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Letters & Editorials

The Chief-Leader

NYC - July 27, 2007

Regarding your recent article "School Kitchen Staff Frying" - by Meridith Kolodner -- I have great sympathy for the workers who toil in the kitchens serving lunches to children. It must be unbearable to work under such extreme temperature conditions and something should be done about it. However, your snide comments about temperature regulations for the NYC carriage horses - that by law they do not have to work when it is 90 or above - diminishes us as a hopefully evolved people. It suggests that the carriage horses are being treated like kings when the truth is very different.

Have you ever been to their stables? They live in warehouses - their stalls accessed by steep ramps - and they are not air conditioned either. Besides what you do not realize is that horses do not do well in the heat - they can easily suffer heat stroke - they are much more susceptible than people. Horses are stuck between the shafts of their carriages for nine hours a day, seven days a week while they work pulling around cart loads of tourists. They are herd animals - yet they do not get to socialize with other horses. And they have no choice in this exploitation. Shall I compare that to city workers who have it better?

Many horses end up slaughtered for the foreign dinner plate after a devoted career. Surely - city workers have it better here too.

The ethical and moral progress of this great city depends on how well we treat all living, sentient beings - animal and human. It does not help when we try to stir things up by making unfair and misguided comparisons.

Elizabeth Forel
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

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