Once again the Race That Stops The Nation,The Melbourne Cup, has been clouded in controversy. This time due to the deaths of two horses, Admire Rakti and Araldo, after the race had been run.
And once again, so-called animal ‘protection’ groups are calling for racing to be banned, and/or people to ‘pledge’ not to bet on racing whilst horses die.
All this is fine and dandy for those groups as it will allow them to build on their 15 mins of fame, and in the case of Animals Australia – increase awareness of their ‘brand’.
Though will it really do anything with regards to the way that humans view other animals?
Sadly, I will have to say no.
To begin with, as long as betting on horses is seen as a way of striking it rich, and horse racing is promoted as the sport of kings it will continue to exist.
Mind you having a look at some of the photos of Flemington racetrack AFTER the event, I believe that it should be renamed the sport of slobs. Sadly, that sort of behaviour isn’t only reserved for racing and is more indicative of our collective lack of respect for pretty much everything.
It is a virtual uphill battle to have other animals given equal consideration when even those who supposedly care for them the most still view them as nothing more than an object. Take the following quote by Mick Moroney, the trainer of Araldo.
Nothing could be done to save the horse after scans showed its pastern had been broken in seven places and resembled a “bag of ice”.
Honestly, if Mr Moroney can easily refer to Araldo as an ‘it’, what hope is there of changing the view of anyone else?
Then there is the matter of having the focus on the way that horses are ‘treated’, which ignores and dismisses the most obvious point being that when humans consider an animal to be an ‘object’ or ‘commodity’ the animal will ultimately die.
How many ‘pets’ die unnecessarily every year, without even a mention in a blog post?
Yet due to two horses out of over 200 that raced yesterday dying, approx 1% of participants, the media have become obsessed with asking the question, “Should racing be banned?”
What I would like to know is why aren’t these same organisations and outlets asking the question, should the consumption of animal products be banned? Especially when you consider the amount of them consumed yesterday. How many chickens were killed for the traditional chicken and champagne breakfast?
With the focus now being on how horses are ‘treated’, all other discussions will fall to the wayside. There will be an investigation/inquiry, and a new practice/procedure put in place for horses to move from the race track to stables, and the use of the whip may or may not be banned or even restricted.
Then this time next year, the event will once again draw a huge crowd, probably made up of some of those people who pledged not to support racing. Having forgotten all about these two deaths because things are better/safer now. Plus, The Cup is a good excuse to get all dressed up and drunk, and we don’t want to miss out on any social events, lest we upset our friends.
[GARD]Unless we are all going to adopt the Orwellian view that some animal groups have of all animals being equal, some are just more equal than others, we need to focus on promoting veganism. First and foremost at every campaign.
Failing to do this, fails the animals, and in turn fails us as activists for other animals.