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Lea Michele Asks Bloomberg to Save Horses

Written by PETA | October 25, 2011

UPDATE: When Lea Michele found out about the death of yet another horse used for carriage rides in New York City, she immediately sent a letter to Mayor Michael Bloomberg asking him to support the bill that would replace the cruel carriages with eco-friendly retro cars and allow the remaining horses to go to sanctuaries.    

The following was originally posted on October 24, 2011:

Yet another horse used to pull carriages in New York City has dropped dead in the street, adding one more body to a count that continues to grow. Glee‘s Lea Michele recently hosted a PETA video detailing the miserable lives of these horses, who are forced to haul heavy loads in all weather extremes in one of the busiest cities in the world.


Wherever you live, if you see a horse (or any animal) in distress, contact local humane authorities immediately. If you live in New York and see a horse in trouble, contact the ASPCA at 212-876-7700, extension 4450, and PETA at [email protected] right away.

Never take a horse-drawn carriage ride, and please let New York officials know that you support Intro. Bill 86, which would replace horse-drawn carriages with eco-friendly classic cars.  

Commenting is closed.
  • Nancy says:

    After watching your video, I sent Ms. Quinn this text: Dear Ms Quinn, I am writing on behalf of the horses that draw the Central Park Carriages. These poor defenseless creatures are woefully mistreated. They are not provided a decent amount of rest in decent and comfortable accomodations. In all of New York’s extreme weather they are endlessly required to pull a painfully heavy load in very dangerous Streets for extended periods of time. They did nothing to deserve the sentence that has been passed on them. The barbaric carriages should simply be taken to a museum, and these overworked animals should be placed in a farmland and pasture setting such as Rosemary Farm Retreat in upstate NY. Where they can recover from their ordeal and be placed with loving and appreciative farms and or families. Thank you so much for your attention to my letter, and I am thanking you in advance for your kind support of these poor horses, who need you to speak for them. Sincerely, Nancy

  • Margaret says:

    These animals are exhausted! They are too overworked and poorly cared for. FREE THEM.


    In 1987 when I was living on 63rd Street & Second Avenue, I walked by 61st Street to find a horse lying dead in the middle of the street. I was so appalled that I called then Mayor Koch’s Office to report the incident and wrote countless letters protesting the use of carriage horses in NYC, the busiest city in the world. These animals are subjected to traffic, constant misuse and air pollution from thousands of cars and buses. Some years later, a law was passed limiting the number of hours a carriage horse can be worked. But who, may I ask, ever enforced this law? No one. For starters, carriage rides in NYC are prohibitively expensive and certainly no fun, if a patron must sit behind a heaving, panting horse dragging his way through every step. The reality is that it is NOT New Yorkers who patronize carriage rides – it is tourists. New Yorkers have been protesting this disgrace for years, but the carriage owners pay taxes and have lobbied City Hall that this is their only source of income. Why can’t they give these horses their freedom and trade them for eco-friendly cars that do not subject a living thing to torture? As a native New Yorker, I’ve always considered horse-drawn carriage rides barbaric and outdated. All these years after witnessing the dead horse in the street, I’m still hearing similar horror stories. Now, not later, is the time to alert visitors to NY that patronizing carriage rides is tantamount to inflicting suffering on horses. Believe me, New Yorkers care about these horses. Many of us have been protesting this archaic form of transportation for years. In the meantime, many horses have continued to drop dead in the streets. The final insult is that, at day’s end, these horses are confined to abominable stables. I lived just up the street from one of them and cannot put into words how sickened I felt every time I passed by. Dear God, DO NOT PATRONIZE NY HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDES!!

  • almafierro says:

    this kind of stuff makes my heart hurt so much! i love animals dearly and as i type i have tears streaming dwn my face. i live in california and theres a horse ranch by where i live and the horses are so happy they have open space and so much horses to interact with, yes their owners get paid to give personal horse riding lessons and such but they are so well taken care of and love humans and all! i cant believe nyc is putting innocent horses through such horrible lives please new yorkers you guys need to do soemthing about it i will wirte the person who needs to be informed but please start doing something for these horses it tore my heart apart seeing this video!)”=

  • elizabeth kennedy says:

    Please support the move to have carriage horses on NY streets replaced with eco-friendly cars

  • Risto Siljanoski says:

    Replace horse carriages with green electric vehicles!

