The Kentucky Derby Is The Mistreatment Of Beautiful Animals

The Kentucky Derby Isn’t A Cool Tradition, It’s The Mistreatment Of Beautiful Animals

"The most exciting two minutes in sports" is two minutes too long.

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"And they're off!"

The Kentucky Derby is known for its gambling, hats, and horses. It's one of the most bet on sports in history. It also boasts to be the longest-running sports event in United States history.

While we're talking about facts, let's talk about arguably the most famous racehorse in history: Secretariat. He still holds the record for the fastest Kentucky Derby. He sired 453 foals and lived to be 19 years old. Big accomplishments for a racehorse. After his death, we also learned that his heart was 2 1/2 times the size of a normal horse heart. That combined with his longer than average stride is what won him the Triple Crown in 1973.

What brought down this tremendous machine? Chronic Laminitis, which is when the hoof-leg joint becomes worn down causing extreme pain to the horse. The best racehorse in history was euthanized because of the racing that made him famous.

Lameness is among the most common injury among racehorses, just as runner's knee is the most common injury in runners. It can not only cost the horse a race but cost its life. According to the New York Times, 24 horses die every week on United States racetracks. That doesn't even account for the drugs used to make horses race better or cover the pain of injuries.

But my biggest problem with horseracing isn't the drugs or the injuries per se, but the age. To be raced in the Kentucky Derby a horse must be 3 years old, even though a fully developed 4-year-old horse would be faster. Why then do we race premature horses? For the economic gain.

Don't believe me? Think about it this way: a 2-year-old horse would be like watching your little brother play tee-ball, it's not as competitive due to the horses being so young. At 4 years old the horses are too predictable; they're developed enough that it's not really a gamble to know who will win. 3 years old is right in the middle — the perfect age because there's just the right amount of uncertainty to make it worth the money gambled.

I don't think the solution is to outlaw horseracing — it really is fun to watch and not every owner and trainer cheats by drugging their horse. But I do think that raising the racing age to 4 years old would be much better on the horses. So what if it's more predictable? The fun should be in watching them run, which is what Thoroughbreds are built to do, not the gambling.

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10 Things I Wish Animal Rights People Knew About The Livestock Industry

Get educated.
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So last week, I wrote an open letter to PETA, calling them out on their lack of salvation for the animals burned by the recent wildfires. I received a lot of attention for this article, both good and bad.

In reading the comments posted in response by animal rights activists, I discovered some things that just didn't add up. Amidst the insults and hypocrisy, there were just some downright stupid assumptions that these people see as facts. It's not their fault, they're just uneducated, so I feel we as an industry should try to get some truth out there.

So, here are 10 things I wish animal rights supporters knew about the livestock industry:

1. A 20-25 year life expectancy for cows is not realistic.

Just because some cow somewhere lived to be 25 does not mean that they would live that long without the agriculture industry. Most cows used for beef production live to be about 13-15 years old and die of natural causes. In sandy environments, cows live around 5-9 years because the sand degrades their teeth to the point that they cannot eat.

2. Livestock would mate and reproduce each year without the help of humans.

I kinda thought it was common knowledge that most species cycle monthly when they reach sexual maturity. When females cycle, they do their best to get bred. There's no forcing going on there. If they were left in the wild, they would still mate and reproduce causing inbreeding.

SEE ALSO: Don't Buy That Coverup: Boycott Animal Testing

3. Farmers and ranchers are not just upset at the loss of profit from these fires.

I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I read this, and then the second, and eighth. Farmers and ranchers are not only upset about the loss of profit, which is devastating, but also upset to see their animals suffer. Have you ever had to put something out of its misery? Watch a cow writhe around sluffing its charred flesh off, hear it wheeze, and watch a rancher put a bullet in its head out of pity, and I guarantee the sadness in that rancher's heart isn't about money.

4. All "momma cows" are not dairy cows.

There are hundreds of breeds of cattle out there. Some breeds have certain traits that are suited for different parts of production agriculture. Not every momma cow is milked by hand daily and her milk sold.

5. All dairy calves are not ripped from their mother and slaughtered moments after birth.

I don't know much about the dairy industry, but since it is up and running obviously there have to be live calves to grow into cows and bulls.

6. Beef cattle are not raised in close quarters.

The operations that raise beef cattle from birth are called cow/calf operations. These cattle roam over large pastures and fields most of their lives.

7. Sheep are sheared for their own good.

I cannot count how many pictures I have seen posted by animal rights organizations of mutilated sheep. That's gross and unless someone is a complete dunce with a razor, that never happens. Sheep will overheat with a full coat, or become matted to the point he/or she cannot move.

8. There is not enough cropland to sustain everybody in the world.

Oh man, okay so as animal rights activists you guys want us to let all the cows, horses, sheep, goats, and pigs roam at their own free will. You think we can all live off veggie-tales reruns and rainbows but that is not so. If all animals are roaming free, they have to eat too. So they need space, and the crops humans eat need space. IT WON'T WORK.

9. It's not all about the money.

Lol, yeah right. Have you worked in agriculture? The bank owns our asses.

10. It's not gonna happen.

You can go on your crusades, you can martyr yourselves. It's not gonna work. Meat will always be a necessity.

But mostly PETA people, get educated!

Cover Image Credit: Straight

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The Family Part Of 'Factory Farms'

Many people will see the term of factory farms and immediately look at it in a negative sense, they see this name and think of heartless, abusive workers who do not care about the livestock or crops. There are flaws in this argument, and here are only a few of them. We will be looking at several basic topics around factory and family farms.

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1. What is a Factory Farm?

Some people think of the heart wrenching scene in a Chipotle commercial where the cattle were in boxes and crying. This is nothing but a marketing ploy to persuade people who are uninformed to chose their products. In reality these farms can be owned by a larger corporation or business. Think of any fast food restaurant, there are multiple locations, but they are under the same name.

2. Corporation farming

To many peoples surprise corporation farming is not a bunch of suit wearing men in a board room figuring out the budget for the year, it can also be a family. Many family's go corporate to create a save guard around themselves and their farm. While many people will look at this situation and only see large commercial farms, around 88% of farms are still family owned.

3. Consolidation of the farms in the U.S.

The basic answer to why we are seeing less farms and larger farms is that production on a large enough scale to make money is hard to do. It is hard to do for everyone, because the majority of the Ag products rely on a market price that changes. There is no guaranteed pay in these types of jobs. But when a larger business owns the ranch, the workers are going to get paid, and losses will not devastate the families tied to the ranch.

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