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November 23, 2009

Greyhound Racing = Animal Abuse. ~via Rebecca Grazulis

This week I was duped by a Facebook rumor, discredited by snopes.com, that a greyhound racetrack in Wisconsin would be closing next month. The rumor claimed that all of the greyhounds that didn’t find homes by December 31st would be killed.

Despite the falsity of the rumor, it nonetheless got me all keyed up about greyhound racing, a “sport” that exists for the entertainment and profit of humans at the cost of the well being of some very beautiful animals.

In case you need convincing that greyhound racing is animal abuse, let me break it down for you. The following are the reasons why greyhound racing is inhumane:

The industry breeds tens of thousands of greyhounds every year. Given the pressure to produce “winners,” many more are bred than can be placed at racetracks. A greyhound’s racing life is a maximum of four years, and while there are certainly greyhound rescue groups, there are just too many greyhounds to find homes for them all.

In addition, greyhounds are often destroyed using the less expensive method, including gunshot, as racing is a business that is all about the bottom-line. Lacking racing potential or becoming injured is often a death sentence for a greyhound. In 2000, approximately 19,000 greyhounds, including puppies and “retirees,” were killed.

Racing greyhounds spend much of their lives in crates, pens, or fenced enclosures. Greyhounds enjoy human contact, but seldom have any. Many greyhound living situations are not climate-controlled, and the dogs must endure inclement weather.

Finally, greyhounds are not the only animals that suffer as a result of the racing industry. Thousands of domestic rabbits and wild jackrabbits are maimed or killed every year during greyhound training activities. Rabbits are chased and eventually killed in an enclosed area in a particular activity called “coursing.”

Seven states have bans on live greyhound racing, but the following states still have racetracks: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Rhode Island, Texas, Florida, West Virginia, Iowa, and Wisconsin. If you live in one of these states, please consider contacting your congressmen and women to express your support of a greyhound-racing ban.

The amount of money that an animal generates shouldn’t determine what his or her life is worth.

Rebecca Grazulis is a Chicagoan, a vegetarian (yes, you can be both), a wanna-be yogi and a former high school English teacher in a period of career exploration. You can e-mail or visit her website.

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