Starving Horses: “In the absence of food, she began eating the wooden fence around the area where she was confined…”Posted by Scott Heiser, Director of ALDF's Criminal Justice Program on December 12, 2008
Yep, I know, ’tis the season for Xboxes, PlayStations, iPhones, mani-pedi gift certificates and all the other "stuff" that moves around this time of year, thanks to the need to feed the beast that is our “consumer based economy,” but sadly these types of headlines are considerably more pervasive in winter. It is common knowledge that the recent increase in horse starvation cases is largely a function of pure economics–rising feed costs, contracting personal incomes, layoffs and foreclosures are combining to create the “perfect storm” of suffering for thousands of horses around this nation–not to mention that the simple cold of winter, even with available food, can stress a horse to the brink.
I could squander many a column inch ranting about the problem, but what people really want are solutions. At a recent meeting with an inspired group of Animal Legal Defense Fund supporters, the idea of sponsoring equine food banks to address this problem was discussed in considerable detail. It’s a simple solution borrowed from the existing food bank model used for humans in need. Applied in areas plagued by an unending supply of horse neglect cases – and perhaps, in some situations, modified from a distribution center to a delivery service – you might just find this approach to be a simple solution to a growing problem. There are many creative ways to approach the issue of equine neglect and this is but one idea to consider. If you would like to discuss how you might go about applying this concept in your community, please give me a call or post a comment below.
Here’s hoping that you are able to find the time to relax, reflect and appreciate what you already have in this life. Happy holidays.