Peter begins the show welcoming Patrick Battuello to discuss the work of his organization, Horseracing Wrongs, in exposing the many cruelties thrust upon horses in the racing industry. Dedicated to ending the cruel and deadly horse racing industry in the United States, Horseracing Wrongs was the first and continues to be the only organization to systematically document all horse injuries and deaths related to racing. Thus, Horseracing Wrongs is the go-to source for facts and stats on horse racing, whether related to thoroughbred or trotter racing.
Battuello explains the nature of the cruelty in and around racing, arguing convincingly that there is no path to reform the industry; the cruelty cannot be removed from the activity. He cites the near complete demise of dog racing in the US and explains how horse racing is undergoing the same path toward oblivion. As an example, the remaining tracks in New York State rely on subsidies derived from on-site slot machine revenues to stay solvent. There is legislation to remove the special status these “racinos” now enjoy, which if passed would make them economically doomed. Another ominous factor for the industry is that it is less popular with younger patrons who have many other gambling and entertainment options.
If you care about horses, you cannot support the racing industry. Battuello makes this conclusion undeniable.
Lori continues with the story of the five activists who, in 2017, entered Circle Four Farms in Utah, intent on documenting animal abuse at Smithfield Foods huge pig facility housed there. But not only was extremely graphic video obtained, but the men also rescued 2 nearly dead piglets, which was not part of the plan. Ultimately, each of them, members of the organization Direct Action Everywhere, was charged with multiple counts, and three agreed to plea deals. The activists who went to trial, Wayne Hsiung and Paul Darwin Picklesimer, ultimately were acquitted in October 2022 of the multiple charges of theft and burglary. Lori goes on to ask the question of if and when it is permissible or desirable to break the law when helping, protecting or rescuing animals, and shares her ideas on this.
We conclude with amazing facts about medicinal leeches and a pop quiz about the adorable koala. And if you thought they were a type of bear, well, pay attention!