Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
Today, April 25th, is Anzac Day in Australia when we celebrate the sacrifices of soldiers since WW1 to present day. It is a date that comes from the Anzac (Australian & New Zealand Army Corps) soldiers who fell in the battle at Gallipoli.
What is usually forgotten is the role that animals, in particular horses, played in the wars. The treatment they received however was anything but honourable.
The Australian Waler Horse is well known for stamina, courage and strength. They were famously used in the Light Horse Infantry for example, and fetched a princely price from the British Government that purchased them in their hundreds of thousands. They were shipped to the Boer to later theatres of war. The shipping was cruel, the were transported from the East Coast of Australia around the southern coastline to Albany before continuing on to South Africa and Europe. They were not shipped with care, many breaking legs on the journey and many suffering swelling of the legs due to being in cramped conditions for extended periods. On arrival they were sent directly to battle without rehabilitation from the journey. In Africa, due to deprivation of their natural food, many ate a green plant that caused horrendous swelling of the stomach causing their stomachs literally to explode.
The famous Lord Kitchener was known for the horses he was personally responsible for causing their death, estimated to be 400,000 to die in the pursuit of victory.
In all wars animals suffer, whether it is by directly being used as these horses, or just being in the wrong place at the right time, or being deliberately killed so the advancing enemy wouldn't be able to have them as happened for example at Dunkirk.
On this sombre day of remembrance in my country, I acknowledge the sacrifices our soldiers made. But my thoughts are for the animals who had no choice.
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