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‘Glee’ Star Lea Michele’s Q&A With PETA

Written by PETA | January 4, 2011

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.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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  • COLTY says:

    ALL ‘Carriage Horses’ MUST BE BANNED! Any animal serving a purpose, whether on the farm They are overworked, ill-treated, fed pooorly & bedded in uncomfortable, unsanitary conditions. SHAME on the’Caregivers’ in charge of their wellbeing. Horses have been pulling carriages, chariots, plows etc…. for years, but NOT in the middle of vehicle congested “New York”. I want to know WHY? the ‘Fire Marshall’ has not found the building used for housing them, unfit (a FIRE HAZZARD)??? ENOUGH is ENOUGH, if to HOT or COLD, DANGEROUS, HEALTH HAZZARD, NO ANIMAL SHOULD BE FORCED TO WORK under these conditions. I BEG EVERYONE to BOYCOTT ALL ACTIVITIES that involve the ABUSE of ANIMALS.

  • Shane says:

    Horses are smart, beautiful and amazing creatures that deserve respect, love and care. Yes, a lot of horses -do- enjoy driving, but when it is very clearly overdone, it becomes animal abuse. This Christmas my bes friend and I went downtown for festivities, and there was a horse drawn carriage thing going on. That poor horse was literally drenched in his own sweat know freezing weather, his legs were shaking from having to go around so many times in the cold December weather of MI. I, having ridden at a professional Morgan stable for a few years know that you should never work any horse for such a long period of time that his legs begin to quiver. And even after a light, thirty minute workout, a horse who is sweating needs proper grooming and cooling down. Think, people. These animals are not vehicles. They don’t have motors. They need actual pasture turnout, grooming and clean stalls, food and supplements to keep those joints healthy. If I ran a carriage horsr buisness, all animals would have large box stalls, individual and combined turnout, and they certainly would not be worked beyond their limits!

  • john bloomberg says:

    She is not VEGAN,,, She eats Fish and i have seen her in a restaurant in New York City Ordeting and eating fish,,, so straight up the truth,,

  • Colette says:

    Whenever an animal is somehow forced into the service of men, every one of us must be concerned for any suffering it bears on that account. No one of us may permit any preventable pain to be inflicted, even though the responsibility for that pain is not ours. No one may appease his conscience by thinking that he would be interfering in something that does not concern him. No one may shut his eyes and think the pain, which is therefore not visible to him, is non-existent.– Albert Schweitzer ++++ IS THE 21ST CENTURY THE AGE OF THE SAVAGE?? ANIMAL ABUSERS SHOULD BORROW A BRAIN CELL AND GET A LIFE! ++++

  • Kristina says:

    Are you people serious horses have been bred and used for riding and pulling for years and years.  Do you know what happens to a horse if it does not have a job. They over eat they get fat they colick (which is very very painful) and they die.

    Now I do agree that some people overdo it… and that is what needs stopped.  If a horse is a carriage horse he should be loved and fed and watered adequately.  He should not be pulling a carriage without a break any longer than we would ask any human to do it.

    People just need to learn to be responsible animal owners. Many horses love pulling carriage or trail riding some love jumping and racing it is not cruelty to ask a horse to do something they enjoy. Is it cruel to teach a dog obedience? No would that dog listen to you or do anything you ask him to if you didnt no. The same is true of a horse they are taught to do somehting and they do it because we ask them to. But they should be loved, fed, watered, groomed etc just like any other pet.

    If you know your animal you can tell if he absolutely hates something, and no he should not be forced to do something he hates.

  • Eileen says:

    I dont know first hand how hard the NY carriage rides are on the horses. But more concern should be of a more dangerous carriage ride; which is the way amish horses are killed on the highway by cars traveling country roads.   Pounding the hard payment for the many miles they travel.   I know it is their way of life.   But today cars go faster than they did way back when.   They will sooner or later have to catch up with the times. Hopefully it will be soon for the horses sake.   I am a horse owner of many years and I do believe horses are trained and do many things that are within their realm.   Let’s just watch out for their well being as humanly possible.  

  • Julsies says:

    Lea Michele is my FAVORITE actress way since Spring Awakening, and I was so glad to see her back for PETA. I agree that these animals are mistreated and that they are not cars, and that horses were not made for this job. Thank you, Lea Michele, for reaching out to such a great cause.

  • Grace says:

    Those horses deserve to be happily roaming open pastures, and they should be snacking on apples and carrots with plenty of care and love. New York is a wonderful city, but it’s no place for a horse!

  • Sarah Mischke says:

    I think these filthy lowlifes that are torchering these horses should be held acccountable, this is suppose to be a civilized county what a joke that is to let sick people make a few bucks by making a horse do his dirty work. They are the ones that should be pulling these carriages and not the horses. I would never pay to see a circus, rodeo or ride a carrage theis kind of torture should be banned permantely.

