Al Gore-you are sounding needed warnings about Global Warming, but alas
I don't think you care much about the WHOLE environment. For me and
for others, a big part of that environment are the animals who are thinking,
feeling, sentient creatures like ourselves.
One writer in today's Oped asked what are we doing every day. He said he is trying to save democracy. A worthy ambition. People like myself are trying to educate people to treat all animals compassionately and humanely. They have basic needs much like our own--if not almost completely like our own, and some people are dismissing these needs because they feel it is their right as the "top of creation." Sadly, in my estimation, this only proves that with this type of arrogant thinking, we really don't belong there at all. I challenge anyone who witnesses the
mistreatment of any animal to tell me that the kind, loving God of Creation approves.
If you've never read Astrid Lindgren's account of an imagined visit of God to a pig slaughterhouse in Sweden, I think you will find interesting at least the last part of her article --"I Had a Dream the Other Night" which was published in 1987:
".....and so I led Our Lord to one of our big Swedish slaughterhouses for pigs...And then we stalked into Hell.
Our Lord was at first dazed by the stench when he regained His wits He shouted: "Stop! Stop it!" I see that these animals are suffering!"
He took in everything. He saw the multitude of terrified pigs being driven to slaughter with electric shocks, saw the speed with which they were stunned and hung up being hastily bled and then chucked into the scalding vat. There was one poor little devil who hadn't been bled quite to death because of the rush, and when he landed in the scalding water, he regained consciousness, screaming, swimming around among the corpses of his fellow pigs (and, for the matter, in their urine and feces).
........Then Our Lord came to life! "What kind of blockheads are these to whom I gave dominion over the animals?"
(Because of her compassion and caring, Astrid Lindgren achieved the enactment of the 1988 Law Protecting Farm Animals in Sweden.)
Now my challenge to Al Gore, proud former Senator from Tennessee. I HOPE THAT IF YOU FEEL THAT WHAT IS DONE TO THE BEAUTIFUL TENNESSEE WALKING HORSES IS CRUEL AND TOTALLY WITHOUT MERIT that you will use your political prowess and influence to convince your state legislature to ban the use of "The Big Lift" in training the Tennessee Walking Horses to "high step" with a great deal of pain.
Years ago I read about how cruelly these horses were treated and thought the practice had died out with the 20th Century. Not so, per the Doris Day Animal League.
In their flyer I read that in the 1940's and early 1950's the Tennesee Walking Horses provided much pleasure for the general public. THEN --the NATURAL front leg action of some of the horses when performing their natural signature gait --the running walk in the ring-- was noticed by the judges who awarded glowing tributes and accolades to the trainers and owners for this feat. Sadly, these horse owners and trainers decided they wanted more accolades and created "The Big Lick" --an extremely exaggerated high-step which produced injury to the horses. The flyer explains the procedure:
"To produce a similar gait with a less-talented horse and with less time spent on training, the use of weighted shoes or stacks, and chains around the horse's front legs came to be used. Some even file down the hoof to the quick or place tacks that penetrate the quick of the hoof and then add the weighted stacks and chains inflicting pain that causes the exaggerated or "enhanced "gait."
These poor horses, because of these harmful techniques, are not only in pain but unable to be let out of their stalls. Confined for 365 days standing in a stall - is this not cruel and unusual punishment? What is their crime? Obviously, it is only being the victims of the "top of creation" who feel that this exalted position allows them to do cruelties such as this. Well, I don't believe I'm the top of creation--only proper loving actions deserve that exalted place, but I hope that God has endowed me with a loving and compassionate heart and soul. And I don't believe that my God condones such terrible treatment such as this for the pleasure of people. Do you?
Do you Senator Gore? I hope the answer is no and that you will use your notoriety and political powers to ban this cruel treatment to Tennessee's beautiful suffering walking horses.
I don't think that the famous Lipanzer horses are subjected to any cruelty re their arwonderful high-stepping performances. Kudos to the trainers.