Written by PETA
It's bad enough to
be forced to pull heavy carriages in all weather extremes through New York
City's busy, exhaust-filled streets, but a necropsy
on Charlie, the horse who collapsed and died while "working" last
week, found that he also suffered from painful stomach ulcers and a cracked
death sparked renewed calls for a ban on cruel horse-drawn carriages
in New York, including a letter from Glee star Lea Michele asking
Mayor Michael Bloomberg to support a bill to end the rides. Bloomberg's comments on Charlie's
death have been astonishingly cold-hearted: "Like everyone,
eventually they die," he said. "Some die on the streets."
Charlie is the
latest victim of an industry
that exploits animals in order to turn a buck despite increasing opposition
from the public and lawmakers. There have been countless incidents
resulting in injuries to and the deaths of both horses and people when horses used
for carriage rides become spooked and bolt into traffic or when carriages
Whether you're a
resident or a potential tourist, please tell New York City lawmakers
that you support Intro. Bill 86, which would ban horse-drawn carriages and
replace them with eco-friendly
by Heather Faraid Drennan
is no stranger to accolades,
with Golden Globe and Emmy Award nods for her role on Glee.
And today, Variety magazine is honoring Lea at its third annual Power of Women
luncheon for her off-screen role working with PETA as a
powerful advocate for animals.
Lea Michele ©Jeff Kravitz/ FilmMagic
Lea, PETA representatives will be there, too, putting our message in front of Variety's 450 guests with a booth where
we will hand out vegetarian/vegan
tote bags, and shirts.
fans of Lea since back when she was conquering the Great White Way and speaking out about the
unattractive side of New York—the cruel horse-drawn carriage industry.
Now that Glee has made Lea a household name, she
always uses her celebrity status to promote animal rights—from denouncing fur to singing the praises of a vegan diet. Her Twitter feed is always alight with
animal-friendly suggestions sent to her 1.1 million followers.
Lea. You inspire us to keep striving to save animals' lives every day.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
The list of accidents involving horse-drawn carriages just got longer. On Monday night, a taxi knocked over a carriage, resulting in injuries to the carriage driver and passengers. Witnesses said the horse was lying in the street beneath the carriage. The extent of his injuries are unknown.
Horses used for carriage rides are forced to work long hours in the heat of summer and the sleet of winter. The noisy and crowded streets are no place for these sensitive, easily spooked animals, and as this latest incident shows, collisions between carriages and hardier vehicles occur somewhat regularly. In New York, at the end of their "shifts," the horses are tied into tiny stalls, barely bigger than their own bodies, unable even to get the weight off their legs and lie down. Check out Glee star Lea Michele's video about horses used for carriage rides:
There are compassionate and tourist-friendly options to make sure that this type of accident—and worse—doesn't keep happening: Pamela Anderson recently promoted the cruelty-free charm of eco-friendly classic cars, which would provide jobs for drivers while giving horses a much-deserved retirement.
Please take a moment to sign PETA's petition asking New York City to ban horse-drawn carriages. If you know people who are planning a trip to New York this summer, urge them to avoid cruel horse-drawn carriages.
Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
When Olivia Munn cohosted the Today Show with Hoda Kotb on St. Patrick's Day, Hoda mentioned that her ex-husband proposed to her while they were riding in a horse-drawn carriage. Uh-oh.
There wasn't enough green beer in the studio to make Olivia let that remark go unchallenged.
"Did you guys just watch an 80s chick flick and then go off, and then did you realize that it's really horrible to ride in those carriages with those poor horses?" she asked.
A chagrined Hoda said that it seemed romantic at the time but turned out not to be.
"Do you not regret it?" Olivia asked.
Hoda replied, "Well, yeah, 'cause I'm divorced!"
"'Cause you were in a carriage ride in Central Park!" Olivia declared.
Well played, Olivia, well played.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
As one of the stars of the NBC comedy Perfect Couples, we thought that Olivia Munn would be the ideal person to ask for ideas on perfect and not-so-perfect ways for couples to spend the most romantic day of the year.
"I would personally find it really romantic to grab a big pizza, a couple bottles of wine, and hang out in a hotel room with a big fireplace and just talk and laugh," she says. You'll get no arguments on that here, Olivia.
What's the worst way this staunch defender of animals can imagine spending her Valentine's Day?
"The least romantic thing to do in New York or any other city is going on horse-drawn carriage rides. … [I]f you knew the pain and misery these beautiful animals endure just to fulfill the false symbol of uniting two hearts, it would actually break your heart. To see the horses in the harsh, cold weather being forced to cart people around the city is the farthest thing from romantic in my opinion."
We couldn't have said it better. Now, off to order a big yummy vegan pizza.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Why were horses still pulling carriages through dangerously icy and snowy New York City streets after Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared a weather emergency? The city was buried in more than a foot and a half of snow, prompting the mayor to plead with motorists to stay off the streets so that plows could get through, yet carriage operators were out soliciting customers. Even without the severe conditions, New York's streets are dangerous for horses: NYC has the highest carriage accident rate in the country.
Donny Moss, who documented the cruel conditions that horses endure in NYC's carriage industry in Blinders: The Truth Behind the Tradition, took these photos of horses who were on the streets during the emergency. Even the horses' water trough was buried under snow.
The ASPCA—the agency that monitors the carriages and enforces anti-cruelty laws—told callers that the rides were suspended, yet horses were still working the streets. Please ask the ASPCA under what conditions the horses are protected.
Please, never, ever take a carriage ride in New York City or anywhere else that these cruel operations still exist.
