Written by PETA
I’ve never understood the whole carriage horse attraction. Setting aside the animal rights thing for a second, I just don’t get how people could possibly construe riding around a loud busy city in a non-air-conditioned buggy while smelling horse crap the whole time as even the slightest bit romantic. I’ve always found it totally absurd. But believe it or not, that’s not what this post is about . . .
Last week a spooked horse used for carriage rides collided with a taxi cab in NYC, injuring the horse and taxi driver. Sadly, this isn’t an isolated incident. Carriage and car collisions and other such accidents have occurred in nearly every location where horse-drawn carriages are allowed. The last one I heard about was last year when a horse was euthanized after bolting from his carriage and slamming into a station wagon—the driver received a fractured skull and a medically induced coma. You may remember that case because Martha Stewart’s daughter, Alexis, jumped on it and brought some much needed attention to the issue. The same year, two other people were seriously injured in collisions, and one horse was repeatedly whipped after collapsing in Central Park—she died in her stall the next morning. Anyway, this latest incident—there have been more than 20 in the past 10 years—happened on July 4th, when a horse became spooked and ran into a taxi cab, resulting in lacerations of the horse’s leg and hospitalization of the cab driver.
The harsh reality here is that as long as horses are forced to work in loud and busy city environments, these accidents will continue to happen regularly. And in addition to the clear danger it poses to people, the horses’ hooves and legs suffer from constant pounding on hard pavement and the smoke and exhaust fumes from urban traffic can make them ill.
So, please take a moment to click here to join us in urging the New York City council to ban the outdated and cruel horse-drawn carriages that endanger animals, drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Palm Beach, Fla., London, Paris, and Toronto have all banned carriage horses because of cruelty to animals, and it’s time for New York City to join them.
And don’t worry about the tourists. They’ll be fine. If they insist on sticking out like a sore thumb they can still take one of the super cheesy roof-top bus tours . . .
Some great elephant news on two fronts for you today, as two famous elephants have found new places to live. The first, an elephant named Dulary from the Philadelphia Zoo, has been released to a sanctuary to spend the rest of her life following the zoo's decision to close down its elephant exhibit for good. It's amazing to me to think that before I got involved in animal rights, it never even occurred to me that there was something monumentally screwed up about keeping elephants (who walk up to 30 miles a day in the wild) in tiny enclosures in places like Philadelphia for people to gawk at. Anyway, awesome work The Philadelphia Zoo for figuring that out too. You can read the full story here.
The second elephant to find a home is a beautiful little anti-circus sculpture who goes by the name of "Ella PhantzPeril" (yeah, I know. Kill me.) Ella, a shackled, weeping pachyderm who wears a sign that reads, "Shackles, Bullhooks, Loneliness — All Under the Big Top" has been the subject of a few legal troubles over the past few years, even getting the ACLU involved when DC balked at displaying her as part of a citywide exhibit of elephant and donkey sculptures. Now, after a whole lot of back and forth with the New York City Parks Department, the New York Post has reported that the city has finally agreed to allow her a spot in Union Square Park this summer. So take that, circuses.
With hundreds of people standing in line waiting for tickets last week, the Lewis and Clark Old-fashioned Circus just folded up its tents and slinked off into the night. (OK, whatever—it was daytime, and circuses probably can't slink exactly, but I need a bit of creative license here.) The reason for all the drama was that York City Manager Trey Eubanks had decided at an emergency meeting with city leaders that the circus had failed to meet safety guidelines and that three caged tigers used by the circus posed a danger to York citizens. You can read our letter thanking the city here. While it admittedly may have sucked a little for everyone waiting in line to go see the circus, it's awesome to see a city recognizing the dangers—not to mention the brutality—of animal circuses and booting them out of town. Nice work, York!
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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.