Oats & Apples: a Comedy Benefit for NYCLASS! Tomorrow night!  »


Pulling carriages in Central Park is no job for a horse. But the mean and nasty “tradition” is so entrenched, it’s going to take even more hard work to rid our fair city of the practice. Why not come to a fundraiser on Saturday night to help!

Oats & Apples: A Comedy Benefit for NYCLASS takes place tomorrow night at the Players Theatre Loft on MacDougal Street in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. For just $25 you can sit back, relax and laugh at the comedic stylings of funny folks like Subhah Agarwal (New York Comedy Festival, Women in Comedy Festival), Steve Walsh (Laughing Buddha), Lynn Bixenspan (Relationshit, UCB), Katherine Williams (New York Fringe Festival, New York Underground Comedy Festival), Phil Gable (Comedy Central) and Jake Vevera (Idiots on Parade).

Presented by Cynical Bastard Productions and hosted by Caitlin McKee, festivities get going at 7 p.m. and run until around 8:30 p.m. Short and sweet and hilarious, just the way you like it. And afterward, walk over to Sacred Chow or Blossom on Carmine to complete your animal-friendly evening..

One hundred percent of ticket sales go toward NYCLASS, a nonprofit animal advocacy organization committed to ending the inhumane NYC carriage horse industry by retiring the carriage horses to sanctuaries and replacing the carriage horse industry with the 21st Century Horseless Carriage.

Tickets here.

Oats & Apples: A Comedy Benefit for NYCLASS | Players Theatre Loft | 115 MacDougal Street | NYC 10012 | 7 PM – 8:30 PM | Saturday September 27, 2014

Nell Alk is a writer and editor based in New York City. If something #vegan is happening in the world, she is on it. Twitter with her hereInstagram with her here


Hey, animal-rights advocates in North Dakota! Here is some news you can use!


North Dakota Pets Rally to Fight Animal Cruelty

There are only two states in the U.S. that don’t recognize animal cruelty as a serious crime: North and South Dakota. A measure on the ballot this November seeks to change that in North Dakota.

Pets of all stripes have come out in support of Measure 5, which would make extreme animal cruelty to dogs, cats and horses a felony in the state.

If your pet supports this measure, you can upload his pic here.

Get it together, North Dakota. South Dakota is the superior Dakota by dint of Mount Rushmore alone; by protecting your pets, you can achieve the higher status your geographical location would seem to warrant!

If you don’t believe us, trust the endorsements Measure 5 has received by organizations you love, like HSUS, Best Friends Animal Society, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. And if you don’t care about them, care about these 100 percent adorable animals who are all about protecting their brethren and sistren. Yes on 5, North Dakotans!


This video of horse abuse for the sake of the Tennessee’s Walking Horse National Celebration earns the coveted Vegansaurus Graphic As Fuck warning. I guess it’s not that graphic in comparison to many videos we’ve seen. There’s no bloodshed, but the cruelty and disregard is just disturbing. And the horses just seem to be in so much pain and agony. 

I’ve never heard of this walking horse thing but damnit if it’s not the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. How do things like this develop? Widespread cruelty for the sake of something absolutely absurd. 

Ecorazzi reports that Pepsi has pulled ads from the show, most likely due to the undercover footage. I think another great idea would be to trample these men with a stampede of horses. But horses probably wouldn’t do that. Cruelty really takes a human touch, doesn’t it?

One thing you can do is send an email to your legislator, the Humane Society will help you do that.


The New York Times exposes the corrupt and dangerous world of horse racing  »

An NYT must-read and must-watch:

Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys: The new economics of horse racing are making an always-dangerous game even more so, as lax oversight puts animal and rider at risk.

Shit is fucked!:

On average, 24 horses die each week at racetracks across America. Many are inexpensive horses racing with little regulatory protection in pursuit of bigger and bigger prizes. These deaths often go unexamined, the bodies shipped to rendering plants and landfills rather than to pathologists who might have discovered why the horses broke down.

In 2008, after a Kentucky Derby horse, Eight Belles, broke two ankles on national television and was euthanized, Congress extracted promises from the racing industry to make its sport safer. While safety measures like bans on anabolic steroids have been enacted, assessing their impact has been difficult because many tracks do not keep accurate accident figures or will not release them.

But an investigation by The New York Times has found that industry practices continue to put animal and rider at risk. A computer analysis of data from more than 150,000 races, along with injury reports, drug test results and interviews, shows an industry still mired in a culture of drugs and lax regulation and a fatal breakdown rate that remains far worse than in most of the world.

All for this “sport.” I encourage you to read the rest


HBO cancels “Luck,” horses everywhere presumably rejoice  »

Gusmano Cesaretti/HBO

How many horses have to die before someone decides a project is a bad idea? 

Three, apparently. 

That’s how many perished during the filming of the first two seasons of Luck, a Nick Nolte/Dustin Hoffman HBO show. The show just premiered in January, but they’re working way ahead because TV is weird and crazy. The latest horse died on Tuesday, and to HBO’s credit, they decided enough was enough.

