CounterPunch: This Land is Your Land, except if you’re a wild horse advocate
Editorial: Laura Leigh for CounterPunch
Written the week before the President’s proposed budget included provisions to sell to slaughter, or kill outright, tens of thousands of wild horses. We knew it was coming. We knew it for a long time.
I have been an equine advocate for over 20 years. About a decade ago I switched my focus to America’s wild horses after meeting an old mustang at a packing plant that had served man all of his life, even carrying young girls at a summer camp, only to be discarded like trash. He was to be sent to Mexico where he would be stabbed to death in the horse slaughter pipeline. The slaughter trade exists primarily to serve industry overbreeding, statistics show over 90% of American horses are euthanized through responsible ownership. Horse slaughter is not the conversation for America’s wild mustangs, but it could be very soon.
Each day my news feed is filled with stories about the threats to our wild places and wild things under the new administration. Threats to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Endangered Species (ESA), National Monuments and takeover of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land management by states to serve profit driven exploitation are everywhere. Hunters, off-road enthusiasts, rock climbers, tribal leaders and environmental interests are vocal as they educate the public and media at large to build campaigns to protect our wild things and wild places.
I am grateful that this conversation is finally reaching a larger audience as it pushes back against the antics of the pirates in Washington. If we fail to protect the treasure those antics will sweep in and steal it from us all. But how many of those stories include the wild horse, in the collective, as a threatened interest on public land? I haven’t seen one yet.
Over the last decade in meeting after meeting I have sat there and taken the brunt of a joke time and time again as an historic entrenched prejudice uses the wild horse as a bonding moment for the other interests in the room. It is almost as if the shrinking pie of public land resources has created “let’s remove that interest so we all have more” and “now that all agree on something we can talk.” Amid laughter the conversations continue, until I open my mouth and remind people of the law.
READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE AT COUNTERPUNCH HERE: http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/05/23/this-land-is-your-land-except-if-youre-a-wild-horse-advocate/
Categories: Wild Horse Education