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"Men have forgotten this truth," said the Fox. "But you must remember. You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."

.....Antoine de Saint Exupery from "The Little Prince"

Why do Standardbreds need to be rescued?

That's a good question, and a good starting point for a discussion of an unpleasant subject. Horses are beautiful, loving companions, willing partners, and a joy to be with. Horses are also a source of income for many. They are racers, rental horses, breeding animals ---- or used in the manufacture of Premarin and killed for their meat.

Premarin is an estrogen replacement that is made from the urine of pregnant horses. PRE(pregnant)MA(mares')RIN(urine). Any estrogen product starting with PREM is made from this product! There are approximately 75,000 horses used in production.

These horses are tied in standing stalls too small to lie down in or turn around for six months of the year. Their water intake is severely restricted to concentrate their urine. The resulting foals (and the non-productive mares) are sent to feedlots to be fattened up for the dinner tables of Europe, Japan, and Mexico, and are being shipped live to Japan for the freshest source of horsemeat.

The manufacturer is Wyeth-Ayerst Labs and they operate mostly in the prairie provinces of Canada. Their parent company is American Home Products. Their public relations company is the North American Equine Ranching Information Council which has pretty pictures to win you over to the Premarin industry. A partial list of AHP products includes Advil, Chapstick, Robitussin, Anbesol, Dristan, Anacin, and food products as well. Find out more by accessing their website at This is not a link and I am not telling you to boycott their products. Economic sanctions are a personal choice. Other subsidiaries are Whitehall Robins and Fort Dodge, the maker of Quest dewormer, and Wyeth-Ayerst also makes Prempro, Premphase, Prempac.

You can find out more about Premarin, and the methods used to make it, by accessing International Generic Horse Association's website, or Redwings Organization. Or check out the recorded message from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) at 1-800-KNOW PMU (566-9768). for ALL the facts. Then go to Horse Abuse in America to e-mail your feelings to government and newspapers. The public relations agency for the industry is NAERIC, the North American Equine Ranching Idustry.

There are many safe, effective, reasonably priced and morally righteous products available. My personal choice is Estrace or a Black Cohosh supplement. You can find your own. Talk to your doctor, e-mail your friends, share the information wherever you can.

The other issue too horrifying to even imagine is slaughter. Each month, 30,000 horses in the U.S. (read that again -- 30,000 A MONTH!!) are sent on a nightmare trip to the slaughter yard - again, often to grace the dinner tables of the world. They can be transported in carriers designed for animals half their size -- standing in their own waste (and often blood) with no respite.

Mares, babies, seniors, cripples, stallions -- they're all jammed in together, often travelling for days (as many as FIVE!) with no water and food. At the end of the line they are prodded out into a holding pen; the anguished death cries of the previous occupants assaulting their ears. Those who are too weak or crippled to debark on their own are hoisted out of the transport by a chain wrapped around a leg.

Most of these horses have been pets or have served their humans well. The conditions of some of the livestock auctions are evil. Please take a minute to go to Horse Abuse in America, an interactive site; and The Equine Placement Network's website. The pictures are grisly, but the truth is obvious. You can find these disgusting conditions at auction yards all over the country. A similar story is told by The California State Horsemen's Association. The Ohio Hooved Animal Humane Society's page on Equine Slaughter is not for those with queasy stomachs, but it will give you a very clear picture of this process.

A mega-watt light needs to be turned on the owners who bring abused and crippled horses to these yards, the livestock yards for their inhumane conditions, the transport companies, the killer-buyers who are buying these poor critters -- often under false pretenses --and the meat companies. These people are the lowest dregs of society and it's up to you to make them feel your contempt and disgust at every opportunity. You will find some of them exposed at Horse Abuse in America. And don't forget the AIRLINES WHO ARE TRANSPORTING THE MEAT (are you flying with the remains of your neighbor's pretty little filly in the hold? Your politicians need to know how you feel.

The American Horse Council has published statistics that add weight to any argument regarding horses. One in every 35 Americans are involved with horses. We pay almost $2 Billion in taxes. The economic impact of the horse industry is $112.1 Billion. We are bigger than the railroad industry, the grape and wine industry, the movie industry. Why aren't we as organized and powerful and VOCAL?


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