There’s an image that’s stuck in my head.
It’s a snippet from a new video the Canadian Horse Defence Coalition is producing that we had a chance to preview on Sunday.
The video makes a powerful case for ending horse slaughter in Canada. It doesn’t use PETA-style shock tactics. It doesn’t have to. The statistics are bad enough. Coupled with simple images of horses who are doomed to die – whether they’re standing in an Alberta feedlot, crowded into a shipping container on their way to Japan, or herded onto a kill buyer’s truck at the Ontario Livestock Exchange (OLEX). One with braids in its mane, evidently put there by a hopeful owner thinking it might help the horse to find a loving home at the auction.
And there are a few scenes from the kill floor of a slaughter house. Horses in the kill box. We never see the kill. The failed attempts at stunning the horse with a captive bolt, or killing it with a 22. You can read about this from eyewitnesses, or watch a CBC documentary that examined horse skulls showing just how many shots the killers took that obviously didn’t do their job.
We don’t see the horses struggle and go down. Throw their heads up out of reach of the gun in a kill box that’s designed for cattle. We don’t hear them screaming.
But we do see a horse standing in that kill box trembling like a leaf. His entire body’s shaking in terror.
That’s the image I’m stuck with.
It sneaks up on me at unexpected times.
It makes me physically ill.
That horse knows exactly what’s coming. He’s beside himself with fear. He’s trapped. Helpless. Knowing he’s about to die.
No one has the right to do that to a horse. I don’t care about the excuses. I don’t care about the rationalizations. It’s sickening. Cruel. Inhumane. It has to stop.
Please help CHDC if you can. They’re the only meaningful voice these horse have.
It’s too late for that terrified creature in the kill box. He’s gone. But his image will stay with me for a very long time. And that’s only fair. Remembering him is the very least that I can do to honour his life. His death.