses HISTORICALLY in our culture because of riding them and using them to pull our vehicles.  Do you want to continue to be a part of that SYSTEM and TRADITION in our culture?  That is the question I am really asking of all.

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