Friday, September 18, 2009

Vegan Horse Racing?

I have never been to the races before having only been in Australia for 18 months.
And this year I have been invited along to the Caulfield Cup Young Members with a bunch of mates.

I have said yes and have even bought my dress and got excited and listened to countless warnings about pacing myself and not carrying my shoes and puking at the end of the day.

But it's not the pacing myself, puking, shoe carrying, slutty outfit issues that are my main concern. It's the inherent cruelty of horse racing itself. Am I a vegan fraud for going to the races? Or is it ok that I'm deciding it's something you gotta do once and by this time next year I may well be even more against the idea of the races to the point I never go.

Abolitionist approach aside, how cruel is it? I'm a bit clueless on it and only know of the whipping, and the deaths associated with jumps. Do I even want to know now that I am going for certain this year? Do vegans go to the races?


  1. I used to take the day off from work (in WA it's not a public holiday, but everyone stops work to go watch the tv) on Melbourne Cup day. There's so much pressure to enjoy what is basically animal exploitation. I think it is up to you where your 'line' is for being vegan (like, diet, cruelty, etc), and if you've said you'll go then you know, go, but I think you should be prepared to recognise some not-nice things going on.

  2. I wouldn't go - I don't support horse racing at all - I don't think animals should be used for entertainment and as an excuse for gambling - I'm not sure why you would even have to go even once? - maybe you could meet up with your mates later on in the day?....I just read that backand it sounds harsh - but I really think you have to take a strong stance - know what I mean? Thanks for listening! Andrea :)

  3. Hi there,
    Here's a post I wrote last year with some links about horse racing:


  4. Thanks for your feedback guys.

    Steph and Andrea, you are right (and not harsh at all - completely justified), it is animal exploitation and at the core I'm not comfortable with it. BUT I am going to go this once, no excuse for it really other than I already committed and paid etc, and never go again. I'm obviously still learning to be a consistent vegan and 6 months in I'm learning more every day on what nasty stuff is kept behind the scenes.

    Miss T, thanks for your link (PS, the link itself didn't work, I had to hunt it down on your blog). I didn't know that much about racing and you have opened my eyes.

  5. I also wrote a post on horse racing last year. I am actually considering actively protesting this year. Aside from the animal exploitation side, he types of people who go to the races are simply disgusting and the amount of money that is spent in the industry is horrible.

    I think it is up to us to educate our friends and family about what really goes on, Australian's are bought up to believe that this is fun and entertaining and have never even considered the cruelty that goes on behind the scenes.

  6. don't do it if you can. it really is horrible. the fates of these animals is always rather grisly, horses are traded like playing cards and all for a bit of 'sport' and a grotesque amount of money. i've never been, i frankly dont see the attraction and this will be my second year in melbourne. i'll be doing all i can to avoid it

    ps, great blog and thanks for following mine!

  7. Aww man, I can't go to this - it's just too awful and against everything I believe in.

    Time to hunt down someone to flog my ticket off too and tell my mates I can't come - not looking forwrd to telling them!

    Thanks guys for making me see the light!

  8. Hooray for you!
    Last year I went to the pub for the day, and I walked out when the 'big race' came on. I could sit with my back to the other races, but felt I needed to make a small gesture about the big one. I least got to explain why I did it to the people I was with.

  9. Good on you Miss T. How did they respond to your explanation? I found it weird enough explaining before the event - I can't imagine doing it whilst everyone is watching it with the accompanying atmos!