Where Will All the Horses Go

The government's Bureau of Land Management has a plan for what they will do with horses without homes: kill them! According to the bureau, there are an estimated 33,000 homeless horses that are roaming around, due to the animals' overpopulation. They say, there are another 30,000 living in government-subsidized corrals. Other possibilities for the horses include selling them for meat and selling/adopting them out to private owners.

Critics of the government's unusual suggestions say, that the horses in the wild are near extinction due to auctions and periodic round-ups. Despite that fact, the BLM still wants to cut that number to 27,000! According to author Deanne Stillman, writer of the book "Mustang," she questions why America would want to destroy the very thing it rode in on. In an interview with Newsweek's Tony Dokoupil, Stillman expresses her total shock at the government's bravado, when it comes to the solution.

Like Stillman, there are many others who do not begin to understand why the government would take such drastic measures. One has only to think about such places as Assateauge Island, near Ocean City, Maryland, to wonder what in the world the government is thinking when considering these "options." Assateauge Island is a barrier island ecosystem offering visitors a glimpse of the lives of wild ponies, marine life and migratory birds. The island is also near Chincoteague Island, in Virginia. There are also dolphin cruises that ones can take, if they're so inclined. Unquestionably, though, when one hears the words Assateague Island, immediately, what comes to mind is, the horses.

I think about these threatened horses that aren't in danger due to wild preditors stalking them for a kill, but they are being threatened by none other than the very people who are supposed to keep them safe... the government! While there are animal rights groups and other public individuals fighting to stop the government from going through with these options, this is such an important situation- not just for the adults who care about horses and the people who are living today, but... what about the next generation, and the generation after that? Will they ever get to experience the beauty of a stout gelding running at full-speed, with its mane flying in the wind, its hooves pounding theĀ earth and the sheer strength of its legs and the muscles tensing as it runs?- there is much more that could be done to save these wonderful creatures.

If each one of us takes a few minutes out of our day to call, write or email our local congressmen, letting them know we are strongly opposed to the government's ideas on the overpopulation of wild horses, then our opinions and our feelings will speak for themselves. No one can do that for us... and, as most of you well know, we certainly don't want the government speaking for us. We want to make sure these horses, who have no voice, are spoken for.

In the end, no one can say for sure what will happen to the horses. Growing up, listening to fairy tales with the knight riding in to save the princess on, what else, but... a horse!, I still remain that hopeful little girl, waiting for the proverbial knight to appear, and save the day. Wouldn't that be a great ending to the story?

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