Protest targets horse carriages
By Matt Collette, Globe Correspondent December 7, 2008
Faneuil Hall bustled yesterday afternoon as tourists and shoppers roamed the stores and performers danced, played instruments, and posed for pictures. But the horse-drawn carriages, many of them covered in tinsel and Christmas decorations, stood motionless.
About two dozen protesters from the Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the humane treatment of animals, held signs and handed out fliers that called for banning horse-drawn carriages in Boston. The protesters gathered at the corner of Chatham Street and Merchants Row, where hansom cabdrivers park, waiting for business.
According to the activists, horses pulling carriages in cities face a variety of threats, including traffic, hoof deterioration, exhaustion, and the extreme temperatures of the hottest and coldest days.
"I ride a bike in Boston," said protester Jeremy Mendelson. "It saddens me that people use animals in a way like this. I choose to ride in traffic, but these animals, they don't have a choice."
For people that depend on using horses for their ranching operations or if you are a pleasure rider, the idea that people are protesting using horses to pull a carriage should alarm you. Trying to suggest that horses are only good for standing in a pasture is hard to swallow. These animals were built to do work like this and most of the time they look forward to doing what they do best. Just like people, they don’t like sitting around doing nothing either.