Sunday, February 14, 2010

Of 2 minds toward carriage horses

This afternoon in Philadelphia some people took Valentine's day rides bundled up in horse-drawn carriages, while other people held signs against that very activity, invited passersby to sign a petition against the carriage industry and gave out information and candy hearts.

The approach used by the second group, members of, was 100% different from how other demonstrations are handled in NYC. More on that difference soon.

For now, just think about this: A February day with temperatures in the low 30s and wind. Streets poorly cleaned after the 2nd of two big storms, leaving ruts of snow and ice to drive over -- or, in the case of the carriage horses (already burdened with their solitary, plodding lives, involuntarily inhaling vehicle exhaust and Philadelphia dirt . . .) to walk over, pulling a carriage full of humans -- who somehow find this experience "romantic" and "fun."

Not for the carriage horses this greeting: "Have a good day!"


Anonymous said...

Frankly, it’s too hurtful to think about so I won’t. However, I am aware and give praise to you and those like you who take the time to voice their awareness and, in so doing, permit others to consider perhaps what they have not thus far. CJ

Anonymous said...

"already burdened with their solitary" You obviously don't have a clue. These animals are obviously well cared for and LOVED. They are not alone...they have their handlers or owners AND they have the other horses at the barn and or on the farm. Did you ever think about how Ben Franklin, or the rest of the population got around? They were able to create and sign a Declaration of Independence for YOU by way of the horse drawn carriages!!! You have your right to speech, but the rest of us have ours rights too!!!

Anonymous said...

Great job in Philadelphia--well done. Also, just to clarify how things done are NYC--the leading grassroots advocacy group for a ban is the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Cariages ( The coalition does weekly educational outreach and petitioning near Central Park, and this group's demonstrations are peaceful and more along the lines of community outreach, or sometimes a silent vigil. As always, the coalition put on a peaceful Valentine's Day demonstration; it was co-sponsored by Friends of Animals-NYC and Heart for Animal Rights. These groups are particularly wary of spooking the horses, who have enough frightful noises to contend with. There are other groups in NYC, however, that sponsor different types of demonstrations or protests. NYC is diverse in this regard. Notably, the coalition has gathered around 40,000 signatures from NY and beyond in support of a full ban. Its work continues.