A ride with a horse-drawn carriage is described by a number of people as a wonderful experience, and at times, romantic. But Lea Michele, one of the casts of the much-loved series, Glee, exposed the inhumane conditions these animals experience.
Horse-drawn carriages have been common worldwide. They became popular since 3000 BC, where it was first called as a chariot in Mesopotamia. Horse-drawn carriages were also used by Egyptians mainly for warfare while in the Kingdoms of the Zhou Dynasty of the ancient Chinese civilizations, for transportation.
In the 15th century, these carriages were largely used by royalty and aristocrats, mostly women, and were elaborately decorated and gilded. And throughout the years, wherein people raised and bred horses for carriage use, a bewildering variety of horse-drawn carriages were created.
It is beyond imagination how many horses had been living and working under harsh and bitter circumstances. For centuries and until now, this animal had been living a life of cruelty. They were pushed to do hard physical labor the entire day, not provided with enough water to drink, deprived of clean and comfortable stables, and risked of being exposed to too much heat on the city’s hot asphalt.
Lea Michele, a young American actress and singer, exposed the cruelty horses go through every day. Being active in charity for animal rights, Michele became part of the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and joined the campaign “Buck Cruelty! Say No to Horse-drawn Carriage Rides”. To help save horses from their tortured life, this Glee actress posed with a rescued horse in a PETA ad to spread the message that horses do not belong in city streets.
Michele pointed out how horses are forced to do hard labor (walking for miles to take tourists for a ride), toil in all weather extremes, dodge traffic every day, and that these animals are not even given a good place to rest. The horses are at risk of getting respiratory diseases and other respiratory-related problems since they are exposed to fumes every day as they walk through the traffic and busy city streets.
As shown in an undercover video, Michele exposed the place where these horses are kept when they are not pulling carriages. The animals are made to climb steep ramps to reach the upper floors of a multi-story rundown building that were not designed to house horses. Michele said on the video that the stables for the horses are so little that it was difficult for them to turn around or move comfortably or even stretch their legs.
The horses were locked in cramped stalls and tied to their troughs that there was no way for them to lie down comfortably. It was hard for those overworked animals to get the needed restorative sleep after a day’s labor, and that’s why most of them suffer fatigue. Michele even emphasized that the place where these horses are kept are full of flammable bales of hay, and it was very dangerous for these animals because if fire broke out there is no way for them to escape.
It is heartbreaking to see how these horses live a tortured life every day. So Michele, along with PETA, encourages people to not get taken by the ride, and boycott horse-drawn carriages.