Picture it. Central Park – New York City. Horse-drawn carriages lined up and down 59th street waiting to culminate the perfect finish to every couple’s romantically majestic, yet hackneyed New York experience. Okay… sounds pretty nice, right? Well, that’s not how PETA sees it. The – on some occasions arguably radical – organization paints a picture of this institutional city scene redolent of Government water boarding torture. And now, some celebs are saddling up to join the crusade.
Let me begin by stating, I do in fact consider myself to be an animal lover. I find animal cruelty disgusting and punishable. Hell, I can’t even get through those abused animal commercials set to the sounds of Sarah McLachlan’s “In The Arms Of An Angel,” which should probably come with a complimentary razor blade. But I am not going to get on my high horse (no pun intended) and pretend that animals aren’t and shouldn’t be used for work and enjoyment. If that’s the case, let’s remake all the Western movies and have the cowboys taking their horses to the beach rather than whipping them so they can catch that Indian they need to kill.
As reported by Hollywood Life, “Glee” star, Lea Michele – who incidentally is a Manhattan native – just launched a new campaign urging people: “Don’t take a ride. Please boycott horse-drawn carriages!” The story goes on to quote Michele who said, “Imagine for a moment that you’re forced to do hard physical labor all day, seven days a week, whether it’s sweltering hot or freezing cold outside. That’s what it’s like for horses who are forced to pull carriages in NYC. After a long day of hauling heavy tourists and being forced to breathe exhaust fumes, these horses must walk through miles of dangerous traffic and climb up steep ramps to reach the upper levels of the multi-story Midtown stables where they’re kept when not working.”
I notice that people who are for the boycott continually mention two key points: the cold temperature and car fumes. These, for some reason, seem to be the two hot buttons. If we are to say for a moment that these conditions do indeed fall under the cruelty category, why isn’t PETA up in arms when city residents “force” their dogs to take walks down the cold sidewalks and breath in those toxic automotive fumes that, when you think about it, are actually probably worse based on their height proximity to the exhaust pipes versus our tall stallions that look down on taxis?
I drove numerous vehicles around the streets of New York for years and never once did I see an accident involving a horse. And let’s face it… I’d bet all my oats that you could throw a horseshoe in any direction and find a better cause to attack when it comes to mistreatment in New York.
A horse-drawn carriage ride is a special New York tradition that should not trot away. Besides, you want to blame somebody? Blame Europe. They’re the ones that came up with stage coaches and still use them in cities today. When it comes to this debate, I say “Giddyup!”
(Image from HollywoodLife)Tags: abuse, animal cruelty, Central Park, Glee, horse-drawn carriage, Lea Michele, Manhattan, New York City, PETA