torsdag 26 juni 2014

Does riding horses harm/exploit them?


Vegans believe that animals are sentient beings, and they are not our resources, and all our actions are aimed at shifting the paradigm from the speciesist view of viewing animals as our resources, towards viewing and treating them as sentient beings. Just like we wouldn’t shave someone’s hair and use this as an accessory without that person’s consent, we don’t take the wool of a rescued sheep to use it for our purposes. We don’t coerce animals into doing things, nor use other forms of violence – not in action and not in words. We don’t use violent methods as some popular well-meaning but confused dog trainer (e.g. Cesar Milan) do [4]. We don’t coerce/force animals into doing things, e.g. breaking a horse to use for riding. We don’t train or use animals for our use/purposes, e.g. teaching a dog to do dance tricks, or riding a horse for our entertainment/exercise/trying to fill our emotional spiritual needs/desires. Our relationship to "domesticated" animals is not one of control/enforcing our will, but acting in the animals best interests and giving her/him as much freedom and autonomy within the constraints of what is best for the animals well being –e.g. the animal is domesticated and can’t survive by her own in the wild, so we don’t release the animals in the wild.






As has been said above a horse DOES NOT give any consent to have a human rider on her back. It is a relationship of control where you are limiting the freedom and autonomy of the horse.

It doesn’t really matter if the horse enjoys it or not. That a sentient being enjoys something doesn’t make it right and it doesn’t mean that a certain behaviour isn’t exploitation and that it isn’t harmful. I can give an example: An adult person can be in a marriage to an underage person. The adult person has certain expectations on the relationship as an adult person that the underage person isn’t ready to handle/able to handle properly, because of that the underage person isn’t fully developed mentally and biologically. This relationship will be harmful to the underage person, regardless of how much consent there is, and regardless of how much they both enjoy the relationship.

It doesn’t matter whether you rescued a horse from a certain death; or that you give an horse acres and acres of space to graze on. That’s wonderful! But it does not give you any right to get on the back of the horse that you rescued.
Other comments:


Using animals for human entertainment is not vegan. That includes riding horses. Never put a bit in their mouth. Never put a leather saddle on their back. Walk them to somewhere where they can run freely if you want to be their friend. Riding them is domination and literally can hurt their back.



Butterflies Katz



Elyse Belladonna Jason, I don't find your logic to be 'sound' at all. No, nonhuman animals cannot consent to being used by humans - that's pretty much AR 101. Furthermore, horses would never, ever let humans ride them if they were not first subjected to the long and arduous process of being 'broken.' The fact that humans breed them to be used in the first place clearly goes against vegan ethics. Why should these principles apply to some animals and not others?


you claim that you never said that the horse gave consent, yet you argue, "I disagree that interpersonal relationships between different species equates to exploitation, so long as its never forced." First, riding another sentient being is not an interpersonal relationship; it's clear subjugation of another. Second, if the horse didn't give consent, that is exploitation. 
You seem to be arguing that the horse didn't give consent, but wasn't forced. That sounds an awful lot like "She didn't say yes, but she didn't say no."http://thecurvature.com/.../rape-apologism-in-action-she.../

Doris Lin


Marie Lee Jason Lowe : "Moreover, if the ethical stance is such that we provide non-human animals the moral and ethical treatment as we allow for human animals, it would be incongruent ethics to disallow a similar type of symbiotic relationship of give and take between consensual species."
"It would be incongruent to disallow a similar type of symbiotic relationship of give and take between consensual species" - kinda indicates that you think other species (and since this topic was about horse riding, assume you are sticking to topic)- so logical conclusion would be that you are saying, the horse is a "consensual species". If wrong, please feel free to explain your comment further, particularly interested in your definition of "consensual species".



Elyse Belladonna Getting a horse fully broken typically takes at least 1-2 months, if not longer. (For what it's worth, my aunt is a riding instructor and horse trainer, she and my dad grew up with horses, and my sister rode for years while we were growing up. Anyone who's curious can just google 'how long does it take to break a horse.') Training a horse to be ridden is not comparable to training a dog not to bite, for reasons that should be obvious. It's also not comparable to rescuing animals who are victims of domestication.


Doris Lin Pat, you can coexist with a rescued horse without riding him. You ride him for your own enjoyment and entertainment. Housebreaking a dog and training a dog not to attack you are for the purposes of hygiene and coexisting with society.


Doris Lin Pat, I'm sure the horse likes to go out for runs. If that's her only chance to run around, yes, I'm sure she'd rather run around with someone on her back than stay in a barn all day. 
"you're equating somebody riding a horse to being raped?" No, I'm comparing consent in humans to consent in non-humans.



