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Animal agriculture certainly takes an enormous toll on our planet. It consumes around 70 percent of the Earth’s freshwater supplies, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that livestock production is responsible for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions while other organizations like the Worldwatch Institute have estimated it could be as much as 51 percent. Not only that but it also occupies around 50 percent of the world’s land. This destructive industry is also having a devastating impact on wildlife. In the U.S. alone, livestock grazing impacts 14 percent of threatened or endangered animals, but some of the most frequent victims of livestock expansion are the wild horses.

In the U.S., wild horses have been particularly hard hit by the meat industry’s demand for more land on which to raise cattle. In recent years, The Bureau of Land Management‘s (BLM) practice of “rounding up” horses using cruel helicopter-driven chases has drawn widespread criticism from animal advocates and concerned members of the public, who know how this traumatic practice impacts animals.

The BLM has continuously maintained that the roundups are “necessary and justified,” with Joan Guilfoyle, head of the Wild Horse and Burro Program, insisting that the numbers of wild horses on U.S. land doubles every year and that the herds must be thinned out to preserve ecological balance. She said, “If we stopped gathering animals, the population would continue to grow and grow and the rangelands would continue to be overgrazed.”

However, as Suzanne Roy – director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaignpointed out: “The reality is that there are a small number of wild horses out there, fewer than 32,000, and there are millions of cattle and sheep. We don’t have an overpopulation of wild horses. We have an overpopulation of livestock on our public lands.”

This picture by the Wild Horse Freedom Federation reveals the heartbreaking reality of roundups.  

What This Heartbreaking Picture of Wild Horses Running for Their Lives Has to Do With Your Burger



Under federal law, wild horses are supposed to be protected as “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West; that … enrich the lives of the American people.” But Laura Leigh of Wild Horse Education – who has spent 500 days observing the roundups – stated, “It’s my observation that the government continually violates the provision of the act that requires humane handling of these animals. … I’ve seen broken legs. I’ve seen legs ripped up by barbed wire. I’ve seen horses kicked in the head. I’ve seen animals dragged by the neck with a rope. I’ve seen a helicopter hit horses.”

Once the horses have been captured, they are often sent to live in captivity or put up for auction (where most end up being sold for meat). The separation of families, friends, and even mothers and babies is a routine occurrence. There have also been a number of recorded cases of BLM contractors selling the horses to slaughterhouses. It is an unspeakable tragedy that wild horses – the animals traditionally regarded as an emblem of freedom, beauty, and grace – are being subjected to this treatment.

However, by leaving meat off your plate, you can take a stand against this outrageous practice. With a lower demand for meat, less land will be required for cattle ranching, and fewer wild horses will suffer. To learn more, read some of the articles below:

Image Source: Wild Horse Freedom Federation/Facebook

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270 comments on “What This Heartbreaking Picture of Wild Horses Running for Their Lives Has to Do With Your Burger”

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john pasqua
21 Days ago


22 Days ago

THIS IS A SHAME & DISGUSTING !!!!!!!!!!FOR AMERICA CANADA & MEXICO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
THESE GREEDY BASTARDS MOST BE STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!STOP NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

peggy conroy
22 Days ago

Equine DNA found in North America from 6500 years ago matches that of today\'s horses. Equus evolved on this continent and was probably eliminated by man\'s early arrival as it is being done by the BLM today at the behest of big money. Their numbers were in the millions beginning the last century, now are just a few thousand thanks to the millions of cattle, sheep, elk (10 million for hunters), mines, oil/gas wells, developments, etc. all using more resources damaging the land to say nothing of water use. Water is the scarce resource in the west. The 1971 wild horse and burro protection law, passed unanimously, says the horses are to be "free roaming " on 250 million acres of our public lands, not lethally rounded up, put in pens with no shelter, then often sold to slaughter. Big money winning again as our planet continues to be trashed.

23 Days ago

Doesn\'t do a bit of good to be mad.....cattle ranchers are taking over a lot of land! Can\'t really figure out why, unless they are shipping to other countries..people here are figuring out beef is what has to do with most of their health problems and we don\'t need it... It isn\'t so much about loving the horse population, as watching what is happening to the wildlife, the horses, and all wildlife that people are supposed to be \'managing.\' Setting up fancy cattle ranches is not managing anything. It is supplying the rich! The karma is that they will be wanting something from the rest of us like tax breaks, etc. When Trump leaves office, it will come back around. There is nothing more cruel than a packing plant of any kind, and people don\'t need meat. This is sickening at the least. When asking a question, follow the money trail. Maybe we could start a petition on animal petitions and fight this. Is there a rescue support group that advocates for horses??

c jones
04 Jul 2017

The wild horse is an invasive animal the USA and one that is known to eat its self out of house and Home. That is it eats All the grass working out from a water source. leaving bear earth. this is a conditions that leads to a slow death by starvation. Better a quick death at the Slaughter house.

tiggs benoit
07 Jul 2017

There is a petition going around that i think has 3 more days to go before deadline. Care2 has it, if i am correct. Otherwise just google the question.

tiggs benoit
07 Jul 2017

I want to answer c jones below but i don t seem to be able to. What is invasive is the millions of cows bred for slaughter for your hamburger. they are taking all the space of all the wild animals and the rich ranchers still want more.. kill the bears, kill the wolves, the coyotes, the horses. I think the ones that need killing is them, and leave this piece of the garden of eden like they found it.... cowards, evil people...

Karan Hands
23 Days ago

I demand an END to this needless slaughter or our wild horses. We are supposed to have intelligent people leading these programs. I would suggest someone start using their brains to resolve the problem and quit using the issue of money to justify their means. What they are doing is NOT an acceptable solution. NOT ACCEPTABLE! Get it? Money should not be the deciding factor in cases such as this. This is totally inhumane.

23 Days ago

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Victor Te
1 Years Ago

Lauren Nakache

Daisy Sunshine
1 Years Ago

Emi Hirst
1 Years Ago

That is awful :(

Emily Morgenstern
1 Years Ago

This is disgusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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