Sixty-thousand American horses are slaughtered every year. Bo Derek shows us how to make it stop.
via Horses in Our Hands

More than 60,000 American wild and domestic horses were needlessly slaughtered for human consumption in 2019. Although they aren't killed in the U.S. due to a ban passed in 2006, horses are often purchased or rounded up by middlemen and taken to Canada or Mexico where they are slaughtered for their meat.

While the idea of eating horse meat sounds disturbing to most Americans, it's considered a delicacy in Mexico, Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Japan, Germany, Indonesia, Poland, and China.

The horses are killed or rendered unconscious with gun bolts to the brain before they are bled out and then processed to be shipped out for food.


The most grievous aspect of the problem is that we could make it go away overnight. The Safeguard American Food Exports (SAFE) Act of 2019, H.R. 961/S. 2006 which permanently bans horse slaughter in the U.S. and prevents the export of horses for the same purpose, has bipartisan support in Congress and 80% of the American people.

Upworthy had the pleasure of speaking with actress Bo Derek ("10," "Tarzan, the Ape Man," "Tommy Boy") to tell our readers how they can help her and Horses in Our Hands make the final push to end this awful and unnecessary practice.

Horses in Our Hands is the only equine welfare-specific organization lobbying Congress for the permanent ban on horse slaughter during the current legislative session.

Derek fell in love with Andalusian horses while scouting locations for "Bolero" in 1983. When she returned home, she became a horse breeder and a trick rider. She has had up to 22 horses on her California ranch, but these days she's down to five.

via Horses in Our Hands

Derek has a deep relationship with horses that's been developed from spending countless hours in the saddle and stable.

"I've developed a sense of their body language that's tuned to very high sensitivity," she told Upworthy. "But you have to spend a lot of time with animals to be able to develop that understanding. But once you do you find they'll never lie to you."

The relationships she forged with horses have helped her evolve as a person as well. "If you spend a lot of time around animals your instincts become a bigger part of your life," she said.

Derek has been an active part of the movement to end the slaughter of American horses for food for over 18 years and she's was also a racing commissioner in the state of California. She says one of the biggest roadblocks to getting legislation passed is the Cattlemen's Association lobby that fears any regulation of four-hooved animals could eventually be applied to cattle.

"They believe it's a tipping point that will have cascading consequences for their industry." Derek said. "Which, I don't believe, but they seem to take a hard line on that."

Derek says that if legislation is passed protecting horses from slaughter there should be no problem finding proper care for the extra animals.

"About a million horses die naturally or are euthanized every year in this country," she said. "So yes, the country can definitely absorb 60,000 more."

But she laments the spectacular amount of money and time that has been put into solving the issue.

"Our politics is out of control. I found it obscene and vulgar the money that was spent on both sides of this issue for 60,000 horse carcasses. Why fight so hard to keep this practice going?" she wondered.

"The biggest lobbying firms have been spending billions of dollars on this issue," Derek said. "It's so crazy."

Even though she has dealt with the rigors of Washington and Sacramento for over two decades, Derek still remains positive for the future of America's horses because she's seen what happens when people take action.

"The one thing I did find while I was working in Washington is that when people write their congressman it really does make a difference," she said.

"I've had congressman call me and say, 'Bo, please tell them to stop with the phone calls. Ok, you have our vote,'" she adds.

Derek believes that the best way to end the slaughter of American horses for food is to bombard their congressmen's office with phone calls and emails. "Seen it happen many times and it works," Derek said.

Horses in our Hands has been ramping up its efforts to get the SAFE Act passed by asking people like you call and write your representatives in Washington to get them to pass the bill.

Since this past May, they have managed to have 112,000 supporter letters submitted to members of the U.S. House and Senate via the organization's website.

Click here to send a letter to Congress asking them to pass the SAFE Act to end horse slaughter.












Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

A new Gallup poll found a significant increase in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT since the last time it conducted a similar poll in 2017.

The poll found that 5.6% of U.S. adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. That's a large increase from the 2017 poll that had the number at 4.5%.

"More than half of LGBT adults (54.6%) identify as bisexual. About a quarter (24.5%) say they are gay, with 11.7% identifying as lesbian and 11.3% as transgender. An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving," the poll says.

Keep Reading Show less
Courtesy of Creative Commons
True

After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

Keep Reading Show less

As the nation helplessly watches our highest halls of government toss justice to the wind, a 2nd grader has given us someplace to channel our frustrations. In a hilarious video rant, a youngster named Taylor shared a story that has folks ready to go to the mat for her and her beloved, pink, perfect attendance pencil.

Keep Reading Show less
via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.

Keep Reading Show less