Horse Racing Equals Horse Killing
An inflammatory headline, no doubt -- but one that I believe is true. I love sports, and I enjoy gambling just as much as the next guy. But don't ask me to support a "sport" where animals are routinely injured and then executed without batting an eye. It's interesting that cock-fighting and dog-fighting are illegal, frowned upon and thought of as barbaric, but horse racing is considered a gentleman's sport. Even more heinous is the rampant use of stimulants and other drugs provided to these animals. In doing so, owners hope that the horses will run ever faster, even if it means subjecting their bones and tendons to physical forces far greater than they were intended to withstand.
Then there are the connections to organized crime. The recently passed anti-gambling law made it illegal to bet on the NFL, but had special carve-outs to allow the horse racing industry to continue taking wagers. This was not just a coincidence born of congressional negligence, but rather a carefully calculated effort by both lobbyists and politicians. This profitable industry not only emerged unscathed, but was also strengthened in the process. With the new legislation, money spent on horse gambling is expected to increase further, since competition in the form of other sports wagers has been removed.
Closer to home, last summer 18 horses "broke down" (e.g. were maimed and then executed) over a seven week span at the local horse track in Del Mar. The solution according to the folks at Del Mar, was to build a new track. We'll see if that makes a difference this year, but I won't be holding my breath.