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Liam Neeson: Un-‘Stable’?

Written by PETA | January 23, 2009

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:


Horses who are forced to pull carriages endure terrible living conditions like these. Sounds like home sweet home to Neeson, though!

Liam’s posh 6,000 square foot estate that he would apparently prefer to give up to live in the stables
Liam Neeson's house


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.”

Well put.

Written by Christine Doré

Commenting is closed.
  • Kelly says:

    He’s cruel and disgustig. He should be tortured and then we can see how he likes it.

  • dholla says:

    i doubt these horses are being treated unfairly. the very fact that they are owned by liam would suggest that they have a better life than most people

  • lynda downie says:

    The UHaul’s ready Neeson. C’mon grab your stuff! I’d hate to see you miss one more day of being lodged snugly in the stables you’re so eager to move into!

  • Sierra Fairaday says:

    Liam or perhaps I shall call you Lame Neeson for now on. I guess all these years having your nose buried behind a script has stripped you of current education. Before making such statements get your facts straight and then maybe you won’t be blasted by a bunch of people that do know the truth and are educated on the subject.

  • Marie Carew says:

    Concerning Liam Neesons comments Mr Neesons opinions are incidental and will not rule over the out come of the carriage horses dilemma so lets not waste our time casting stones. What we must do is write letters in support of cruelty free living conditions for New Yorks Carriage horses. These horses are doing human beings a service and there for they must be respected and protected. Trained animals like to be useful and serve a purpose. To take that purpose away could depress the animal and destroy its health and well being. Also If these horses loose their livelihood chances are they will be euthanized the same as race horses considering it might be very difficult to place 200 work horses on retirement farms. Lets clean up any mistreatment of these beautiful animals fine the responsible parties for their cruelty and neglect then make new laws like banning traffic and bicycles from horse restricted areas and cleaning up the stables as well as moving the horses to greener pastures when they are not doing the work they were trained to do. These animals need to be given a chance at life. This is an issue of common sense humanity AND commerce. The horses benefit the cities economic status so there for they should be treated as any other working citizen. The issue here is not about good guys and bad guys. Actor Liam Neeson never stated his opinion on animal cruelty so arguing with him is futile. Mr. Neeson does not have the deciding vote on this issue. The issue here is horse cruelty. Something that has been alleged in the New York carriage industry for many years. The problem here is not with actor Liam Neeson it is with the human beings who are responsible for the care and treatment of these animals. Not all of these care takers are abusing their horses. Some of them love their horses and are just doing their jobs. No human being has the right to make ANY animal serve them. Animals were not put here on this Earth for human pleasure and consumption on the contrary because human beings are supposed to have the higher intellect that means that they were put on the Earth to defend serve and protect animals and all life forms who can not defend protect and think for themselves. ALL Animal cruelty is inhumane. These horses only know the life that human beings gave to them therefore to take that away from them could be detrimental to there well being. Once again what needs to be done to rectify this issue is simple Laws must be passed to insure the health and safety of these hard working animals while the horses themselves are moved to a cleaner environment. One that is more fit and suitable for horses. As far as the exhaust fumes go Human beings created them and we are all breathing them so at least we are all being asphyxiated together. Horse and man alike. Even actor Liam Neeson stated on comedy central that giving these animals a pasture was a good point. Instead of condemning Mr. Neeson lets work together and use our intelligence and energy to work towards stopping the real culprits from continuing this very negative atrocity.

  • Stephane Le Clair says:

    You gotta live in such luxury and have such $$$ as Neeson does to be disconnected from reality as much as this. “Everyone thinks cows in the fields would rather be running wild that’s bullsh horses don’t either.” Yeah right Liam…cows are well treated in this world and are lucky to be raised in factory farms to be turned into big macs horses love the smell of traffic in the morning and are lucky to live such a lives of slavery … Who in their right minds would agree with such obvious nonsense. …sweet denial ignorance.

  • Joanna says:

    If people like Liam care so much about the horses they would offer to retire them to their nice country homes and care for them the rest of their lives. Retiring the horses is just the beginning of more suffering unless somebody with patures and stables and money is willing to provide life care to the horses. What will happen to them when retired in these uncertain times?

  • valerie says:

    Next time I go to NYC I am going to request that Liam pull me around in a carriage through rush hour traffic in the rain and snow with no water breaks or rest periods of any kind for 12 hours per day. After that he is welcome to relax in a walk up standing stall where he can’t lay down…ever. I will boycott every movie he is in…unless his career tanks… The hearing on the bill in NYC is this Friday Janurary 30th. Go to for details!