Paula Cass Wow great convo a lot to read... apologies if i am repeating anything here... OK in the past I rode horses, and owned a horse whom I claimed at the time to love... Since becoming vegan I have decided I will never ride horses or any other animal) and this is why... In order for a horse to be able to be ridden by humans they have to go through the "breaking in process" which literally means s that their spirits are broken so they are tamed to be ridden and follow orders... I have seen this process and it usually requires beatings for the young horse.. (especially a rebellious one) Also I have experienced what happens on a stud farm, the female horses are rapped.. held by someone while the stallion mounts her, if she kicks him in her protest they put pads on her hoofs to not put the stallion off... its really disturbing. Horse riding is no different morally than any other forms of using an animal for entertainment.. I would love to have a horse as a friend, to live a life of sanctuary, not to ride them or force tackle on them, as a friend to talk to and enjoy that they are free rather than they belong to me. x If i had my horse back again, I would TRULY love him this time. x


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  • Melissa Viau So then, do you support bestiality where they, according to you, "communicate consent in their own way"?

  • Melissa Viau The arguments you've made about horse riding are the same arguments Peter Singer has made to justify "humane" bestiality.




  • Melissa Viau http://weotheranimals.blogspot.ca/.../vegans-shouldnt...

    weotheranimals.blogspot.com
    There is an argument common among horseback riding enthusiasts (even among those who self-identify as vegans) that horses receive pleasure from riding, and therefore, it is morally defensible. It is, they argue (contrafactually), like playing with a cat or a dog. But this kind of argument should pos…


    Doris Lin Jason, do you believe that human children can consent to sex? Do you think that statutory rape laws minimize the abilities of children and reeks of ageist rhetoric?





    Doris Lin Jasmine Hana McKittens, I'm just trying to figure out Jason's line of reasoning. And perhaps yours. Why is it not insulting or ageist to say that children can't consent to sex but acceptable to say that sheep (who can't communicate their consent to an adult man as well as a 15-year-old child) can give consent?



  • Doris Lin Jasmine Hana McKittens, I'm just trying to figure out Jason's line of reasoning. And perhaps yours. Why is it not insulting or ageist to say that children can't consent to sex but acceptable to say that sheep (who can't communicate their consent to an adult man as well as a 15-year-old child) can give consent?
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  • Melissa Viau " its a two way beneficial relationship"

    "But sex with animals does not always involve cruelty. Who has not been at a social occasion disrupted by the household dog gripping the legs of a visitor and vigorously rubbing its penis against them? The host
    usually discourages such activities, but in private not everyone objects to being used by her or his dog in this way, and occasionally *mutually satisfying* activities may develop." ~ Peter Singer

    It is argued by many that bestiality can be a two-way beneficial relationship. "Kind" exploitation does not make it just.

  • Melissa Viau Talking is not forcing beliefs. People owning and using animals because they believe they are ours to use, that's forcing beliefs.
    I can't MAKE you reject ALL animal exploitation, I can only encourage that you do. I'm not going there and putting a gun to your head. Calling a debate "force" is ridiculous. No one is making you post here.



    From: https://www.facebook.com/groups/VeganismIsEthicalStance/permalink/590952831018367/


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    Anders Branderud *her/his back, not its back.

    Even if there are horses that signal to their caretakers that they want to be ridden (I don't know if there is) - it is because they once were broken into/coerced into this relationsship.

    And even if a horse after being broken in would want to be ridden - it wouldn't make it right. First of all, it wasn't right to break in the horse in the first place; and secondly, see my example above of an adult person being married to an underage person both consenting, wanting and enjoying the relationsship.


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    "But if the animal enjoys it, who are we to take that away"

    Because they cannot give informed consent! It doesn't matter if they can get pleasure out of it. Pleasure does NOT equal consent.









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     I have read through most of this thread and I am nauseated.

    Everyone who is claiming it is okay to ride a horse is talking about horses who have already been exploited and in human control. A wild horse is not going to want you to ride her/him. I
    t is not vegan to ride a horse.

    The dog/cat argument is not valid because dogs and cats are not wild animals and vegans do not exploit them. We adopt them to save them from death. Using any animal for human service is not vegan. If someone adopted a dog and has a mutually rewarding relationship with them, but did not break them to service, it is a different thing. Walking our canine family members on leashes is for their protection, just like the fences for rescued horses. Ultimately, I want to see the end of all breeding of animals for human use and only rescue and rehabilitation for the ones who exist.

    As for bestiality; I am completely disturbed that any self-identified "vegan" would be okay with that. Someone who is not human cannot consent to someone who is human, but it is not exactly the same as a minor consenting to someone older (which is a whole other topic that is not appropriate for this thread or group). Whether "they enjoy themselves", or not, is not the issue in consent. And if they are already in captivity you, again, have a case of someone who is already a victim and behaving like a victim.

    A victim does many things that are not in their own interest. We already know a lot about victim psychology. We know that spouses who are beaten will defend their abusers. It is not because they enjoy being beaten! We know about Stockholm syndrome, too. A horse who is being ridden, or someone who is raped, is a victim.

    And, repeatedly through this thread people used objectifying language in reference to those who are not human! It is pretty revealing of a human's attitude when they call someone "it" or use other objectifying words like "that".



