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I have trouble conferring "athlete" status on a horse.

 

Is a race car an athlete?

 

No, a race car is a piece of machinery built by man.

Isn't a horse also "a piece of machinery built by man" through careful breeding? Actually, Stone seems to make an accurate analogy as both 'machines' are driven/controlled by man, and the man (driver/jockey) is considered the athlete, no?

 

They certainly are beautiful animals, regardless.

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Moving this over from the Barbaro thread.   Horse racing is a sport and Barbaro was an athlete. He was bred to be a race horse.   He was a great horse that had a too short career.   I personall

Isn't a horse also "a piece of machinery built by man" through careful breeding? Actually, Stone seems to make an accurate analogy as both 'machines' are driven/controlled by man, and the man (driver/

That's a good incentive, too! Except they don't know about the knackers until it's too late.

This is not going to be an interesting discussion unless the two sides dig a little deeper. You have such categorically different foundations.

 

FB -- I see all the devilish words in your post -- eugenics, etc. -- and still think, "so what." It's a horse. Why are those words meaningful? The facts remain (as I understand them), that the horses are given lives better than most horses struggling to live in the wild. So what they they are bred to run fast? Perhaps I'd be symathetic if they were bred for vivisection, but running fast seems to be fun for a horse. And so what if they're put down after their useful lives. They're horses.

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This is not going to be an interesting discussion unless the two sides dig a little deeper. You have such categorically different foundations.

 

FB -- I see all the devilish words in your post -- eugenics, etc. -- and still think, "so what." It's a horse. Why are those words meaningful? The facts remain (as I understand them), that the horses are given lives better than most horses struggling to live in the wild. So what they they are bred to run fast? Perhaps I'd be symathetic if they were bred for vivisection, but running fast seems to be fun for a horse. And so what if they're put down after their useful lives. They're horses.

 

Especially since there's a substantial industry in this country that produces horse meat for export to countries in which it's legal to eat it. You know, respecting the whole animal and all.

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I have trouble conferring "athlete" status on a horse.

 

Is a race car an athlete?

 

No, a race car is a piece of machinery built by man.

Isn't a horse also "a piece of machinery built by man" through careful breeding? Actually, Stone seems to make an accurate analogy as both 'machines' are driven/controlled by man, and the man (driver/jockey) is considered the athlete, no?

 

They certainly are beautiful animals, regardless.

 

COMBINED POST:

 

horses have LITERALLY changed the history of our world. they have won wars(a topic that deserves a thread of it's own), helped medical research, plowed, helped us conquer distance...its about time we let them rest. we have modern technology on our side and we dont need horses. race horses have such a short glorious time. they are carefully bred and just trawling the net, i can see how many of these million dollar horses are discarded after their best. i wouldnt have believed all of it had i not been introduced to someone who does take in retired race horses because they have literally nowhere to go. they need to be rehabilitated and RETRAINED to live the life of a horse that nolonger races. they shift and shuffle. they go out of their minds. how do you tell a horse that has been bred for racing that he has been physically rendered incapable of doing so.

 

mitchells and ron johnson speak of what the horse has been bred to do when they are racehorses. you walk away from the races and the show is over for you. but these horses DO have a life after retirement. if they are allowed to have one. and it is a life entirely different from their past glorious galloping days. this is not the emotional anguish of a retiree who doesnt know what to do with his life after 60 and tries to fix it with therapy. thoroughbreds ARE bred for racing. i'd like to see a horse that is bred for racing and for avoiding injuries. wait. i know. its called a MOTORVEHICLE.

 

eta for stone:

 

there is nothing devilish about the word, 'eugenics'. it is a perfectly acceptable english word. can we please stop with the innuendos and look at the language for what it is? where i come from, it has no horned or forked tongued connatations.

 

[+] i look around me and i see people getting desensitised to the idea that sentient living creatures are part of our world too. for long, i chose to ignore this because i wanted to be polite and correct..and respectful. i think i can still play that role. being honest about my feelings cannot make me disrespectful. otoh, i realised that i am doing a great disservice to my convictions by SHUTTING UP.

 

so, yes. they are horses. they are not meant for races or for the thrills of gamblers.

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I agree with Stone a little bit. A category mistake, although as ever it's hard to pin down exactly what's wrong with it...

