Perhaps the most common counter to our abolitionist position is the economic argument: If horseracing were to disappear so, too, would many jobs (never mind that most are low-wage); ancillary industries – feed suppliers, vets, farriers, breeders, of course – would also take a hit. Similarly, there are a handful of towns that have come to be identified by, or have intentionally set out to identify themselves with, the local racetrack. Saratoga Springs is perhaps the most prominent example.
While protesting at Saratoga Race Course, we are frequently asked how our goal – to close the track – would impact the environs. First, I say that money should not factor into questions of morality. If something is wrong, jobs are not relevant. Beyond that, however, I tout the town, pointing to all the wonderful things it has to offer that does not include exploiting, abusing, and killing horses. A recent NYRA ad in the New York Post makes my case – racing and track particulars redacted, of course.
“The graceful, cosmopolitan city of Saratoga Springs, nestled in upstate New York just north of Albany and full of Victorian charm, is a destination filled with fabulous dining, bountiful boutiques, relaxing day spas, lavish golf courses, thriving nightlife, beautiful state parks [and] a variety of shops and restaurants that fuel the thriving downtown business community.
No matter your summertime craving, the main stretch of Saratoga Springs offers plenty of possibilities. Once you’ve taken your last bite [visit] Caroline Street, known for its row of bars and pubs, to keep the night going. There you’ll experience New Orleans vibes, with the party often spilling out onto the sidewalk. Or enjoy an evening at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, which features an outdoor amphitheater with expansive lawn seating for rock, classical, and jazz concerts in addition to world-class ballet.
The wide array of offerings provides something for everyone and the charming city of Saratoga Springs will make you feel as though you’ve traveled much farther than upstate New York.”
Exactly – and it can all be had sans animal cruelty.