Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Barbaro was Just a Horse

Now I love animals, but folks, don't take this the wrong way, but Barbaro was just a horse. The outpouring of support and media coverage is a bit much, don't you think? (We saw a piece on the FOX 10 o'clock news about how the florists in suburban Philadelphia were overwhelmed by flower orders.) Today dozens of media outlets including USA Today and even the New York Times came out with editorials about Barbaro's death. Here's an excerpt from the Times:

You would have to look a long, long time to find a dishonest or cruel horse. And the odds are that if you did find one, it was made cruel or dishonest by the company it kept with humans. It is no exaggeration to say that nearly every horse — Barbaro included — is pure of heart. Some are faster, some slower. Some wind up in the winner’s circle. But they should all evoke in us the generosity of conscience — a human quality, after all — that was expended in the effort to save this one horse.

Sure, we all cry and mourn when we lose pets -- they are part of our families. But Barbaro? Most of us never met him. Most of us never even watched him race. We don't see this kind of support, compassion and media hype for most people who die: American soldiers, innocent bystanders in LA gang violence like Charupha Wongwisetsiri or even the recently departed President Gerald Ford.

Our only hope is that if Brian Williams or Katie Couric are planning to cover Barbaro's burial at Churchill Downs that some little girl falls down a well so that the networks will have some other drama to hype.

After all, Barbaro was just a horse. And while networks like animal stories, they love little-girls-in-distress stories better. Hat Tip to LAist


At 1:42 PM, Blogger susan said...

Pat, It took a long time for me to "warm up" to you and to your show and now, you are back to cold with me. While the WFLA website describes you as "passionate," I say that you lack compassion in most of the stories that you cover. However, your recent "glue factory" comment regarding the death of Barbaro, is the ultimate proof that you do not seem to have the capacity to speak from the heart, nor that you ever show even a bit of kindness to those who need or deserve it. You are a callous, controversial radio character who speaks his mind but what you say is not always right. You like to generate controversy and I guess there is nothing wrong with that, if your living depends on the success of your radio show. Unfortunately, what you say is not always enlightened nor is is the best thing for people to hear. By making fun of the death of Barbaro, you are teaching children not to feel compassion for animals. I am surprised that you have dogs, and I feel sorry for them as you obviously do not have kindness in your heart for animals. Why is it that people like you, think that people like me who feel deeply for animals do not have the capacity to also feel for animals? Is it imposssible to have feelings for animals and to be a good human? Animals are on this Earth entrusted to our care, but we abuse them every chance we get. I am opposed to horse and dog racing because animals are exploited for money and in the case of Barbaro, a good, alert horse died for nothing but profit. I feel that the horse was tortured for eight months, while the owners tried to salvage their investment and collect future stud fees. This is why I feel compassion for Barbaro, not because I am a bad person who cannot feel compassion or kindness towards humans. Why must people like you separate the two? In your quickness to make fun of Barbaro, you did not take into consideration the many roles that horses have played in the development of this nation, or the servitude we have placed upon horses for our own well-being. Without horses, how far could we have traveled? I am so angry with your comment that I am writing too much here, but it is time that someone speak out and against cruel idividuals such as yourself. Unfortunately, you have the power to influence people and they listen to you, so you have an obligation to speak rationally and to consider the impact of what you say. Animal people are generally good people. We are very tolerant of people like you who show no kindness through your words to so many. I know that you happen to feel that animals do not have souls, but that is a debate for another day. I would like to sign off here with the words of St. Francis of Assisi, "If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men." Pat, I will never listen to your show again. It just isn't the kind of show I want to hear any longer.

At 3:46 PM, Anonymous bill "the future antichrist" clinton said...

I remember reading years ago that a Zen master would see something like a priceless antique vase as just another vessel for holding water. In the same way, Barbaro, after having lost his ability to make money for his owner, was just another chunk of pet food awaiting the process that puts him in couple of cans marked "Alpo."

At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am shocked to hear this statement from Bill Clinton, to know the man who disgraced our White House with an illicit affair, is capable of anything at all. How dare he speak of Barbaro in this manner.
Barbaro had guts, and a will to live, Clinton has ignorance and hard balls.
If he had any decency he would grovel at Barbaro's feet and apologize. I hope he never has the opportunity to live in our White House again, ever.
Betty Steele, Chicago

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Invasor said...

"Just a horse"

From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a horse” or, "that's a lot of money for just a horse".

They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the
costs involved for "just a horse." Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a horse."

Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a horse," but I did
not once feel slighted. Some of my saddest moments have been brought about
by "just a horse," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just
a horse" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it's "just a horse," then you will probably understand
phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."
"Just a horse" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust,
and pure unbridled joy.

"Just a horse" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person. Because of "just a horse" I will rise early,
take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a horse" but an embodiment of all the
hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

"Just a horse" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day. I hope that
someday they can understand that it's not "just a horse" but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being "just a
woman/man." So the next time you hear the phrase "just a horse" just smile, because they "just" don't understand.



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