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Love Melbourne, Hate Melbourne Cup

Love Melbourne, Hate Melbourne Cup

Posted 5 November 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 10 Comments

Tags: Melbourne Cup, horse racing, horses

Did you know that Victorians get a public holiday tomorrow, which no other states get?? They're all getting the day off because of the Melbourne Cup which is a pretty sucky reason to celebrate. Find out why public holidays rule, while horse racing is cruel. (Hey, that rhymes.)

As you're probably aware, the Melbourne Cup is Australia's biggest horse-race. It's called "the race that stops the nation", as apparently all Aussies love watching little men thrash horses in an effort to make them go faster. This awesome clip sums it up perfectly.

The even bigger problem with horse-racing though is what those in the business call "wastage". This is the delightful name given to the routine killing of thousands of race horses every year who aren't fast enough or have grown too old to win races. As soon as they aren't making money anymore, many racehorses are sold off cheaply and become pet meat, or even wind up on someone's plate in parts of Europe.

The tale of one such horse has been told by Unleashed member rhi_jenkins. Umm, you may want to have some tissues nearby, though.

So this Melbourne Cup day, when all the focus is on horses ... you can actually do something to help them. Join with hundreds of other young Aussies who have already pledged to never bet on cruelty.

You can also let your friends know why horse-racing bites by changing your Facebook profile pic for the day.

And if you're in Melbourne check out what actions the Coalition for the Protection of Racehorses has planned and get involved. Go on, you've got the day off anyway :D

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NickM NickM 5 November 2012
Hi Anthony,

Great blog post! You inspired me to write a letter to the Newcastle Herald. For everyone's interest here it is it all it's glory:

"Dear Editor,

I would like to voice my concern with Australia's apparent lack of education regarding horse racing. I am sure if Australia knew what happens to horses that are bred that aren't fit for racing, the industry would dissolve. This letter is about education and the need to embrace compassion.

As we watch in plain sight mounted horses being brutally flogged around a track with the very real possibility of injury for both the jockey and the animal, what we don't see are the horses termed 'wastage' sent off as just another number in the routine destruction of thousands of unfit racers. These animals are seen only as a cost to the owner and are treated as a mere commodity rather than a life.

Horses, as do all animals with a nervous system, have the ability to feel pain, fear, and frustration as well as pleasure and joy. Countless rigorous scientific studies show that when given options, animals can make choices - whether it is towards warmer or cooler environments or to locations where they are able to socialise with their kind. One thing that is certain is that animals do NOT actively or knowingly seek conditions that cause them pain or harm, but in fact flee from these situations.

What I would like people to understand is their ability to choose NOT to support this barbaric and outdated form of entertainment. In a tradition so ingrained in Australian history it can be daunting to say "No" to Melbourne Cup celebrations, but in the interests of all those horses unnecessarily killed for entertainment, I urge you to say "enough is enough".

I'm putting my money on compassion, NOT with Tom Waterhouse."
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..1 ..1 5 November 2012
"The race that stops the nation"? More like: "The race that fuels the knackeries".
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Naomi4animals Naomi4animals 5 November 2012
Deposers story just ripped my heart out, can't stop crying
just wish all animals could feel safe, its not fair, and it kills me watching these amazing animals on tis earth suffer at the hands of humans cry
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Mary6 Mary6 6 November 2012
This is just the saddest thing I have seen and the worst part is the Melbourne cup so popular but no one knows or does anything about the cruelty that loves it so we need to pull there weight for them and tell them and make them help!!
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Miss D Miss D 6 November 2012
Horse racing is such a huge part of our culture. It's so sad that people don't really think about what it entails and what it's really about. All people see is entertainment, dollar signs, pretty dresses & alcohol. They don't see what's really going on. It just goes to show how people just think of surface values and superficial things. I will be thinking of all the horses today sad love
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anuk1974 anuk1974 6 November 2012
I am a horse lover and have ridden nearly all my life. However, I come from a family that has supported the horse racing industry all there lives. My question do I reeducate them especially since my father is a thoroughbred breeder for the racing industry?
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NickM NickM 6 November 2012
Hi anuk1974,

First off, great to hear you're into helping the horses! Bit sad your father is a part of the industry --- BUT there is always hope for change. Never forget that.

Secondly, get familiar with tactful persuasion, know the facts and start reading the academic arguments (it's not all that daunting, I promise! Peter Singer or Tom Regan are great philosophers to get you into it.

Some people respond well to emotion, others require a logical argument. If they know what happens to the horses if they are no good at racing, you will have to (very nicely) explain the argument. If you don't want to sound attacking, just say 'some people believe animals should have equal consideration given to their needs because of.. **lay down the argument here**.

Another quality you will have to develop it patience. A full head of steam will quickly dissipate, while the persistent, compassionate advocate will reach more people and do far more good than you can imagine.

All the best on your journey. We are all here with you.
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rhi jenkins rhi jenkins 6 November 2012
Deposer was so  gorgeous love he was such a sweet boy with a huge personality. I though about him everyday after those sales, and i honestly had no idea who he was untill about 3 weeks later when my friend managed to track down his brands sad  but there are rows upon rows of disgarded racehorses at the sales every time- thoroughbreds and standardbreds- and it is devistating that such young healthy horses with their whole lives ahead of them are dumped there and sent to slaughter. Both of the horses that i rescued from the sales are thorougbreds- one was too slow and therefore dumped at the sales, and the other is just a baby was bred to race but the people never bothered to train her, they just left her to starve and then dumped her at the sales. Its just the massive amount of overbreeding, there are SO SO many thoroughbred foals born every year ( i think it is about 17,000) and if they are not  suitable to race they should be rehomed, or euthanised as it is not fair for them to have such a cheap easy option where they actually earn money for dumping their horses at saleyards and slaughterhouses. it makes me so angry!!
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Dan000 Dan000 12 November 2012
Love the comments posted here, keep strong for the animals!
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Marilyn2 Marilyn2 14 November 2012
Makes me wonder what people would do if these were there children .  I think all hell would break loose !   Then why can't
everyone protect these poor horses that cannot speak for themselves ?   This just breaks my heart to imagine what these
horses are thinking !   Innocent victims controlled by mankind .

There seriously has to be a full scale demonstration to put a stop to this barbaric  treatment to all animals.  

Animal Lovers have just as much right to be Seen and Heard
when these innocent victims are being abused in the name of
What kind of person likes this kind of work.  They are probably
abusive at home as well .   Come on everyone, let these
heathens see and hear our demands.  
This has got to stop NOW !!!    
   This has to become a global effort as well  !! cry angry furious sad paw cry angry furious sad paw
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