Regarding the controversy over a horse slaughter plant opening in New Mexico, people are missing the point. There is no such thing as humane horse slaughter. Pro horse slaughter people are dead wrong. Their disgraceful misinformation and absurd falsehoods are effective and designed to mislead.

According to veterinarian, Dr. Lester Friedlander, former USDA slaughter inspector, it is an indisputable fact, there is no such thing as humane horse slaughter. The public has been duped into believing this outrageous lie, because it promotes acceptance.

Seventy-five percent of New Mexicans claim they belong to a religious community, over half of them identify with being Catholic. It’s not contrary for people of faith to reconcile and accept extreme brutality and unspeakable violence against one of God’s most magnificent creatures, instead of looking upon the horse with awe and wonder?

People of faith need to speak up, because silence is consent. God never said, I give you dominion over my animals and you can do whatever you want to them with impunity, including the most excruciatingly painful and terror filled end to their lives.

It is not written in any faith doctrines that we have the God given right to inflict such pain and suffering on any living creature, let alone, the horse. This dishonors us as human beings and it dishonors God.

There is a spark of the Divine in every living creature on this earth and there is no justification whatsoever for this most deliberate and hideous cruelty. Compassion and mercy for God’s creatures has not gone out of style. It still defines us as human beings.

I challenge anyone to go on the Internet and watch horses being slaughtered on youtube videos. It is so shocking and obscene that the human spirit can be emotionally damaged by even watching the videos. Indeed, many people recoil in horror and cannot even bear to watch such deliberate and despicable butchery take place.

For the record, captive bolt stunning was never meant to kill the horse, only render it unconscious, because they want them alive so when they are hung up and their throats are slit, their own hearts pumps out their blood unto the kill floor. They are often conscious and aware of not only bleeding out, but being disemboweled, and skinned alive.

Captive bolts are horrendously and agonizingly painful and ineffective for horses. It takes a long time for a horse to die. (They have twice the amount of blood as a cow). Any veterinarian who states otherwise has been bought and paid for by the horse slaughter industry villains.

We were not put on this earth to exploit living beings in such a sadistic way just to make a buck. There is no honor in that. This is just another example of greedy and depraved individuals who think they have the right to inflict such horrific pain on a noble creature just because they can.

It is an awesome failure of good people to stay silent on this issue. The most effective thing New Mexicans can do to stop this appalling industry, is to call the governor’s office and politely ask her to stop it by executive order. Horse slaughter in our state will tarnish our reputation and be another black eye for New Mexico. Instead of the land of enchantment, we will be known as the killing fields of New Mexico.

Powerful and highly effective ways to deal with horse overpopulation from horses dumped here by other states, must be established. Many are already in place; stiff fines for dumping and over-breeding, responsible horse ownership by ID chips like dogs and cats have, on all horses, fees required for every horse in every race for an end-of-life care fund for horses, gelding programs, aggressive use of the inexpensive contraceptive PZP, (which is not allowed in New Mexico for some reason), euthanasia and rendering funding programs, food and veterinary funding programs, really effective adoption programs, wild horse therapy horse training programs by prison inmates like they have in Canon City, Colo., to name a few, instead of continuing to blame the Indians and poor people for overpopulation.

If we still believe there is something sacred and holy regarding stewardship of God’s animals then we must speak out with our fierce conviction against a reprehensible industry that maligns, disparages, and ridicules that belief. If not, we have lost all common decency.

(8) comments


“Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.”
― Mark Twain

Wouldn't it be great if an article as insightful as this one could be picked up by the wire services? The education of the masses is extremely important. Here in Florida we have laws that prohibit the slaughtering of horses. The general population is aware of the issue simply because every so many weeks there's a news report of a horse's remains being found. But in general across the country I doubt a large percentage are even aware of horse slaughter because it's not against the law in most states.

We as activist need to get video footage from organizations like Animal Angels who investigate the cruelties and get a Lisa Myers (NBC investigative reporter) or others to air reports of the abuses. If we could just get a picture in front of their faces the national outrage would be deafening.

