By Elizabeth Forel, President Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages
For many years, the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages has advocated for the New York City carriage horse - that poor creature who is forced to work a nine-hour day, seven-day week in all kinds of weather, regardless of what the law says.
The New York City carriage horse lives in a small stall, which, although legal, is only half the size experts recommend. This cramped stall is accessed by a steep ramp, because the horses are kept on the upper floors of multistory industrial buildings. There is no access to pasture here, because it does not exist. The much-beleaguered horse spends his day in heavy traffic congestion on the street or people congestion in Central Park.
He is not a work horse but an "entertainment" horse being exploited by the owners to give joyrides and use Manhattan as an amusement park.
We have been fighting to close down this inhumane, unsafe and frivolous business since 2006. We want to be proud to live in New York City.
These horses, who have been referred to as "product" by supporter and actor Danny Glover, are given the bare minimum. Unlike Liam Neeson, who claims the drivers "love" their horses, Glover states it a bit differently: "I think people need to come by to see the product themselves." By inadvertently revealing more honesty in that twelve-word sentence than anyone has to date, we learn that this is the way the drivers really feel about their horses.
They are products, merchandise. When they get tired and break down like an overused electronic device, they are disposed of - often sent to the auctions.
Any industry that treats its "product" like this is also not going to treat its workers well.
Propaganda - you are being lied to.
The propaganda put out by the Daily News, NY1, Fox News, PIX 11, New York Post and others about the carriage horse issue rivals Communist China under Chairman Mao. The truth is not welcome. These media sources sometimes include a letter-to-the-editor or two, or add a comment by someone who does not agree with them within their articles or TV "news" pieces. But, clearly it is not objective and should shame any real journalist involved in this line of work.
Wikipedia says this:
Propaganda is a form of communication - information that is not impartial and used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively (perhaps lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or using loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information presented.
This perfectly describes the reporting by the New York Daily News. In obvious agreement with the Teamsters, the Daily News repeatedly has described the drivers' jobs as "good union jobs" and, as early as the fall of 2013, claimed all the horses would go to slaughter if there were a ban.
Neither statement is true.
The Daily News even started a branded campaign and a petition to save the New York City carriage horse trade. What kind of professional newspaper does this kind of thing?
"Why?" is the question everyone, including the City Council, should be asking. What is going on behind the scenes at the Daily News and the Teamsters, with the support of the Cavalry Group - a right-wing lobby group that promotes itself as fighting "radical animal rights extremists" and supports puppy mills and horse slaughter? Who has the power to investigate this cabal for its lies in trying to manipulate, bully, control public policy and bring down the mayor of the biggest city in the US?