In Truth of Wild Horses on Native Land and Tongue
What’s all this about wild horses destroying America’s rangelands? Why are there some Native Americans, but by far not all, lobbying for horse slaughter?
The American public would be surprised, if not outraged to learn that government agencies, including the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forestry and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have in fact been encouraging the eradication of America’s wild horses from public lands. Within days of the preliminary injunction that stopped a New Mexico slaughter house from killing horses on U.S. soil for the first time in 7 years, surges of tribal forces have begun to shun their own four legged brothers and sisters, known as the horse – while parroting pro-slaughter lines.
The Desert Independent , Aug 12, 2013, reported the Ft. McDermitt Paiute Shoshone Tribe in Nevada intends to push wild horses from public lands onto reservation lands for the purpose of capture and sale to a slaughter. Aug 19, 2013, AP/ Daily Journal reported Navajo Rangers rounded up over 250 horses from their rangelands citing them as “feral” or otherwise in violation of grazing rights. The seized and unclaimed Navajo horses are reported to be sold, many for transport to slaughter.
As reported in the Navajo Times , “While Navajo President Ben Shelly has publicly supported the idea of a horse slaughtering operation in Roswell, N.M…” It is obvious that his view point is notshared by tribal people like Diné Leland Grass , or tribal leaders and spiritual leaders like Chief Arvol Looking Horse [who] publicly oppose the slaughter of equines.
“When I heard about the slaughter of America’s horses it reminded me of the genocide on Indian tribes,” says Paul Rainbird, Former Lt Governor San Idelfonso Pueblo New Mexico. “For us to turn around and slaughter horses islike cutting out our own heart.” Chief Arvol Looking Horse, Lakota Nation, South Dakota speaks out, “My great grandfather was Chief Big Foot. He was massacred at Wounded Knee, 1890. I speak out today because my heart is heavy and hurting; that we still have to face the ongoing genocide, that what we hold so deeply in our heart.”
The governmental genocide that nearly wiped out America’s indigenous people now seems to have come full circle. The U.S. government is wreaking havoc on one of man’s most treasured species, the horse, and victimizing Native Americans by attempting to coerce tribal people to do their dirty work and even take the fall.
Paleontological evidence shows that wild horses and burros are not “feral”, and that they evolved on the North American continent over 50,000,000 years ago. Their evolvement in North America is documented by the American Museum of Natural History . “This is their cradle, and they evolved into a virtual identical horse that was returned with the Spanish in the 1500s,” states Ginger Kathrens, Executive Director The Cloud Foundation. “Nowhere else on the entire planet have we found fossil remains that tell the entire story of Equidi,” adds Neda DeMayo, President Return to Freedom, “…from the beginning all the way up to the Equus caballus; the current Genus Equis.
The distribution of misinformation provided to tribes by USDA APHIS began several years ago and has made an indelible mark on some tribal leaders’ viewpoints and actions. As noted by documents from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS), its grass roots meetings are held in part for the purpose of getting tribes to distribute information about horse slaughter in the U.S. to their congressional delegations.
But the information about wild horses and horse slaughter provided by USDA APHIS has been grossly misrepresented to unsuspecting American tribes and the falsifications are stacked one on top of the other. For example USDA APHIS denies wild horses of their indigenous roots to North America and says that they are purportedly “feral”; and, that the so called “feral” horse population has supposedly escalated out of control; and the alleged overpopulation is due to U.S. horse slaughter plants shutting down in 2007, therefore purportedly causing the slaughter of America’s horses to end. And, that if someone wanted to sell their horse for slaughter they would supposedly have to ship their own horse all the way to Canada or Mexico, and foot the bill for transport themselves.
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