Like it or not horse slaughter is a necessary "evil" in the horse industry. As it stands now - with slaughter being illegal - there is no base value for a horse. Back in the day - when slaughter houses were legally operational - every horse had a value based on the per pound price that day. Without a legal way to dispose of horses in a profitable manner the market is ridiculously flooded, therefore causing the value/price of every horse to drop. Horses that used to be worth $5,000 back when the slaughter houses were operational are now worth less than $1,o00.
Don't get me wrong - in my perfect world every horse has a purpose and a loving family that is able to care for and feed them properly until they are ready to be humanely euthanized and then buried in the family plot along grandma. Unfortunately the world in which we live is hardly perfect (I feel the need to keep reiterating this). It is easy to say that every horse has a use, but let's face it - it is not true. Whether out of laziness or financial issues we all know at least one person who has a horse 5 years or older that is not broke, most likely not castrated, and in most cases dangerous to the normal person. As pointed out by one of my friends on Facebook, horses like this are not able to be given away even to rescue programs. In a town not far from me people are actually turning these types of horses out on public land because people simply can't afford to feed them anymore. How nice would it be if they could take the horse to the sale barn and make $800 off of it to feed their family?
Should they have had the horse in the first place? Probably not, but they do and now they need to find something to do with it in this time of economic strain.
Why don't they humanely euthanize the horse? Because it becomes very pricey when you start talking about disposing of a 1,200 lb corpse.
The number one cause of the need for slaughterhouses? Overbreeding and breeding for the wrong reasons. For some reason people can't comprehend that breeding crap to crap just produces more crap. I know that sounds incredibly crud and my mother would probably give a dirty look for the language, but it is the truth. Take a look at the cattle industry - they breed to IMPROVE the genetics of their herd. They cull out what they don't like and choose their herd sires and heifers/cows based on what is genetically superior. Trust me, I don't pretend to understand cowboys (lol, now THAT's another blog post) but the are obviously better business people than 99% of people in the horse industry.
It is very easy to get caught up in pictures and videos published by organizations such as PETA and HSUS, especially if you don't look at the horse industry as what it is - an industry. Not only does horse slaughter raise the value of all horses on the market (which helps the professionals selling horses) it also is another avenue to feeding people. With the direction the economy has turned we have quite a few hungry people in our own country, all of these unwanted horses that aren't being cared for properly could go to feed them.
I wish I had gone about this whole post in a more organized manner, but honestly I'm tired and I don't have the time so I apologize for the hastiness in which it was thrown together - it was one of those things I just needed to get off my chest I guess.
DISCLAIMER: Now I know that I am probably going to piss some people off with all of this, but I feel that everyone is entitled to their own opinions about anything (and Lord knows I'm opinionated!). You can agree with me, you can disagree with me and/or you can hate me, I don't care - I just want people to make their decisions/opinions based on education, not their feelings toward slanted photographs designed to target our human emotions.