Horse carriages in Philadelphia - entertainment or abuse?
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Horse drawn carriages used to be one of the few forms of transportation. Now, they’re a nostalgic commodity, a novelty often placed in high-traffic tourist spots—such as the ones we all see in our own downtown Philadelphia.
You’ve seen them, the horses with hanging heads and foaming mouths; maybe you’ve even wondered when the last time was they drank water during a sweltering summer day. That may have been your concern, but it wasn't the concern of those filling their pockets from exploiting these sensitive animals.
The horses pulling these money-making carriages are exposed to a variety of harmful conditions. Think about all the traffic we see downtown, all the exhaust spewing from these cars and into the horse’s air. Many carriage horses develop respiratory ailments from persistent exposure to manmade pollutants, such as the car exhaust. These horses are made to walk for hours and hours on hard pavement; this often leads to leg and hooves problems. And that horse who you thought might be thirsty? He/she may have died from heatstroke or dehydration—there are many documented cases of horses falling dead from weather conditions or a lack of attending to their most basic needs.
It isn’t just the horses who suffer either. The safety of both Philadelphia residents and tourists is at risk every time a horse is used in this exploitative manner. Several people have seen the carriages blatantly run through red lights, often narrowly avoiding an accident. An accident involving a horse-drawn carriage and any type of vehicle—be it your own car, a sightseeing bus, or any other form of public transit—would be both devastating in terms of loss and damage, but would also be a gruesome tragedy drawing all the wrong attention to our city known for music and honkey tonks. Don’t let it be recognized for animal abuse.
Let’s face it: This is cruelty, not entertainment. Our city has multiple transportation methods that are fun for everyone—and still feed our city’s commerce and growth. Tell our city officials you want this abuse to end now.
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