I can think of no more simple and direct way to advocate for racehorses than by pressuring our elected officials. To get where we want to be, the horseracing industry needs to be stripped of its corporate welfare – which would cripple the bulk of U.S. Racing – or, better yet, outright prohibited on moral grounds – remedies that can only come through legislation. So this morning, I am asking you to take a couple minutes of your time to contact your politicians (link below). If in a racing state, contact at the state and federal level; if not, just your senators/congresspeople. The message: Horseracing is animal cruelty and animal killing for $2 bets. This cannot stand in 21st Century America. Feel free to use anything from this site or simply copy and paste the following to-date 2020 Death Toll.

https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials

Horses Killed on or at U.S. Tracks, 2020 (R: Racing; T: Training; S: Stall) (Please note: This list will grow exponentially when I begin filing my annual FOIA requests at the end of the year. For context, please see killed lists from previous years.)

Ruby Roundhouse, Jan 1, Los Alamitos S – “abscess in LH, colicky for six days…toxic”
Golden Birthday, Jan 1, Santa Anita R – “took a bad step” (broken leg)
Yorkiepoo Princess, Jan 3, Belmont S – “severe laminitis…euthanized in her stall”
Power Punch, Jan 3, Gulfstream R – “vanned off,” dead
Lrh Fast as Oak, Jan 4, Louisiana R – “fell, euthanized”
Perry Train, Jan 4, Louisiana R – “fell after wire, euthanized”
Elegant Sundown, Jan 5, Golden Gate R – “open, fractures; severe, complete ruptures”
Jest Famous, Jan 7, Los Alamitos S – “acute colic: found thrashing and rolling at 3 am”
Buckstopper Kit, Jan 7, Santa Anita S
X Y Jet, Jan 8, Palm Meadows (FL) T – “heart attack”
Secreto Primero, Jan 8, Turf R – “fractured sesamoids”
J Rob, Jan 9, Fair Grounds R – “vanned off after winner’s circle, [euthanized]”
Eyell Be Back, Jan 10, Los Alamitos R (euthanized Jan 12) – “carpus”
I’mluckysgirl, Jan 10, Turfway R – “[multiple] fractures and ruptures”
Big Shanty, Jan 11, Fair Grounds R – “appeared to go wrong”
Salambo, Jan 12, Gulfstream R – “went wrong…euthanized”
Usual Suspect, Jan 13, Oaklawn T – “exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage”
Indian Brew, Jan 13, Turf R – “fractured knee”
Jim’s Silverbullet, Jan 16, Fair Grounds R – “went wrong”
Take Charge Cece, Jan 17, Fair Grounds R – “appeared to go wrong”
Harliss, Jan 17, Santa Anita R – “fractured ankle”
Super Beauty, Jan 18, Golden Gate S – “small intestinal strangulation”
Uncontainable, Jan 18, Santa Anita R – “fractured ankle”
Katies Easy Moves, Jan 19, Los Alamitos R – “fetlock”
Tikkun Olam, Jan 19, Santa Anita T – “head-on collision”
Obligated to None, Jan 19, Turf R – “leg injured, euthanized”
Dark N Cloudy, Jan 20, Aqueduct R – “broke down…euthanized on track”
Jewel Can Disco, Jan 20, Belmont T – “sustained an injury while breezing…euthanized”
Is It Over, Jan 21, Los Alamitos S – “gastrointestinal”
Shut the Box, Jan 23, Oaklawn S – “equine protozoal myeloencephalitis”
Cowboy Coffee, Jan 23, San Luis Rey S – “gastrointestinal” (trained Jan 20)
A Freud of Mama, Jan 24, Belmont T (euthanized Feb 8) – “passed after complications”
Strong Performance, Jan 24, Gulfstream R – “fell while in distress…euthanized”
Quizzical Cajun, Jan 25, Aqueduct R – “catastrophic injury…euthanized on track”
Celtic Warrior, Jan 25, Turf R – “injured fetlock, euthanized”
Esterina, Jan 26, Laurel R – “pulled up lame…euthanized”
yet-to-be-named, Jan 30, Belmont T – “shaft fracture…euthanized on the track”
Ted’s Shadow, Feb 1, Oaklawn T – “catastrophic injury”
Spirogyra, Feb 2, Oaklawn R – “euthanized due to catastrophic injuries”
Data Hawk, Feb 7, Golden Gate S – “catastrophic skull fracture, massive hemorrhage”
