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Monday, May 05, 2008

PETA Blames Clinton For Horse Death?

Okay, apparently during the Kentucky Derby (or rather AFTER the Derby), about a quarter-mile past the finish line, the horse Eight Belles broke both front ankles and collapsed on the track and had to be euthanized in front of thousands of spectators. It was handled as quickly as possible to end the pain as quickly as possible. And of course, PETA is in an uproar.

First, they call for the suspension of the jockey, Gabriel Saez. I can at the very least understand this branch of idiocy. The last one touching Eight Belles was obviously the rider, so PETA gets to blame him. After all, you know that jockeys use their little horsewhip to spur the horses faster down the straightaways. So I could totally agree with this statement - if the jockey were whipping the horse's ankles at the time of their shattering and collapse. This didn't even occur while the horse was straining to run fast - the race was already OVER. The horse was, if anything, slowing down with no aggressive actions by the rider. And then the tragedy struck.

"What we really want to know, did he feel anything along the way?" PETA spokeswoman Kathy Guillermo said. "If he didn't then we can probably blame the fact that they're allowed to whip the horses mercilessly."

Did he feel anything?? I'm pretty sure that if you're riding a horse and it shatters its ankles and had to be put down, you feel something. You may not necessarily feel GUILTY or RESPONSIBLE, but you would probably be SAD about the whole thing. Hell, even if you were in a street race and you're gunning it and a quarter-mile past the finish line the front wheels snap at the axle and your car is a goner - you FEEL SOMETHING. With the money that goes into street-racing cars, they might even feel MORE than this jockey, but that's not to say the jockey felt anything less.

But even if your car breaks after the finish line, you still win and you get your prize. PETA is calling for the 2nd-place prize money of $400,000 to be revoked if Saez is "found at fault." Which I'm pretty sure is not possible, since the horse was fine and happy until after the race when it happened that both front ankles got shattered.

The fucked-up part is that not only did they obviously write a letter to the Kentucky Horse Racing Association, but they wrote a letter to Hillary Clinton and BLAMED HER for the horse's death!

I won't print the entirety of the letter, but here's how it starts:

Dear Senator Clinton:

As a high profile political figure with the esteem of many women, I regret to say that your public support of horseracing — and specifically betting on Eight Belles — makes you culpable in her destruction.


Not only are they bat-shit crazy for this stunt, they've kind of screwed their case against Gabriel Saez, haven't they? How can you claim that TWO PEOPLE killed ONE HORSE? They just PUBLICLY told Hillary Clinton that she is culpable for the horse's death.

culpable: (adj) deserving blame or censure; blameworthy.
(Origin: culpare, Latin, "to hold liable")

What pissed me off (okay, the blame Clinton thing amused me more than pissed me off) was that later in the letter, after the scathing list of other horses who have had to be euthanized (also pissed me off that when PETA does it, it's "euthanized" or "put down", but when a medical professional does it, it's "destroyed") - PETA compares attending the Kentucky Derby to attending a dogfight.

Hey, Newkirk! Apparently you don't understand the fucking point of EITHER sport, or you wouldn't have made such a ridiculous comparison! Dogfighting is... FIGHTING DOGS. Two dogs enter, one dog leaves. Horse racing is... RACING HORSES. Many horses enter, and almost 100% of the time, they all leave. Once in a while, tragedies occur. Races go on many times every day, and the number of times it directly leads to a horse death as a result of a race is a small fraction. Dogfighting is illegal, as is attending one. Horse racing is legal, as is attending one and BETTING on one!

I still fail to see the logic of one woman betting on a horse who happens to die AFTER running the race, and that makes this woman responsible for the horse's death. Are they suggesting that maybe if Hillary Clinton didn't bet on Eight Belles, someone could have convinced the horse to not compete? I mean, she already probably feels bad for betting on a horse that didn't win - now she has to feel responsible because it also died after not winning?

It makes no sense. PETA makes no sense.

Of course, my first thought on hearing that PETA was writing a letter calling for certain sanctions of the horse-racing industry was, "wait, PETA's not outright calling for an end to horse-racing? It's just making demands for 'less-suffering' sanctions?" Turns out that the full letter sent to the KHRA makes the demands, then admits that the sport should be banned, but failing that, at least it should do these things.

I'm just surprised that PETA would threaten Hillary Clinton with the culpability of the horse's death and comparing her to a criminal attending a dogfight, but avoided the obvious threat of "we hope that you suffer the same fate as Eight Belles: come in second place in the election, break both your ankles, and get then killed by lethal injection."

What do you think? (I mean about PETA's craziness, not the whole "Hillary Clinton coming in second place" comment.)

(The article about Eight Belles)
(PETA's letter to Hillary Clinton)


9 comments:

Anonymous said...

My father and everyone I know are in the horse industry, it's thier life. This is just an unfortunate accident, that PETA is shamlessly cashing in on.

Kuroloki Roku said...

I think it's unfortunate how much energy PETA wastes with their extreme activism. They seem more concerned with blaming people than helping animals. How boring must their lives be to pour their souls into fighting for nothing?

I do believe humans should respect other animals (emphasis on the OTHER, since humans are also animals), but on the other hand, 1. shit happens--to everyone, not just animals 2. people need to eat, don't they? At least we don't rip their bellies open and feast upon their living bodies, which some carnivores do.

AaronBSam said...

Hiya Roku!

I wholeheartedly agree that PETA needs to learn that humans are animals too and deserve to be treated ethically according to their creed as well.

I just find it hilarious that your #2 comment about "rip their bellies open and feast upon their living bodies"... Because as soon as I read that, I remembered that on rare occasions, I've heard of that. And it's in Japan. They have a theory of "the fresher, the better" and some sushi bars will bring you a LIVE FISH and cut it and serve it to you for eating while it's still dying in front of you, to prove the freshness.

I'm not saying it's wrong. I just think it's a little gross. But it DOES happen. Just not often.

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