As many of you know, there was a carriage accident in Philadelphia, on Monday, April 19th at approximately 9:30 AM. It is believed that a car driven by Thomas Gordon of Claymont, DE was stopped behind a line of five carriages stopped at a red light at 6th and Race Sts. Eyewitnesses report that Gordon was honking at the rear carriage driven by Jane Stansbury, 23, and revving his engine. He is reported to have tapped her rear wheels a couple times with his bumper, then when the light changed, he accelerated through the line of carriages, colliding with her carriage, and pushing it into several other carriages. One carriage, driven by Brian Lafler, 52, was overturned. Thomas Gordon continued to accelerate, pushing Jane's carriage across the intersection, colliding with a fire hydrant and eventually coming to rest on the fence in front of the College of Physicians. Jane was ejected from the carriage. Brian Lafler and Jane Stansbury remain in Jefferson Hospital's ICU, Brian with severe head and facial injuries and Jane with spinal injuries. Another carriage driver, Kym Moak, is out of work for several weeks with a sprained knee.
All horses involved escaped injury beyond a couple of superficial cuts.
Two nasty carriage accidents in the same week, one in Atlanta where two douche bags were drag racing, and another in Philadelphia, has brought PeTA to the forefront of the news again. Why? Because whenever there is any type of incident involving carriage horses they gleefully circle like vultures, ready to invade the city where the incident has occurred, waving their anti-equestrienne posters in the horse's faces.(Which, by the way, horses do not like.)
As one would expect, the radical animal rights activists are already planning on exploiting this tragedy to further their radical agenda (which ultimately is to ban horse-drawn carriages in Philadelphia, and beyond, and eventually to BAN the use of horses for any sort of activity other than pasture puff... if that).
If working horses are banned in Philadelphia, they will of course be at risk for neglect and slaughter once they are re-homed, since NO company can afford to keep 20 working horses as "pets" in the city for the rest of their natural lives.
They try to bully the mayor or city council into banning horse drawn carriages (there is a standard letter; we got one when Jim decided to test his boundaries and ran for half a block…) and occasionally swoop down to do a little protesting so they get some face time on the news.
The National Park Service cannot prevent the animal activists from coming to the park and standing in our stands, waving banners and pictures of the accident mere feet from the carriage drivers, all of whom are still understandably upset, shocked, sad, and angry as a result of this "accident"/attack. However, the National Park Service MUST allow counter protesters equal access and opportunity to voice their SUPPORT for the carriage horses and the carriage drivers.
Same old tired crap. You know, the morning after the Atlanta incident a car here in Salt Lake blew a stop sign and plowed into another one, sending three people to the hospital. Did PeTA show up or send a strongly worded letter to Ralph Becker cautioning him about the dangers to people from cars? No. Why? Because PeTA doesn't care about people.
PeTA cares about money. And every time there is an incident they can use it to get free publicity and ask for money to help save the poor carriage horses. And considering their "success rate" with seized or surrendered animals, I think our horses would say, "Thank you, NO."
PeTA likes to talk about Animal Rights. Guess what, animals don't have "rights", any more than your couch or your bicycle have "rights". And you know what? You don't want animals to have "rights", and here's why:
Because the second the laws of our land give animals "rights" (and to be fair and equitable, they would have to apply across the board, not just for animals that are cute and cuddly, but the ones we set traps for and consider dangerous or a nuisance, too) some asshole will decide to make money by suing you on behalf of your animal.
Thinking of getting Fluffykins spayed? LAWSUIT! You are depriving her of her reproductive rights. Does Mr. Tomcat have a disease which is curable but will bankrupt your family if you pursue treatment so you're opting to put him down and end his suffering? LAWSUIT! You are depriving him of his right to live. You found out that your toddler has developed a life threatening allergy to your pot bellied pig Petunia? Better not even think of shipping Petunia off to the petting zoo (which RARAs would have you to believe is the ultimate in cruelty, Petunia being exploited by forcing her to take food from people and get petted and her picture taken! Horrors!)
Now, I'm against animal cruelty. Beating, burning, torturing, starving an animal is cruelty. Giving an animal a job is not abusive or cruel. As caretakers, I believe that we owe it to our furbabies to make sure they have proper care, food, housing and attention. And as the steward of my pets, it is my responsibility when they do something either destructive or dangerous to other animals or humans. That's why if your dog bites the UPS guy, he sues you, not your dog.
Please, if you can in any way come out on Saturday in Philadelphia (or can encourage others to attend) to protest peacefully in support of horses and in support of carriage drivers, the time is now to make your support known. These ghoulish activists are giddy with glee that such a tragedy has befallen us, and intend to use it to their advantage.
And why, you've probably wondered, is the "e" in PeTA so small? Because it stands for ethical.