Wild Horses Are in Danger – Trump Administration Folds to Livestock Interests
A half-century veil of protection for America’s wild horses is likely going to vanish soon under the upcoming Trump budget, likely spelling disaster.
It’s not exactly a secret that this administration doesn’t much care for the idea of public services, or that our environment should in any way be protected. With key positions in the more scientific departments of the government left unfilled, and a general disdain for facts all around, it is evident that they are much more concerned with scratching the backs of donors and appeasing an increasingly rabid base than they are in conducting public service.
That being said, last year it came to light that protections for wild horses that began in the 70’s will be stripped under the guise of cleaning up the budget and reducing spending. Of course, we all know this to be a ruse as the budget, which has been thoroughly belabored over at this point, is more of a tax break for the wealthiest 1% of Americans, rather than a true effort to balance the country’s finances. More so, the livestock industry has long seen America’s wild horses as a burden and potential source of side profit. Yes, the beef industry wants to be able to legally round up horses and kill them for cheap food and other resources.
Sounds absurd, right? This couldn’t be happening in the United States of America in 2018. Yet, the truth is, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other livestock groups have been pressuring the government for decades. They see wild horses and burros to be a serious problem, that touches on everything from land management to overhead costs of maintaining a farm. After all, those wild horses have to graze, and that means less “food” for grazing cattle.
The horses, being far less profitable than beef cattle, are then seen as a major inconvenience. However, if the federal protections on them were to be lifted, the beef industry could be looking at potential side income.
The Beef Industry Wants to Use Horses as a “Protein Source”
As per the words of Dave Stix Jr., President of the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, the horses themselves could be euthanized and might wind up being used as food overseas. The passive language is a tool used by deceptive people in cases like this, when they know their own actions are deplorable yet they condone them anyway. Of course the horses would be sold for meat and other body parts. Nothing, and I mean nothing goes to waste in the livestock industry.
From meat, to organs, to hide, to bones, every scrap of organic material that makes up an animal has some purpose in the meat industry. Most of these purposes only came about after crafty businessmen experimented with ways to make money off of the refuse of their own industry. Gelatin is an example of this. By boiling the bones, skin, and cartilage of these animals, a substance emerges that is used to thicken and bind all kinds of products, from gummy fruit snacks to shampoos. Then there is the sick bone broth industry. Even felled, sick animals are used, often ground up for cat food or other low-grade products. There are even laws that govern these actions, such as the Bodies of Dead Animals Act.
So yes, these horses would not only be euthanized for no other reason than that they happen to be grazing on land they want to preserve for their beef cattle, but they would also be chopped up and in all likelihood sold for meat and other products overseas.
These are the kinds of people the Trump Administration is beholden to. The new budget proposes a massive 11% cut to the entire Bureau of Land Management, specifically focusing on the Wild Horse and Burro Management Program, all but ensuring that their already underfunded and difficult job fails, leaving them with no other choice but to concede to the rancher’s demands.
This is the cost of apathy on Election Day, as well as the price of being a low-information voter, and is why education and awareness of what is happening around us is so crucial. Spatial awareness is perhaps one of the most rewarding personal investments one can make, because it can go a long way in preventing disasters like this. Yes, your actions in a voting booth can impact the lives of tens of thousands of innocent, majestic creatures.
Wild Horses Close to Extinction?
It might be hard to believe, but wild horses in the American Mid-West are actually relatively close to being snuffed out. A staggering 41.4% of the entire country’s landmass is used for grazing cattle. This is the absurd cost of beef. Once you factor in human developments and other kinds of farms, where do you think horses can go? Rough estimates say there are only about 67,000 wild horses and burros left roaming the America countryside, and the livestock industry wants to get rid of in excess of 50,000 of them. All so we can mass-produce cattle for their meat.
It is quite literally possible that we could see wild horses wiped out in our lifetime, marking the end of another chapter in the destruction of our country’s natural habitats.
The livestock industry is powerful. Although they are rarely spoken about on the news, they donate huge sums of money to Republican politicians, and expect them to reciprocate the gesture when the time is right. On the surface, agricultural and food industries would seem like an innocent enough industry, regardless of their penchant for putting money into politics. However, they have this archaic belief (not unlike the coal industry), that their little world should be protected and artificially prolonged out all costs. Even while the dangers of consuming meat and dairy begin to be known in the mainstream, they are pulling out all the stops to ensure that their industry survives and thrives.
Of course, these are ruthless, cutthroat people by nature. And I mean that in the most literal sense. They are in the business of slitting throats, to the tune of over 30,000,000 per year. And that’s just beef cattle alone, not pigs, not chickens, not turkeys or lambs. Think about this for a second. One of the most powerful political voices in Washington is an industry that has no problem with torturing and slaughtering over 30 million innocent beings every year just so you can have a burger. They literally profit off the misery and death of billions of sentient lifeforms. And we trust them that they have our best interests at heart? We trust them to donate to and support good politicians?
The reality couldn’t be further from this. There’s a reason why the overwhelming majority of agricultural lobbies are Republican. They want lower taxes, less restrictions, less regulations, and less oversight, so they can do what they want with impunity. All the while innocent beings die, and even more are put under the umbrella of liability. Then there is the environment itself that takes a bullet, since the livestock industry is far and away the number one factor in climate change.
We have a lot of tough choices to start making when it comes to who we want in power in this country. Politics are meaningless for some – their apathy is just an acquiescence to wrongdoing. There are also those that are so misinformed and deluded that there is little hope that they would ever vote in their own best interests, let alone those of innocent animals. We have to rise above these hurdles and make our voices heard if we want change to really start churning in Washington. It’s not enough that a program or two be instituted to give lukewarm protection for these animals. Protection, mind you, that can be rescinded. Laws need to be put in place that clearly state, these animals and their land is off limits. The livestock industry itself needs to be reared in and analyzed from top to bottom, both from a moral standpoint, as well as a financial one. We have to ask ourselves, is this archaic industry, which outputs the most environmental waste and also costs the lives of billions of animals, and which needs to be heavily subsidized with taxpayer money just to remain solvent, really worth our investment in 2018?
The answer is rather clear.
Want to know what you can do? Start by signing this petition. Then, read up on the facts and begin to change minds. The only reason why these horrors are allowed to transpire is due to the extreme low-information nature of today’s voting body. Get the word out and start educating your family and friends on what is going on in this atrocious excuse for an administration.