a non-profit corporation
Advocates for Horses
Turning a Blind Eye
The idiom "turning a blind eye" is used to describe the process of ignoring inconvenient
facts or activities.
Among all the many things we are really good at in America, few come close to our
profound ability to turn a blind eye to what we don't want to know or see. There are
more horses in America per capita than anywhere else in the world. We love horses.
Horses, we proclaim with patriotic pride, are part of our national heritage. We so love
and revere horses that we've made it illegal to slaughter them or sell horsemeat in
When advancing equine rights, we must be careful not to offend people with the truth.
They will become angry for showing them things they don't want to see. Despite our
professed love for the horse, America exports more horses for slaughter than any single
nation on the planet. But don't show the pictures because it might make someone cry.
But we should cry. We should scream. Try to imagine the horror of a horse made to ride
in a cramped and crowded truck for days without food or water. When she arrives at the
slaughter house, she's poked hard in her flanks by workers using long poles who could
care less about hurting her because, after all, she's about to die. They force her and
other horses toward the 'Kill Shute.' She's scared and her adrenaline is coursing through
her body as she hears the anguished screams of the horses ahead of her as they're
stabbed repeatedly in the neck one by one until their spinal cords are almost severed.
She's so frightened she urinates where she's standing. She smells the blood and every
single fiber of her being is screaming at her to run, get free, survive. She rears up, pins
her ears back, kicks, bucks, fights until she's moved into the Kill Shute and feels her own
neck being stabbed over and over. The pain is excruciating; her blood flows and she
loses control of her legs, falling into a pool of blood and urine. She's dragged into the
slaughter house and her back legs are attached to a hoist. She's still alive but that
doesn't matter. She's lifted upside down so she's suspended into the air. She's even
more terrified now because she doesn't have a clue what's happening but she knows
undeniably that she's in mortal peril. A knife slices deep into her throat and through her
jugular vein. She tastes and smells her own blood and convulses a few more times She
isn't dead yet but the workers are impatient. They cut open her belly and she's
disemboweled. Those are her last moments. That's how her life ends. And it happens in
the thousands each and every week. It's happening today. It's happening now.
In law, someone who knows that a wrongful act is occurring and does nothing to stop it
is an accomplice. We are all accomplices when we turn a blind eye.
Copyright 2009 Equine Justice, Inc., a non-profit corporation