Marion Altieri

Mare is the visionary Partner, Editor and Radio Host for Alpha Mare Media. Mare is a New York State-licensed Thoroughbred owner. Her membership in NYTHA (New York Thoroughbred Horsewoman's [-men's] Association; NYTB (New York Thoroughbred Breeders; Thoroughbred Women, Ltd. and the Saratoga Thoroughbred Club all inspire, educate and contribute to her depth of knowledge of the breed and the Sport.

Her volunteer interests are all Thoroughbred-related, of course: she should probably get a hobby off the track, but there's just no time or interest. Her mantra is, "If it don't have four legs and a mane—it ain't an athlete!"

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Rants and raves, one darned opinionated Broad--er, Woman--who loves Thoroughbreds; loves the sport; and freely expresses her exasperation. The Alpha Mare wants to see good things all around for everyone in horse racing, and will use her proverbial pen to start dialogues and perhaps even instigate a revolution or two...

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Montana’s Big, Bloody Sky


How morally bankrupt must be the soul of a person who works as a killerbuyer?
Or as a member of the Montana State Legislature?

Both these groups of people are on The Alpha Mare's Hit List this week, for both play a very active role in the torture and dismemberment of equines—and in the eventual distribution of horsemeat for consumption in Europe. Apparently both sleep very well at night, also, ThankYouVeryMuch.


Let's start with the most urgent bit, the covert and tres sneaky actions of those funloving Montanans. We'll report on our jaunt straight up to the Gates of Hell—a conversation with a killerbuyer—tomorrow. (We, the "royal we," that is, cantered into that vast wasteland…we called said killerbuyer at home, and had a chat. The hairs of my mane are still singed from the encounter. I can still taste the sulfur on my lips. But that journey will be the subject of tomorrow night's report.)

Tonight we must get your full attention onto a very serious subject—and get you to take action. ASAP.

This week, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer will sit, pen-in-hand, and either sign or not sign a bill that passed the Montana State Legislature in late February. Right under our noses, those tricky boys in cowboy hats gathered under their big sky and created a death warrant for horses.

The details:
"The (Montana State) Senate endorsed House Bill 418, which would allow a horse slaughter facility in the predominately rural state and offer it legal protection if someone challenges legality of the plant. The bill also requires anyone contesting the construction of the plant to post a bond equal to 20% of the estimated construction cost.

The bill, introduced by state Representative Ed Butcher (R-Winifred), passed the state House of Representatives on February 25 by a 66-33 margin."
(Ref: http://www.montanahorsesanctuary.org/abouthorseslaughter.html )

How appropriate is that last name? Hollywood couldn't contrive a more perfect moniker for a politician whose pockets are lined in horseblood, than "Ed Butcher." It's oh, so, Johnny Depp-esque.

And how insane is it that, anyone who contests the construction and legality of the plant will have to post a bond equal to 20% of the estimated construction cost? That's…Mafiosi. That's…corrupt. That's…RIGGED. That's…that's…the American way?: If you don't like the fact that they're running roughshod over the Law of the United States of America…they'll find a way to fine YOU for THEIR crime.

So I, The Alpha Mare, sitting here in New York, do hereby contest the construction of the slaughterhouse in Montana. Its construction is illegal on its face.

And I am hereby throwing down the gauntlet, and screaming, "GO AHEAD, BOYS. FINE ME. Charge me bond to the tune of 20% of the construction costs." (I'm Italian and Irish: I'm not afraid of bullies and lawbreakers—especially if the lawbreakers are those who took oaths to defend that very Law.)

I hope that the irony here is not lost on you: the very people who took oaths to defend the Law of the United States of America—are giving the proverbial finger to that very same Law. The USDA is not (legally) allowed to send inspectors to meat "processing" plants—read that, slaughterhouses—that kill horses. Ergo—there's that damned Greek logic again—ergo, the meat coming from a US horse slaughterhouse, such as is proposed for Montana—is illegal meat. Cannot be sold. Cannot be consumed, anywhere.

Flying in the face of that law regarding the USDA, the Montanans passed this bill, which they intend to pass into their own law, to build a building for the express purpose of slaughtering horses and other equines.

The fact that the USDA will not send inspectors to inspect the meat does not faze them, whatsoever.

The fact that, any meat sold or distributed sans USDA stamp of approval is therefore illegal meat—doesn't flutter an eyelash for them.

This bill, if passed by the single swipe of Governor Schweitzer's pen, will re-introduce horse slaughter into the United States.

We're still striving to get H.R. 503 passed (forbidding transportation out of the US for purposes of slaughter)—and now this comes along, seemingly out of left field.

There's no reason to believe that Governor Schweitzer won't sign the bill—after all, those boys in chaps (members of the Legislature, and the ranchers), write his paycheck every week. He has every reason to sign the bill—and not a single reason against.

Except, oh, you know—morals and the illegality of it all.

The excuses offered by the legislators for wanting a slaughterhouse built in Montana are the same old-same old: old and sick horses, etc. That the ranchers' livelihoods are threatened by the excess horses lying around. That unwanted horses are abused. Yada-yada-yada.

