PETA is always saying that we wish people would put themselves in the place of animals. But if they won’t, we’ll do it for them. The founder of PETA and our affiliates worldwide, Ingrid E. Newkirk, let herself be hitched with a bit in her mouth to a horse-drawn carriage in order to help PETA India show Mumbai residents that they wouldn’t like it if the horseshoe were on the other foot.
Ingrid let traffic at a busy intersection watch her struggle to pull the carriage, called a “Victoria,” just as horses often do. But unlike horses, she didn’t have to worry that if the load proved to be too heavy, the cart driver would yank on the spiked bit in her sore mouth or whip her mercilessly to make her force a few strained steps out of her trembling legs. And what do the horses get for their effort? They are denied adequate food, water, and rest and are kept in filthy, damp stables infested with biting insects. Many never receive any veterinary care in their entire lives.
And horse-drawn carriages aren’t just dangerous for horses. Passengers and people standing nearby are often injured when horses collapse from exhaustion, get frightened and bolt, or collide with other vehicles.
A growing number of cities in India and around the world have banned horse-drawn carriages, and PETA India is working to make Mumbai the next. Stateside, you can join the campaign to get abused horses off New York City’s congested streets.