 

But it does seem to me that describing a horse as "athletic" is queer* in the same way that describing a cat as "acrobatic" or hamster as "flexible" or a gorilla as "buff" or a tortoise as "unathletic" would be queer.

 

I think words like "athletic", "acrobatic" and so on are really for talking about humans doing something a bit above and beyond what humans are normally expected to do. In other words, maybe I can run for a bus, but that doesn't count as athletic. I'd be athletic if I could run a mile in four minutes.

 

When you take those good old words and start applying them to animals doing just what those animals normally, for the most part, in good health, do, then I think you're dreaming up a new usage for the words. And arguments built on ad hoc neologisms are on shaky foundations.

 

Also, note, animals don't train to do any of these things. Dogs don't train to walk to heel. They are trained by people. Big difference.

 

 

 

*Oxford ordinary language usage, no sniggering.

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horses have LITERALLY changed the history of our world. they have won wars(a topic that deserves a thread of it's own), helped medical research, plowed, helped us conquer distance...its about time we let them rest. we have modern technology on our side and we dont need horses. race horses have such a short glorious.

I think you're failing to recognize the distinction between the horse that Caesar rode in battle and the ones alive today. There is no reasonable need to "retire" an entire species.

 

And I don't believe that you chose the word eugenics without intentionally including the extremely negative connotation. You obviously believe that horse breeding deserves this negative connotation. I'm asking you to explain why. For example, if instead of being bred for speed and beauty, breeders were creating a race of horse with open spinal cords, malformed leg bones, etc., such that the new "breed" was in constant physical pain, I would agree that it should be stopped. (Just to show I'm not completely heartless, I think the American Kennel Club needs better police breeding of many dog breeds -- permitting genetic diseases such as dysplasia to enter so many gene pools is a travesty.)

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I agree with Stone a little bit. A category mistake, although as ever it's hard to pin down exactly what's wrong with it...

 

But it does seem to me that describing a horse as "athletic" is queer* in the same way that describing a cat as "acrobatic" or hamster as "flexible" or a gorilla as "buff" or a tortoise as "unathletic" would be queer.

 

I think words like "athletic", "acrobatic" and so on are really for talking about humans doing something a bit above and beyond what humans are normally expected to do. In other words, maybe I can run for a bus, but that doesn't count as athletic. I'd be athletic if I could run a mile in four minutes.

 

When you take those good old words and start applying them to animals doing just what those animals normally, for the most part, in good health, do, then I think you're dreaming up a new usage for the words. And arguments built on ad hoc neologisms are on shaky foundations.

 

Also, note, animals don't train to do any of these things. Dogs don't train to walk to heel. They are trained by people. Big difference.

 

 

*Oxford ordinary language usage, no sniggering.

 

I think that is your own paradigm.

 

There are some horses that are more athletic than others, just like humans. Some humans run for the bus, others run around a track. Just like horses. And as for the training, point me in the direction of one great human athlete that trains on his own and doesn't complete a training regiman put together by another human.

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And I don't believe that you chose the word eugenics without intentionally including the extremely negative connotation. You obviously believe that horse breeding deserves this negative connotation. I'm asking you to explain why.

 

there are actually two connotations to the word eugenics, positive and negative. when you breed to exalt the higher qualities, physical or moral(some believed that human beings had these), it is known as positive eugenics. negative eugenics, on the other hand, is when you eliminate people..read as KILL/MURDER..to erase parts of humanity or other lives. abortion is a form of negative eugenics. genetic screening is part of the negative eugenics process just as evaluating a partner for intelligence or blue eyes is positive eugenics. if my mother tried to arrange my marriage with someone tall, handsome and healthy because my children will have a chance at having those qualities, its positive eugenics. what hitler did to jews, homosexuals and gypsies is negative eugenics. breeding race horses for speed is most definitely a form of eugenics.

 

and when i say 'positive' and 'negative', they are not adjectives.(edited to read the previous sentence as, "and when i say 'positive' and 'negative' IN THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH, they are not USED AS adjectives" ) they are valid sub categories of a sociological term. like i said, please dont muddy this thread too with ugly innuendos.

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That wasn't the issue: it was whether, given they are not humans, it is misleading to discuss them as if they were. I think it probably is.

 

Now. Next issue.

 

Misleading in what way? I am not sure that I've ever discussed a horse as if it were human. How would that go? "Secretariat is now in the starting gate, and he appears to be pondering the meaning of life if not his own mortality."

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