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     Dogs and cats are not tamed wild animals. They are domesticated. It's not mere training, it's actual physical/mental differences created by years and years of artificial selection.
    No, they are not wild. They are domesticated.
    A domesticated animal w
    ho adapts to free-roaming and avoiding humans is feral, not wild. They can only become feral. They cannot grow back wolf brains in order to un-domesticate themselves and become wild animals.

    Feral dogs can never be wolves.
    Feral cats can never be their wild ancestors.
    They are physically/mentally changed by domestication.



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  • Melissa Viau Release a bunch of chihuahuas into the wild and remove human intervention. They will not be "wild animals", they will be dead animals. We have an obligation to care for domesticated animals already in existence, but we should not exploit them for our purposes while they are in our care.
  • Heather Ⓥ Kolaya-Spealman Agreed. Making a horse rideable is literally called breaking them. That's for a reason. Riding horses is NOT vegan no matter how you try to twist it


  • Heather Ⓥ Kolaya-Spealman I like all the people saying horses enjoy it. No, not in the wild they don't. You have to "break" them first.


  • ............................


    Lisa Anti-Speciesist Qualls I have read through most of this thread and I am nauseated. 

    Everyone who is claiming it is okay to ride a horse is talking about horses who have already been exploited and in human control. A wild horse is not going to want you to ride her/him. It is not vegan to ride a horse. 

    The dog/cat argument is not valid because dogs and cats are not wild animals and vegans do not exploit them. We adopt them to save them from death. Using any animal for human service is not vegan. If someone adopted a dog and has a mutually rewarding relationship with them, but did not break them to service, it is a different thing. Walking our canine family members on leashes is for their protection, just like the fences for rescued horses. Ultimately, I want to see the end of all breeding of animals for human use and only rescue and rehabilitation for the ones who exist.

    As for bestiality; I am completely disturbed that any self-identified "vegan" would be okay with that. Someone who is not human cannot consent to someone who is human, but it is not exactly the same as a minor consenting to someone older (which is a whole other topic that is not appropriate for this thread or group). Whether "they enjoy themselves", or not, is not the issue in consent. And if they are already in captivity you, again, have a case of someone who is already a victim and behaving like a victim.

    A victim does many things that are not in their own interest. We already know a lot about victim psychology. We know that spouses who are beaten will defend their abusers. It is not because they enjoy being beaten! We know about Stockholm syndrome, too. A horse who is being ridden, or someone who is raped, is a victim.

    And, repeatedly through this thread people used objectifying language in reference to those who are not human! It is pretty revealing of a human's attitude when they call someone "it" or use other objectifying words like "that".

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    But I was not needed, as there were many excellent arguments. I can't believe how so many vegans are not into reasonable debate. There will be rational discourse in this group, and if you can't take it, leave. (I'm speaking to anyone, in general.)

    The reason I brought this subject up AGAIN - is I had just accepted a so called ethical vegan into the group who was riding a horse in her profile photo. So I felt the topic needed to be discussed again. 

    While I do think there could be playful times where a horse might enjoy and like the bonding experience of riding with a human person, generally, I don't care for the whole "riding them" concept. And I think it is physically not healthy for their backs. It's not for the horse, it's for the amusement or pleasure of the person. I think all vegans can be more vegan and heighten their concept of what veganism means. It means not using animals for human purposes. They are not here for us. 

    While there are ways they are exploited that are far worse than riding them, does not mean when we are on facebook that we can't discuss a way we exploit them that is not generally discusses as much. Of course, horses used for racing is much worse! Isn't that obvious? That does not mean that we can't examine our perceptions of exploiting them for riding, which is less cruel than using them for carriage rides, racing, etc. - but it is still something we can examine and talk about. 

    If you put a bit in the mouth of a horse, or a leather saddle on his/her back - there is no discussion whatsoever about your practice being NOT vegan. If you ride a horse bareback with no bit in the mouth, on a very friendly basis, playing around, there could be exceptions to the rule, where it is not really exploitation or domination, but most of the time, it is. I would never consider getting on a horse's back. I love and respect them, and I think putting my weight on their back would not be good for the horse. It's about them, not me. I would walk them somewhere where they could run freely.
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    Lisa Anti-Speciesist Qualls There are horses who live at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary. The people who run the sanctuary realized that riding horses was exploitation, so they never do. Never ever. No one rides them. They are allowed to be horses. They go places together on the farm. They are given every chance to overcome their abuse.


    Carol Williams This conversation is as hard to have as the one about letting cats outdoors to kill wildlife and feeding them bits of slaughtered animals. I happen to think that neither of these activities is particularly in keeping with the vegan ethic, any more than riding horses or having caged pets is. All domestic animals have been designed by humans for some human use, however benign, and none of it is their choice.


    ohttp://www.examiner.com/art.../can-horseback-riding-be-vegan

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