There is a lot of talk right now about the lifting of the ban on slaughtering horses for human consumption in the US. However, the controversy over slaughter eclipses the real conversation we should be having. The issue isn't about slaughter, it's about responsibility. As human beings we are responsible for domestic animals. We created them yet we are failing them.
I have personal experience with the horrors associated with slaughter. I also have personal experience with the horrors associated with the banning of slaughter. There are more horses and donkeys being abandoned, starved and abused now than I ever remember seeing. Much of this abuse stems directly from the devaluation of the animals. The only good to come out of the slaughter industry is a guaranteed value for every equine. Practices such as donkey roping or abandonment are a direct result of the donkeys having absolutely no economic value. It is a hard truth that people don't value what they don't pay for.
If it comes down to a choice of short term abuse followed by slaughter or long term abuse followed by an agonizing death, I guess I would choose the first route. Personally, I don't like either option which is what drives me to purchase animals in great need whenever I can manage it. It is why I spent several years working in an animal shelter. It is partly how I got Emma and how I rescued a pair of driving horses a few years ago, and a mustang before that, and others.......I do this on my own and on my own terms. I do not ask for money. I take on what I can handle at any given time. I acknowledge and accept that I have a responsibility. I may not have saved thousands but I have saved some. Think what it would mean if all horse owners acknowledged the same level of responsibility.
If you are unhappy about the ban on horse slaughter being lifted, do something about it. And I don't mean signing petitions and writing your congressman either, they can't help. Petitions and letters don't feed horses. Go out and find an animal that needs help, a 30 second scan of craigslist will provide ample opportunities. If you don't know how to help on your own, find a rescue group and work with them. Take responsibility. We created these animals, we are responsible. All of us.