  • colleen gilbee says:

    People just don’t want to understand that animals are living beings with feelings because it’s easier to use -and abuse – them if you don’t pay attention to that. I think if this kind of thing is going to happen they shouldn’t have carriage rides any more. Horses and all animals are living, feeling creatures. They are not robots. If you want to treat them as inanimate objects, buy a robot horse and let it pull the carriages.

  • Carla says:

    Oh Gosh, why does this happen? they couldn´t make it any worse, my heart is broken! I´ll never ride in any carriage, in any part of the world! Hey New York! zero tolerance for animal cruelty too!

  • kate says:

    All life should be treated with dignity, respect and compassion. Horses having tobreathe in fums from cars, buses etc., mad to work in heat and cold, and then housed in places not meant for horses, and being unable to get restortative sleep, freedom of movement is digusting. The city is too congested, loud, and filled with unsafe drivers. Does no one in the city goverment have an ounce of compassion? Is their treatment any better than those who abuse circus animals. I think not.

  • dreena Perino says:

    Used and treated as dollar signs…can the humane society join firces with Peta and help these owners to treat these horses better and be accountable? Hope Major Bloomberg sees this vedio..Thanks for making this.

  • Robinfff says:

    People just don’t want to understand that animals are living beings with feelings because it’s easier to use -and abuse – them if you don’t pay attention to that. I think if this kind of thing is going to happen they shouldn’t have carriage rides any more. Horses and all animals are living, feeling creatures. They are not robots. If you want to treat them as inanimate objects, buy a robot horse and let it pull the carriages.

  • Muriel Servaege says:

    Why can’t people let horses live the lives of horses? It’s a shame, those animals do their best but are treated in an incredibly cruel way. I’ve been interested for months in the lives of NY horses but things don’t change. Their plight is known all over the world. Aren’t their owners ashamed?

  • steve calder says:

    they are only able to abuse animals as animals cannot say no,so we must do it for them.what do i think of the civilised society-bring it on .

  • olivia says:

    is there no more we can do???

  • Alessandra Cazzani says:

    Please, stop using horses!! Show the world you respect horses and animals in general!

  • HorsewomanUK says:

    I am from the UK, but was shocked when I last went to NYC, so I just wrote this to Speaker Quinn… Dear Speaker Quinn, Please support Bill 86 to replace the horse drawn carriages in New York City… I live and work in London, UK, where I am a Financial Service Provider at a “Big 4” firm. I have a longstanding love affair with the United States, particularly our beloved New York City. However, last time I was lucky enough to visit your city I was shocked at the state of the carriage horses in and around Central Park. As an experienced horse woman, I could see signs of distress and neglect that remains unseen to the untrained eye; ribs and bones showing through what should be a muscular and robust physique, as well as signs of mental torment and exhaustion. Initially I had plans to take a ride, however as soon as I saw the animals, I could not bring myself to support the cruelty and therefore myself and a friend took an eco friendly option instead. I saw the park in all its glory but with the peace of mind that I had not supported an unregulated and wholly cruel trade. Horses are brave and resilient animals who have a hoofhold in the fabric of both our homelands histories’, yet only a few of us nowadays have little knowledge of horses and are unable to identify a horse in distress. Please, please support icons of history and jewels of the modern age by supporting Bill 86. Kindest regards,

  • kp says:

    Here is a link to the form to contact Mayor Bloomberg:

  • Sharon says:

    Thanks, Lea, for taking a stand! During a recent visit to NYC, I found nothing charming or inviting about the horse drawn carriages. The animals looked stressed and sad.

