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  1. Tia #
    December 31, 2011

    I just had a few questions about your horse slaughter artical. First off do u happen to own any horses. Obviously your a writer, but what’s your profession? Do you have any idea how much it cost to PROPERLY care for a horse and that many horses Owned in the U.S aren’t properly cared for, causing neglect even in the slightest form? And do you realize you remark about farmers getting subsidies and make a profit was extremely ignorant? Do you realize that the suffering caused at a slaughter plant is far less suffering then what is caused by them being shut down? Horses are starving to death And being turned loose to fend for them selves when they don’t have that natural survival instinct that a mustang would.

    You made a comment in your artical about people and journalists letting the unwanted horse coalition do thier research for them. You sir should take your own advice. Come on out to Nevada, head out to the calico range or hell head out right to palomino valley down by whiskey springs. You will find your self some sorry looking horses, be able to count every rib on them and see foals with birth defects because there were not enough nutrients around when the mare was caring it. You speak so poorly of the round ups, or ranchers and farmers, and you do realize that because of them America runs? Ag type jobs employ over half of America. And you realize that with out those subsidies you complained about that the farmers and ranchers get, you would have a very poor selection of food at the grocery store. Now one more question for you, have you ever spent an extended amount of time out of the city, have you ever worked on a ranch or farm? My guess is no. Or else you would know that any rancher, farmer, or true horsemen cares more about the well being of an animal than anything. If an animal is suffering they do everything in thier power to make the suffering stop, and sometimes that animal has to go through a second more suffering to end all suffering it’s going through. So before you go running your mouth do a little more research actually get out of the city and travel out to where your trying to debate. Live our lives before you go telling us how it is, and wrongly educating people who have no idea and filling their head with misinformation.

    • January 1, 2012

      Hi Tia:

      Thanks for stopping by and so nice of you to ask about me. To begin with, I write professionally, not as a hobby. Also, I’m not a “sir” and I’m also not quite the city slicker you may be envisioning. I am indeed a horse owner and my family owns several more, both today and dating back to the sixties. My family has long had a foothold in Columbia County. Do you know it? Tons of farmland and a family member just built a nice riding facility there, on my dad’s old property next to a pig farm and bordered by cornfields. Many of the farmers there bring their produce, meat, dairy and other products down to a farmers market in my neighborhood in Manhattan. I try and buy my food there to support them during the week. So much better than factory farmed, and people in the city pay a premium for it—something you can appreciate, I’m sure.

      I’m therefore surprised by your comments suggesting I speak poorly of farmers or ranchers. Can you cite something specific in my writing where I’ve done that? Also, given that only 2% of Americans are farmers, according to former Agriculture Secretary, Dan Glickman, how do you substantiate a claim that ag-type jobs employ half of America?

      Now on to your comments about farm subsidies. What about my mentioning that Charlie Stenholm accepted several thousand dollars worth of subsidies for a family farm while in Congress is “ignorant”, as you put it? It’s a well established fact that Stenholm did this. Your equating this with complaining only makes it appear as though you don’t like the public to know what Congressmen do on the Agriculture committee with public funds. Is that true, or do you believe in transparency?

      Finally, you’re going to have to substantiate your claim that “the suffering caused at a slaughter plant is far less suffering then what is caused by them being shut down.” That is an argument that has been repeatedly made without any data behind it. So if you have some, please share.

      I look forward to your answers, and welcome you back. Please watch your language, however. I had to edit out three unacceptable words. This is a two-strikes and you’re out, forum. Just so you know.

  2. Holly #
    January 11, 2012

    Thank you so much for your articles on Forbes-the horses need a voice! Your articles are factual & not emotional, so I feel comfortable sharing them on facebook & elsewhere. People tend to discredit the emotional articles, so you are a much needed voice for our horses!
    We have 5 horses & they are a lifetime commitment-their lifetime. I would go hungry before I let them do so. We had to put down our old horse, Slugger Hanover (29 yrs old) right before Christmas. He was retired from Harness racing & had earned $190,000 for his owner, who loved him enough to make sure he went to a good home. He was a part of our family. His treatment & then final care cost $430(final care was about $200). That is a very small price to pay for the many years of love he gave our family. Plus, we have the peace of mind that he died quickly, without pain & didn’t even fall down. Our vet was amazing.
    Our other horses compete in barrel racing, western pleasure & drill team. They’re also involved in 4H, trail rides, parades, etc. It boggles my mind that any horse person is pro slaughter. I just can’t even comprehend it.

    I hope it’s ok if I share this article I read about abandoned horses since pro-slaughter people keep throwing that around so much:
    Thanks again. Holly

    • January 11, 2012

      Hi Holly, Sorry to hear about Slugger and how great you had him so long. I agree on the small price of euthanasia, even for horses that haven’t been in our lives for years. And yes, it’s fine for you to share articles here. I look forward to reading it, thanks.

  3. Holly #
    January 11, 2012

    Yes…no horse, not one, deserves slaughter, no matter how long they’ve been in one’s life! That’s not how I meant to come across 🙂 Holly

  4. January 11, 2012

    Oh no worries, Holly. That was clear in what you wrote. Also, I don’t know if you got to the page with my other pieces on it. If you click on my name in the upper left hand corner, you’ll see all my recent posts.

  5. February 6, 2012

    Hi Vickery,
    Thanks for mentioning Leaping Bunny in your Forbes article from February 3. I am the Communications Manager of the Leaping Bunny Program and I just wanted to give you a bit more information on the program and how it differs from PETA’s, since both entities were mentioned in the article.