  • Sarah May says:

    I hate when people come up to me and say certain animals are btter off in the care of humans. What ALL animals need is the ability to express natural behaviors. Carriage horses in NYC and all other cities are not able to do so. My grandfather had working horses but he rotated them and they all lived in the pasture when the weather was good. I wouldn’t use horses now at all. What is Liam saying? I have no respect for him anymore.

  • Antonio says:

    I think Mr Neeson needs a brain scan himself. What a horrible thing to do to stand up for cruelty against animals.

  • Kay says:

    This is awful. Horses are my favorite animals I live with them and I can’t stand seeing them riding or being driven and kept in such horrible conditions. Sure driving horses is fun yes I do it but I make sure that the air quality is good and I make them a mash and let them graze after. BUt horses do like being riden sometimes they like the team work. But Liam Neeson is just full of BS.

  • kbell says:

    Shame on you Liam for even thinking this is normal and healthy for horses. Shame on the people who ride and support this horrible practice.

  • adam says:

    I only came to this site because of an entertaining email someone sent about a Mike Vick empathy test. I ran into this article and no matter how much it pains me to say that I agree with PETA I have to agree that keeping horses in cities for carriage rides is a terrible idea and anyone that has the audacity to say that the horses are enjoying it are either delusional have never seen these animals working or is an industry shill. My favorite city in the US is New Orleans. Great food great people and a lot of history. But these carriages are all over the place there. But they use donkeys and I am pretty sure donkeys care less for the work than horses do.

  • Paddy says:

    Hi this post is a response to Anna G. . It is regrettable that you would write off the entire Irish race because you have met with a few “bad apples”. I doubt that all those ” riders ” are Irish or Irish Americans. Writing off an entire race of people due to the failings of a few is called racism.

  • Justin says:

    Im not going to lie when i read this i was thinking this was just an over reaction because its the daily show and its not to be taken completely serious but i did watch the interview and i could see that Neeson was serious on this… what a ahole i mean in all honesty why would a horse be happier living in the city than on a nice ranch i mean if you have all these horses why not keep some in upstate ny on a nice ranch or something and bring some down for carriage rides…bc i dont see anything wrong with a horse carriage ride but keeping them in a crummy run down stable is completly wrong and messed up not to mention he is in all likely hood over working these animals too

  • THANK YOU PETA says:

    No animal domestic or wild can have its’ natural instincts and genetics wiped out no matter how hard humans try to do so for their own greed and appetite. Cows and horses and all other animals do not thrive when their basic needs and instincts are denied. This is why there have been 21 NYC horse carriage accidents that we know of in the last 10 years. The horses were spooked and took flight into traffic. LAIM THERE IS NO EXTREMIST AGENDA ONLY VERIFIABLE FACTS. Another convenient tactic used by the carriage industry and their supporters is to say that only a fringe group of activists and 1 NY councilman want the industry banned in NYC. LISTEN UP! THE ASPCA which volunteers to oversee the industry with their admitted inadequate resources supports a ban. The ASPCA states that THE INDUSTRY IS INHUMANE and NYC CANNOT BE CHANGED TO MAKE IT HUMANE AND SAFE! In addition to Peta the Humane Society and ASPCA numerous other equine welfare groups support a ban. The industry is always coming up with clever spin that is always devoid of fact. No thinking equine expert would call working in Times Square walking up and down 9th Avenue from their stalls in warehouses through the severely congested traffic a humane experience for horses prey flight animals. The horses are slammed between buses and cars with honking horns exhaust fumes and total chaos. This is not normal and fair to any animal even if one tries to rationalize that they are used to it. No feeling creature gets used to abuse. To add insult to injury they have NO turnout area to walk freely stretch socialize as herd animals AKA horse play. They suffer joint problems from walking on concrete in the heat and cold high humidity and chill factors are not factored in for horses despite the real effect it has on them where the temperature is much hotter and colder than the air temperature. They have inadequate stalls sizes which prevent many of the horses from fully stretching out to sleep well and the horse who are housed above the first floor of the warehouses have no direct escape to the ground should their be a fire. The list goes on and on so LIAM GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU ROMANTIZE THIS INDUSTRY. As far as the industry losing approximately 400 jobs oh please this is life. We all must take responsibility for staying skilled and ready to evolve as industries evolve. They are not owed welfare just as other workers must take responsibility to stay talented skilled and ready for new employment needstrends. Health care manufacturing and IT employees just to mention a few have all had to retool. Listening to the industry and their supporters celebrity or not is like listening to the tobacco industry explain why smoking is safe while ignoring the American Medical Associations expert opinions. AS WE EMBARK ON POSITIVE CHANGE AS A COUNTRY WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE A NEW COMPASSIONATE AND SAFE “TRADITION”!

