Activists in New York City are working hard to ban the Big Apple tradition of carriage rides in Central Park. It seems some people think horses shouldn’t work.
Before I get started, I should tell you that though I am a staunch libertarian, I would find it difficult not to throttle someone who was being genuinely cruel to an animal, even if that person owned it. Wanton cruelty is disgusting and serves no good purpose. But is working an animal cruelty?
When I take my lab Cody hunting, he is in heaven. Dog tired when we are finished, he crawls in the back of the truck and falls asleep on the way home. He doesn’t get to eat a single bird we kill. It’s all clearly for me.
And he loves it.
From the first wolf that was trained to help in the hunt to the blazing pony delivering mail, animals have served alongside humans to build a better life. Most of them live much better lives than their au naturale counterparts. The wolf was fed, the pony sheltered, and the husband given affection.* In the end, both human and animal were better off.
The NYC animal rights activists, like radical environmentalists, are myopic and dense. Their obsession with giving humans and animals equal footing in every respect serves to do precisely the opposite. In the case of the Central Park horses, you can bet that activists will not be building barns and buying hay. Instead of pulling a carriage, most of the currently-employed Equine Americans will end up pasting together kindergarten projects, and I don’t mean holding the brush.
Sadly, we have become a nation living in fear of tiny minorities of people whose judgment has become impaired. Five people stamp their feet and millions have their lives restricted in ways that are just plain goofy. The horses in Central Park, were they being beaten or starved, would have my sympathy. Even then, it would not occur to me to ban them from working. With all the facts laid out on the table, especially the glue factory thing, I would wager that the vast majority of Americans would agree.
The cockamamie ideas of activists do not define the limits of my right to own and use animals appropriately any more than someone’s hurt feelings constitute the limits of my speech. A minority or even a misguided majority can be just as tyrannical as any despot. New Yorkers should put their latest incarnation of “enlightened” activists out to pasture. When they do, I’ll bet we hear a whinny of approval.
*For those of you who protest that husbands are not animals, I invite you to take a poll of wives.