How Food Choices Can Hurt Wild Horses and Other Wildlife

I wanted to write a bit about this subject while the “militiamen” seizure of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon is fresh in everyone’s mind. Many people already know why the Refuge was overtaken, mostly because of a long battle between the ranchers and the government about grazing rights and the recent protection of the Refuge for wildlife species. I do know that there were other factors and it seems like it’s been quite a contentious relationship between the ranchers and the BLM for quite some time. I was very frustrated about this whole situation because I know quite a bit about this subject and felt that it was very arrogant for the Bundy’s to assume they knew what the general public desired for their management of OUR public lands.

I thought this might be a good opportunity to also remind you how harmful animal agriculture is on the environment and about the illusion of humane/ happy meat. It’s really quite sad when you learn about all the animals that are brutally slaughtered for someone’s quick bite. The most disturbing reality of grazing animals on public lands to me is the fact that Round Ups of Wild Horses are becoming more and more the norm. These horses are rounded up to provide adequate space for  and are replaced by cows to produce “grass-fed”, “free-range”, “humanely-sourced” meat. These Round Ups are often tucked away and hidden from the public eye.


That’s right: wild horses, once considered – by Congress no less – to be “living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West,” are frightened and chased by helicopters into stockpiling facilities, and go from mane-rippling freedom to nightmarish scenes of cramped captivity, separation from their families, branding with burning hot irons, and worse. The Bureau of Land Management then auctions the horses off, allegedly for “adoption,” and tragically, slaughterhouses are their most common “adopters.” Horse meat has a huge market in Canada, Mexico, and overseas, and in 2011, 85 percent of the horses slaughtered in a Canadian processing plant originated in the U.S.

It has been said that grazing cattle on grass has more negative impacts on the land than any other land use. Cattle are well known to degrade grassland habitat, destroy vegetation and important ecological communities, damage soils and stream banks. As I’ve written in previous blog posts, the livestock industry damages the environment in numerous other ways including; greenhouse gas emissions that contribute climate change, water pollution and excessive waste.

Conservation biologists have long warned that livestock grazing is the “most dangerous threat to biodiversity on rangelands.” More than 175 plant and animal species (this number is probably higher) are threatened by the effects of livestock grazing on public lands and it has contributed to the decline of almost one quarter of federally listed threatened and endangered species. Conservation groups say that some populations of grizzly bears, coyotes and wolves have already been driven extinct by the livestock industry. World-wide population declines of large carnivores; pumas, lions, sea otters and other species have been linked to the growing demand for meat.

The facts above are from the articles listed below.

By choosing more plant based food options we are helping our own health, the health of the planet and endless wildlife and other animal species. I would encourage you to not remain silent about this injustice and please get involved. These horses have very few people fighting for them.

There are many important actions you can take here:

And if you are able please support the great work of American Wild Horse Preservation

Thank you!

You can find more information at these links:

2 thoughts on “How Food Choices Can Hurt Wild Horses and Other Wildlife

  1. If sheep are also grazed on this land, damage is yet more extensive. Sheep weigh much less, so don’t damage ground as much as cattle. But their little “nippers” get right down to the ground, making regrowth harder and longer.

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