  • Terry says:

    Felix mentioned the industry having political ties. One big political “tie” is Christine Quinn Speaker of the City Council of NY. Speaker Quinn has been against each and every bit of proposed legislation that has anything to do with the humane treatment of animals. Besides being against a ban on the horsedrawn carriage industry she’s also against legislation to ban the sale of foie gras legislation to encourage the teaching of humane education in NYC public schools the Pets in Housing bill which would have allowed an apartment dweller whose pet had died to replace that pet with a new one hopefully from a shelter and legislation to ban exotic animal displays which would ban circuses that use elephants lions tigers and other wild animals in New York City. It’s not just that she’s personally against these legislations she also intimidates the other city council members into either voting with her or into dropping legislation that they had originally introduced or cosponsored. How does she do this? The Speaker of the New York City Council has tremendous power she can block resolutions from coming to the floor for a vote. She can also deny funding to the district of a council member who doesn’t see things her way. She had planned to run for mayor this year. City Council Member Tony Avella who has introduced a resolution to ban the horsedrawn carriage industry in NYC Intro 658 is also running for mayor.

  • Michael Essi says:

    Sounds like someone’s career is not going so well hence taking a stance that would make people talk. People in Hollywood seem to think that bad press or not is good press. Outrageous to make such statements!

  • felix says:

    fact that Neeson is lying about. These horse are in Traffic during rush hour in 11th ave. Over 50 horses disappear yearly from the service roll. These horses don’t have a mandatory retirement home. Central Park has no room for these horses. ASPCA try to have them put in the park and the park does not have the space for them and doesn’t want the horses due to the smell and manure. Also these industry has too much political ties. Our money is spend on cleaning all the manure on oversight of these horses. the industry does not give anything in return to the city. A carriage driver license is less than 100 dollars for 2 years. I am glad that Stewart brought up some good facts. Except there can not be no compromise. Central park cannot take the horses and also the drivers sue the city when the city tried to restrict the horses to work around the park only. Now you see the horses in time square rockefeller center. it is Cruel and Tragic.

  • Stray says:

    I watched this last night and was very proud of John Stewart standing up for the horses. He kept going back at Liam telling him the horses arent having the great time he’s thinking they do. Liam was a total douche and wasted his whole interview trying to defend that the horses are happy. What a jackass

  • Richard Gossett says:

    Taking a carriage ride with your better half through the streets of New York may sound romantic and perhaps it was… 150yrs ago. However to keep a horse in one the most crowded congested cities on the planet in the 21st century goes against all common sense. If you want to truly experience the pleasure and company of horses go upstate and ride in a pastural setting. I think you’ll enjoy it much more… I know the horse will.

  • Maureen says:

    Shame Liam seemed like a nice guy. He has just become the number one enemy of the very same animals he claims to love!

  • Pepsi One Is Fun says:

    Jon Stewart has a point. If there is a way to get rid of any possible stress the horses go through then there is no need to get rid of the tradition. If they can’t then the tradition must go. Simple as that.

  • Ana A. G. says:

    Liam is an idiot. But also there is a reason for his stupidity many of the hc riders are Irish and the man who owns it is Irish also. They give all of us a hard time when we have demos in NYC and being that Liam is Irish it seems he is being more nationalistic than rational. Liam needs a severe education maybe he needs to spend time in those stables!!!!

  • Carla says:

    He must of got paid big bucks from the Horse Carriage Industry. Pressure’s on… they’ll say anything now no matter how ridiculous it sounds!!

  • Cassandra Franks says:

    While Liam Neeson is a fine actor he is completely delusional when it comes to the despicable conditions that carriage horses endure. That he would offer to “move in tomorrow” to conditions that are unsanitary unsafe and inhumane on a number of levels is completely thoughtless and shows his ignorance. Horses belong running around in fields not walking on hard pavement hour after hour amidst loud angry drivers and cars breathing exhaust thru swelteringly hot summers and bitterly cold winters. Give the horses a break!

  • Elizabeth says:

    I am listening to him on the Daily show and am STUNNED! He should move in there for a month and see how he feels. Many years ago he should know people spoke of the Irish the same way! I was not sure of the reason to remove the horses until I saw the doc on NYCTV and got the full picture. If the horses were treated well worked only 5 hours a day and kept off the streets of NYC I might approve. But his ignorance and arrogance is appalling.

  • knest says:

    very well said jon. props

  • kelly says:

    Liam Neeson sounds like an old fuddy duddy Well his career hasn’t been going well so I guess he feels like he needs to attract attention

  • Aneliese says:

    Hm. I would gladly offer to help move him into those stables for the rest of his life.