This may not sit well with some, but this has to be said. And sadly, has to be said again and again. When do we cry for the living?
I am in no way, shape, or form a fan of the horse racing industry. With the death of Medina Spirit, the Derby winner who was disqualified after failing to pass the drug screening, I find myself angry all over again. I couldn't open my phone without seeing people sharing the story with sadness or posting pictures of him talking of how great he was and what a shame. I was ready to throw my phone across the room.
When do we cry for the living?
It is unquestionably awful that he passed away. Mourning the loss of his life isn't where my anger comes from though. My anger comes from how people seem to forget the life he lived. He was a baby, a baby that died of a heart attack in the middle of training. He never had a chance to live, he was only 3 years old. His body wasn't done growing at all, his skeleton still had so many points left to develop. He was halfway to the age at which horses finish growing and yet, he was carrying a full grown human on his unfinished back and he was training so hard he had a heart attack. At 3 years old.
When do we cry for that excuse of a life? When do we cry for the countless others living the same way? Do we only cry for them when they die?
If that's the case, if we only care enough to cry when the horses die, then we should all be following the different sites that record track deaths and sharing all the articles that reveal this is not the sport of kings when it comes to the horses lives.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/2021/06/18/bob-baffert-horse-deaths-drug-violations/ which discusses Baffert's particularly high death count and
https://horseracingwrongs.org/killed-2021/ which tracks the deaths of each horse on US racetracks. You can read their names, ages, location, and cause of death. After the first 50 I'm sure you'll want to make it stop.
So, when do we cry for the living? When do we stop glorifying an industry that overall treats their equines as a commodity, not a living, breathing partner we are taking advantage of? When do we stop pretending it's okay to do such heavy and intense training on baby horses who haven't finished development? When do we open our eyes and put our foots down to say enough is enough? When do we stop glorifying the violence? When do we fight for those who are still living so that they don't have to face the same fate as well those on that list?