Failing Zoo Levy & Closing Race Track Mean Accidental Animal Wins in Cap City

By Published On: 15 May 2014Last Updated: 17 January 2017

Columbus Ohio's zoo levy failed, and Beulah Park's racing track closed. Is the conclusion enough even if how we got there isn't?

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I hate that I agree with the uber-rich and uber-conservative Koch brothers on any issue, but, like them, I wanted the proposed Columbus, Ohio zoo levy to fail, and it did. The anti-tax types came in with their overflow of ad money to help defeat the zoo levy, although it may have failed anyways, seeing as 70% of voters clearly said NO.

Before voting day, I was sure our community would pass the permanent Franklin County tax that would’ve levied $32.7 million a year compared to the $18.9 million a year that the temporary levies (set to expire in 2015) were generating for the zoo. After all, people get married there, go to concerts there, obsess over the zoo lights during the holidays, and constantly take their families there throughout the year. The threat of increased taxes seemed to overshadow the local zoo love and quashed Jack Hannah’s dreams of zoo expansion.

During the same week, I saw this headline in our local news: “Beulah Park Shuts Down After 91 Years Of Horseracing”. The article was a sentimental look at the glory days of racing, when people bet $1 million per week at this one track alone. Apparently, casinos and online gambling currently quench the local thirst for gambling, and nobody needs the horses for the thrill anymore. While I don’t necessarily see this as a positive trend for society, it is a sideways victory for horses.

I want to celebrate these animal wins, but I know that only a handful of locals truly agree with why I even consider these events victories. Is it enough that we got to the right conclusion, even if we had Koch brothers for bed-fellows and an increase in casino/online gambling?


Photo credit: US Army Korea (Historical Image Archive) via Flickr

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HELLO! I'm KD Angle-Traegner.

Writer, activist, and founder of Four Urban Paws Sanctuary. I’m on a mission to help people live a vegan life. Read more about KD…