Death is a BlessingBarbara H. Peterson

Farm Wars

This is not a story that will make you feel good. It will not tickle your funny bone, or make you smile. It is a story that is being played out all across the nation as our economy dives headfirst into the trash bin, and it’s ugly.

Once upon a time there were 23 horses. These horses did not choose to be where they are. They merely exist at the whim of incompetence, greed and failed dreams.

They do not understand why they have been uprooted from their former prison of abuse and hauled across country only to be let loose in yet another cage without food, water, or security. They do not understand why the horses next door get hay to eat every day, twice a day. They only know hunger, thirst and want. This is their lot. A cruel fate created by the very humans that are supposed to be taking care of them. And it’s not an isolated case. It’s happening all across the country.

7 11 afternoon ribs

These are the victims that no one wants to see. These are the ones that people seem to be quite able to turn a blind eye to because they are just horses. Livestock to be used then thrown away when they are no longer useful. Can’t feed them? No problem. Just livestock. They’ll survive. Suffering? Nah, not livestock. Cage them, starve them, shove them around like pieces on a chessboard, then put on a nice, white cowboy hat and sit around a campfire laughing and joking while the ones depending on you stare silently, hoping for a scrap of food.

near feeding time for me

23 horses in a row. 23 horses begging for food and water. 23 horses eating dirt, manure and brush. And then there were none.

When winter snow hits, there will be no reprieve. No shelter, no extra layer of fat to fight against the bitter cold. Just skin, bones, and a dying spirit. It is at this point that death becomes a blessing. Anything to end the suffering. What is more cruel? Forcing them to live through a slow and painful death by starvation and dehydration, or a quick, merciful end to the suffering? You tell me. I don’t have the answer.

All I know is that when I look into the soulful eyes of my horse family, I can’t even imagine inflicting the pain of starvation on them. I would not be able to eat one morsel of food myself, knowing that they were hungry and thirsty, and would go to the ends of the earth and back to make sure that they are taken care of.

In the wild, horses can roam large areas foraging and drinking from streams and ponds. When we cage them, we become responsible for their care. We become their only source of food, shelter and comfort. When we fail them, they suffer silently. And when we turn our backs on them, we turn our backs on our own humanity.

7 12 morning

23 horses in a row. 23 horses begging for food and water. 23 horses eating dirt, manure and brush. And then there were none.

Does anybody care? Or are we just too busy trying to take care of ourselves to notice…

©2014 Barbara H. Peterson

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17 Responses to “When Death is a Blessing”

  1. melody thibodeau says:

    Permaculture for Horse People,
    The Liberty Horse and Soil Born Disease, Presentation, by Melody M Thibodeau

    1.The horse’s history, on this continent is rife, with boon & bust cycles, extinctions, up till, present decades, Disease by Design
    Oil-based agriculture and production, Is only one event is history leading to,
    *wasteful practices (resource depletion),
    *centralized one party controlled systems(oppression)
    *loss of life based systems leading to, disease(outbreaks) .

    2. Paul Revere’s Ride, ((trade tyranny, food and farming freedom).
    Where your firepower lies hidden today,
    PERMACULTURE is part of
    Rights of Commons(resources),
    rights, to Life (based systems),
    Liberty (for the People by the People) and,
    The pursuit of Happiness(not controlled by on party centralized systems).

  2. melody thibodeau says:

    To; Associate of/or Equine Business/Center or Farm.

    Subject; (recognizing clear need for change)
    Concerning, the Welfare, and Survival of Equine-Domesticus, And Society.
    Presentation for Horse Business/Farm/Center/Entity/Person,
    Transitioning to Sustainable/Holistic Practices,

    WE/ME, at(group/entity/person/worker associate/equine business center/farm)

    are prepared to implement guidelines, of traditional, and transitional horse farm management? This includes slowing, the risks, of antibiotic resistance, and the imbalances of drug, chemical, and bio-technology, fodder/grain/food ?
    (We/me) are furthermore, are prepared to uphold, and implement restorative practices, promoting, the health and welfare of all horses and all of society, and are going to use traditional, sustainable, and holistic farming practices, to integrate the above?
    Furthermore (Us at/me /Equine Business/Center/Stable/Farm/entity/person)

    being concerned with horse welfare and society, as the rise of imbalance and risk, associated with the abandonment of pre-oil, sustainable practices, and the practice of, most money per horse, has put the survival of the horse at risk and has crippled the horse business, this work is outside, any organizational, regulations or preferences, or pyramid schemes? This information is available, to everyone, regardless, of, status, college or agricultural degrees, or medical school internments, or horse breed clubs and snobbery fads etc…? Equine/farm management/care, has traditionally, and always, and now, encompassed these issues?

    *If you feel you want to find out more about, any issues/statements, in this letter,

    *Come to the,

    Revolutionary Permaculture Presentation, and Call to Action called,

    The Liberty Horse and Soil Born Disease,
    By Melody M Thibodeau,

    1. Disease by Design Today.
    2. Old Nag vs New Ag.
    3. The Horse Brings the Cleansing Spring of Life.

  3. Tina says:

    Moved and getting fed again; that is awesome.

    I honestly feel better now.

