Thursday, December 29, 2011

14 Year Old Campaigns to Save U.S. Horses

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Letter by Cheyenne Little as it appears in The Union of Grass Valley, CA

How can someone so young get it so right?

Cheyenne Little, 14 years old, and her China
My name is Cheyenne Little, I’m a 14-year-old girl who lives in Grass Valley. You might remember me as the kid who wrote the “More than a little help” article a few months back.
My horse China’s doing great, I’m doing great. But there’s one thing that’s not so great. And I’m asking for the help and support of my community to change that status.
I recently started a petition against the reopening of equine slaughter in the U.S. Before equine slaughter was made illegal in 2007, over 25,000 horses each year were being processed and shipped out of the country for human consumption.
Perfectly healthy, well trained, young horses were being killed. Horses just like China. That doesn’t seem very fair.
Slaughtering horses is a lot different from slaughtering cows and pigs. For one, their skulls are much thicker. When shot they are not actually dead. In Mexico, they are stabbed in the back and wither until paralyzed. Or their jugular veins are cut so they bleed to death.
Worst of all, for the meat to be considered human consumption grade, they must begin gutting the horse within a certain amount of seconds. The horses are still alive when they are hung, sliced open, and gutted. They can feel all of it. There’s currently no way for the horses to be pronounced dead before the allotted time is up.
The conditions that the horses are kept in before being slaughtered is cruel. They are loaded onto trucks and shipped with tons of horses kicking and biting them for hours on end. When they are unloaded, they must stand in manure where their able to smell their friends being taken away, being destroyed one by one.
A common misconception is that racehorses and old crippled horses dominate slaughter houses. That’s not true. Outgrown ponies, unbreedable mares, backyard geldings, and best friends whose owners have moved on to college surround the young, healthy horses in the small corrals.
Horses just like China end up being butchered for 80 cents per pound (2011 rates) and eaten in foreign countries. If China had turned out to be dog food, I would still be looking for my dream horse.
I wouldn’t have known that I was born to become a large animal vet. I would still be looking for a purpose. China gave me one. And right now my purpose is to stop the abuse going on in equine slaughter houses.
My online petition’s goal is to stop equine slaughter in the U.S., but already it’s gone worldwide. People in Germany, Australia, and more are signing it.
My petition is for the U.S., so why are people from different countries supporting it? Because people all over the world think it’s wrong! Horses are pets and best friends. I’ve seen children who are unable to take a step ride a horse for an hour twice a week and be able to walk for 15 minutes after each session.
What horses are used in therapeutic riding? Slaughter horses. Old, worn out, 30-year-old horses that are now just costing money to feed. If that horse had gone to slaughter that kid wouldn’t be able to walk. Slaughter is a cause everyone is fighting against, together. As a community, state, country, and apparently world.
So what am I asking? Please look at my blog at
There’s a link to my online petition where you can sign your name. Then what? E-mail, Facebook, and Twitter out the link to as many people as possible using the share button located on the page. And be sure to check out the blog frequently for updates and to see videos.
Each signature counts and yours really does help. The horses can’t talk so we have to be their voices. It takes just 60 seconds to sign your name and help end the cruelty in the equine slaughter houses.
For more information on ending equine slaughter in the U.S., please be sure to visit my blog.

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