Written by Jennifer O'Connor
Glee actor and PETA supporter Lea Michele is once again showing that she's got a heart to match her lovely voice by calling for an end to the "dangerous" and "scary" horse-drawn carriage industry in new video and print PSAs for PETA. Horses who are forced to pull carriages endure long workdays while exposed to extreme temperatures and dangerous traffic and are often denied adequate rest, water, and food.
Lea sat down for an interview with PETA to discuss the miserable conditions that she's seen these animals endure, and she hopes that others will join her in the campaign to shut down the horse-drawn carriage industry.
This isn't the first time that Lea has spoken out for horses—she appeared in another PETA ad against the horse-drawn carriage industry back when she was starring in Spring Awakening on Broadway and saw horses toiling at New York's Central Park. The multitalented star is also a vegan (she credits her healthy diet with giving her the energy to keep up with her bubbly Glee character, Rachel) and is a vocal opponent of fur.
When you work for PETA, it's hard to ever really go on vacation. That's because everywhere you go, you are bound to encounter people doing not-so-nice things to animals. Take my recent trip to Egypt. Skinny stray cats and dogs were hanging around outside all the hotels and restaurants, camels were living in squalor outside the pyramids for the sake of a photo opportunity, and the streets at all the big tourist spots were thick with horse-drawn carriages. I took these photos in Luxor, home to the famous Karnak temple and the Valley of the Kings and therefore overrun with sightseers. The carriages were lined up for a whole city block, waiting to draw in gullible tourists:
Many of the horses are hobbled when they aren't working. This one was hobbled so tightly that he couldn't move even an inch in any direction:
Notice the sores on the horse's knees. I saw many horses with such sores. I saw no indication that working horses were ever provided water or shade. The cracks of the drivers' whips could be heard blocks away.
These people are in business strictly to cater to tourists, who ignorantly think horse-drawn carriage rides are "romantic." Somehow, I miss the "romance" in staring at the rump of a tired and dejected horse.
Fortunately, the good folks of Rome (the birthplace of romance) agree. Rome's city council recently restricted the use of horse-drawn carriages to city parks, allowing them on city streets only on weekends. During the week, carriage operators will instead ferry tourists around in vintage-looking electric cars, (similar to the cars that New York City is currently thinking of employing). The move came in response to the death of Birillo, a horse who broke his leg after being hit by a truck and who lay on the street in agony for four hours before being euthanized.
In honor of Birillo and all his toiling brethren, give a carriage driver a piece of your mind and give the horse an apple (carry some with you for the purpose) instead of spending your hard-earned coin the next time you're on vacation.
Written by Joel Bartlett
The good folks at the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages (CBHDC) teamed up with PETA members to hold a protest outside New York City's Central Park on Valentine's Day. They witnessed several disturbing incidents that illustrate a culture of inaction by ASPCA officers charged with monitoring the carriage industry and enforcing regulations. Read and weep:
CBHDC President Elizabeth Forel reports that one of the roads coming out of the park had a large pothole and that the drivers repeatedly drove their carriages over it. Elizabeth believes that ASPCA officers were within their power to bar the carriages from using the road, but, after numerous complaints, the only action that was taken was to put an orange traffic cone in the pothole.
Carriage drivers were so busy hurling abuse at the protesters and trying to videotape them that they came perilously close to becoming involved in serious accidents. According to witnesses, one driver drove his horse right into the traffic cone, which nearly caused the frightened animal to bolt. Shockingly, when protesters brought this incident to the attention of an ASPCA officer, he blamed the horse and refused to cite the driver.
Another driver was talking on his cell phone and almost ran into the cone. At the last minute, one of the ASPCA officers touched the horse's face in an attempt to divert him from the pothole (the horses wear blinders and can only see what's directly in front of them). This startled the horse, who veered sharply into the path of a car, which some witnesses believe may have struck the animal.
A veterinarian who attended the protest reported seeing areas on horses' skin rubbed raw by their harnesses. One lame horse mysteriously "disappeared" after protesters brought the matter to officers' attention.
Drivers repeatedly—one might even say routinely—ran red lights, but, again, the ASPCA officers did nothing. In fact, Elizabeth reports that the officers seemed more concerned with whether or not she had a permit for her protest (she didn't need one and they knew it) than they were with doing their jobs.
"The drivers do not take the ASPCA officers seriously," says Elizabeth. "If they did, they would show more respect for the law and would do as told. … They act with impunity—like they know they will not get a ticket no matter what."
Please click here to read more about the cruelty of the horse-drawn carriage industry and what you can do to help.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Liam Neeson's appearance on The Daily Show last night has PETA wondering if one of his horses might have kicked him in the head. What else could explain his bizarre opinions about New York City's carriage horses and what wonderful lives he thinks they have?
"Have you been in these stables?" he asked. "I would move in tomorrow. Seriously." The man has his choice of at least two posh homes—an enormous condo in Manhattan and a sprawling 6,000-square-foot estate in upstate New York—but apparently he would just as soon live here:
It gets better. When Jon Stewart questioned whether the horses would prefer to be free, Liam said, "Everyone thinks cows in the fields would rather be running wild … that's bullsh** … horses don't either."
Oh, Liam, maybe you're right, let me ponder this for a moment … It does seem like horses would prefer to endure the freezing cold and the panicky booms, noisy traffic, and exhaust fumes of the city over living in a lush pasture. And you're right, they probably much prefer the whips, shouting, heavy gear, traces, and lack of water in the troughs as well as the long shifts trudging for hours and pulling strangers in a half-mile circle all day without rest over living a natural life. Makes sense, right?
Jon stood firm, though, and came to the support of horses, adding, "I don't think living on 52nd and 11th is a holiday for a horse."
Written by Christine Doré
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.