Stay Again, Feb 7, Gulfstream R – “collapsed”
Birdies Honor, Feb 8, Laurel R – “collapsed”
Double Touch, Feb 8, Santa Anita T – “sudden death” (five years old)
Buddy Princess, Feb 9, Rillito R – “suffered a catastrophic injury”
Miss Romania, Feb 12, Santa Anita T – “fractured shoulder”
El Tristan, Feb 14, Fair Grounds R
Classic Covey, Feb 15, Fair Grounds R – “all the soft tissue structures came apart”
Major Flirt, Feb 15, Laurel R – “pulled up lame…euthanized”
Prs the Game Changer, Feb 15, Louisiana R – “stumbled start…euthanized”
Devil’s Drama, Feb 15, Oaklawn R – “catastrophic injury”
Randy’s Boy, Feb 15, Rillito R
Smokey, Feb 16, Oaklawn S – “injured in barn, died due to cerebrum hemorrhage”
Different Days, Feb 16, Oaklawn R (euthanized Feb 17) – “carpus fracture”
Taraz, Feb 17, Oaklawn T – “severely fractured her pastern”
Unveiled, Feb 20, Santa Anita T – “fractured shoulder”
Radio Tim, Feb 21, Los Alamitos R – “fractured fetlock”
Street Machine, Feb 21, Los Alamitos R – “fractured fetlock”
A Lonna At the Top, Feb 26, Golden Gate T – “collapsed in stall after training”
Arguto, Feb 26, Oaklawn T – “catastrophic injury”
Princess Rashelle, Feb 28, Charles Town R – “broke leg…euthanized on the track”
Fist of Rage, Feb 28, Fair Grounds R – “went wrong, fell”
Montauk Memories, Feb 29, Aqueduct R – “leg injury”
Thousand Oaks, Feb 29, Golden Gate S – “severe, comminuted skull fracture”
Keck, Feb 29, Golden Gate T
Chosen Vessel, Feb 29, Santa Anita R – “fractured ankle”
Super Touch, Mar 6, Turfway R – “collapsed and died – hemorrhage, shock”
Chickititas Favorite, Mar 8, Los Alamitos R
Arkyarkyarky, Mar 8, Oaklawn R – “catastrophic injury”
Krugerrand, Mar 9, Belmont S – “severe laminitis” (two years old)
Red River Chase, Mar 12, Fair Grounds R – “shattered leg”
Get Like Me, Mar 12, Golden Gate R – “multiple fractures; complete ligament rupture”
Dynamite Dan, Mar 12, Oaklawn T (euthanized Mar 14) – “catastrophic injury”
Love Totem, Mar 12, Turfway R – “epistaxis from both nostrils”
Tudox Lifting Off, Mar 13, Turfway R – “open, complete diaphyseal fracture”
Battalion Won, Mar 14, Golden Gate T – “[broke both front legs]; [multiple] ruptures”
Emely Heart, Mar 20, Turfway R – “[multiple] fractures, extensive soft tissue damage”
A P Dancer, Mar 21, Oaklawn T – “cannon fracture”
Starting Point, Mar 22, Belmont T – “sustained leg injury – euthanasia”
Glory Stars, Mar 26, Oaklawn R – “catastrophic injury”
Flokie, Mar 29, Los Alamitos R
The Cullinan Dream, Mar 31, Los Alamitos S
Peter’s Project, Apr 1, Belmont S – “colic, worsened throughout day…euthanasia”
Royal Callan Rocks, Apr 2, Los Alamitos T
Kahului, Apr 2, Oaklawn R – “ruptured vein in the pelvic cavity, hypovolemic shock”
Smiling Ali, Apr 2, Santa Anita T – “probable cardiac event”
Enchanting Eva, Apr 4, Golden Gate T
Joan’s Delight, Apr 4, Oaklawn T – “sesamoid fracture”
Tizaprincessa, Apr 5, Tampa Bay R
Blowinthebluesaway, Apr 10, Oaklawn R – “fractured shoulder”
Chromie, Apr 11, Los Alamitos R
La Dorada Czech, Apr 15, Los Alamitos S – “gastrointestinal”
M C Hamster, Apr 15, Santa Anita T – “fractured ankle”
Shes Our Dasher, Apr 16, Los Alamitos T
Pals Invader, Apr 17, Belmont T – “sustained leg injury at the 7/8 pole”
Isla’s Toy, Apr 17, Los Alamitos R
Muskoka Wonder, Apr 17, Oaklawn R – “catastrophic injury”
Appealing Briefs, Apr 23, Belmont S – “euthanized due to poor prognosis of cellulitis”
Mrs. Miniver, Apr 24, Gulfstream R – “heart attack” (three years old)
Last Renegade, Apr 24, Santa Anita T – “hit rail, passed away from injury”
Rockys Warrior, Apr 26, Oaklawn R – “carpus fracture”
Midnight Sway, Apr 26, Oaklawn R – “fetlock fracture”
Sean’s Idea, Apr 30, Gulfstream R – “went wrong”
O’Bushido, May 4, Belmont S – “found deceased in stall”
