Horse-drawn carriages have been a constant in Central Park for years, but recently a movement has begun against them for the sake of the horses’ health and safety. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio promised to close the industry in his campaign, and remains committed to the issue. And Neeson isn’t happy about it.
“It has been my experience, always, that horses, much like humans, are at their happiest and healthiest when working,” Neeson writes. “Horses have been pulling from the beginning of time. It is what they have been bred to do.”
The actor goes on to tout horse-drawn carriages’ safety record, stating that “just four horses have been killed as a result of collisions with motor vehicles” in the past 30 years. He then speculates that this industry closure could be a class issue, pointing out that many of the drivers and stable hands are immigrants whose “livelihoods are now at risk” and calls the carriages a “signature element of New York’s culture and history.”
Neeson ends the piece with a plea for de Blasio to meet with some of the major players in the horse-drawn carriage industry and to take a trip to the stables to see how the horses are cared for.
Neeson isn’t the first celebrity to speak out on the issue, but his view isn’t the popular one: Lea Michele, Peter Dinklage, Dave Navarro, and Pink are just a sample of the big names who’ve appeared in anti-horse drawn carriage ads for PETA.