Montreal just passed a one-year ban on horse-drawn carriages. I applaud Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre for his forward thinking and hope he will make the ban permanent. I also urge Mayor Emanuel and the City Council to do the same in Chicago.
There may have been a time when horses in big cities made sense, but that is no longer the case. Forcing these majestic animals to walk on hard or icy pavement in extreme temperatures, breathe exhaust fumes and deal with erratic, honking taxis, buses and cars and wailing sirens is indefensible. It is no way of life.
Nobody wants people to lose their jobs, but no one should make a living off the suffering of animals. Proponents of the horse carriages will talk of romance and history, but as someone who loves to travel, I am saddened when I see carriage horses. Animal welfare plays a big role in how I, and many others, spend tourist dollars.
The Chicago Alliance for Animals has an online petition with more than 8,000 signatures to ban horse-drawn carriages in Chicago. and has gotten hundreds of signatures in person over the last year at our monthly educational outreach demonstrations. We talk with many locals and tourists alike who tell us that they don’t like seeing the horses suffering in the street.
Recently, the nation of Israel and the cities of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Asheville, North Carolina, have ended this archaic practice, as have many other progressive cities. Chicago should join these compassionate locales and be a leader in animal protection.
Jodie Wiederkehr, Chicago Alliance for Animals
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At first impression, I thought that the Sun-Times’ front-page headline on Tuesday — “Anger, Hatred and Revenge” —referred to the outrage of Illinois taxpayers, who have every reason to feel great anger, hatred and revenge toward a state government that keeps bleeding taxpayers dry. Why do Illinois taxpayers, who already pay too much, have to pay still more for the state government’s mistakes and mismanagement? Why should the state or the City of Chicago get any more money from citizens when the state and city have constantly squandered the enormous taxes we already pay?
Jean Scott, Irving Park
The latest arrest of three people at a West Side clinic for Medicaid fraud highlights the need for major change. Medicaid should only be for the disabled. It’s too easy for healthy people to qualify, especially when they have kids. Second, the arrests of these three people indicates it’s not only the patients who abuse the Medicaid program, but providers, as well. Gov. Bruce Rauner has taken a lot of heat for making cuts to state spending, but a lot of the people who complain aren’t the ones who pay the taxes that support these programs.
Mike Mannard, Schaumburg