When you think of New York City during the holidays, images of Broadway shows, the Rockefeller Center’s Christmas tree, The Empire State Building, and snowy horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park probably come to mind. Yet, sadly, what appears to be a romantic way to enjoy the famous park (especially during the holidays), is actually an inhumane industry.
Carriage horses live a sad life. For nine hours a day, they pull carriages through congested, noisy streets, often in brutal heat and frigid cold, breathing in the exhaust from city traffic. At night, they return to cramped stalls barely wider than their bodies. Many horses have pre-existing injuries (from the logging or racing industries) that are exacerbated by pulling heavy loads on asphalt. They are deprived of virtually all of their natural behaviors: socializing with a herd, rolling in the grass, and galloping in pastures. Easily spooked, they can bolt and injure themselves and bystanders – there have been 14 accidents this year alone. Finally, at the end of their lives, many are sent to slaughter to be rendered for consumer products or eaten in countries where horse meat is considered a delicacy. That’s the thanks they receive after a lifetime of service.
Please educate others about boycotting carriage rides, and learn about proposed bills to ban the industry and replace horse-drawn carriages with antique, electric cars. You can help these majestic animals!
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