With both mayoral candidates vowing to banish the city’s horse-drawn carriages, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has long defended the industry, took a moment today to reflect upon the many ways animals can be utilized.
“These horses work like you, like me,” Mr. Bloomberg began, when asked about the consequences of putting an end to the industry, including horses potentially being slaughtered because pastures are full.
In addition to the few hundred people who work in this industry to support their families, Mr. Bloomberg argued that animals have long been used for various tasks.
“We use animals to work with us and we use animals for food. And I haven’t seen anything wrong with this, it’s a nice thing for the visitors in this city and the people who live here,” he said, expressing hope that his successor might reconsider.
“Hopefully, people will sit back and say, ‘Wait a second, there’s nothing really wrong here.’ We keep animals as pets. We slaughter animals for food. We use animals and have always used animals to help us feed ourselves and our families and to work,” he continued. “We use animals in the military. We use animals for peaceful purposes. We use animals for entertainment and they’re certainly well taken care of.”
But despite defending the industry, Mr. Bloomberg himself doesn’t seem especially inclined to hop on board for a ride.
“I do remember once for sure, maybe twice,” he said when asked if he had ever taken a horse-carriage ride through Central Park. “I’ve been living in the city since 1966 so it’s been a long time and certainly not recently.”