  4. samantha says:

    Jane,, loved your perspective and Thank you again Barb,,, you guys rock,,,,,

  5. Update: These horses are no longer here. I was told that they have been moved to a place where they are being fed and watered regularly ;)

  6. The wheel’s a squeakin’ ;)

  7. Alexandra May Hunter says:

    Do what I did–I called the local newspaper. The Herald in Klamath Falls: Call us toll free at:
    Dial extension 422 for the newsroom

    If you want to talk to a reporter here’s their list:

  8. jane says:

    then perhaps have the media work on having them adopted out? if the owners are not caring for them are they hoping to sell them for glue or ??? maybe they’d be willing to give them to people who will love them and can care for them? children’s organizations, places of healing that use animals? doesn’t seem like it’d be too difficult to find 23 (or less) loving homes for free horses… i could be wrong, though.

  9. Food donations from the public only last so long. Hay for 23 horses costs around $2800 per month. There is no way that this is sustainable. I am, quite frankly, stumped.

  10. jane says:

    don’t worry, they will be ‘blessed’ with death. the county will confiscate them and euthanize them. problem solved.

    how about work on the media to get food donations for them from the public?

  11. The Herald and News just called and the will be publishing a short letter that I sent. Here it is:

    “Horse neglect in Klamath County is being ignored by the Sheriff’s department. There are several horses next to me that have no food and very little water. Several of them are emaciated. I have pictures showing that they are a “1” on the horse condition scale. A deputy supposedly came out and said he could see no problems. I don’t know where he went, but he either did not come out, went somewhere else, or doesn’t know what a horse is supposed to look like.”

    I also Contacted Caitlin Conrad at KTVL who is doing a story on horse abuse in Klamath County and sent her the info. This is going public.

  12. Marjie Abrahamson says:

    Barb, Who do we contact? This is awful and let’s make something happen, in their best interest. Please.
    Thank you.

  13. Abe says:

    Looks like there bodies are consuming there thighs. Bad enough when you can see there every rib.
    I think farmers took better care of there livestock during the Great Depression than they do today.
    Could we actually be in a Greater Depression. Can’t believe anything them polliticians and media say these days!

  14. Shawna says:

    Barb, did they take these horses?

  15. jane says:

    here in oregon, the ‘authorities’ abducted a hundred or so animals from an elderly lady who was having a hard time keeping up. my guess is she was used to her independence, hard-working and stubborn. not the type to ask for a ‘handout’. so the county of josephine stole her animals.

    then the insanity began… the county of josephine ‘pleaded’ with the public to make donations of money and food as the county could not afford to care for the animals they had abducted “for their own safety” (sound familiar? fema camp anyone?).

    yes, you read that right… the *exact* same problem that the elderly lady was having. except the county had no problem begging for money.

    to further this crazytrain, then the county of josephine went after this woman’s property, trying to ‘confiscate’ her acreage because the caring of her animals –that they stole from her and begged the public to pay to feed and house while in there care– had cost them too much money, so they were trying to steal her property as well.

    sound crazy? yep. the county stole her animals, went after her home/property and guess what? THEY CLAIMED on local television TO NOT HAVE THE MONEY TO PROPERLY CARE for the animals either!!!!!

    why didn’t they simply LEAVE the animals in THEIR HOME and beg for food/donations on behalf of this woman!?!?

    because, as we all now know, that would be far too practical and we know that’s not how things are done. no, they must breed the compassion out of people by making themselves appear to be heroes who ‘rescued’ these poor animals from the monster of a woman.

    sadly, this whole fiasco was probably started by one jackass neighbor, who was too lazy, SELFISH, self-righteous and CRUEL to HELP his neighbor, but not too lazy to pick up the phone and complain. nice.

    once the entire southwest portion of the state was alerted to this by the news media (trying to make the elderly lady into a beast of course, while begging on behalf of the county for donations to care for the kidnapped animals), we were furious, to say the least!

    for every jackass that would make that call, there are 50 people who are willing to help. be it by dropping a bag of feed by the woman’s place, helping to water the animals or shoveling poo. there were a lot of us who would’ve helped this gal in an instant, had we known she was in trouble.

    so… the point of this is…

    DEAR HUMANS, PLEASE HELP ONE ANOTHER!! WHEN YOU NOTICE YOUR NEIGHBOR’S ANIMALS MAY BE GETTING A BIT SLIM, DON’T *ASK* YOUR NEIGHBOR IF YOU CAN HELP, THEY ARE TOO PROUD TO ADMIT THAT THEY NEED IT… JUST *DO* IT!!! DROP OFF A BAG OR TWO OF FEED, WHAT ABOUT A FEW EXTRA BAILS OF HAY? make an excuse to WANT to feed and water them, that you LOVE animals and have a NEED to be near them ASK him/her if you can PLEASE spend time with their animals for your own reasons. let them feel that they are helping YOU. don’t be that selfish, lazy jackass who makes that call, we are a tribe, ****HELP YOUR NEIGHBOR****

    love to you and yours and a *hug* to everyone struggling out there.

  16. WHITE WARRIOR says:




  17. Tina says:

    God this is awful. I am so sorry.