America's favorite singing cowboy, Willie Nelson, is throwing his weight behind the fight to end the inhumane treatment and eating of … horses. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503 and S. 1915) would ban the slaughter of horses in the U.S. and the exportation of the live horses for slaughter abroad.
Working with the Society for Animal Protective Legislation, Nelson is urging all Americans to call their Members of Congress to let them know Americans won't tolerate the inhumane treatment of horses. Says Nelson, "It's like stepping on the American Flag."
SAPL's website makes their disgust clear. We Americans have never raised horses to eat them, yet every year, "American horses are being killed so their meat can satisfy the palates of overseas diners in countries such as Italy, France, Belgium and Japan."
On September 5, Nelson will ride up to Capitol Hill with Bo Derek, Ken Wahl, Jennifer Pryor, his family, and the Barbi Twins (as Dave Barry used to say, I swear I'm not making that up) to throw their support behind the bill, which has already received hundreds of co-sponsors on the Hill.
One hates to be picky about these things, but bills aren't introduced and voted on the same day, as the news release from his publicists, Schock Ink, claims. The bill's already been introduced and sent to the respective House and Senate Committees. Of course, since Schock Ink is the self-proclaimed "most dynamic and respected music industry public relations firms in the world through [the]creativity, diligence and the unquestioned media savvy of its founder, Elaine Schock," maybe they know something about the legislative process the rest of us don't.
Now, some may ask, what's the difference between eating Bambi and Trigger? And, granted a lot of these horses are ill-treated before being killed, isn't it just part of the American way? Think about chickens, lobsters, veal, acorn squash, and other items intended for our consumption treated in ways some might call inhumane. What makes horses so special? According to the legislative language, "horses and other equines play a vital role in the collective experience of the United States and deserve protection and compassion…Unlike cows, pigs, and many other animals, horses and other equines are not raised for the purpose of being slaughtered for human consumption."
Well, then, any other questions?
As Willie Nelson says, "It's time for the cowboys to stand up for the horses."