Skip to comments.Itís Liam Neeson Vs Alec Baldwin On NYC Horse Carriage Issue
Posted on 02/14/2009 6:18:54 PM PST by dennisw
Liam Neeson has taken issue with a proposed bill to ban the horse carriage business in New York City. The legislation aims to put an end to an industry considered cruel by some, including Alec Baldwin. Heres a bit from the letter that Neeson wrote to the City Council:
As a horse lover and rider, I am deeply disturbed by the unnecessary and misguided political and extreme rhetoric against the horse-drawn carriage industry and feel obliged to counter this action.
The horse-drawn carriage business is an iconic part of this city, employing hundreds of dedicated, hard-working men and women, caring for well-bred, well-trained horses and attracting tourists to New York City for over 100 years.
As a proud New York resident, I have personally enjoyed the beauty of Central Park on a daily basis for many years, and these horses are an undeniable integral part of that experience. The notion that a well-nourished horse pulling a carriage through Central Park is considered cruelty may fit in with animal activists extremist view, but not with the rest of us. Surely we have a responsibility to protect commerce, especially one with such history, and one I truly feel helps define this city. May pragmatism prevail.
Last June, Alec Baldwin hosted an event for PETA to help raise money and awareness on the issue. I dont have a problem with the carriage trade, he said. If they remove all the cars in Manhattan, and build a farm with an acre of land for each horse to graze, I will invest my own money. Passions run high in this issue Its loud and vulgar because they know they are wrong.
What do you think? Should the carriage industry continue or is todays city life too much of a stress for these animals?
Liam argues in favor of money and tradition. Alec argues in favor of kindness and decency. When Liam says he loves horses, he means he loves them like some people love their cars - like objects. When Alec says he loves horses, he is talking about the individual, feeling beings - like one would love a child.
Not a hard choice which one has his head on straigh in my opinion.
So well put Matt (and Catherine!)
What most people dont realize either is that these horses dont go back out to a farm after their hard days (or nights!) work.
They go to a big gray hard cold BUILDING in a tiny concrete stall!
All Liam needs to do is watch this video to see for himself
ANd what an arrogant idiot he is to say such a comment. Honestly I have lost all respect for him. All respect. I dont think Ill watch his films after that. Matt is so right. Hes only thinking of them as objects. ANY one who loves horses would not, in TODAYS age, let them walk the streets of manhattan and live in a cold building in the Bronx when not working. What an ASS he is. I hope he sees the error in his ways.
The NYC horses are abused and inhumanely treated by the drivers.
Kudos to Alex for trying to stop the abuse.
Ice Pony Girl
I think that if regulations/checks can be done or a society created where the drivers/trainers have to register (under rules of horsemanship, capability, care for the animals, equipment, working hours, living conditions etc) I see no reason why the carriage rides could not continue. It might even go so far as to prohibit anyone other than the members of the society from practicing the trade in NYC. Such a society can determine wheather conditions un~/suitable, horses that are mistreated or underfed can be recognised and action taken, and generally monitor the trade, making it possible to continue without the cruelty to the horses.
People must also consider that although these horses are perhaps not in pristine condition and have not the ideal living conditions (nothing is better for a horses spirits than a long gallop in a field), there is room to change that and in a country with the resources and the people willing to do something - things can be made better for these animals; where in many countries/places (ie SA where Im from), the amount of cruelty to animals and the neglect of doing anything about it is staggering!
A definate vote for improving & monitoring conditions for the horses, but that might not completely destroy the trade.
Just a thought
Liam is lame.
There are ways to enjoy Central Park without an unwilling animal being forced to cart his ass around. Last time I was therea few years ago, you could get a pedicab. Okay, its expensive, but at least you know the being carting you around has chosen to do this.
I wouldnt want to have my front view be the rear end of a horse anyway.
Note that the all reasons Liam gives in favour of this cruel business has to do with his own personal joy. Selfish animal bully.
Actually, pedicabs are cheaper then carriage rides and you see MORE of the park cause the go where the horses cannot. Or at least that was the case at the last protest i went to.
And as i say at protest, the pedicab drivers CHOOSE to do the work .horses do not.
Stephanie is so right. She took the words right out of my mouth!
In Orlando (not too far from me) Pedicabs are a big deal. People use them to actually get around the down town area instead of taxis (wow theres an idea - no suffering horses forced to drive you around OR cars that create toxins, noise and use gas and oil!) InSTEAD you have someone ride you on a bike and they get paid to make a living (the horses dont get paid either mind you!) and the rider gets a great workout stays in shape (hell Id drive one of those pedi cabs just for the damn work out! In Orlando there are many young female drivers and they are in fine ass shape too!
