Saturday, September 26, 2009
Plight of OUR MUSTANGS
I was recently asked about both sides of our mustang issue, with the loaded question, Why?
The answer, point blank "Money". And as we all know, money talks LOUD and can carry a lethal stick! It is not my assumption, but for years have learned this simple notion by gathering facts.
OUR public lands allotted and PROMISED to US and our wild horses (through the ROAM act of 1971, but then surreptitiously amended in 2004, which is where the struggle was resurrected), has gotten smaller, and continues to do so. Why? Because individuals pay to LEASE public (meaning "our") lands from the government for grazing rights. But it doesn't stop there.. there's also big game hunting (money for tags), urban sprawl (money for land), oil, and recently ~ wind turbines, and the latest eye-opener... URANIUM mines (in a very interesting Arab-US deal~ Thank you TrueCowboyMagazine for the enlightenment), see Mustang for Uranium~ http://earthchamber11.blogspot.com/2009/09/new-american-genocide-horses-for.html . Absolutely no joke. It's crystal clear why money is the main thread and source behind the removal of more and more mustangs... Mustangs which are our western and National heritage.... and our National treasure!
North America used to have 2 million of our LIVING LEGENDS roaming free, now the numbers are down to only 27,000 and declining. It's disheartening to know that another 33,000 are in government holding facilities around the US (here's one such article of many http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25465974/#storyContinued ) . The government doesn't know what to do with these horses,so they're seriously considering EUTHANIZING them (a covert document was uncovered, and within it was even the plan to incorporate counselors to deal with the workers who had the job of killing healthy horses), and for those who relate best in "money terms".. paid by us tax payers (feeding/holding .... and the euthanizing). All of these facts are backed up with more infomation, article links and news reports by even unbiased third parties. Questions? Go Google for it, it's all there. Isn't it alarming that there are only a handful of states that have wild horses... Why is that?
There is a claim that horses are non-native and therefore there's a need to eliminate them. As you may know, and as it's thought, horses came to North America with the Spaniards, and so it is assumed that they are non-native. However, there is evidence that they were here long before the ice-age and died out from natural catastrophic events (or quite possibly, man). Wild ancestors (Equus ferus ferus) of the Mustang roamed the plains of North America till about 10,000 years ago before going extinct and ancient DNA studies clearly shows that the Wild Horse originated from the Americas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustang_(horse) . Horses were THEN RE-introduced by the Conquistadors.
The BEST "GO-TO" source for accurate information, along with a great Q&A and stats is to go to http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com You'll feel very enlightened with the information.
It is indeed important to know both sides of the story. The government officials who's plight to reduce free-ranging mustangs, claiming that it's due to their concern and welfare for the animals to protect them from famine by keeping mustang numbers down... are the SAME government officials who want to kill these amazing animals, who they've mismanaged and put into government holding facilities (33,000 mustangs, yet they continue roundups!) because they don't know what else to do with them, and that they're costing tax-payers millions. Is this making any sense to anyone?? Why round up more to add to the problem on our dime, just to destroy them... again, on our dime?
For the average person, who is not up to speed with this issue... it may be soothing and nice to hear them say "it's for the welfare of these horses". Wild horses like ALL wild animals can do just fine without human intervention. True, the only predators wild horses have (beside the obvious~ man) are cougars (Thanks again to "intervention" nearly eliminating wolves). BUT EVEN SO, lack of forage for whatever the reason, IS also a process of nature, and keeps herds in check. Why must we attempt to control everything, including the effective functioning of an ecosystem? Insufficient forage means less birth rates, and of course, during times of drought or famine there would fully functioning natural selection. (Side note, a large cause for forage depletion? Cattle outnumber wild horses 200 to 1 on PUBLIC lands.) Our natural laws of the ecosystem are fully functional and self-adjusting. If a horse is lost to famine, nature also has a way to give back and recycles it to benefit other animals or organisms.
ALSO in human intervention, we assume a roll of a higher power, by chosing future generations of horses based on what "we" want, and with reduced herd numbers, we effect the genetic viability of these horses, including increase in inbreeding, which further effects herd health. I can go on and on with other examples, including on emotional levels in regards to family ties and bonds among the individual bands. I've witnessed it myself first hand (my Journal ~ website http://www.wildwindart.com/journal.html ).
North America in early 1900's had 2 million mustangs... my heart sinks when I think there's now a mere 27,000 (w/more in captivity than roaming free), and only a few states have them. It would be a very sad day, if we had to go to the zoo to view America's mustangs. The west without mustangs? Empty and in my opinion, no longer considered wild or the "last frontier'... as we've conquered/controlled IT down to the last wild animal.
Please take action, here's what YOU can do: http://www.wildhorsepreservation.com/action.html to make your voice heard and counted. You may think it's just a simple "grain in the bucket" but eventually the grain bucket does get filled! Tell them, NO MORE MUSTANGS for MONEY!!