  • dena says:

    How do we get this to stop? Where is the petition? Shouldn’t we march in front of the governors office and petition on this until he agrees to shut this down? I am disgusted on how inhuman people treat animals like garbage. Animals are not here on this earth to provide a profit from like so many other business or trades. When will it stop….? Sad in NJ

  • Marsha says:

    The horses used for carriage rides are not humanely treated because there are no laws to protect them from their owners abusive ways. Horse drawn carriage rides should be outlawed. These animals are abused for recreational profit only. Other modes of transit are available without having to abuse an animal.

  • Mr. Vegeterian (WILL NOT EAT ANY THING THAT CAN MOVE) says:

    Thanks Lea! Great to see some one like you fight for this cause! Keep up the good work! I will keep this simple, I don’t even listen to a song on my Ipod that I don’t like (we all do..), than why do we make innocent speechless animail do EVEYTHING against their own free will! This is like putting the whole of human race to shame!!!

  • Marie-Francoise Kuss says:

    Caring for the wellbeing of animals means progress of civilisation.

  • mary ann lajoie says:

    People have to start thinking of the animals that are providing humans with pleasure rides. Imagine what it must be like to pull a buggy on busy cement payments and then live in cold dirty cages day after day after day. Cruelty to horses must stop. Ban the carriage rides in all cities and help save these wonderful creatures from torture and pain and cruelty. Ban carriage rides. Please.

  • Sarah John says:

    I visited New York on holiday three weeks ago. I had a wonderful time, however my trip was blighted by seeing these horses in Central Park. The day i visited it was boiling hot and the horses looked distressed, tired and fed up. I immediately e-mailed the Mayor and Christine Quinn when i returned to London but they have not replied. This practice throws a dark cloud over the image of New York. It’s a great city but this is totally wrong.

  • Liz says:

    I definitely agree, those animals DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT belong on those crowed streets. Have a little respect and compasion or is it impossible for these vendors or should I say we are worshiping at the altar of the almighty buck.

  • Marcia says:

    I feel so bad for Charlie. It sounds as if he was worked until he was worn out on an Amish farm and then sent to New York to pull carriages. That is shameful! Also shameful is the Mayor Bloomberg’s alleged comment that Charlie was lucky to have a job! Some jobs should not exist, including that of carriage horses and carrige horse drivers! Not every job is good or ethical and making money, even in a recession, is not justification for abuse.

  • Isabelle says:

    Although a Mayor has the right to be “proud” of his city, calling it “the Greatest City of all”, he sure does not own it! Big fat money, mind manipulating religion and politics go hand in hand, making misuse of power easy. I love going to Manhattan while at the same time, I feel heartbroken when seeing these horses. Have you ever looked into their sad eyes? (behind the blinders!) Yes, they do speak, but still have no voice! The EXACT truth of how they REALLY are treated..abused.. is veiled in silence when they lie dead in the streets of “the Greatest City of all”. I wish we had a MOST GREATEST MAYOR who has Integrity, Dignity, and Respect for all Life and all Species. GREATNESS GROWS AND EXTENDS FROM THE FOUNDATION OF COMPASSION

  • Betty Kang says:

    This film made me so sad. I just watched a DVD documentary (Unchained Memories: Slave Narratives) on former slaves that were interviewed (in the 1930s), and I couldn’t get their words out of my head as I saw this film on horses. The former slaves spoke of the conditions they lived under. They didn’t get to rest adequately either, working from sunup to sundown in the heat of summer, cold of winter. Nor was there enough food, they were always hungry. One man said they were treated “like dogs” Or, like horses in New York City, apparently. WHERE IS A PETITION TO MICHAEL BLOOMBERG???

  • Elise says:

    I love you Lea! this made me so sad, almost cried! your so inspirational and i really hope this stops! its awful!

  • annie says:

    Could we make the oppressors of these docile, loving mamals suffer in similar situations? Wonder how long they could endure it…….to be taken out of your home, your family, your favorite food, freedom lost! Yes, you say but they are only animals….all living things feel….END OF STORY! When your life flashes by you you will know where you went wrong and didn’t do anything about it….all in the name of $….you will meet your creator and then you will know………

  • Alyssa says:

    Fact: Horses hooves (hoofs?) are the human equivalent to the index and middle finger. Imagine pulling a carriage full of people on 8 fingers.

