Why I Say No To Horse Races
When I was a teenager I went to the 'Running of the Bulls' in Pamplona. It was such a wild, fun weekend. I didn't think about the bulls. I didn't want to. I was having too much fun. In the oh-so-many years since then I have learnt a few things.
And one of those important pieces of wisdom is -
Don't have fun at the cost of pain to another.
And I would take it as far as saying, there is something inherently wrong with doing so. If you believe in cause and effect in the yogic sense, not considering that someone else is hurting in order to entertain/please you, is going to bite you in the butt.
Horse racing comes into this category. The races are probably a really fun day out. I love events where I get out of my yoga gear and put on a pretty dress to let my hair down with my friends. But being all dolled up makes the races no less barbaric when sentient, beautiful creatures are dying and suffering in the name of a "fun" day out and a gamble.
I promise, I have lots of fun and still get to get dressed up for events. And there is no killing involved.
It may sound nuts if all you have seen or heard about horse racing is the glamourised version that is marketed to us, or what is seen on the day. But despite not seeing the darker side of horse racing... it still happens.
Racing animals is about winning. About the gamble. And not all horses are winners. So what happens to the rest of them? Just to begin, out of the approximate 13 000 that are bred every year in Australia alone, only 300 out of a 1000 will make it to the racetrack, and too many of the other 9000 others will likely find their fate being killed and fed to dogs. Thats right, the breeding of horses for the races is directly responsible for thousands of deaths of horses per year in Australia alone.
The horses that do race can't all be winners and even if they are, they eventually will slow down and lose their dollar value and so are also sold and also often just discarded as "wastage". Literally. Some lucky ones are kept or sold to farms, but the majority are killed. Also slaughtered for pet food, but also some for human consumption overseas.
It is heart-breaking enough to make me cry. Certainly too distressing for me to overlook as I once may have done as a teenager for a good day out.
There are also the horrible accidents that do occur on the racetracks, that even with the designer dressers and champagne, onlookers can't pretend didn't happen... and these are not freak accidents.
One racehorse dies every 2.6 days in Australia.
The Coalition for the Protection of RaceHorses did a investigation into the figures last year and you can read the report, Deathwatch for more details.
Dying horses with the addition of those whips, that no matter what trainers say, gotta hurt, are reasons I say NO to the races. Is this dreadful way of treating these amazing animals really worth the fun? Aren't we humane and clever enough to find another way to entertain ourselves?