What does Mayor-elect DeBasio have against horses?
New York city mayor-elect Bill DeBasio is out to ban the iconic horse-drawn carriage rides around Central Park so beloved of tourists and romantics alike.
"We are going to get rid of the horse carriages. Period," de Blasio said in response to a question at his press conference announcing his schools chancellor pick Monday.
"It's over," he said.
De Blasio said he would work with existing drivers to set them up with alternative vehicles to ferry tourists around Central Park.
De Blasio and advocacy groups who support him say it's inhumane to make the horses work the dangerous city streets, but drivers insist their horses are well cared for and there's no reason to end the industry.
Celebrities have been driving the opposition to the horse-drawn carriage:
The rides have long been the target of animal rights activists who say the horses are mistreated, and Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who takes office Wednesday, said Monday that he will follow up on a campaign promise and shut the carriages down.
"It's over," he said at a news conference, the New York Daily News reports.
The carriages have been assailed by an array of critics, ranging from Miley Cyrus and Alec Baldwin to both leading candidates for mayor.
But horse-drawn carriage supporters have pushed back, arguing that the horses are well-cared for -- including nine-hour maximum work days -- and that the the alternative may be grim. The Daily News reported in October that if funds for the horses' retirement are not raised, the roughly 200 animals could face slaughter.
Miley Cyrus? DeBlasio is going to destroy a fine tradtion on the word of an air head twerker? And Alec Baldwin likes horses more than gay people? Who would have thought that?
And how far does DeBlasio's compassion stretch when there's a definite possibility the end result of his action will be euthanizing the animals?
Editor Lifson believes DeBlasio and the left are upset because horses are "not running wild and being eaten by mountain lions." I haven't spent a lot of time around horses, but those who do say that horses live for things like pulling carriages. It's like preventing a sheep dog from herding sheep because the animal works hard at it. Animals have been bred for certain tasks by humans for at least 50,000 years when wolves were first welcomed into our campfires. They have evolved to serve as our helpers and companions. Denying them their birthright is far more cruel than allowing them to pull a carriage for 9 hours a day.
Horses will never go back to being wild creatues, and neither will dogs or cats. The notion that you can "liberate" them by denying them an existence they were born for is counterintuitive and ultimately makes the animal worse off.