All these arguments have been neatly answered by http://www.kaufmanzoning.com:

"If horses aren't slaughtered, where will all the unwanted horses go?
The annual number of horses slaughtered in the US dropped from over 300,000 in the 1990s to less than 66,000 in 2004, with no special infrastructure to absorb the thousands of “unwanted” horses that were not slaughtered. Horses are being kept longer, sold to others, humanely euthanized, or donated to retirement and rescue facilities. The “surplus horse population” is a myth."*

"Will banning horse slaughter mean more cases of horse abuse and neglect?
No. In fact, both the Hooved Animal Humane Society (HAHS) and the Illinois Department of Agriculture reported that during a year long closing of the only slaughter plant in the region due to fire, abuse cases actually decreased. California banned horse slaughter in 1998—since that time horse theft has dropped 34% and cruelty reports have not increased Texas, which had the only two slaughter plants in 2003, had among the nations highest rates of cruelty and theft that year. The existence of horse slaughter plants seems to be directly related to increased horse abuse and theft."**

Ah, then there's the argument put forth by the Montana politicians, themselves: that the slaughterhouse as proposed is actually good for the economy. Hmmmm. Since "the plant," as the euphemism has been tagged, is owned by a BELGIAN company: it will have no positive effect on the economy, at all.

"How will banning slaughter affect the economy?
The three existing slaughter plants are foreign owned, and pay no corporate taxes or export tariffs. The entire horse meat industry is only 0.001% the size of the U.S. meat industry, making it economically insignificant."***

Oh, yeah, and the jobs for those workers whose deadened souls slit the throats of horses in the bloodied halls of a slaughterhouse?

Yeah…they can get another job. These are not high-level jobs that require much experience or education. All you need do is learn how to blow out the brains of a horse, and not want to kill yourself for doing it.

I refuse to believe that, if a slaughterhouse isn't built—anyone's family will suffer. Follow this logic: I'm not being "cruel." This is me being utterly pragmatic:

a. The jobs weren't there in the first place—it's not that there was a slaughterhouse, then the mean old horselovers closed it up.

b. So: there WERE NO slaughterhouse jobs.

c. Ergo: no jobs were lost.

ERGO: this means, "THEREFORE": and this is basic Greek logical argumentation, folks: ergo—no one lost a job, and those who would work in "the plant" can find another job that doesn't require much experience, education or spiritual content.

If I sound harsh, it's because I have absolutely Had It. I have had it with selfishness and pure, unadulterated greed that runs the slaughter industry. The condemned souls who are trying to push slaughter back into America are not doing it because they give a tiny damn about the economy, or the people who make up their constituency. Of course they don't care about the horses, we know this. But they lie through their bonded teeth when they say that they're doing it for the people they represent.

If they cared one iota for the Montanans who need jobs—they'd CREATE jobs, jobs that would offer a future and some reason to live besides a paycheck. They'd take money from the General Fund, and create jobs that give people a reason to be content at the end of a hard workday, to know that they've done a good job and have contributed to society.

If the Montana politicians gave a damn about their constituents—they wouldn't pass bills that offer only jobs murdering horses, and deadening human souls. If they cared about people in their state—they wouldn't pour innocent blood all over the hands of the people whose credentials are minimal, who need low-level jobs because that's all they can do.

A slaughterhouse job isn't one of which one is proud, or that promises a future of advancement and self-esteem building. It's like being a hooker or drug dealer: no five-year-old child says, "Daddy, when I grow up, I want to slit horsies' throats and watch them exsanguinate."

In other words—the politicians in Montana are concerned only with lining their own pockets with the money of the Belgians who will own this plant.

Think about this:

I actually care more about the people who live and work in Montana than their own Representatives.

I care more about Montana obeying the Law of the United States—the Law that refuses to allow USDA inspectors to enter a horse slaugher plant in Montana—than cares the entire body of the State Legislature of Montana.

And that's a damned shame.

This week, Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer will pick up a pen and either create something illegal, or he'll obey the Law of the United States.

The Law which he swore to uphold.

You must—I am not asking, I am saying that you must—pick up the phone first thing in the morning, and remind him that he swore before God and history to uphold and defend the Law of the United States. And that, if he signs this bill and allows the Belgians to create a slaughterhouse in Montana—he will, in a very real way, be breaking the Law of the United States. For if no meat can legally be inspected, then no meat can be sold.

And why would anyone build a slaughterhouse that cannot sell the meat? Does Governor Schweitzer really expect that the slaughterhouse will just keep murdering horses and letting the meat pile up and rot? If it moves out of the building—it's doing so illegally.

You might want to remind him of this…and let him know that, if he does this illegal act…we law-abiding citizens of the United States will be forced to take legal action against him, the State Legislature of Montana and the Belgians who will illegally process horsemeat.

These are the things that I'll say when I call Governor Schweitzer in the morning. If you have ever loved a horse, if you've ever made a dime working in the equine industry—I am begging you to call him, too. Don't let your emotion be your guide—he won't listen to this. But if we remind him of the illegality of the project and the implications thereof…we can stop this before slaughter sneaks back into our country.

Then we have "only" to concentrate on H.R. 503. Ahhhh, I had nothing else to do this week, anyway…

Governor Brian Schweitzer:
(406) 444-3111 (Phone)
(406) 444-5529 (FAX)

* http://www.kaufmanzoning.net
** http://www.kaufmanzoning.net
*** http://www.kaufmanzoning.net

A youtube video put together by Sandy Elmore



Written by Marion (Mare) Altieri

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