Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Euthanize Wild Horses

The Bureau of Land Management has been rounding up wild horses at an unprecedented rate. Back in 1971 congress had passed a law (Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act) to stop the mass slaughter and commercial exploitation of wild horses. Adoption demand could not keep pace with the amount of removals, which has forced the BLM to pay for private, long-term holding care. This policy has resulted in almost half of the wild horse population being in holding pens. The BLM wants to kill thousands of healthy horses because of cost issues.

More about this and a petition against this can be found at The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals website.

I do not like that the new administration of the Bureau of Land Management is suddenly changing it's stance. I can understand not having the money to put the animals in long term care, but I do not think they should be gathering them up at the rate that they are in the first place. The world we live in is fairly sad, the number of wild animals goes down daily with entire species dying out. While humans do need land and room, so do animals. We share the world with animals and it is not right to take away the freedom and life of so many animals.

I have read that horses originated in North America, the herds of horses eventually made their way to the rest of the world. The Ice Age though made environmental conditions unfavorable for horses, i.e. reduced the grasslands available to them. Humans (hunting the wild horses, killing them with spears and running them off cliffs in large groups) and environmental effects killed off all the horses in the Americas. By 8000 B.C., the horse only existed in other parts of the world. For thousands of years there were no horses in the Americas. It wasn’t until the end of the 15th century that horses were brought back to American shores by Columbus. The Native Americans (Arawak people of the West Indian island specifically) were in awe of the horses having never seen horses before. Horses became an important part of American society, even amongst Native Americans, the Navajo Nation's best jobs are rodeos.

If I wanted to make this post a connection to Ranma 1/2 it's easy, because one interpretation (the most common one) of the name "Ranma" is wild horse in Japanese (though chaotic horse would be more accurate) and horses are seen several times in the manga.

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