Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tribute to an Old Friend and My Feelings on Horse Slaughter

This is a great letter that I found about how a woman wants horse slaughter to stop because of the bond she had with her horse when she was  a little girl.  It's a really beautiful letter and even made me tear up a little.  ~Declan

Musings From the Funny Farm

A Tribute to an Old Friend, and My Feelings On Horse Slaughter

By Jennifer Bressner
July 13, 2012

I've been hearing a lot of different ideas and opinions, about the horse meat industry, trying to set up shop here, in Missouri. I'll be the first to admit, that my thoughts are clouded with emotion, when it comes to this topic. Please, let me tell you why.

In the summer of 1989, I turned 9 years old, and met Shawna. She was a 19 year old, sorrel mare, who was, literally, skin and bones. Shawna was in between being purchased by a horse dealer, and being resold again, at auction. We were told, by the horse dealer, that he'd rather sell her, because her fate was certainly to become "dog food," if she did not find a loving home. That loving home was ours! And so began, some of the most magical, and wonderful moments, of my young life.

Shawna was the perfect kids horse. Once we got her up to her fighting weight, she would do just about anything for us. I was a dark haired, freckle faced, "Punky Brewster" type, little girl. I always felt chubby, and awkward, but atop my sorrel mare, I became the woman in the maxi pad commercial, on the beach, bareback, wind in my hair!
One time, when I was a boy-crazy 11 year old, I took Shawna to the river. Everyone was out, that hot summer day, relaxing in the water, swimming, and playing. I was the only one there on horseback. Naturally, the kids (and boys), were pointing at us, and excited to see a horse. This encouraged the show off in me.
Shawna and I raced up the bank, putting on quite a show. She trotted through the knee deep water, on the river's edge, picking her feet up, in, what felt like to me, an exotic prance.
Caught up, in the show I was giving to all (your welcome), I missed the fact that Shawna had taken a pretty large number two. This number two was bobbing up and down in the water, following the current, along the edge. The only thing that could have brought my attention to this, was the screaming mothers, who were picking lawn chairs and babies up, out of the water, and running for dry land. Shawna and I, made a glorious, galloping exit that day. She always had a way of making me feel special, but keeping me humble.
My favorite memory of Shawna, was laying on her back in the sunshine, finding pictures in the clouds, while she chomped on grass, unbridled, in our yard. She was as trustworthy as a horse could possibly be. Her nose was as soft as the petals of a rose, and she had huge, honest, brown eyes.
When I was around the age of 16, my beautiful friend's health started to fail her. Her teeth were worn away, next to nothing, and she had started to lose weight, even though the grass was high. The day the vet came, to put her to sleep, my little sister and I, braided blue corn flowers all throughout Shawna's mane and tail. She looked beautiful, though her body was roughly in the same shape, as the day we saved her from the auction house. The vet who put her to sleep, was a huge, trucker type of a man. He looked tough, but I remember his eyes welled up, as my sister and I begged him to take care of our horse. We couldn't bare to stay, and watch him inject her, but I knew, from the gentle way he laid his hands on her, that he would.
It was a dignified, and kind way, for Shawna to leave this world. When I think of horse slaughter, I picture the one we saved, and the way she died. I think about the fear she never had to experience, of being loaded into mass transport, and being lead down a conveyer belt to die. When people tell me that I'm just being emotional, I agree with them. Love is emotional. I loved Shawna, and she created, within me, a love and repect for all horses.

Jenny Bresssner

I was born and raised in Montana, and developed a love of animals at an early age. As an adult, I've had a lot of jobs; Army Medic and Mental Health Specialist, Hospice nurse's aid, X-ray Tech, and Bagel server. My favorite job I've ever had, however, is volunteering in animal rescue. It pays nothing, but it is the most rewarding experience I've ever had, short of being mom to my 3 wild daughters.'

Volunteering has lead me into the life of farming. Though I wouldn't call myself a good farmer. I have chickens, and a cow. All of them have names, and I won't be making any money having them, either. They are all pets. Simon, my beloved, 1200 lb Jersey steer, is like a giant dog. He has absolutely no leash manners, but he makes up for it in charisma. If you drive by my house, you can see my three daughters, ages 2, 5, 10, and me, outside, giving Simon a bath with baby shampoo. Or maybe you'll see him dragging me around the yard, or putting his chin on my shoulder, while I scratch his neck.

We are an Army family, but it hasn't stopped us from taking in, and fostering hundreds of dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens during our tour at Fort Leonard wood. My husband, has been a drill sergeant for the last 3 years, and has supported all of my animal endeavors. Together, we have Simon, 4 dogs, 5 cats, an African Grey Parrot, a couple of parakeets, 8 chickens, and those 3 feral kids I told you about earlier.

My life is in constant chaos, but I couldn't be happier!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much, I feel very honored to have made your blog!