This horse-drawn carriage issue won't go away! It has attracted more comments, both here and in response to a newspaper story I wrote, than most other subjects. Without knowing it, I'd written about it during the same month, and now the same week, as a national convention -- in Philadelphia of all places -- of horse-drawn carriage businesses in North America. (www.CONA.org)
That, plus speaking by phone with a woman who owns such a business and who seemed reluctant to acknowledge any inhumane treatment of the horses involved -- anywhere, any time. The anonymous comments have focused in particular on how the founders of our country got around by horse-drawn carriages and they weren't held back from doing the great things they did, so why do I and other protesters complain.
Hello?! Did Ben Franklin's horse(s) have to contend with paved roads, with skazillions of fume-belching cars, trucks and buses, with a crowd of different people climbing in and out for rides? And how about temperatures and extreme weather? It was probably much easier to stable and feed a few horses comfortably in those days than it is to humanely board all the horses in, say, New York City.
Far as I'm concerned, whether today's carriage horses are treated like royalty or not, they were not made to serve humans by pulling carriages -- especially centuries after the time when they may really have been needed! There's nothing quaint or romantic (as in wedding parties in horse-drawn carriages) -- or humane -- about involuntary labor by a creature who ought to be running free.