As everyone would know, today Australia celebrates the race that stops a nation, the Melbourne Cup.
We could talk about Red Cadeaux, Admire Rakti, Araldo and Verema, the four horses whose lives were ended at the last three Melbourne Cups.
We could talk about the 132 lesser known horses killed on track between August 1 2015 and July 31 2016 alone.
We could talk about the thousands of horses linked to the racing industry whose lives are ended in knackeries around Australia, mere wastage from an inherently wasteful industry. Horses like Nature’s Child, whose gruesome end was uncovered by an investigation into Laverton knackery in 2012.
We could talk about the shockingly high rate of Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage (bleeding into the lungs, throat and in extreme cases sinuses) uncovered in a University of Melbourne study, with a staggering 90% of horses showing signs of EIPH post-race.
We could talk about the strain placed on the still developing bodies of two-year-old horses being trained and raced, leading to increased risks of potentially fatal injury and illness later in their lives.
We could talk about the ethics of Australians spending millions of dollars on gambling and alcohol to watch these animals being whipped around a track at breakneck speed, merely for our own personal entertainment.
Instead, we will wish for all the horses (and their riders) to come through today’s race unscathed, and hope they are all fortunate enough to never see the inside of a knackery.
And we remind you all that when you support the races, when you place your bets, you are literally gambling with the lives of sentient beings who deserve so much better than what most of the animals used by the animal exploitation industries will receive.