I stood outside of VYNL Diner waiting for my lunch date in early January 2006. I looked up ninth avenue and saw a horse-drawn carriage, speeding out of control, heading downtown. The driver couldn't get the horse to slow and, as it approached fiftieth Street, they slammed into a passing car. The driver was thrown from the carriage and was badly injured. The horse ended up under the car.
It was a shocking sight that I won't soon forget.
PETA says of horse-drawn carriages: Forcing horses to pull oversized loads isn't romantic--it's cruel. Horses are forced to toil in all weather extremes, dodge traffic, and pound the pavement all day long. These gentle animals suffer from respiratory ailments because they breathe in exhaust fumes, and they develop debilitating leg problems from walking on hard surfaces. In some cases, horses have even dropped dead from heatstroke after working in scorching summer heat and humidity.
Banning horse-drawn carriages in New York City is the right thing to do. These animals are treated horribly and shouldn't continue to work long days on the New York streets.
On Friday morning Maria Derr and I went to City Hall to participate in a rally to ban horse-drawn carriages in NYC. A bill is being introduced in the City Council.
I'll keep you posted on what you can do to help get the bill through the city council. One group, League of Humane Voters of New York City, is leading on the issue and will always have the latest news.