Monday, May 19, 2008

Horse Sense>>>

Few people realize that "animal rights" activists are quite often also conservative....not neoconservative - they care little for human beings let alone animals, but 'conservative' you know those "they are against the Iraq War and Settlements so they must be anti-semitic conservatives" Here is one such writer who also has been aware of peak oil for sometime..something the media and beltway pols are just becoming aware of....

Horse Sense

There is much hand wringing today over the fate of Eight Belles, the filly who broke both ankles at the conclusion of Saturday's Kentucky Derby and who was euthanized on the track immediately following the conclusion of the race. Numerous commentators have criticized the sport for its inhumane mistreatment of the horses. It's a charge that I find difficult to credit so long as those critiques are limited to the high-profile deaths of beautiful horses like Eight Belles and Barbaro, while we continue to condone the massive and brutal mistreatment of "ordinary" animals like cows, pigs and chickens in our factory farming practices.

However, I could not help but be struck by several sentences in a column in today's Washington Post in which sports writer Andrew Beyer tries to excuse these high profile equine deaths as the consequence of a set of poor and lamentable developments in horse racing. Sports - like much of modern culture, including finance, schooling, and media - are driven by the bottom line, and above all by the demand to get results immediately no matter what the underlying or deferred costs. So, writes Beyer,

"In earlier eras, most people bred horses in order to race them, and they had a stake in the animals' soundness. By contrast, modern commercial breeders produce horses in order to sell them, and if those horses are unsound, they become somebody else's problem. Because buyers want horses with speed, breeders have filled the thoroughbred species with the genes of fast but unsound horses."

If you replaced every mention of the word "horse" in this passage with the word "mortgage" (along with a few other modifications), you could put this article on the front page of the Business section. Or, you could slightly alter the subject while retaining the basic sentiment and explain much about modern factory farming, professional sports, modern media, economics, and modern education. "Unsoundness" that is eventually someone else's problem is the order of the day.

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