    *We are the only internationally recognized cruelty-free logo. Leaping Bunny is administered by both the CCIC and the ECEAE. The U.S./Canadian side is called the Coalition for Consumer Information on Cosmetics (CCIC) and the European side is called the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE), the entity largely responsible for the EU Cosmetics Directive.

    *The differences between the Leaping Bunny Program and PETA’s Caring Consumer program are the following:
    -Leaping Bunny requires companies to gather individual statements of assurance stating no animal testing will be conducted from a fixed cut-off point going forward not only from the companies making the finished product but all ingredient suppliers as well.
    -Several companies on PETA’s ‘don’t test list’, i.e. Smashbox and brands owned by the Limted say that while they don’t test on animals now, they reserve the right to do so where required by law. There is no law in the US that requires animal testing. The FDA only requires companies to assure that a product is safe for consumers ( Leaping Bunny requires companies to adhere to a fixed cut-off date guaranteeing products to be free of any new animal testing so companies using this loophole would not be eligible for the program.
    -Leaping Bunny requires companies to annually recommit to being certified as cruelty-free.
    -Leaping Bunny requires companies to be open to independent audits to assure that they are in compliance of our Standard.

    *Our Cruelty Free app is available for free download for both Android and iPhones and it lists all of our certified companies by company name as well as product type.

    If you have any questions or need any additional information on our program, don’t hesitate to contact me!

    Thanks again,
    Kim Paschen
    Communications Manager, Leaping Bunny Program

  6. Suzanne Foster #
    July 8, 2012

    Dear Vickery,
    I was looking at the Forbes list of 10 congressman who support horse slaughter, that you posted in “Who’s Who in Capitol Hill’s Power Posse” and Jack Kingston is listed as a D (Democrat), but he is an R (Republican). Are you able make that correction? For some reason, when I clicked on #10 on the list, I could not see who you listed. Who is #10? I read in the comments section of one of your articles, that you were going to post a complete list of horse slaughter supports in Congress. Do you have that yet?

    • July 8, 2012

      Fixed! #10 is Cynthia Lummis. I added her in, and updated the photo gallery several weeks ago. It appears that this is not showing up in some instances, so I will have to check as to why.

  7. Liz Biddick #
    July 27, 2012

    I have been deeply disturbed by the horse slaughter supporters for several years now, and I’ve felt like I could do more to inform both horsepeople and non horse owners about this incredibly cruel practice. Your articles and insight are empowering, thank you. Tia’ s comment that sometimes an animal has to suffer a second time in order to have it’s suffering alleviated is sad and telling. Humane euthanasia would be the choice of an animal lover, not making a few hundred dollars off the suffering horse. It’s all about the money. I hope to stay focused and help to get the story out there. Thanks again for the well written information.

  8. Rachel #
    May 30, 2014

    Hi Vickery. I just found your article Last Days at Nirvana Farm. This is going back a few years, and perhaps this is strange to ask, but I was wondering if you knew Marshall and Hugh very well? I saw that you acknowledged them at the end of your article… I communicate with Marshall and wonder if there might be someone who is missing him. I guess I am hoping you might know if that is the case, or might be able to help me find out. Thank you.

  9. Ray Matthews #
    June 7, 2014


    I’m having usability issues with the way your WP React theme is displaying article content. Content is being cut-off (at least with Chrome and Safari) and presumably with mobile devices as well. For example, the June 7 article begins:

    The facts are in: There are 10.6 times as many livestock as wild horses grazing public range lands in Utah’s Iron and Beaver Counties.

    however only this much is visible to online readers:

    The facts are in: There are 10.6 times as many livestock as wild horses grazing public range lands i

    I have to copy and paste the entire text of your articles into a text editor to read them. I was going to share the article via Twitter, but I can’t really do so until the display problem is resolved.


  10. Debbie #
    July 16, 2014

    I am new to this, and still looking for correct information. As we all know, everyone posts things that are skewed to their personal agendas. You seem to think slaughtering other animals is ok. Is that correct? I have been trying to resolve this within my own love of horses, why is it ok for sheep and cattle and goats and calves and lambs and chickens to be killed for food and not horses that are not wanted? I have read so many articles, seen too many episodes of shows on Animal Planet where people have horses and just can’t afford to take care of them anymore. I can’t believe you think it is more humane to let them live in filth and starve than to just be killed. The images of ribs protruding and mud and feces caked up to their knees are still in my head. I know there are horse rescue places who have had to turn away horses, because of the cost.

    • July 17, 2014

      I am not in favor of slaughtering any animal, but the issues are different with horses, which are not raised as food animals, and present extensive food safety problems at slaughter because of toxic drugs in their systems as performance and sport animals. Nor is the illegal starvation, abandonment or mistreatment of any horse an excuse to bring back slaughter. Slaughter does not prevent people from doing these things to horses—that has been proven again and again.

  11. R Harold Smoot #
    February 18, 2015

    Vickery, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve enjoyed your two recent articles in The Daily Pitchfork regarding public lands ranching. Please, keep up the good work and spreading the word.

    R. Harold Smoot

    • February 19, 2015

      Thank you R. Harold Smoot! Stay tuned — another one coming your way!

  12. Tom Mayfield #
    December 13, 2018

    Are you aware that ASPCA has entered an unholy alliance with horse slaughter advocates, such that flipping horses is being recommended and rescues that don’t comply will not get grants. Please see the closed FB group Ethical Equine Rescues if you are interested.

  13. Chip Fowler #
    April 26, 2022

    Hello, my great uncle Ramon Fowler my have been in the same plane with your uncle Bennett. Would you like to share info on their squardron and that sad day in the Pacific? Best to you. Chip Fowler

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