Posts tagged ‘suffering’

December 21, 2008

– Of how horses and donkeys in the city fall through the cracks –

Working for an animal rights organization in Tel Aviv, I organized an event for horses and donkeys, to try and ban a primitive practice of using them to pull carts to transport Altesachen. in Yiddish, ‘Altesachen’ means ‘Old Stuff’, and though most don’t know what this word means, for Yiddish is not usually heard on Tel-Avivian streets, it is to this day yelled by the owner of these miserable creatures, calling people to give him their ‘old stuff’.

For some people (too many), the use of horses in the city for cart pulling is something nostalgic and romantic. While for the “hard core” animal rights activists the subject is almost meaningless when is compared to the suffering of billions which are used in the food industry. People do not identify with donkeys and horses like they do with dogs and the subject is not a media attractor like fur is. People regard it as a luxury for us to deal with this, like a German woman visiting Israel, who asked if Israelis have “nothing better to do than to worry about a couple of horses and donkeys in the city” or as one of the club owners who hosted us for the event noted, he’s having a “real hard time with it”, since it’s “just not sexy”. And that is how sometimes, these animals fall through the cracks.

It is important to understand that in suffering we are all equal, that animals suffer just as we suffer (even though it’s hard to understand why people insist on having to identify with another living being only to relate to his or her suffering), that we all share the same basic rights.

It is true, that in numbers, the horses’ situation in Tel Aviv is a small, insignificant percentage, in comparison to the number of people who starve around the world or animals used in laboratories, but still – we each have to work to reduce the pain and the suffering around us. No matter how small the numbers may be, the pain is the same, and we all must fight to stop it. Whether it’s by calling the municipality or writing letters about a horse we see on our street, or if it’s in the choices we make when we buy groceries. Every single time we choose, we can make a difference.

To find out about the struggle to stop skinning animals for their fur, go here.

Written on the day before the longest Night of the year, 2008.