Call Paul, May 6, Belmont T – “sustained injury to LH leg…necessitating euthanasia”
Arky Vaughan, May 8, Golden Gate T
Rowboat Romeo, May 9, Los Alamitos T
Tap the Wire, May 9, Los Alamitos R
Ailish’s Buttercup, May 10, Golden Gate T – “[multiple] fractures and ruptures”
Tailback, May 10, Santa Anita T – “fracture of the right front leg”
Conquest Sabre Cat, May 14, Golden Gate R – “broke down”
Schiller’s Lit, May 18, Belmont T (euthanized May 21) – “acutely lame”
Lil Morning Star, May 21, Belmont T – “injury to left front leg”
I’ll Dash for Gold, May 22, Golden Gate S
unidentified, May 24, Los Alamitos S
Jabber Now, May 24, Los Alamitos R (euthanized May 26)
Shock Therapy, May 25, Belmont S – “pleuropneumonia, laminitis”
Bluegrass Jamboree, May 28, Belmont T – “cardiovascular collapse – expired on track”
Malibu Morning, May 29, Los Alamitos R – “injured, euthanized”
Truck Salesman, May 31, Belmont T – “leg injury while breezing, euthanized on track”
Brahe, May 31, Belmont T – “injuries to both front legs…euthanasia on track”
Abraxan, May 31, Belmont T – “leg injury necessitating euthanasia”
Alittlevodka, May 31, Churchill R – “comminuted fractures”
Grimm Resolve, Jun 2, Los Alamitos S
Shared Silence, Jun 2, Mountaineer R – “took a bad step”
Too Fast to Pass, Jun 3, Belmont R (euthanized Jun 12) – “injury to left front”
Chouchou de Boo, Jun 4, Belmont T – “several injuries…euthanized”
Freedom Prince, Jun 5, Belmont S – “taken to hospital…euthanized”
Jive Talkin, Jun 6, Golden Gate T
Talako, Jun 7, Belmont R – “catastrophic injury…euthanized on track”
I Love Sorrento, Jun 7, Los Alamitos T
Lightsaber, Jun 7, Santa Anita T – “unrecoverable fracture…humanely euthanized”
Jackies Dream, Jun 8, Tampa Bay R
Sky High Interest, Jun 12, Finger Lakes S – “flipped…sustained head injury”
Last Shani, Jun 13, Glenwood at Middleburg R – “collapsed and died”
Wire to Wire Tigah, Jun 13, Golden Gate R – “went wrong”
Mystical Song, Jun 17, Belmont S – “found dead in stall…gastrointestinal disease”
Smidge, Jun 18, Belmont R – “sustained injury to left rear leg”
Leggolas, Jun 18, Los Alamitos T
Big Red Valentine, Jun 18, Santa Anita S
Cloud, Jun 18, Saratoga T – “sustained leg injury breezing”
Tun Tun, Jun 20, Charles Town R – “returned lame, euthanized on track”
Strictly Biz, Jun 20, Santa Anita R – “fractured knee”
Bonspiel, Jun 23, Belmont T – “fracture, surgery failed, euthanized”
Hellagood, Jun 23, Grants Pass R – “busted an aneurysm”
Young Dasher, Jun 23, Los Alamitos S
Hawks Main Interest, Jun 24, Grants Pass R – “fractured front leg”
Up and Ready, Jun 26, Los Alamitos S
Equilibrio, Jun 26, Los Alamitos R – “injured, pulled up, euthanized”
Option Value, Jun 27, Belmont T – “sustained injury, vanned off, euthanized”
Dapper Dan, Jun 27, Great Meadow R – “hit stone wall and fell…euthanized on course”
Nana Shila, Jun 27, Los Alamitos R – “fatally injured”
Mr Dejavu, Jun 27, San Luis Rey T
Street Gambler, Jun 30, Golden Gate S
This Is Us, Jul 3, Los Alamitos R
Jess Bet Me, Jul 5, Los Alamitos R – “injured, [required] euthanasia”
Arties Game, Jul 6, Louisiana R – “fell…euthanized”
Kelly’s Secret, Jul 8, Finger Lakes T – “fracture to LF sesamoid – euthanized”
Lovely Lilia, Jul 11, Del Mar T – “suffered a catastrophic injury”
Alltime Favorite, Jul 11, Los Alamitos R (euthanized Jul 13)
Ilchester Cheetah, Jul 11, Monmouth R – “injured, pulled up, euthanized”
Eagle Down, Jul 11, Ruidoso R – “bled out” (after “winning”)
Yellow Brick Road, Jul 12, Belmont T – “suffered injury near finish line – euthanized”
Crater Rim, Jul 12, Belmont R – lacerated tendon”
Tacy, Jul 12, Los Alamitos R
Bourbon High, Jul 14, Belmont T – “sesamoid fracture”
Hopper Hunter, Jul 16, Thistledown R – “suffered a catastrophic injury…euthanized”

