Abstractions and Extrapolations: Part One

May 23, 2016

Writers write because words form within that simply must come out.  It often doesn't matter whether anyone reads the words or not; the duty of a writer is to write as honestly and concisely as possible.  The reader's option is to read it.  This writer is very blessed to have not only loyal readers, but also reader-friends who support me on this journey of self-expression.  

 

After reading my post entitled, "thoughts on failure," one reader, who is also an avid animal advocate, asked me to share the Harvard abstracts I submitted.  So here they are.  There are two abstracts - one proposes a paper to be written and one provides an overview of a proposed presentation for the symposium.  

 

My present plan is to move forward and write the paper over the summer and submit it for possible publication with other law journals or appropriate animal advocacy publication platforms.    

 

In that paper, I want to discuss the 150,000 American horses slaughtered each year.  I want to discuss soring of the Tennessee Walking Horse.  I want to discuss the glut of unwanted horses in this country, and the overbreeding that is the root cause of the glut.  I want to discuss horse racing and the tragedy of the nurse mare foal industry.  I want to discuss the torment and heartache of Premarin mares.  I want to talk about the 40,000 American mustangs and burros that currently reside in crowded, shadeless holding pens.  I want to talk about equine husbandry and animal welfare.

 

My grandfather used to say, "there's a difference between ignorance and stupidity.  Knowledge can cure ignorance; stupidity is oftentimes hopeless."  So I want to write about these issues to help cure ignorance, and hope that, once enough people know the truth about equine suffering, they will band together to stop it.  I do not believe most humans are cruel or in humane.  I believe most humans are ignorant of the suffering so many of these magnificent animals endure.  

 

 

So I will write the paper and let the words come out and leave the rest to God.  

 

ABSTRACT FOR PAPER

Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program: The Animal Welfare Act at Fifty September 22-25, 2016
Workshop Paper Proposal

“Living Symbols” to Lucrative Slaughter: The Evolution of Equus in American Law and Culture

Over the past century, the role of equines in American culture has evolved dramatically from beast of burden to, in many cases, pampered pet. Ambiguities in the legal classification of horses, mules, burrows and donkeys as between “livestock,” “pet,” “wildlife,” and – in the case of some miniature horses – “service animal,” have resulted in inconsistencies and gaps in federal and state legislation regarding these animals. In order to successfully reconcile these and other inconsistencies and begin filling gaps created by the current patchwork approach to equine regulation, a comprehensive and comparative analysis of existing laws regarding equines is necessary. Among the legislative acts that must be harmonized are the Animal Welfare Act of 1966, the Horse Protection Act of 1970, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the proposed Safeguard American Food Exports (S.A.F.E.) Act (H.R. 1942; S. 1214) and Prevent All Soring Tactics (P.A.S.T.) Act (H.R. 3268; S. 1121), and related federal and state laws regulating the care, training, transport, and disposal of equines in the United States.

A comprehensive analysis will provide a foundation from which to address the myriad legal and cultural issues found within the multi-billion-dollar equine industry in the United States. These issues include 1) export and slaughter of American equines for human consumption despite the presence of toxic substances within the meat; 2) use and care of equines used in pharmaceutical production processes; 3) overbreeding and resulting equine overpopulation; 4) disposal of the unwanted overpopulation; 5) regulation of controversial training methods declared by Congress to be “cruel and inhumane;” 6) regulation of mustang and wild burro populations; 7) regulations regarding minimum standards of care for housing and transport of equines.

This paper examines these laws and issues from various legal and cultural perspectives so as to provide a balanced and informative analysis. Should contemporary American equines be considered commodity assets or companion animals? An enhanced understanding of current and proposed law, coupled with thoughtful consideration of past and present cultural perspectives, will help answer this question and formulate a workable path forward to create and refine laws that will adequately protect the animals and the humans who are involved in all aspects of the equine industry.

Esther Roberts
Global Intellectual Property Asset Management, PLLC 865.525.0848 office; 865.607.9780 cell esther@globalipam.com
Chair, Tennessee Bar Association Animal Law Section

 

ABSTRACT FOR PRESENTATION

 

Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program: The Animal Welfare Act at Fifty September 22-25, 2016
Conference Presentation Proposal

“Living Symbols” to Lucrative Slaughter: The Evolution of Equus in American Law and Culture

This presentation explores the current ambiguities found in U.S. law regulating the care of equines and the cultural issues surrounding this question: Should contemporary American equines be considered commodity assets or companion animals?

Over the past century, the role of equines in American culture has evolved dramatically from beast of burden to, in many cases, pampered pet. Ambiguities in the legal classification of horses, mules, burrows and donkeys as between “livestock,” “pet,” “wildlife,” and – in the case of some miniature horses – “service animal,” have resulted in inconsistencies and gaps in federal and state legislation regarding these animals. In order to successfully reconcile these and other inconsistencies and begin filling gaps created by the current patchwork approach to equine regulation, a comprehensive and comparative analysis of existing laws regarding equines is necessary. Among the legislative acts that must be harmonized are the Animal Welfare Act of 1966, the Horse Protection Act of 1970, the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the proposed Safeguard American Food Exports (S.A.F.E.) Act (H.R. 1942; S. 1214) and Prevent All Soring Tactics (P.A.S.T.) Act (H.R. 3268; S. 1121), and related federal and state laws regulating the care, training, transport, and disposal of equines in the United States.

Appropriate consideration of the fundamental question, however, must include both historical and current cultural perspectives on the roles, relationships, and responsibilities between humans and horses. Framing law to balance current American moral, cultural and economic views regarding equines will provide the means to address the myriad legal and cultural issues found within the multi-billion-dollar equine industry in the United States. These issues include 1) export and slaughter of American equines for human consumption despite the presence of toxic substances within the meat; 2) use and care of equines used in pharmaceutical production processes; 3) overbreeding and resulting equine overpopulation; 4) disposal of the unwanted overpopulation; 5) regulation of controversial training methods declared by Congress to be “cruel and inhumane;” 6) regulation of mustang and wild burro populations; 7) regulations regarding minimum standards of care for housing and transport of equines.

The presentation will address these issues with clarity and with a balanced perspective between compassion and commerce.

Esther Lois Roberts
Global Intellectual Property Asset Management, PLLC 865.525.0848 office; 865.607.9780 cell esther@globalipam.com
Chair, Tennessee Bar Association Animal Law Section 

 

 

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