Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Long, Long Weekend

I'd always found it amusing that Melbourne has a public holiday to honour a horse race. I've never been too interested in horse racing, and gambling is not one of my vices, but hey, it's a holiday so what the heck! At least that was my attitude until yesterday, when 2 horses died after running the 2014 Melbourne Cup yesterday.

Melbourne billboard (courtesy of

I guess at some stage in people's lives there comes a time that you just have to stop turning a blind eye to things that you don't think are right. While I've always been vehemently against cruelty to animals in any form, I've taken a back seat when it comes to openly criticising or taking any action. It's time for that to stop. I'm now going to be following anti horse racing sites like this one, and other animal support groups. At times it sickens me to be part of a race that can do so much wanton damage to other species on our planet.

I'd like to thank my friend Judge the Poet who quickly responded to my request for a poem on Twitter. Judge and his lovely partner Chava have been long term vegans and are fully aware of animal rights issues.

While I guess that I've always been on the anti racing side, I've always sat back and let it be an issue that didn't concern me. The figures are quite frankly appalling. The dramatically named website Race Horse Death Watch records all deaths of race horses on course in Britain and it has been doing this since 2007. In those 7 years it has catalogues 1171 deaths, or about 167 deaths a year. This means that on average, a horse is dying from racing about every 2 days in Britain. I don't know the figures for other countries, but I would guess it's similar, and that is only race course related deaths.

If you're an animal lover, or just a reasonable person, you can't believe that this is right. I can't believe that it's taken me so long to come out and say it!

Meanwhile, I am following the wonderful cartoonist Michael Leunig on Facebook, his art and messages really resonate with me. This quote appeared on the page yesterday, not long after the race finished:

No comments:

Post a Comment