My Animal UN-Friendly Commute
By Jennifer Baldock, Guest Contributor
Recently my husband and I purchased a house. It’s a great home, lots of room, on an acre of land, on wonderful Long Island. Unfortunately, our commute changed. My husband works in Queens, which is about a 45 mile commute one way. I work a bit closer, taking in a 27 mile commute one way.
It’s funny though, every morning I see the same cars, the same vanity license plates, and the same people breaking the HOV lane rules. But one thing that sticks out that I see often – livestock transporters. One morning, I won’t ever forget, I saw a 4 slant horse trailer with 8… yes, EIGHT horses in it. They were most likely destined for the horse sale in New Jersey. My horse I saved from “the sale”. These horses can get lucky and get good homes… or the unlucky ones get sent across country lines for slaughter. As the owner of a wonderful horse named Skooter, heart wrenching is being NICE when I try and describe how it feels for me to see that. I started crying, then I called my husband, “What can I do? Nothing. I can’t call and have the truck pulled over for breaking the weight limit rules in the trailer.. that won’t save them. I can’t run them off the road that could hurt them.” So instead I cry in what is the worst case of helplessness I’ve felt in a long time. Ugh, that feeling is with me now as I’m writing this.
One day on my way to work I passed a poultry transport truck filled with crates of chickens. Not closed with a tarp so the children on the school bus don’t see the horrible things on there (on second thought, maybe they should see that). Packed so tight that there was at least TWO crates with a chicken’s head sticking out, into wide open road, and they were dead. I was horrified, but due to traffic flow I couldn’t get close to the truck and I lost it.
That all changed this morning when I saw the same exact company doing the same exact thing. Now I was close enough to see the number, so I took the opportunity and called the company and complained, explaining how it was making me feel, and I know I’m not the only one. I was told, “We do our best to transport our livestock so that they survive. If they are covered, they suffocate and die, and then they have to be discarded.” I replied, “So you keep them alive just to kill them when they get to you. Wouldn’t it make sense if they’re going to be killed to at least make them calm instead of scaring them into these tight crates so that they can’t move? They don’t know where they are, why the crates are moving and shaking?” He replied, “I understand your concern, and we do our best to ensure the livestock have the highest quality of treatment.” I said “Please think about what I’ve said, thank you for your time.”
So, I called a company, had no influence whatsoever in what I tried to convey. But it won’t stop me. If anything, that has fueled me to fight harder. It made me realize how easily humans disregard these animals they exploit for profit. I will make my voice heard… FOR them. Won’t you help me??
Onto my next venture!
Photo: Michael Loke