I think the way we treat horses and animals as slaves is no different than black slavery in America. It should be abolished.
Are we that selfish of a species that we force other ones to work for us? pain and suffering never to run free in a field or even walk in a pasture ever again? They are OWNED by some sick sap who gets paid while the horses he owns are tortured?
New York Citys carriage industry is inhumane and cannot be made safer. Who says? The ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States. Liam Neeson doesnt know anything of which he speaks. There is virtually no meaningful oversight or enforcement of the already-lax regulations, a troublesome finding that was outlined in the 2007 audit by City Comptroller William Thompson. All attempts at regulations have failed miserably. The horses do not live in the park, as some people think. The horses live in multistory stables as far south as W. 37th Street 2 miles in heavy traffic, each way. It is on these commutes that many of the accidents occur, from a horse spooking in traffic. That is what led to the gruesome death in 2006 of poor Spotty. Smoothie, however, spooked at the sound of drums in Central Park, and died just outside the park. Horse-drawn carriages dont belong in city traffic. Ban them.
I live in Austin, Tx and I hate it when I see those poor horses in the middle of busy streets,idiots riding in the carriages with stupid smiles on their faces. I cant even imagine what its like for them in a city as busy as New York. They definitely dont deserve that kind of life. Boo for Liam! I used to like the guy.
An idea. IF they didnt ban away with it why couldnt the horses live in Central Park? THey could have stables and an outdoor area (surely people would love to see that) and so would the horses. I swear sometimes people do not use their heads. Especially, as one describes above, most accidents happen on this very long commute to 37th st..
I think the horses are smarter than the humans who own them sometimes (actually most of the time!)
As much as I would disapprove of the way that the carriage drivers treat the horses (I do not live in the area and therefore would not know specifically how they are treated), I would much less like the idea of them being sold for meat. Case in point: http://www.nugget.ca/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1368334
This could very well be their fate. I agree with Baldwin that this is cruel, but unless he is proposing to buy all of the horses and find the carriage drivers jobs (especailly in this crappy economy), then maybe, I hate to say it, Neeson is right.
Its nostalgia for a way long gone by of how New York used to be, trying to preserve a chunk of the past.
My concern is what happens to these animals, if their livelyhood is removed? Do they get sent to the glue factory, or end up as pet food?
Tourists and lovers (who dont know any better) will miss these horse drawn carriages.
The idea that they should be moved to trails inside the park, where traffic isnt congested, might be a good alternative.
[...] sitting through his idiocy - doesnt look half bad). In case you hadnt heard, Neeson recently penned a letter to the New York City (City?) Council in opposition to recent legislation which would ban the horse [...]
Concerning Liam Neesons comments;
First of all, in this day in age there is no necessity for animals to be laborers to human beings. The horse and carriage industry is for nostalgic entertainment and commerce, nothing else. It does not serve a useful purpose in todays society. I have been an animal activist and vegetarian for twenty six years and I can tell you Mr. Neesons opinions are incidental and will not rule over the out come of the carriage horses dilemma so people should not waste their time casting stones against the man. Liam is a fine actor. That is his purpose of being for the world his opinions outside of acting are his own. What we must do is concentrate not on an actors opinions, but on writing letters in support of cruelty free living conditions for New Yorks Carriage horses. These horses are doing human beings a service and there for they must be respected and protected. Trained animals like to be useful and serve a purpose. To take that purpose away could depress the animal and destroy its health and well being. Also, If these horses loose their livelihood, chances are they will be euthanized the same as race horses considering it might be very difficult to place 200 work horses on retirement farms. Lets clean up any mistreatment of these beautiful animals, fine the responsible parties for their cruelty and neglect, then make new laws like banning traffic and bicycles from horse restricted areas and cleaning up the stables as well as moving the horses to greener pastures when they are not doing the work they were trained to do. These animals need to be given a chance at life. This is an issue of common sense, humanity AND commerce. The horses benefit the cities economic status so there for they should be treated as any other working citizen. The issue here is not about good guys and bad guys. Actor Liam Neeson never stated his opinion on animal cruelty so arguing with him is futile.