  • Eve says:

    I live in New York and see horse carriages every day. I feel SO bad for these poor animals. My heart breaks see them dragging this stupid carriage packed with people. What are we? Humans or heartless creatures??? Please please please support horses and let them have a good happy life!!!

  • Boomer says:

    I saw carriage horses in Charleston, SC pulling heavy carriages full of tourists in June. These horses were breathing as if they’d run a race. Shame on any city that supports this!

  • marie says:

    I work for a carriage company. Our girls do a lot of private weddings and such, but also work occasionally in our neighboring city. They are very well taken care of, with fields to run in and stalls twice the size they should be. NY gives a bad name to other carriage companies. Our horses are doing what they are bred to do. We use percherons, a draft breed. They can pull up to 5 times their weight rolling.our smallest being at 1600lbs pulls a carriage that weighs roughly 800. In no way is that cruel or torture. They enjoy working. Dont blame us because of irresponsible horse owners. The fact that you say to boycott ALL carriage companies is absurd. Yes i agree the ones who cant manage to take care of their horses should be shut down. But dont blame the others for their mistakes.

  • Connie says:

    I agree it is time to stop animal cruelty of any kind. These horses need to be free roaming. Keep up the great work Lea.

  • Lizzy says:

    Go Lea! It’s so great to see a celebrity standing up for something like this. You hardly ever see that these days. I think the reason the carriages are still in business is mainly because of tourism. I think it should end!

  • Mavi says:

    I Agree NYC needs to stop using these horses to carry people around and also their living conditions are unacceptable how would they feel if they had to live in a small place like that.

  • Barbara Smolinski says:

    Unless and until we stop the abuse of animals for profit this madness will continue. I quote Anna Sewell the author of Black Beauty,”We call them dumb animals, and so they are,for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words”. Animal Liberation is the answer.

  • animallover says:

    Why would people do that if they knew the horses would get hurt? that is pure cruelty.

  • Mona says:

    It’s heartbreaking to see how horses in NY are overworked and yet so under-appreciated (if not at all). We have horses pulling carriages here in Jakarta too. Their owners treat them better but still, having these brave and hardworking friends roam the dangerous streets of Jakarta is just not right. The problem is, their owners/bosses, mostly are financially challenged and they must be given an alternative income source before asked to stop their ‘business’.

  • iceangel108 says:

    This is horrible. I go into NYC all the time and I used to want to ride in the carriage. But now that I see how they treat these beautiful animals, I will never go on one. All animals should be treated with love and care, including these horses.

  • Bunny says:

    Peta, come here to Berlin! We have horse drawn carriages here. Maybe you can help put a stop to them here too?

  • Mystcngs says:

    While I am an avid horse lover and I agree 100% that this is cruel and inhumane, I do have one problem with this video. Horses do not sleep lying down almost ever. Because of their size they have to sleep standing up or they crush their circulatory system. I have owned horses since I was a little girl and anyone who has owned horses knows that horses do not lie down to sleep. They do lay down occasionally, but usually, it is for short periods of time, unless they are lame.

  • Megan says:

    Agree with this 100% except the fact that horses sleep standing up. They only lay down of they are dying

  • Rowan says:

    Support the horses! Isn’t there enough cruelty in the world?

  • Jemimalalove67 says:

    I hate this! it’s horribale I see this ever time I go to the city! This should be illegal! When I was 6 I wonted to ride on one but now in glad my mom said no!

  • Carla* says:

    Maybe this one will put an end to this cruelty!?

  • Laumellle* says:

    This is very sad and horrible and, thank God, that someone is doing something to help them. Great job, Lea! That’s the way we all should live and help others, not just ourselves.

  • Emily says:

    It is so sad what we put animals through, I love how passionate Lea Michelle is about this cause. It helps to have powerful people behind such a worthy cause (:

  • snowangel says:

    This is so sad. I never really realized how bad the situation was until now. I hope that everyone would understand that this has to stop immediately.