Off To The Races
You may have come here expecting to read something about wrestling but today I want to address another passion of mine - Animal Welfare.
As a vegan I make it my business to learn as much as I can about industries that not only produce animals for consumption or use animal testing, but also industries that exploit animals for entertainment so that I can be sure not to support them in any way.
Recently I have heard amongst my friends discussions of attending horse racing events, so today this is what I will be talking about. Usually I would just remove such people from my life by way of unfriending or blocking on social media, but if I continue down that path sooner or later I’ll have no friends left – so here I am, hitting you up with the knowedge.
While horse racing might seem like a fun event for you and your friends to attend and spend the day drinking in the sun – its far from fun for the horses.
Safe NZ states that in New Zealand, around 5,500 thoroughbred and 3,000 standard bred horses are raced annually. Welfare concerns centre around injuries and deaths sustained during training and racing, the use of whips, unnatural gaits and postures within dressage events, and the neglect and slaughter of horses.
Data of horse racing deaths in Australia is much easier to find online as the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses has collected data from the stewards reports from every state and territory in Australia, compiling a detailed report of the horses who have died in racing and the reasons why – something that is not made available to the public each year to the public by the industry itself.
For a one year period from 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2017:
- 137 horses killed on track for a number of reasons most commonly for catastrophic front limb injury (75)
- On average one horse will die on Australian racetracks every 2.6 days
- 5 horses collapsed and died
- 11 horses died from cardiac causes
- 6 horses died from bleeds
- The state with the highest recorded deaths was NSW (59) followed by VIC (26)
- The most dangerous age for a racehorse was 5 years old
- 63 of the horses that were killed had been raced as a 2 year old
All of these animals have names, and though I won’t list them here, I ask you to think about these animals next time someone suggests you attend a horse racing event. These animals never asked for this life – we thrust it upon them, and then when they are no longer profitable to their owners they are sent to slaughter. There is no happy retirement for these animals in a meadow of sunshine and rainbows.
Each of us can make a small difference by refusing to patronize events that cause needless distress, injury and deaths to animals such as horse racing, animal circuses, and rodeos.
I don’t think it’s necessary to add images of horses with mangled limbs or choking on their own blood to illustrate my point, these images do exist and are gut wrenching – should you wish to see they can easily be found on google.
You can read more information on horse racing here.
Other things you could do this summer:
- Head to the beach with your mates (if in Auckland you could head to Waiheke!)
- Host a deck party – can’t go wrong with a BBQ (plenty of vegan options at Countdown) and beer pong!
- Chill at Auckland’s Silo Park Outdoor Cinema
- Watch the Black Caps take on Australia, or the ASB Classic live.
- Got a mate with a boat? If not you can hire one for a day cruise through the harbour.
- Go to a music festival – bonus points if you go on a roadie to get there.
If you are interested in learning more about veganism below are some documentaries I recommend:
In loving memory of all the animals who lost their lives.