HBO says they were taking extra-good care of the horses but “accidents unfortunately happen.” PETA says “old, unfit and drugged horses were forced to race for this series.” The organization “is glad that HBO has finally decided to cancel the show.”

I pretty much adore HBO (Six Feet Under? True Blood? Heck yeah), so I’m glad they finally made a respectable choice here and I don’t have to be all conflicted inside. Fake death I’m all for. The real stuff? No good.

[via The Hollywood Reporter]


Guest Post: Your tax money pays for capturing wild horses! That sucks!  »

It’s tax season! Hooray! Unless you owe the government money, in which case, boo!

In honor of this wonderful/horrendous season, I’ll be taking an occasional look at some of the excellent and also awful programs your tax money supports. Doesn’t that sound fantastic/terrible?

Have you heard of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)? It is a section of the Department of the Interior that manages 245 million acres of public land across the country. On about 26 million of these acres live wild horses, which the BLM occasionally rounds up, imprisons, and sells off to private buyers in an effort to “maintain the integrity of the land” on which the horses live, graze, and mate. Those that are not sold are kept in holding pens for the rest of their lives, often separated from their herd and forced to live in captivity. What’s up with that? According to this story on, the BLM claims that there are an “excessive” number of wild horses, and these gathers are necessary to the health of the land for other uses, like recreation, cattle and sheep grazing, and mining and energy companies seeking grazing, water, and mineral rights on the land the horses and burros have roamed for hundreds of years. However, photos from a 2011 gather show cattle ranchers moving in their cows to graze on the very same land from which wild horses were removed only a day earlier.

How exactly is grazing cattle helping to maintain the health of the land, you ask? Shocker of the century: many of the decisions made by the BLM are recommended by an advisory board “largely composed of livestock permittees.” Oh, and there’s also that tiny business of installing a $3 billion dollar, 675-mile pipeline to carry natural gas from Wyoming to Oregon across the herd’s habitat. Wouldn’t want horses getting in the way of THAT.

Worst of all, these gathers are traumatic and dangerous to the horses. Low-flying helicopters frighten the horses into running into traps. Horses have died as a result of the gathers, despite the Wild Horse and Burro Act of 1971, which stipulates that “it is the policy of Congress that wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death; and to accomplish this they are to be considered in the area where presently found, as an integral part of the natural system of the public lands.”

An average of 10,600 animals are removed from the land each year at a cost of between $70 and $90 million. Million, people! That’s a pretty good chunk o’ tax money, much of which is delegated for helicopter operators, private land owners and horse sterilization. And according to the BLM’s own estimates, there will be at least twice as many wild horses (57,000) living in holding pens this year than roaming free.

Want to tell the government where they can shove your tax money that you oppose your tax money being used for the capture of wild horses? Visit the Cloud Foundation to find out great ways to take action! And while you’re there, check out these photos of Cloud, the wild horse who inspired this organization! So majestic and awesome!

Rachel Gary is from Connecticut, where she spends most of her time hiking, reading, tricking her family into eating delicious vegan baked goods, and avoiding doing laundry. As her responsible adult alter ego, she is an editor for an environmental and engineering firm.


NYC: Mardi Gras party to support carriage horses on Feb. 24th!  »

NYCLASS is having a Mardi Gras masquerade ball for the carriage horses!

From Samantha at SuperVegan, because she’s funny and I’m lazy:

Do you ever stare at a long, rectangular fish tank, waiting for your one true love to appear on the other side? That one person for whom you’d die a historically tragic death? And also that the fish were swimming in the ocean? Just me, then? Well, this is what comes to mind when I hear “masquerade.” Basically, it’s Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes locking eyes for the first time, through the enchanting, refracted light of a fish tank.

I’m pretty sure that’s how things are going to roll at the Mardi Gras masquerade that Verite Catering is organizing for Friday, February 24.

Yeah, sounds good! Plus, there’s going to be vegan king cake! I don’t know what that is but I think I heard Laura say she likes it. That’s good enough for me. Plus, I hear they hide stuff in it? I like that because it reminds me of my favorite Amelia Bedelia book where they tell her to make a “date cake” and she makes a cake with calendar clippings in it. That Amelia Bedelia! There’s also a bunch of vegan-sounding food from Verite Catering including Cajun fried seitan and eggplant jambalaya! 

Masks are strongly encouraged; But while NYCLASS tells you to “find your feathers,” I’m telling you to leave the feathers on the birds! Let’s not celebrate horses by ripping the feathers off a bunch of birds. Also, I think you should make your own mask! Ever heard of paper mache?! It’s recycled and biodegradable! Here is a DIY tutorial for making a paper mache mask and then this Threadbanger video has great decorating instructions—she uses ribbons instead of feathers! Lovely! I happen to love paper mache and there are few times when it’s a legitimate activity sans kids, so take advantage of this opportunity. 


All in all, sounds like a great event! And it’ll be easy for you guys to remember the party date because it’s the day before my birthday. 


