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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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Seven adult horses and one foal are dead after an anti-gay arson ripped through the barn where they were housed. The State Fire Marshal's Office has ruled that the fire which happened in Morgan County, Ohio is an arson. Owner Brent Whitehouse stated "I can't believe somebody would do something like this and do this to poor animals." The fire occurred at 11:30pm. Whitehouse woke to find the barn on fire. He called 911, and then tried to get the horses out of the barn, but was unable to. He said "I couldn't get the door open I could still hear the horses kicking and I tried as hard as I could to get them out and I just couldn't get them out in time."

Whitehouse had gotten up to inspect his quarter horse Love who he expected to drop her foal sometime that Saturday or Sunday. He said "I knew the way she was acting Saturday and Sunday that she was ready. My one dog was acting funny, and I looked out the window and saw this orange glow coming from the barn. I ran out there, but the doors of the barn wouldn't open and suddenly, flames were shooting up through the roof. That barn was gone in five minutes."

That this was a hate crime seems beyond a doubt as anti-LGBT epithets were found scrawled across the barn's fence.

The flames were so hot that the tractor inside the barn melted, and neighbors could see the flames for miles. According to Shane Cartmill, a spokesman for the fire marshal's office, the firefighters on the scene determined it was a crime scene as soon as they arrived. They noticed the white spray painted derogatory words on the fence, barn and barn doors. One says "Burn in Hell", and that appears to be among the mildest of what was placed there.

Those who know Whitehouse are absolutely certain that this was a hate crime.

As for Whitehouse, he stated "The barn I can rebuild, but the bond I had with those horses can't be replaced. Whoever did this had to walk right by all those horses, including the baby, and didn't care that they were killing a gentle, loving animal."
http://lezgetreal.com/2011/04/arson-...ay-hate-crime/

I know that there is a containment thread for animal abuse stories, but I figured this story deserved its own thread because it is a point of intersection of homophobia and speciesism. That people could blatantly destroy innocent animal life to express there homophobic beliefs reflects how society popularly views animals as expendable and also speaks to the intersection and relatedness of injustice. The same attitude that saw these horses as expendable tools for homophobic protest sees homosexuals as expendable, as people not worth respect and common human decency because of their sexual orientation.

I believe this story shows, contrary to what some activists on the left say (who argue we need to deal with human injustice first before we deal with animal injustice) that injustice has its root in an ideology that sees other people as expendable, as means towards our ends and not ends in themselves. And so if we are ever going to learn to treat other humans with the respect they deserve we must extend that respect to animals or we will fall back into viewing other people as expendable. And likewise if we are ever going to treat animals with the respect they deserve, we need to learn how to treat our fellow humans with dignity and justice.

Poor horses. I hope they have now found peace they didn't have in this life. Their names were Elvis, Barney, Floyd, Princess and her week-old foal, Buddy; Love, Bella and Ethel.
 

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Originally Posted by Pixie View Post

How disgusting. I don't know whether to feel more angry or sad.
I think feeling both is a reasonable response. Why should innocent animals suffer because of your hate of someone else?
 

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That is just evil!
I agree that cruelty to humans and animals often cross and often are rooted in the same place of hate and ignorance. Obviously they wanted to cause the most distress possible by killing what he valued the most. I wonder about the age of the attackers and if it was a mob mentality.
The saddest thing is that if they are caught the punishment for the arson is likely to be harsher than for the murder of the horses. Society's laws support the view of animals as expendable.
 
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