A Wonderful Holiday Message from John Holland of Equine Welfare Alliance

Wishing you a
Joyous Holiday Season!


Dear Friends,

I will be sending you a New Year letter letting you know what we might expect in the coming months. But for now, I wish to offer you my feelings about this very special Christmas.

We all wish that Christmas could be a simple time of peace and joy, but we also know the reality is much more complicated. As we grow older, the season becomes associated with many emotions and memories. It may remind us of a magical Christmas as a child, but can also remind us of more somber things like the death of a loved one.

My memories run the full gambit. But it has been a very long time since I have felt any real peace and joy at Christmas. Once one is aware of the true evil like the horse slaughter trade, and sets out to end it, Christmas reminds you that another year of failure is coming to an end and that the endless stream of horses will go on riding to their hellish deaths. Myself, I am always haunted by the scenes of horses being driven into the kill chute during my visit to Kaufman a decade ago.

As hard as we have all worked to bring this evil to an end, one might have expected that the recent announcement from the EU would have been greeted with excited chatter, even cheers. Just the opposite was true, and I think I understand why. None of us dare to believe it may really be over. We have had our hopes dashed so many times that we don’t want to open ourselves for more of that pain.

I am writing you to tell you that I, for one, am going to believe it is finally coming to an end for our American horses. Yes, it is a risk to believe, but if we don’t, we will have missed collecting a wonderful memory of the happiest Christmas of them all.

So when all the hubbub and shopping is done, I ask you to join me. Sit down in your favorite chair, or walk out among your horses. Ignore the voices of doubt and let relief and joy flood over you. Believe with me that it is coming to an end and know that we will never, ever, allow it to return to our country.


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