Diving horse show returning to Atlantic City? No mother-loving way.  »

Are you kidding me? The Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey wants to bring back the diving horse show this summer—as in the “show” where a horse dives into a pool from 40 feet in the air. What the actual fuck, AC? Come on. There is nothing right about this. It’s depraved and shameful. This is the kind of news that makes me want to take a two hour shower to try to wash off the contemptibility of humanity. 

But don’t worry guys, the Steel Pier has done their research:

In the course of making the decision to include the diving horse, Steel Pier Associates conducted significant research into past practices, including speaking with people who were directly involved in the act that occurred in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. Through this research, we determined there was no animal cruelty or abuse that occurred in the past.

So their method of research was to ask the very people that condoned the diving horse show in the past if they condone the diving horse show? Wow, make way for science! Obviously they definitely shouldn’t consult the Humane Society, who is strongly opposed to the show.

People, we can’t let this happen. Let’s call these mofos! The press release says “for more information contact Sharon Franz, Sales and Marketing Director for Steel Pier at 609-345-4893” so let’s call her! And one of the Steel Pier owners, Tony Catanoso, has been super outspoken about how great this will be. Let’s call Tony Catanoso! I found this on the Facebook group opposed to the diving horse show:

Anthony Catanoso
Atlantic Amusements Pier
705 Route 9 
Erma , NJ 08204 
Pier (609) 345-4893 
Phone: (609) 898-7640 
Fax: (609) 898-7646

Write him! Call him! Tell him this is not OK!

You can also sign the petition here. According to Ecorazzi, lots of celebrities are coming out against this ridiculous idea. The more the mother-loving merrier. 


Get it together and stop killing horses, HBO’s “Luck”  »

HBO has a new show called Luck. It’s about horse-racing, a “sport” I understand has been losing popularity for decades and is probably still around because it, like dog-racing, is legal to bet on in states where gambling is only otherwise legal in Indian casinos. Which speaks very highly of it as a “sport,” right? Definitely you want to be in a place people frequent because of the opportunities to gamble while wearing enormous hats presents.

Luck is a show about a dying American pastime made even weirder by the vernacular specific to this pastime that, because it’s dying, very few viewers of the show understand. Have you read the internet during the past six weeks? Everyone who talks about television is all, “Oh Luck, the dialog is impenetrable and the actors are all individually and specifically creepy and threatening, and the last show its creator made was also a thematic mess, but he also did Deadwood and HBO means ‘Serious Television Business,’ so we’re going to pretend to love it! Horses!”

My first point is, you’re probably not watching Luck, and you shouldn’t, because it’s nonsense. If you are, though, you may have noticed that in place of the standard “No animals were harmed” notation in the credits, there’s a line that says “The American Humane Association Monitored the animal action.” That’s because animals were harmed during the filming of this television show, specifically two horses, which actually suffered such serious injuries they had to be euthanized. No, I don’t know why veterinary medicine hasn’t solved fatal horse injuries; it seems awfully 19th century to still be putting horses down when they break their legs, right?

HBO tells the New York Observer that yeah it was totally tragic that we got those horses killed, but after the second one died we “suspended production” to figure out how not to kill any more horses while filming our television show about this shitty sport that fucking wrecks horses specifically bred to be fucking wrecked and that no one except the people involved in their wrecking gives a fuck about—that is, they’ve “adopt[ed] additional protocols specifically for horse racing sequences” and they’re earning that AHA-trademarked “No animals were harmed” line that will appear in future episodes’ credits.

Sorry two horses had to die before you figured your shit out, HBO and the producers of Luck, but you’ve got David Milch and he’s a genius! And horse racing was once upon a time the sport of kings or whatever. So you’ve got that going for you.

[photo of (Brazilian!) horses by Eduardo Amorim via Flickr]


Another carriage horse collapsed in New York City. The text that accompanies the youtube vid:

On December 4th 2011 a NYC carriage horse collapsed on 59th Street and Central Park South. The horses had been working very hard today as the drivers were trying to extract as much money from them as possible. This is their busiest season and the care of the horses must take a back seat to profits. We saw horses foaming at the mouth, stumbling horses and finally this poor horse collapsed most likely due to exhaustion. We can only hope he was returned to his stable and will receive a proper veterinary examination. His carriage was 1102.

Pretty disturbing. Last month I wrote about another horse that collapsed and you can read the background on this story there. NY-Class is asking that you call a New York council member and urge them to support intro 86:

Gale A. Brewer — (212) 873-0282
Margaret Chin — (212) 587-3159

Lewis A. Fidler — (212) 788-7286
Brad Lander — (718) 499-1090
Jumaane D. Williams — (718) 629-2900

Joel Rivera — (718) 842-8100

Elizabeth Crowley — (718) 366-3900
Peter F. Vallone, Jr. — (718) 274-4500
Jimmy Van Bramer — (718) 383-9566
Mark Weprin — (718) 468-0137

Deborah Rose — (718) 556-7370

They have more info and a suggested script on their site

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