This just makes me sick. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is considering slaughtering thousands of horses because of budget problems. Why should an animal that was designed to live without human interaction be killed because our economy has slowed? It’s hard to not react emotionally to this story. So we round up horses that run free and wild, hold them captive and then because there aren’t enough buyers for them, we kill them. For our own convenience, really. Disgusting. And I don’t buy the “overcrowding” argument. It’s estimated there are 25,000 wild mustangs in the U.S., some of which are on protected Indian land. Have any of you ever seen a wild horse in the wild? I’ve seen about four. For those of you who have traveled anywhere out west you’re sure to remember the immense distance from rest stop to rest stop, with nary a building in between. I’ve traveled the great American west and can tell you there is no shortage of uninhabited land. The map below illustrates this nicely. All of the areas in yellow are BLM land:
I understand how overcrowding is bad for the animals. But what about the millions of cattle grazing on the same land. Ah, that’s the point now isn’t it? It all comes down to money (Don’t misunderstand me – I’m not against ranching or cattle). And what about the wild west before civilization? What kept the herds from becoming overcrowded?
I’m sure I’m over-simplifying the issue but I just hate to see good animals being killed. It’s been said before but in a way these wild mustangs represent our own desire to be free and keep alive the romantic notion of adventure and the American wild west. Perhaps there’s a parallel between what appears to be the government’s desire to curtail both.
I’d like to hear your comments on the issue. I promise to try and be as objective as possible. And if anyone has any suggestions on how to get involved, feel free to suggest them.
U.S. may slaughter thousands of horses
Arizona Republic, 081508