Mr. Neeson does not have the deciding vote on this issue. The issue here is horse cruelty. Something that has been alleged in the New York carriage industry for many years. The problem here is not with actor Liam Neeson, it is with the human beings who are responsible for the care and treatment of these animals. Not all of these care takers are abusing their horses. Some of them love their horses and are just doing their jobs. No human being has the right to make ANY animal serve them. Animals were not put here on this Earth for human pleasure and consumption, on the contrary, because human beings are supposed to have the higher intellect that means that they were put on the Earth to defend serve, and protect animals and all life forms that can not defend, protect and think for themselves. ALL Animal cruelty is inhumane. These horses only know the life that human beings gave to them, therefore to take that away from them could be detrimental to there well being. Once again, what needs to be done to rectify this issue is simple,
Laws must be passed to insure the health and safety of these hard working animals, while the horses themselves are moved to a cleaner environment. One that is more fit and suitable for horses. As far as the exhaust fumes go, Human beings created them and we are all breathing them, so at least we are all being asphyxiated together. Horse and man alike. Even actor Liam Neeson stated on comedy central that giving these animals a pasture was a good point. Instead of condemning Mr. Neeson, lets work together and use our intelligence and energy to work towards stopping the real culprits from continuing this very negative atrocity.
It is a shame but human beings do not come with instruction books on how to be humane, therefore, they must be gently educated in the fine art of humanity. Keeping an open mind on all issues makes us see things more clearly. Mr. Neeson has been a humanitarian and vegetarian for many years. He was being playfully wise when he made the comment about living in the stable. Mr. Neeson is a doer. This is why he physically went down to the stables to see what is going on. He wanted to know first hand; where as most of us must rely on the interpretations of others to make our decisions. His comment on cows is true.
He knows this because he grew up in Ireland were farm lands are predominate.
Animals live by their instincts. I have worked beside a farm for twenty years and every time the humans leave the pasture gate open, (Which unfortunately is often) the cows in herds lumber out down the road but always on there own return to what they instinctively know. Their own environment. The environment HUMAN beings gave them. This is true with all animals. That is why it is so important for all of us to see all sides to this issue.
Mr. Neeson is coming at this issue through his own humanitarian point of view.
He is simply sharing his opinion with the world and we must do the same. With the world in economic crisis, Mr. Neeson I concerned that the workers and horses will loose their livelihood should the Horse and Carriage industry be banned.
What Is An Opinion? Always remember, opinions are neither right nor wrong. All opinions are individual and no ones opinions, the rich, the poor, even the scholars, have more value on this Earth then another.
Opinions are only right to the individuals who are expressing them
as well as to the individuals who happen to share them and believe them as truth. It is time we all expressed our own truth. Never let anyone usurp your opinion unless you truly believe in the opinion they have expressed.
It is more intellectually challenging to act humanely, then to act upon
your natural, carnal, negative thoughts. One act of humanity is bliss. One act of ignorance is devastating.
When you disagree with someone intellectually, all you can do is try
to educate them to seeing a different point of view. If they are beyond
reasoning, then it is a waste of your time to pursue them. A healthy
debate is one were both parties go away challenged and fulfilled. Not
angry and intolerant. Through using our own psychic awareness we
can create balance in our feelings and learn to use self control to alter
our negative thoughts. All Negative emotions are caused from human error. Before we can make a new start, we must get rid of all the negativity inside of us,
since we cannot eliminate the negativity that surrounds us. The development of the human mind is the reason why we believe what we believe and why we act the way we act. Unfortunately when we were born, we did not get a user guide or instruction booklet with our brains. The human brain is nothing more then a computer fueled by the energy surges inside our bodies. The energy inside our bodies is our human spirit. It is what gives us our psychic awareness. The
proper way to use your mind is to keep it open to all things. If our minds are clouded by the opinions of others, we cannot fully develop.
Without a doubt, the human mind is the most dangerous living
organism on the planet Earth, for it can think up the vilest, depraved and monstrous cruelties known to man. It is our duty and responsibility to care for our minds and see to it that they are not allowed to stray into those dark areas that cause us to act on our negative emotions.
We are all made up of positive and negative energy, (the yin and the
yang.) One cannot exist without the other.
Negativity is the number one reason for keeping a closed mind and harboring feelings of hatred, anger, intolerance cruelty and violence.
The key to a positive attitude is the ability to Control your thoughts.
You can achieve this by becoming more psychically aware.
Do not let others opinions and your own lifes circumstances, rule your emotions and behavior.
Take control of your feelings in the here and now, before you say or do something that you will later regret.
By using your own free will, you can turn your negative emotions into positive reactions by choosing to over ride all negativity.
ALTER YOUR ATTITUDE and you can alter your life.
Through the convictions of your own mind, you can choose to react positive to a negative situation. Dont react negatively to Mr. Neesons opinions.
