Extend Sympathy and Compassion to All Animals, Not Just Dogs and Cats

The following was tweeted by a Peter Berry Wednesday: “I know what we are taught but I refuse to believe animals have no soul.” Of course, this message, this sentiment, is one I wholeheartedly appreciate. Having had animals in my life, I know that that bond – that love – can be as great as any one can experience with fellow humans (for me, with few exceptions, even greater). What offends me, however, is the messenger, for you see Mr. Berry is the track announcer at Mountaineer Park in West Virginia.

Now, I acknowledge that I do not know Mr. Berry. He may very well be an otherwise decent human being – caring, thoughtful, kind. And he was writing about the loss of his family cat, for which I am truly sorry. But perhaps, Mr. Berry, you could extend some of that feeling and understanding to the multiple thousands of (possibly soul-infused) animals your industry wantonly kills every year. Sorry, but anything less than that – a change of heart, that is – makes your tweet simply obscene.

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  1. I completely agree that animals have souls. But that means all non-human animals, including race horses. Please acknowledge by his fact and extend your compassion to these magnificent creatures by calling for an end to the cruelty known as horse racing.

  2. all animals deserve respect they aren’t non feeling objects or toys. they are real and deserve respect and love

  3. all animals deserve respect they aren’t non feeling objects or toys. they are real and deserve respect and love

  4. I do believe ALL animals do have souls and most certainly they ALL have feelings. We need to do whatever we need to do to preserve ALL animals. Ban horse racing and any other negative activity like it.

  5. .A preacher told my boss when her baby poodle died tragically that he didn’t have a soul, he will not go to heaven. Well, they do have souls, a heart that beats and gives unconditional love. The kind that you get only if you believe and live for the Lord. For all who mistreat and abuse all animals, you will answer one day..


  7. “The question is not, can they they reason, nor can they talk? but can they suffer?
    Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being?” – Jeremy Bentham (1789)

    How does Peter Berry have such a blind spot when it comes to racing?! The suffering endured by the horse is there to be seen 365 days of every year…
    Causing pain and suffering diminishes the moral standing of the human being that causes it as well as those who tolerate it.

    • Thank you for sharing Bentham’s wise words, Rose – and to those words I say AMEN.

      Berry…track announcer at one of racing’s (admitted) cheaters’ havens – even some die-hard gamblers acknowledge (on pro-racing sites) they steer clear of Mountaineer. What a dump. I think Upton Sinclair’s words describe Berry’s huge disconnect; “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

      I think Wanda brings up a good point, as well – mental disorders. Jo Anne Normile (CANTER founder, “Saving Baby” author, HW advisory board member and dear friend) and I used to discuss the possibility of mental illness amongst “track workers” during our years rescuing racehorses from the track. Maybe it’s a probability? – I’m inclined to believe that in light of everything we see in racing and from those that support it.

      Just the other day I was reading and this – a 2-year-old filly, injured in her first and only race, is no longer wanted by her racing owner (typical). “No more racing”, the vet said, so she’s gotta go (hmmm…isn’t racing no different from what they do in their own pastures, we always hear? – so “no more pastures”, either?). Anyway, the ad continued with this; “she needs to be left to grow” – “she just needs to mature”…they should have thought of that before they robbed her of soundness for the next 20-25 years. What kind of life do we think lies ahead for this crippled baby?

      And then a TB broodmare found in a killpen – raced, foaled several babes, now dumped. An apologist says she just “needs to be a horse” – “she’s earned her retirement”. What, WAIT! – isn’t being a horse in this industry a GREAT life? Royal treatment? What, pray tell, is “being a horse”? Of course we know the difference between a life of slavery and one lived as a beloved family member! – but occasionally these delusional apologists let a nugget of truth slip and inadvertently acknowledge the horse should be “retired” (which begs the questions, how many races must be run before the horse has “earned” retirement? – how many foals must a mare birth before SHE “earns” a life of her own?).

      Delusion? Compartmentalism? Mental illness? Protecting one’s living? Whatever the cause of talking about of both sides of one’s mouth, the racing-employed do it the best.

  8. I think it is called “compartmentalization” when a person can do what Mr. Berry is doing. He’s able to care about an animal he has a bond with at home, but, for whatever reason, he has not been able to have that same kind of feeling for the horses that he exploits in some way, shape, or form at work. He had a very sad upbringing to be taught that animals have no soul. 😞💔
    Compartmentalization is a defense mechanism. It helps (me) to understand it, but it doesn’t make it (the act of compartmentalizing conflicting emotions) right to just understand how dysfunctional it is, especially since it causes harm to others. In this case, the harm is to the racehorses, not just other humans.
    If everyone in the horseracing industry were required to have a battery of testing, I think the facts would reveal all sorts of mental disorders and various genetic mutations in these people.

