Eight years ago, the animal rights community reshaped the mayor’s race by highlighting the inhumane treatment of carriage horses in New York City. Our voices were credited with transforming the race, and, in the end, the candidate who was most committed to ending animal cruelty won the election.
Fast forward to today. While progress has been made in recent years to improve the welfare of animals (and people) in the city, there is so much more work left to be done. That’s why we are taking action in the final sprint of this campaign to help voters understand what is at stake.
Beginning this week, NYCLASS’s founders are launching New York Deserves Better, an independent campaign effort that will target mayoral candidates who are against protecting animals from abuse and refuse to stand up for social justice.
Our first set of ads focus on the one Democratic candidate who scored worst overall: Andrew Yang.
Not only is Yang opposed to ending rampant carriage horse abuse, but he is also opposed to prohibiting the sale of newly produced fur. Most shockingly, Yang is completely opposed to strengthening even minimal safety and welfare protections for carriage horses. Although four candidates (Kathryn Garcia, Scott Stringer, Ray McGuire and Shaun Donovan) did not bother to return their questionnaires — which means conceivably they might have even worse answers than Yang — never in the 13-year history of NYCLASS has a candidate responded “no” to a question about making life slightly less miserable for horses forced to pull carriages in Midtown. It’s inexplicable that Yang cannot even say that he would like to see any level of improvement whatsoever in the conditions of these animals’ lives.
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As most of you know I am an animal advocate and activist. What you may not know is for many years I have supported the ending of carriage horses and horse abuse across all levels including the ending of horse racing! Both cruel and exploitative industries have been responsible for the abuse of our horses for many, many years some results in preventable deaths! These majestic animals are not here for us to profit off in what is often involves conditions of extreme abuse!
Animal lovers, please be wise when picking a Mayoral candidate! We need a Mayor that supports animal rights laws and is focused on improving the lives of all animals! The antiquated horse carriage industry needs to retire their horses to a reputable sanctuary There are modern ways to continue their businesses other than subjecting horses too cruel and dangerous situations!
Please urge your elected politicians to support the abolishing of the horse carriage industry and support our horses be sent to reputable horse sanctuaries and not to be sheltered for meat!
Below, I have included a story that depicts a part of what our horse carriages endure daily!
Please hear Majestic's plea!
Hello, my name is Majestic, as my name suggests I’m magnificent! However, looking at me, you wouldn’t know it! I’m a slave to a grueling thankless job. Not a job of my choosing but one forced on me. It’s hot today. I sure could use a cool drink. The exhaust fumes from the vehicles are as overwhelming as ever! The fumes and the heat make it hard to breathe. The car horns make my ears ache! I feel dizzy from it all!
Day in and day out I’m subjected to this abuse! Horses are born to run in wide-open spaces, not dart in and out of inner-city traffic! What were humans thinking when they started such a business? Sure, it seems moral, but it’s not, especially for us horses.
I’m so tired of it all; dodging vehicles pulling hundreds of pounds, trying not to get hit. Daily, I risk my life and the lives of my passengers. The load I carry today seems heavier than usual. My leather harness has rubbed my body and has caused me to have painful sores. The exposed flesh on my body is agonizingly tender and has become red and swollen! If only I could get some relief! My owner sees the raw flesh beneath my reins, yet he pushes me onward.
Last week during heavy rain in which I stood tied to a post. My owner took shelter—remaining dry while I became soaked to the bone. At least, while I stood in the rain, my sores hurt less. I remember wishing my owner cared enough to allow me a dry place to stand. Didn’t I deserve shelter too? I stood cold and shivering, but it didn’t faze him! As unbearable as that was, this heat is worst.
It would be wonderful if he took off my leather, and treated my wounds, allowing me to rest, until they healed. Or at least put some soft padding under the stiff leather, maybe it would stop the painful rubbing.
Finally, this grueling day is over, I’m exhausted. Now I’m off to where they put me for the night. With my head lowered, I drag on to what I know will be a restless night. I sleep in a small dirty room with paint-pealed walls. It smells of my excrement, where else will I relieve myself? It’s cramped and depressing. My stomach churns at the smell. What an existence, I and the other horses of my labor have! I don’t have much of a life, knowing nothing but sorrow! I long for happiness!
Is this all there is? Majestic’s eyes filled with tears. He was so drained. Can’t anyone see my misery? During the day when I’m not pulling passengers, I stand tied to a pole with my head hung low in defeat. I long to hold my head high while trotting somewhere beautiful! If you look into my eyes, you’ll see what my life is really like. I’m begging someone, anyone, to rescue me while there’s still time!
Last week one of the other carriage horses frightened, by a bus, panicked, and ran into a parked car. Many people came to help get his bruised and bleeding body out of the middle of the street. That was the last we saw of him. I have a horrible feeling whatever happened to him wasn’t good!
A month ago, another one of my friends died right in front of me. I heard a man say it was because of the heat… Maybe if he wasn’t forced to work in the high temperature, he’ll still be alive today. I don’t know, maybe he’s better off, he looked bad, yet his owner worked him anyway. Shortly after that, a beautiful female mare called Dreamer, with a visible leg injury went down.
When she walked you could see she had trouble? Even in that condition, she was working. I could feel her pain. She went on until she couldn’t any longer. She collapsed and was quickly carted away by her owner. I looked for her over the next few days, but she just like the other horse didn’t return. I wonder what became of her.
Being hurt and, still forced to work leaves me little hope that she is getting any medical attention! I’m certain whatever happened to her like the horse that crashed into a parked car is as dreadful as the lives we’re forced to live daily!
I don’t want to end up like them! I want a happy life and not the miserable one I have! I don’t want to suffer any longer, wondering what will become of me! I know there are some good people in this world, I pray, they will help end our anguish! I live in expectation of that every day! Until then, our suffering continues!
Story five in eleven from the novella:
'Forgotten: The Saga of the World’s Abused and Unwanted Animals!'