“[A] good race can chart multiple arcs: the frontrunner, the disappointment, the underdog. Who holds its stride when a competitor is on its heels? Who gets in whom’s head and falls apart? Who finds out its extra gear has an extra gear? No matter who you are, there’s a horse for you.” – Seerat Sohi, Yahoo Sports

It’s rare these days that a racing article can still make me angry. But last week, Yahoo Sports published a piece by Seerat Sohi, (mostly) an NBA writer, that did just that and more. Its title: “Why horse racing can appeal to a younger crowd and overcome its ugly past.” Yes, it is as horrible as it sounds – at once, tone-deaf, ignorant, and obtuse.

(Note: I held off writing in the hope of reaching the author; I did not succeed.)

Sohi opens by explaining how, sports-starved during the pandemic, she turned to racing, albeit with low expectations: “Let’s be clear. I wasn’t planning on liking horse racing. Even though I thought it would be tedious…I was ready to play the ponies.” But then, “a dozen beautiful horses leaped from the gates, and I was entranced. I was shocked by how entranced I was.” From there, it was waxing (poetic) time:

“Watching my first race was like grazing the edges of an ancient stone, feeling its power, its ancestry, that sense of entering into an ancient lineage. … The sight of a horse on the run is life-giving, inspiring. It sets off something carnal. The way they tried to best each other, stride by stride, made me want to run.”

She then laments that, despite being “tailor-made for a generation that needs a break to check its phone every 90 seconds,” Racing is not drawing the young. And though she cites “attitudes toward animal cruelty” as a factor – the last of seven mentioned, one of which was “Netflix” (?) – it’s quickly dismissed: “I’m not sure how much that applies to an audience that tunes in every Sunday to watch men mash their heads against each other.” Not the same at all, of course, something the kids surely know. Still, she says, “It isn’t a failure of the product itself. The races are invigorating.”

Of the gambling component, she asks: “But does horse racing even need to hitch itself to gambling?” It’s not, after all, like poker, “because horse racing is a real sport. There’s intrinsic pleasure in watching it. Gambling lubricates the experience, but isn’t dependent on it.” Did I not promise obtuse?

And then, because it seems everything nowadays must be reduced to this, race:

“But the more I read about the mainstream narrative of horse racing, the more disconnected I felt from the races, and it occurred to me why…it took a pandemic and a white boyfriend for this 26-year-old Canadian woman of Indian descent to finally tune in: modern horse racing isn’t designed to appeal to me. The heroes in American horse racing culture are almost always white. That’s on purpose. … Young equestrians are now questioning the horse racing world’s lack of response to George Floyd’s homicide…challenging the sport they love to tackle diversity problems and its deep-seated white privilege.”

So, horseracing is racist. Not speciesist (she probably doesn’t even know what that word means), but racist. Precious.

She closes thus: “If you’ve never watched horse racing…there are races everywhere, all the time. Check one out. Watch the way the horses move. It’s for you.”

Vile – from start to finish.

Of the charges leveled above, however, the most unforgivable is ignorant. Ms. Sohi is a paid journalist. It’s her job to know her subject. And no, providing Wikipedia-like snippets of racing history or citing the number of black jockeys in the 1875 Kentucky Derby doesn’t cut it. Had she done a modicum of research, she would have found that contemporary racing is in the news because of on-track kills, slaughter, whips, drug scandals, and federal indictments – none of which she mentions. At all. (And no, she doesn’t get credit for the “ugly past,” as article titles typically come from editors.)