  9. These are heartfelt sentiments from Mr. Berry that many of us would agree with, but I only wish he would recognize that industries like horse racing and dog racing are examples of wrongdoing to animals that many others need to recognize and end! All animals do have souls and deserve our protection and respect. Please have love for all animals and their right to live alongside humans in peace and harmony.

  10. Though I am a racing fan, I greatly respect the work this site does compiling all of the names of the equine athletes who perish on American racetracks. No one else is doing it, even though every site that covers racing should. I have tried referencing this site twice on The Paulick Report, and had my comments removed both times – a move I find cowardly and ridiculous.
    Almost no one in racing looks at the horses like they are pets. Because, they aren’t. They often cost hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars (which is absurd, I know) and are bred for a specific job. They are not bred to stand in your pasture like your daughter’s pony and look cute.
    And, this is probably where the debate lies. In this day and age, should animals be used in this way? I think horse racing, done right, is a beautiful, exciting sport – and I think is is beautiful and exciting because of the animals. They are the end products of centuries of careful breeding. They are magnificent and dignified. They can be very athletic. Even the ordinary ones have a magic about them. Losing this would make me sad. I don’t gamble. I just like to watch them run.
    These beautiful creatures do the job we want them to do on the track and in the breeding shed. In return, they should get a drug-free life on the track, a manageable number of breeding opportunities each year once they are done racing, and a comfortable retirement far from any slaughterhouse. If these conditions are not being met – and they are not, for many horses, as this site proves – the industry needs to keep being called out.
    No, racehorses are not pets, but they are not disposable either. They matter as much as your beloved canine. It would have been nice if Mr. Berry had picked one of the deceased horses this year and written about him or her alongside his cat.

    • Melissa, racing these sensitive animals was ill conceived from the word go,they are very long lived animals,and their racing days are minuscule, if at all. It is NOT F’n FAIR!!!!! Do you get that ?,in other words they are breeding them to surely meet a F’n Pure Evil ending. You’ve got some multi millionaires involved in this..Repole,Dubb,etc. why don’t they put their money to making sure they ALL have a SAFE LANDING.

    • If you were to ever become an active participant in racing as many of the commenters here as well as us have been,( as a exercise rider & groom for 25+ years), you would change your feelings about the racing industry.We have seen the truly evil vets punch a young horse as hard as he could in the face due to not having patience enough when doing dental work. We have seen illegal shock wave therapy used on a horse EVERYDAY for 2 weeks up until the race day where she broke BOTH front legs in the 2nd race of the last day of racing of the meet. We have seen a female jockey hit a horse as hard as she could in the face which horse we later achieved the fastest workout of the day & the fastest time the 3 year old gelding had ever done in his life WITHOUT our carrying or using a whip! The poor horse later we learned ended up being sold for MEAT as he was deemed not fast enough for races! Any horse that is not actually doing something essential such as cart horses use in many countries, should be treated as pets! Because that is what all animals are unless used for food which we don`t care for either! The racing industry is only about $$$ from owners & is as 1 well trained & born English jockey once told us many years ago, ” racing is just a crooked , crummy, gamboling game”. We prefer to see our horses running free of pain or illegal medical drugs / procedures out in our field or in others fields. We NEVER were attracted to racing because of the stupid gamboling! We were thinking at the time, ( unknowingly), that racing was mostly about the development of horses & riders abilities to the greatest extant possible.Sadly, we have found it to be about how much $$$ can be extracted from the owners of the horses in every way possible through gamboling, vet costs, training costs, breeding costs etc.We left in disgust in 1985 after having been physically threatened about training & riding our own horses at our now thankfully redeveloped to warehousing / trucking dispatch operations 1 mile track.Like Gina we have had many experiences & our farm founder to her dyeing day felt her 1st farm stallion was poisoned because we refused to play the game like everyone else. Racing is a CROOKED , CRUMMY , GAMBOLING game.

