Sunday, December 23, 2012


Inappropriate and incendiary  comments on Facebook.
The NYC carriage trade has sunk to a new low and is sadly, desperately and shockingly  exploiting the recent horrific shootings at the Sandy Hook elementary school.  Trying to get their readers to sympathize with them against those who want their exploitative business shut down, the Vice President of the NYC Horse and Carriage Association posted several very incendiary comments on a carriage industry Facebook page that is open to the public.  The comments, which can only be interpreted as a call to action,  began on December 19, 2012.

She posted a picture of a group of activists from another organization and criticized them for being at the hack line demonstrating against the carriage drivers.  The group was actually handing out informational  flyers to the public.   They had posed for a group photo.  If she sincerely felt they should not have been there, then perhaps the drivers should also not have worked out of respect for the people who live in Newtown, CT.   

But we all know that is not what it was about. 

Apparently wanting to stay in the good graces of their leader, her supporters made comments like “I think some people need to get a life; despicable people that lack the sensitivity gene; Inappropriate timing!!!;  lock these nuts up; the same people would say ho-hum if they were shown a picture of an aborted baby;  ignorance knows now [sic] bounds."

But then it started to get really crazy: [names are left out for our protection.] **  
Inappropriate and incendiary  comments on Facebook.

Inappropriate and incendiary  comments on Facebook.

Dangerously making accusations of terrorism 
This is not rational behavior.  

And then she went one step further and alleged in another  post on the same Facebook Page that her  husband took a family with young children for a carriage ride.  And guess where they came from according to this woman?  Newtown.  She goes on about how the families were coming to NYC to take carriage rides to get away from the media presence and how they will instead be met with activists.  

This is part of what she said: 

Well, if those folks come to NYC and want to treat their children to a carriage ride to brighten their day, there is a good chance they will be accosted by the miserable, vile, despicable, sick maniacs who call themselves "animal rights" people who will be protesting the carriages all weekend and into next week. These folks and their children will be greeted by lunatics waving poster-sized photos of old and rare carriage accidents, dead horses, blood and wreckage.”

And of course, once again her non-thinking fan club comments, agreeing with her.  

"how people can be so vile is beyond me; And I so wish I could come home for a week, hang out with some carriage horses & their people.  I would exercise my rights.  I'd claim I was in fear for my life of the protesters ... I'd open a large can of whoop ass."  

Until one thinking person said:  

But did you think the followers would see that what she said made sense?   No, of course not.  Instead, this is what some said (identifying names left out): 

 "xxx - what you said made no sense - she was saying how worried she is -- shame on you.  [liked 3 times]; XXX you are a complete and total ASSHAT.  The only people capitalizing on Newtown are the bloodthirsty degenerate ghouls in the lame-ass media, with their 24/7 glurge (and shamefully that includes FOX NEWS) and the jugheads like the anti-2nd amendment contingent who are going to try and exploit it to push their Nazi agenda. My only regret is that I cannot reach right through the screen and slap some sense into you.  If that is even possible.  Now feel free to return your head to your ass.  Since that is obviously where it lives; Thanks again, XXX.  (liked 3 times) Then show then show that you have some character and apologize to XXX.; omfg ... what a supreme f**king nasty b**tch .. bite us."  


Of course no one speaks to Ms. Thing like that.  This is her reply to the lone dissenter.  Although her original post  uses the "real" vulgar words (no asterisks for her,)  I have added the asterisks because the language is very offensive.  

Hey [blocked]  - I don't know who you think you are talking to. You have some F*****G NERVE telling me that I am not sincere - this is a TRUE story, and it is EATING AT MY GUT since I heard it. You're 'aware' of f*****g NOTHING. Shame on YOU for not giving a s**t that kids are ROUTINELY exposed to these LUNATICS and their despicable behavior. As for the video, there are LOTS more, some taken last week -- better yet, why not come up at see for yourself? I don't 'sputter' - I SPEAK, loudly and clearly. And I don't give a s**t if you are 100% pro-carriage or against - people like YOU we don't need.

Psychologists have explained that this kind of behavior is irresponsible.  This is a quote attributed to  David Matsumoto from an article in an academic journal earlier this year.  

"When leaders express a combination of anger, contempt and disgust in their speeches, it seems to be instrumental in inciting a group to act violently," said Matsumoto, professor of psychology of San Francisco State University.  

What do you think? Are these irrational people dangerous?  Should we be concerned?    Many of them have no idea what the NYC carriage trade is about but they will defend it to the end.  They hate anyone who cares about animals.  

** - We have screen shots, including the names of those who posted and have reported this to the appropriate authorities.


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Can They Suffer?

A byproduct of the carriage industry is the killing of pigeons, who scavenge for food in the streets and are run over by the wheels of the carriages. Look at the ground on any given day, and you are likely to see the carnage. 

On a recent day at the hack line, we glanced over and saw this sad sight--a freshly run over pigeon who bled to death on the street. We hope it was a mercifully quick passing. An activist who is a regular at our demos went over to the stricken pigeon and tenderly picked him up,  unconcerned about the blood that dripped onto her gloves and scarf. She took him to a grassy area, near some shrubs, where another dead pigeon lay, perhaps having been pulled out of the street by a passerby. Seeing this, the carriage drivers taunted us, laughing and making crude remarks about trying to run over the pigeons. 

Perhaps the drivers' behavior is a defense mechanism or a grief response--we don't know. What they appear to be trying to tell us, though, is that they have a callous disregard for non-human life forms--a disconnect from other sentient beings. It does not bode well for the horses. A robust body of evidence has shown there is a "toxic triad" of animal cruelty, child abuse, and domestic violence. In other words, violent people generally practiced first on animals. But back to the present moment and the hack line, where the sight of a carriage driver who ignores the suffering of doves raises real questions about how that driver treats his or her horses.

Finally, from a pragmatic standpoint, the sight of crushed and bloodied pigeons--sometimes decapitated--is a terrible image for tourists, including young children. If the enforcement agencies did their jobs and cited drivers for failing to cover their feed pails, some of these casualties might be avoided. 

Pigeons are smart, loyal creatures. Some may know that pigeons served the United States in wartime (Cher Ami's brave dedication to the mission led to the rescue of 194 soldiers in Major Charles Whittlesey's "Lost Battalion.") But let us not make the mistake of equating another animal's intellectual capacity to his right to live or her ability to suffer. As the moral philosopher Jeremy Bentham said, "The question is not, 'Can they reason?' nor, 'Can they talk?' but rather, 'Can they suffer?'"