For those of us who believe in the necessity and validity of an alternative, January 22, 2017, will be remembered as a day of infamy thanks to the diabolical talents of Kellyanne Conway, counsellor to the President of the USA. On that day, Conway took a perfectly acceptable word – took two perfectly acceptable words – and unwittingly created a new name for a lie by coining the term: alternative fact.
Details on the incident can be found here: http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/01/kellyanne-conway-alternative-facts if you are interested. Warning: it is not horse related.
Fortunately, less than a week after the besmirching, a hero emerged from this nuclear-level war on facts and not only reclaimed the word but also stood up for science, the environment, and the entire planet. Rogue members of the U.S. National Parks Service launched the Alt National Parks Service to resist the new administration and its outrageous methods of trying to silence the truth and take away protections for wild places. “We formed in response to the new administration, who has shown little mercy for the environment”, their facebook page reads.
The word alternative, as far as we’re concerned, is back where it belongs; in the realm of the resistance and in the hands of conscientious objectors.
This is important to ACE and it should be important to anyone else who understands that horses are at the mercy of profit focused businesses which influence government policies and shape practices within the industry. Horse slaughter is just one example. It is deemed acceptable despite documented evidence it is not humane. We can and should write to our MPs, help our anti-slaughter groups, and support rescues. Yet systemic issues will still need to be addressed and these include an industry that does not regulate itself, a perspective that horses are livestock, and equestrians who are complicit in sustaining the status quo.
In general, ACE members value horses enough to give them the same considerations as our dog and cat partners when it comes to life planning, humane euthanasia, funded shelters, licensing, and neutering programs. Breeder members might be willing to set quotas or work toward responsible breeding practices that include taking back their own horses. Rescues are open to working together to establish standards and protocols and to create a system for surrender. All members subscribe to The Equine Agreement.
There is such a thing as the Alt Community of Equestrians. The question is: Will you join in?
The word alternative has always meant something “other”. It originates from the Medieval Latin alternativus – offering one or the other of two. By 1970, according to Dictionary.com, it commonly meant “purporting to be a superior choice to what is in general use”. While some people associate the term with quackery, many practices once considered alternative have become an accepted part of our lives today. Chiropractic medicine, for example, is an alternative practice gone mainstream.