  11. Well..Peter Berry..be a voice for a much needed change in the industry..show the world your love and the belief of animals having souls..u have a platform that should and could b used for good🙏

  12. Peter also wrote this tweet a few hours before Tbtwelve broke down at Mountaineer in a race Peter was calling. Though not confirmed dead yet, it sure did not look good for the horse. No mention of him as he “took a bad step” during the race, no mention of his outcome on Peter’s twitter.
    No mention of him having a soul in your tweet, Mr. Berry? Does he not feel pain or his soul crying in agony as he is hopping around on a probable broken leg? Did Tbtwelve die in anyone’s arms as your beloved Vegemite died in yours? Or does that soul only exist in animals that aren’t gambling products for you to make money off of??

  13. Mr. Berry…the irony, do you not see what takes place right in front of you, let alone behind the scenes?. Drugging, abuse, neglect, exploitation, premature euthanasia….it is the very PEOPLE you mix with in these circles who have NO SOUL.

  14. The hypocrisy is mindblowing! Mr. Berry is probaby just trying to convince himself that picking a cat over a horse makes him a decent human being. Well, Mr.Berry it simply does not work like that. A soul is a soul IS A SOUL. PERIOD! And you are just another heartless and soulless enabler and apologist for the killing machine aka horse racing. Do you even think about the horses (mostly babies) that break down while you are on the “job” and collect your dirty pay cheque every month? Didn’t think so…

    • Chart’s saying two of the three involved horses walked off. Telling, though, that the chartwriter fails to account for the third’s outcome AT ALL. Oh, and both downed riders were hospitalized, but they’re keeping mum on Angel Suarez’ possible injuries. Sounds like he didn’t get up after the CRASH.

      Oh, but I’m sure every man and animal is going to be just fine, because they’ve stuffed all that new Horseracing Safety and Integrity down Congress’ collective throat, so these little hiccups won’t happen any more, right?

      • Kelly, is Caramel Latte dead? The chart caller said went wrong. I saw it in real time,and she went down hard,I’m talkin face plant hard. I immediately switched channels upon seeing that. If anyone finds out….

        • That sounds absolutely horrible!!!! I would not have any hope for the horse!!!! 😞💔

        • Dunno, Bonnie. But, probably; the Thoughts and Prayers crowd is sending out their usual queries, but not getting a whole lot in the way of a definitive response. Oh, but Suarez apparently has a broken femur (“unfortunately,” says the Tweeter, more concerned about when a jock can RETURN to racing than if the three stricken horses can survive.) Maybe we’ll get a “fortunately” about Caramel Latte. But not holding my breath for it:(

          • I know Kelly, isn’t that the way these people always behave!!!!! God forbid the jocks ..who had a CHOICE. Never anything from these cretans about the HORSES.

  15. I have both cats and dogs so have an understanding of how you must feel, but I also grew up riding and showing and to have a person not understand that all animals feel strongly for their person, their protector, the human being they count on to keep them safe from harm, is actually inhuman. Pay attention to what you say and do. If you don’t you will be haunted by the animals who die under your care or the care of the race track they call home. Shame on all of you.

  16. I’m truly sorry for the loss of the announcer’s cat but all ANIMAL LIVES MATTER. Thank you Patrick for calling him out.

  17. While I whole heartedly do not agree with Mr Berry; but it reveals the sad truth of how the public views horses . . . as disposable. People cannot relate to them like a pet and many have not had any interactions with them in their lifetime. This man who was with them every day and sees their suffering first hand proves that s they are seen as a commodity to be used and thrown away. Horses have been officially categorized as livestock. Livestock are commercially used by industrialized agriculture and then slaughtered. Most live horrific lives in factory farms and die inhumane deaths. Does the average person think about the lives these animals endure? The same perception is attributed to horses; to be used and disposed of as there is an unending supply. The end of the road means a trip to Canada or Mexico or overseas where they are inhumanely slaughtered. They fought wars with us, farmed with us, provided transportation, gave their all on a race track and are part of American Heritage. They are different from other livestock and should be treated in a special category or subcategory.

  18. Maybe being an announcer gives him a way to reach others in that business.
    If you want to change something do it from the inside. Know him before you judge him.

  19. Of course Animals have souls — Horses, who are intelligent, sensitive Beings, are included — SHUT DOWN HORSE-RACING — Horses are innocent & vulnerable & at the mercy of Humans — this so-called sport of Horse-Racing is BEYOND WRONG & HATEFUL — we MUST SHUT DOWN the brutal, unconscionable, sadistic, vile, depraved industry of HORSE-RACING — FOREVER — The History of Mankind is Carried on THE BACK OF THE HORSE — ALL HORSES deserve RESPECT & PROTECTIONS — SHUT DOWN HORSE-RACING — FOREVER.

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