Every year during the Fiesta horse parades, I feel deeply enraged. Do these horses really want to be ridden down the hard pavement streets with metal spurs stabbing them in their sides? Did they enjoy traveling enclosed in cages for hundreds of miles on freeways? Furthermore, is it ethically justifiable to ride horses?

There are many traditions throughout history that have been proven unethical. Think about how much the world has changed in regard to slavery, women’s rights, racism, the LGBTQI movement, and so on.

We should shift our thinking in how we treat animals. Do animals deserve to be paraded around, tortured, and slaughtered by humans unnecessarily? We consume products made from their flesh and secretions, despite the many healthier and more ethical alternatives that exist.

As for dairy, baby cows are stolen from their mothers, who are artificially impregnated repeatedly and forced to produce milk for human consumption. When I volunteered for two weeks on a small dairy farm in New Zealand I was saddened and disgusted.

Furthermore, the meat industry is not only unethical, with cows, chickens, and pigs being raised in horrendous conditions for the sole purpose of slaughter, but also terrible for the environment. According to an article from Colorado University, Boulder, “Raising livestock for human consumption generates nearly 15 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions, which is greater than all the transportation emissions combined.”

I invite you to look more deeply at the food you are eating and ask yourself where it came from. Watch the documentary Cowspiracy, or the five-minute YouTube video Dairy Is Scary, or look at the website animalequality.org. Why not strive to make ethical and compassionate choices?

As for me, I will be boycotting the equestrian parade next year.


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