But perhaps I’m wrong. Perhaps it’s not ignorance at all. Perhaps Ms. Sohi is very much aware that over 2,000 horses die, horrifically, on American tracks each year; that 10,000-15,000 more are violently bled-out and butchered at horseracing’s singular retirement facility, the slaughterhouse; that racehorses are kept locked – alone – in tiny 12×12 stalls for over 23 hours a day; that they are bought, sold, traded, and dumped like common Amazon products; that 90-95% of them have ulcers; that – well, you know the drill. Perhaps Ms. Sohi knows all this – and just doesn’t care. But either way, gross incompetence or simple heartlessness (she does refer to the horses as “its” throughout), for shame, Seerat Sohi (and, of course, Yahoo Sports). For shame.

(full Yahoo article here)

Statements from The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the self-styled “nation’s most effective animal protection organization”:

“We’re not against racing. We want it done well and humanely … HSUS isn’t an anti-racing organization.” – former president and CEO Wayne Pacelle

“This is a national industry, and like football or baseball or other major American sports…we need national standards….” – Pacelle

“[T]he racing industry [is] now enjoying the increased enthusiasm a new superstar [Justify] brings to the sport.” – current president and CEO, Kitty Block

“First, I want to clarify the Humane Society of the United States’ position on horse racing…. We are not, in principle, opposing horse racing.” – Block

“The widespread use of both legal and illegal drugs imperils an industry that employs 400,000 Americans.” – Block

“The Horseracing Integrity Act would – as its name suggests – begin to restore some integrity to horseracing, helping…the business.” – Block

“This bill [HIA] is a gamechanger for equine athletes. It is a pro-animal, pro-industry measure that will not only help restore fairness to the sport….” – Block

(Note: The Horseracing Integrity Act would be bad for horses.)

“Racehorses are incredible athletes.” – former senior adviser Marty Irby

“The widespread use of both legal and illegal drugs is KILLING [his voice inflection in the video] an industry that employs 400,000 Americans.” – Irby

“Horseracing is a $40 billion a year industry that fuels our economy.” – Irby

(Note: Those employment and economic-impact numbers come directly from the industry and are basically pulled out of thin air.)

As an advocate, I recognize the great challenges presented by food and testing. It’s why I understand, though remain conflicted on, a subtler, more incremental approach: “Meatless Monday,” “Replace, Reduce, Refine.” But animal entertainment – that is, the enslavement, exploitation, and sometimes killing of animals as a way to pleasantly pass time? We – 21st Century America – should be ashamed at even having this conversation. It must end. Yesterday. Thing is, the HSUS agrees as it pertains to…

Circuses, Acting: “The HSUS opposes the use of captive wild animals as performers in circuses, film, television and commercials.”

Marine-Mammal Shows: “It is unacceptable for marine mammals to be held in captivity for the purpose of public display. [I]t should be rejected outright.”

Bullfighting: “The HSUS opposes bullfighting.”

Rodeos: “The HSUS opposes rodeos as they are commonly organized, since they typically cause torment and stress to animals, expose them to pain, injury or even death and encourage an insensitivity to and acceptance of the inhumane treatment of animals in the name of sport. Accordingly…we oppose bull riding, bronco riding, steer roping, calf roping, ‘wild horse racing,’ chuck wagon racing, steer tailing and horse tripping.”

and…

Greyhound Racing: “The HSUS opposes greyhound racing. This practice leads to an unacceptable level of greyhound exploitation and suffering solely for profit. The industry promotes and tolerates an overproduction of dogs, resulting in an annual surplus numbering in the thousands, many of whom will end up being destroyed. The sheer waste of life is a scandal.”

Everything, that is, except horseracing, even as all it’s written on dogracing (and, as a matter of fact, the rodeo) clearly – at least to those with functioning brains – applies to the equine version. (Actually, I would argue that horseracing is worse because of slaughter. Talk about “scandal.”) The why here isn’t important. What is, what matters most, is what this says about the HSUS.

Horseracing is, by any and all definitions, animal exploitation. Absolutely, positively, unequivocally. Exploitation necessarily involves suffering of some kind. Exploitation, then, must be called abusive. Animal exploitation, then, is animal cruelty. By (very publicly) stating it is not philosophically opposed to horseracing, the HSUS is (very publicly) stating it is not philosophically opposed to all forms of animal cruelty. By actively trying to help Racing survive (thrive), the HSUS, with its enormous influence and reach, is abetting the continued condemnation of countless horses to lives of crushing negation and gruesome, terrifying deaths. And all for nothing more than $2 bets, entertainment. To say the HSUS is no friend to horses doesn’t quite capture it. What the HSUS has done/is doing to these beautiful animals is downright criminal.