Well done Karen


It is unethical to dump horses with legal and illegal drugs banned by the FDA into the human food chain. As Americans, we utilize horses for performance and sport. They receive drugs to assist them to excel at the owner's chosen sport. The majority of horses are companion and partners to their owners. It is unethical to switch them to a food source for convenience. We do not track the drugs they receive. In reading the audits found on the USDA and FSIS website, it is obvious the FSIS fails to provide appropriate oversight for food safety and humane handling of the food sources we do eat in America. It is reality that food safety and humane handling of horses would not be achieved.


Bravo Karen Borch. This is one of the most articulate and illuminating letters on the subject I have ever read. Thank you for your courage and wisdom.


Americans have a long and important history with horses. Horses have helped humans tirelessly and loyally and are considered a part of our American heritage. They continue to provide us with many valuable services today as companions in sport and recreation, ranching and farming, on mounted patrols, and in therapy and rehabilitation, to name a few. Very simply, for the majority of Americans, horses share a commonality with our pets and are often considered an important part of our families.

We don't raise horses for food in America and Americans are never going to accept the idea of a horsemeat culture. Because of this, we treat horses differently than animals that are raised for food in this country. The drugs that horses routinely receive during common healthcare practices are banned substances and not safe for consumption. This is plainly stated on these drugs as, "not intended to be used in animals for human consumption." Horsemeat was even removed from pet food back in the early '70's because it has the same effect on our pets.

There are people who support horse slaughter purely because they profit from it. They will try to convince people that it is "humane euthanasia" and the solution for all the sick, dying, old, lame, starving, and unwanted horses in America. There are so many problems with their "propaganda" but, they hope that people will hear it often enough and simply believe it to be so. Well, to put it in a "back at you" way, in actuality, horse slaughter creates the problems it claims to solve. Horse slaughter encourages irresponsible horse ownership and over breeding practices. This has become the "business model" behind the AQHA. Breed organizations like these encourage people to over breed so that they can profit from registration fees each year. Then, the excess horses can be dumped into the slaughter pipeline, which actually exists solely for that purpose, and then the cycle of abuse and misuse can continue. The old, sick, lame, starving, and unwanted horse claims by pro-slaughter groups is also a lie. Most horses, about 92%, are young, healthy, and even fully trained. The old, sick, etc. are rejected because they are considered "unfit" for slaughter. The thousands of "unwanted" and "starving" horses are also created by the horse slaughter industry as these horses are the rejects for slaughter turned loose to fend for themselves by kill buyers at the Mexican border. And, horses can't be slaughtered humanely because of their fight/flight nature and the physical characteristics of their skulls which make stunning them nearly impossible and therefore many are fully conscious when they are being butchered.

Make no mistake, horse slaughter is a predatory, corrupt, and greed-driven industry that will devastate any town or state it operates in. Please access articles written by Paula Bacon who was mayor of Kaufman, TX at the time that horse slaughter plants were operating This will give you a very real and precise picture of what to expect should horse slaughter be re-instated here.


I am sorry Karen but much of your information is totally wrong. The penetrating captive bolt does not just stun the horse it scrambles the brain killing the horse. But the result is that it takes a couple of minutes for the body to shut down after it penetrates the skull allowing for bleeding out. Bleeding out has nothing to do with how long it takes the animal to die. Whether you agree to horse slaughter or not you really do need to have the correct information to tell people and not some idealistic ideas.


Karen Borch is absolutely correct when she says "This dishonors us as human beings and it dishonors God." We can be better than we are, we can live with compassion and grace. Thank you Karen for your letter. It is my hope that this letter goes far and wide. We need it.


Great letter, Karen. And it certainly should be picked up by the wire services - at the least. If only more people in New Mexico & Oklahoma would step up and make their opinions known. I do think more people are aware of horse slaughter than before. But it needs to be out there & in peoples faces. Make these politicians & pro-slaughter people realize that there are many, many of us who do NOT agree with horse slaughter.

Barbara griffith
Barbara griffith

If you want see just what is meant by human horse slaughter please go to: and click on the Bouvry links as you scroll down. One of the links was inactivated by Youtube because of a complaint, and I'm not sure if it's back up again. But try it anyway.
Then come back and let all of us know just how "humane horse slaughter really is".

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.