Horseback Riding and Animal Rights: Can They Ever Be in Harmony?


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Horseback Riding and Animal Rights:
Can They Ever Be in Harmony?
Comments by: Lisa - 17 Jan 2006

Hi, all

I'm on another veg list, and, over the weekend, when I wasn't looking, a flame-war broke out there over the issue of riding horses. I haven't ridden a horse since Camp Fire Camp--a few years ago, so never really thought about it. Some there claim no "real" veg*n would ever ride a horse, while others, who have horses, insist the horse doesn't suffer by being ridden.

Again, not having thought about it until now, it does seem a little unkind to ride a horse, now that ya mention it. But then, the horse riders threw back the accusation that keeping dogs and cats is cruel, then, too. I don't think they're equivalent (I don't ride my dog or cats).

But it raises a couple of questions...First, the basic, "whaddaya think about riding horses?" question. But more importantly (or is it?), how do we approach others in "the movement" who are committed to animals, but still have a "speck in their eye" in one way or another--vegans who ride horses, veggies who wear leather, etc. How do we gently nudge others to consider these things without looking overly self-righteous? Or do we just accept these differences among our ranks, until we've moved the larger culture further toward kindness toward animals? the whole discussion "over there" has generated way more heat than light, but I think we need to consider these things. How do we do it in the spirit of kindness?

Just wondering...


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