(As if the above weren’t enough, consider these figures from 2018, the most recent available on GuideStar: In that year, the HSUS took in over $100 million in contributions and grants, had a payroll of almost $40 million, and was sitting on almost a quarter-billion dollars in assets at year-end. Imagine if just a portion of that were used on ending horseracing. Criminal, indeed.)

Horseracing Wrongs was recently featured in an ESPN online piece, “Racing on the Edge.” While I am certainly grateful for the opportunity, the finished product was something one might expect to find in an apologist rag like the Paulick Report or Thoroughbred Daily News. Bad enough that the “reform” message – that horseracing can be fixed (with a clear subtext that it is worth fixing) – was front and center, but to carry that message the network (manipulatively, in my estimation) cast a track vet, Jeff Blea, who was disabled in his former life as a jockey. A compelling human-interest story, sure, but I fear the average viewer’s sympathies will be grossly misdirected.

Anyhow, here are my major points of contention:

– Of the so-called equilateral triangle of vets, owners, and trainers, Blea says, “Everyone is doing the same thing…what’s good for the horse.” C’mon, ESPN, this is an industry rife with dirty play and you allow Blea’s untruth to go unchallenged?

– When Blea conceded that “[Thoroughbreds] are susceptible to injury because there’s a massive body…running on four spindly legs,” I awaited the logical followup: If they’re susceptible to fatal breakdowns, why are we forcing them to race in the first place – especially for nothing more than lousy $2 bets? Alas, it never came.

– Blea brings back the original Santa Anita boogeyman: the rainy winter (he actually used a pothole analogy). But earlier in the segment, I had said – factually, of course – that Santa Anita averages 50 dead annually, effectively debunking the hard-track line. Blea’s turn at distraction was allowed to stand.

– Then to the crux of the matter: “Animal welfare is critically important to people…so with that cluster [I had already established ’twas no “cluster”] of injuries we had last year, I think it created those reforms such as medication reform, veterinary oversight, more involvement on a day to day basis.” And: “But we can get close to [zero kills]. Every year, we can get closer to it, and a little closer the following year, and a little closer the following year. And if we keep doing that, that’s a good thing.”

Reform, as I’ve said repeatedly, is a ruse; “we can get close to zero” is a load of rubbish. And Blea knows it. What was required was tough, objective journalism, demanding this of Mr. Blea and the industry he represents: Where was this zeal for horse safety before it all hit the fan last spring? Nowhere, of course, because dead horses simply didn’t matter, or didn’t matter enough for them to get all hyper vigilant about it. How many thousands and thousands and thousands of racehorses were sacrificed prior to all this talk of “medication reform, veterinary oversight, more involvement on a day to day basis”? It’s a sad joke, really. The simple truth is this: The urgency we see today stems from livelihoods threatened, not concern for the horses.

And just in case anyone out there is still unconvinced that ESPN is compromised on this issue, in a story on racehorse fatalities, how many do you reckon they showed? Yup, you guessed it, not a one. Instead, we were treated to picturesque shots of Santa Anita and the horses and their people going about their workdays. (And although the piece was focused on breakdowns, there was nary a mention of Racing’s greatest evil of all – slaughter.) All this is to say, ESPN, you’ve sorely disappointed.

An example of what should have been shown:

Four of my favorite quotes from renowned philosophers…

“The day may come when the rest of animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. … What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day or a week or even a month old. But suppose they were otherwise, what would it avail? The question is not, Can they reason? nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” – Jeremy Bentham, An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation (1789)

“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.” – Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Basis of Morality (1840)

“The animals themselves are incapable of demanding their own liberation, or of protesting against their condition with votes, demonstrations, or bombs. Human beings have the power to continue to oppress other species forever…. Will our tyranny continue, proving that we really are the selfish tyrants that the most cynical of poets and philosophers have always said we are? Or will we rise to the challenge and prove our capacity for genuine altruism by ending our ruthless exploitation of the species in our power, not because we are forced to do so by rebels or terrorists, but because we recognize that our position is morally indefensible? The way in which we answer this question depends on the way in which each one of us, individually, answers it.” – Peter Singer, Animal Liberation (1975)

“The fundamental wrong is the system that allows us to view animals as our resources, here for us – to be eaten, or surgically manipulated, or exploited for sport or money. Once we accept this view of animals – as our resources – the rest is as predictable as it is regrettable.” – Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights (1983)