  • marita dolne campos says:

    I am in rio de janeiro, brasil. Eu acho um absurdo o que se faz com todos os animais, inclusive os cavalos que eram preservados hoje em dia viraram ate´comida em alguns restaurantes idiotas. Eu tento ser humana, mas a especie humana esta´precisando muito se humanizar. horses are beautiful for me too.

  • Chibcha says:

    HELL NO !!!

  • Leanne says:

    Cheers Lea Michele. We support you 100% in what you do, I adore you and I think I am not alone. You have a lot, and even more talent. Long life for your career and I know it will be, I look Glee every time with my sister. Continue like that you’re the best. And once again we lean in there is a very good cause. 🙂

  • Diane says:

    Thank you Lea, I am greatful that someone cares enough to do something about this. The horse need a pasture, not a fuming city street. God Bless you

  • stuart says:

    I love lea Michele I wish I was 30 years old again so I could date her. I find it very sad what they do to horses in New York. I would like Lea to send her videos to for there comment on this. I hope she reads this and sends the videos to them. I put Lea up there with Barbara. Maybe someday I will be able to see her sing with barbara on her show Glee. That would really be great. I watch Glee every week with my wife. Lea right now in my eyes the greatest singer in the United States. I am sure the movie industry knows that she is. Good going Lea

  • Leanne says:

    I agree with you Tabitha, Lea Michele is our hero and we need to help her by doing the same thing in each of our cities. I’m from Montreal, here things are not as bad but they are still there. In Quebec, there is more winter than summer and when it’s summer heat is horrible because a lot of moisture. These poor horses do not resent it, help them in our own way what it is. There should be a walk in New York with their spokesmen as Lea and show them that they subject themselves to horses and show them also to mettrent instead of their horse and see that that is what it’s like to walk more than 8 hours, snow, rain, heat thigh summer, winds and more. Circulate your voice and help the most that little Lea to abolish this cruel.

  • GleekofHearts says:

    This is heart-breaking!! she makes such a good point and i want to do whatever i can to help!!!

  • Tabitha says:

    I live in Atlanta, and I see the same thing down here. Lea is not exaggerating. I’ve gone up to some of these poor horses and seen the horrible marks they have from being whipped so much. They all look so tired and sad. I’ve wanted to help them but I didn’t know how. I’m so glad someone is doing something to bring an end to this horrible treatment! Lea Michele, you are my hero!

  • Joanna says:

    I am about to visit New York and hadnt considered the fact that these animals are being mistreated. I will certainly not be taking a ride and intend to remind anyone I see approaching the carriages just exactly what they are contributing to as a cruel business.

  • Tulayne says:

    i think it needs to stop i mean i live in australia we dont have this but i love animals and lea and i want to surrport what ever is right

  • Vivian says:

    Alex: My family is from Portugal and I agree, they treat the animals much more humanely there…

  • Vivian says:

    I go to new york very often since I live in NJ, and i always have so much sympathy for the poor horses that have to carry around lazy and ignorant people… I never went on one of those and never will. In NY, they have people riding a bike with a carriage in the back and i think that is great since whom ever if doing that has a choice to… I hope they stop making the horses do it and make the carriage people bring a horse on it’s back!

  • Leanne says:

    Lea thank you for supporting this cause, I find it sad to do this to helpless animals. I adopted two cats from the street who knows which one was hit by a car, the guy who hit him came next to my sister and said:”There’s a dead cat down there”then he left I think it’s disgusting he would have let him die in the middle of the street without doing anything. So thank you so much Lea for everything you do for our animal friends. Continue like that is all behind you have to save these animals.

  • beamanna says:

    It doesn’t really matter where the drivers come from; the point is to stop animal cruelty. I think more minds are changed when we as activists come across as open minded, openhearted, and nonjudgmental. 🙂

  • Sienna says:

    These videos and Lea inspired me so much. I at once decided that I would never ride in a horse-drawn carrige in a city like New York.

  • Ron says:

    It’s the duty of the NYC ASPCA to monitor these sons of bitches for heat and cold but I’ve called them to complain when the weather was severe in both directions and have always had a very cold response. The ASPCA does a lousy job when it comes to this. It shouldn’t be that difficult to shut them down as there are only about 100 of them in NYC. It is mostly Irish immigrants driving these rigs.

  • katarzyna says:

    please stop this its not nesseserly

  • Alex says:

    i know that in sintra portugal ther is a horse carriage for turist but the owner is a privet farmer and by the end of the day the horse go to bed in a good barn and gets to run in the open field. should we boicut all of the horse-drawn carriage industry and not just the one in NYC?

  • Lee says:

    Thank you Lea for your commitment to stop these beautiful horses from dragging a carriage in busy NYC traffic. Growing up in NY, even as a young girl, I was disturbed & upset for the horses. It’s wrong & we must protect these animals, too many accidents & deaths of horses & people getting hurt.

  • Silvia Zuliani says:

    I did not know this! I feel so bad…please stop it!I love all animals, but horses are my favourite…Why is man so cold, bad, witout heart!!!