Let me say off the bat: I’m a reluctant meat-eater. Even though I know that meat production results in sometimes horrific conditions for the animals, environmental pollution, and the exacerbation of global warming, I haven’t been able to fully kick the lifelong habit of eating meat. (Hey, my parents were from the Midwest and real meat and potatoes types.) Though I limit it to beef and chicken, and only a few times a week, I see my own hypocrisy. I get that.
However, I made the sorry mistake of watching this video going around yesterday that sickened me and was nearly enough to make me go vegetarian.
The link is everywhere, so find it on your own as I won’t help give this video the hits its poster craved. But be forewarned, it’s pretty sad, sickening, and shocking — and will only inspire anger and hatred for this perfect example of a (hopefully dying) American stereotype: the Cranky Old White Crackpot. This redneck, who was once the only employee of a soon-to-be horse meat slaughterhouse near Roswell, New Mexico, has since been fired because of the increasing controversy. Probably a tea bagger. Ya think?!
For those who have the good sense to not watch it yourself, I’ll describe it for you: aged, mustachioed, old white guy redneck in cowboy hat and boots leads a seemingly lovely (pet?) horse to the center of the camera frame. He pets the beautiful, healthy horse, who twitches its ears and leans in for more petting. With that, redneck looks to the camera, swearing, “All you animal activists, fuck you!,” pulls the gun out of his holster and drills a bullet right through the head of his seemingly loving horse, who crumples to the ground in a heap, and goes into a post-death, near-convulsive fit.
Look, there may be no law against killing and eating your own horse in New Mexico. But this crosses the line. This cowboy does this for simple political effect — to antagonize animal activists (and city types) — nearly crossing over into hate speech territory, and perhaps act as an ominous threat to all he thinks are jeopardizing his American freedom to be as stupid and cruel as he wants. This redneck and the horse meat slaughterhouse are now getting death threats. And the local authorities are looking for ways to prosecute this excuse for living.
Here’s a press release issued by the slaughterhouse that intended to employ him before all this happened:
Valley Meat Co. does confirm that Mr. [XXXXX] does work doing maintenance for Valley. We have seen the video showing Mr. [XXXXX] euthanizing a horse for slaughter which we understood he did as was his legal right for his own consumption and in which he did complete the processing for consumption. We agree that his comments were regrettably crass, not contributing anything to this dialogue so we do not condone his statements, but he was within his lawful rights to slaughter and butcher a horse and he was not acting as an employee of the company in that action. The emotion of the situation is what is most troubling especially since the opposition is now resorting to terrorist tactics by calling in bomb threats and death threats against our families. And while Mr. [XXXX’s] personal comments are inappropriate they pale in comparison to threatening to bomb people and kill their families. We respectfully request that the media and the public remember that we are discussing the processing of horses as livestock and no animal is worth threatening or ending a person’s life.
“Euthanizing”? Doesn’t that mean mercy killing? This horse doesn’t look sick or ailing. “And no animal is worth threatening or ending a person’s life”? Not sure about that statement either. I’d personally have no qualms with animal poachers being shot on-sight in Africa.
I don’t know this man at all. But since he’s invited me to get to know him in this way: I think he’s just the latest example of the stupid cruelty of the Cranky Old White Crackpot.
UPDATE: 3/25/2013: This post is attracting some comments that will not be posted because I think they cross the line. I realize I can get very angry on this blog at animal cruelty and the degradation of the environment due to mankind’s greed, etc., but to publish this person’s home address, and openly call for “something bad” to happen to him will not be tolerated here. (That also goes for commenters who use profane, anachronistic and socially unacceptable terms to describe minorities too.)