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Ethics of the Kentucky Derby

Stegosaurus

Registered Member
The Kentucky Derby is currently being run--as I type--and I could not help but think back to 2008's race when the horse 8-Bells, after suffering an injury on the track, was [STRIKE]killed on the spot and hauled away[/STRIKE] "euthanized and disposed of." I believe it was the second time in only two years that a horse had fatal injuries from racing in the Triple Crown. The Washington Post said, back in 2008, that horses were being over-bred and over-raced, "until their bodies cannot support their own ambitions." And yet, this year there is the same talk about hats and mint-juleps, the same talking heads discussing the novelty of the horses' names, and little talk over the controversy behind this sport.

How do you feel about this traditional race? Is it worth it for entertainment and sponsorships? Does anyone have any ethical concerns about the Kentucky Derby? Are those concerns over-hyped? Is there a middle-ground between both sides of the debate?
 

ExpectantlyIronic

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I like horse-racing, but the Derby itself is a strange and grueling race. It's longer than normal, and has many more horses running than normal. Frankly, I think if the number of horses running were brought down, it would be better for both the horses and spectators.
 

Bananas

Endangered Species
Stegosaurus; said:
How do you feel about this traditional race? Is it worth it for entertainment and sponsorships? Does anyone have any ethical concerns about the Kentucky Derby? Are those concerns over-hyped? Is there a middle-ground between both sides of the debate?
A horse has to earn its keep, and most race horses live more healthy lifestyles than you or I. They get pampered day in and out and for the best part of their lives they are extremely happy animals, even when racing to the limit.

Im not sure if you are a keen rider but a horse will never do what it does not want to do, they can be incredibly stubborn creatures. Likewise a horse will always do what it wants to do with enthusiasm and every rider and trainer is well aware of how the horse is feeling.


"[strike]was killed on the spot and hauled away[/strike] "euthanized and disposed of.""
No it was killed on the spot, no point being coy over it, and it was not disposed of, you were right the first time it was hauled away... hauled away to be investigated to ascertain what happened and how to hopefully prevent future incidents.

Ive seen this happen and it is a horrible sight to see. Howver we have to realise that animals can not withstain trauma in the same way humans can, we are mentally extremely resilient when it comes to things like this happening to us, most animals are not. The decision to put any animal down is not one taken lightly or with any ease, these horses are after all peoples work colleagues. There is a lot of love.

Are those concerns over-hyped? Is there a middle-ground between both sides of the debate?
Not at all over hyped, there is genuine concern. Regulation is what is needed. Their needs to be a lot stricter control over steroid use. I also feel there should be new laws governing the breeding of horses, for example limiting the number of offspring each sire can have..... and of course a little common sense approach should be used, investors should be made aware their investment is no good dead or injured, to sway this they could up the conditions, making minimum race requirements for the more prestigious races, thus ensuring the horses are not just quick but also durable, a horse that has to run a dozen races a year is going to have to be stronger than a horse that runs 1 or 2 (which they often do for fear of injury and save them for the big one).



ExpectantlyIronic; said:
It's longer than normal, and has many more horses running than normal.
Only long for a dirt track, the Melbourne cup and Ascot Gold Cup are longer and compared to some of the steeplechases the Kentucky is a mere sprint.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
PETA kills (whoops, I mean "put to sleep forever" that's an actual quote FYI) about 3,000 animals a year.

What I meant to say, is that there are far, far more dangerous avenues of animal destruction than the derby. Although, as it has been pointed out the race is strangely grueling.
 

Stegosaurus

Registered Member
PETA kills (whoops, I mean "put to sleep forever" that's an actual quote FYI) about 3,000 animals a year.

What I meant to say, is that there are far, far more dangerous avenues of animal destruction than the derby. Although, as it has been pointed out the race is strangely grueling.
Haha, I'll be the first to agree with you, Cons, that PETA is an evil organization (being a vegan doesn't mean I don't have a "bullshit-detector";) Newkirk is off her rocker.)

I totally understand what you are getting at, though. I wasn't trying to launch a myopic campaign; I was just mentioning a commonplace current event to point out a concern and raise some questions. You know, tagging them as they arise, is all. I always hope mentioning something little like that will spur greater thought about everyday actions.
 

Merc

Problematic Shitlord
V.I.P.
Before we even worry about animals, just look at how we treat each other. That should give you a clear indication as to how we will treat all life not just ourselves. It's why these stories of animal cruelty have yet to surprise me. I'm not that big of an asshole that I think animal abuse/torture/cruelty is no big deal, it's just hard to be surprised that people would do such things when you look at how we treat one another.
 

Stegosaurus

Registered Member
Before we even worry about animals, just look at how we treat each other. That should give you a clear indication as to how we will treat all life not just ourselves. It's why these stories of animal cruelty have yet to surprise me. I'm not that big of an asshole that I think animal abuse/torture/cruelty is no big deal, it's just hard to be surprised that people would do such things when you look at how we treat one another.
I understand. It takes a lot to surprise me as well. Not that I am jaded and all-knowing, just that I try to not lose perspective.

One of the greatest misconceptions is that those who argue for the ethical treatment of animals--as a whole--care more about animals than about humans. I won't say exactly that this is where you were going with that, but I just want to raise this point. A lot of what I study and argue and write about is that the ethical, philosophical, and moral underpinnings of the fight for better treatment of other people and the fight for better treatment of animals are identical. Fighting for animals is like fighting for humans by proxy--we're all sentient creatures. I completely understand the limitations and non-Utopian reality of everyday life, and I know that progress takes a lot of time. I feel, however, that it important to make multi-pronged attacks on different types of injustices in order to maintain consistency in morals and equal consideration. Now, I am not saying that we should go after the Kentucky Derby before Darfur--that's just ludicrous--I am simply pointing out something to be taken into consideration.
 
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