Its up to you to choose your emotions wisely and make certain before you speak and act that you are speaking and acting out of the emotions you CHOOSE rather then the emotions you immediately feel. Always choose emotions that will not be detrimental or bring harm to yourself and those around you. Once you convince your mind to be positive, you will start acting in positive ways.
Always over ride Anger, Hatred, Negativity, Cruelty and Violence with Consideration, Kindness, Compassion and Helpfulness. When you can not change your lifes circumstances, remember, you CAN always change how you react to them. The only way we can stop this cruelty is by acting intelligently and writing non argumentive letters to the people in authority without casting stones and name calling. This is the message we need to send people. It dose not matter whose opinion is in the right and whose opinion is in the wrong. What matters is rectifying the cruelty with acts of humanity.
Uhhhhhhhhhhhh, I have ridden in those carriages several times and enjoyed them and saw the affection the drivers have for those horses. I hope you are not telling me not to drink kool-aid I have not drunk, nor have I said anything that should lead you to believe I agree with Mr. Baldwin.
Farm animals are not pets Horses are working animals. I bet that there aren't very many that just graze and frolic in the sun, without a real job, whether it is horse racing, or pleasure riding or drawing carts and carriages.
In colder climates, they grow a thick coat to protect them from the weather. Take a drive out in the country on a rainy day and see how many of these farm animals seek shelter. They are all out in the fields, with their backs to the wind, rain and sleet. To us, they look miserable, but to them it is just another day on the farm.
Liam Neeson will feel the sting of the far left, the ones that believe that it is their right to murder preborn human beings but demand the coddling of farm animals.
“I don’t understand why the far left believes that animals should be treated like humans.”
Because some of those people would like to have sex with the horses.
I’ve ridden the Mid-town.
Just don’t feed them Beefarino.
Because they believe humans are an evil virus that are not really part of the ecosphere.
Not to mention the way it’s brought back into the plot later in the movie.
Too many Disney movies with their associated anthromorphism.
Horses outdoors in all kinds of weather is inhumane?
I guess we should kill them all then.
Tell that to the new york cops on horseback.
Taken was merciless on the bad guys and some of the bad guys were Muslim and they were immigrants. So very politically incorrect
I liked when he shot the French intelligence guy’s wife in the shoulder to show he meant business and to force Frenchie to help him locate the sex slavery bosses
Of course they see themselves as God so they don’t count of course.
Really? Are you talking about large cities or small cities? We have cops riding horses in downtown Ogden, Utah! My Dad knows one of them. He’s (the cop that rides horse)has been riding horses on his job for a number of years now. He got some others to join him. It’s easier to get around some places in the city better than in police cars.
He’s very good and kind to his horse, and they all are. They have a special corral they take them to when not riding them. (or maybe they have their own, I’m not sure)But they ride them in parades and other events occasionally. Ogden is a large city, but not as large as New York by far. This cop and his horse are a team, and the horse is very well cared for, and trained!
I wonder what some people would do if they couldn’t drive anymore for some reason? What would their ancestors have done? Walk everywhere? What if it got so expensive to drive or ride, and there was no other way to get around?
I honestly haven’t seen them outside of Central Park, either, although they seemed to be pretty plentiful inside the park the last few times I was there. I’ve seen them in news footage and stuff before, but always as crowd control at large gatherings. So, I suppose I should say horses in general don’t belong where people on foot don’t belong...
Upper West Side has always leaned left due to Columbia and Barnard (where my girlfriend taught).
Many of the cafes along Broadway and Amsterdam had seen their day in the 60s with radicals and Beats droning on and on with bullshite but by the 80s they were fairly dormant...Shakespeare Books was always a hang out for lefties (any bookstore is like that today) and the two Teacher's cafes were known for radicals to be seen sipping coffee and chattering but in my day more Upper West Siders were busy birthing today's leftist youth and were less involved politically and more so with work.
Anyone curious should see that video of the pro McCain folks walking down Columbus....last September.....unbelievable how bad it is now.
New York seems nothing like I remember...
Dinner for two with drinks (Oban on the rocks for me and some rum concoction for her) and we left with $150.00 out of pocket. The place was full as was every other restaurant along Columbus and down to Lincoln Center. If there's a recession in NYC you sure couldn't tell. The waitress said that it wasn't V-Day, every weekend is the same.
As for the people, yeah, I wanted to slap the snot out of most of them. I could write volumes about the changes since I lived there (back when it was called the Wild West).
There was a line of at least twenty couples on CPS waiting their turn to hire a carriage.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.