I received this response on the blog yesterday and felt that before I conclude my study with these horses by touring the barns Sunday and talking with both sides- it was important to say say something constructive to the protesters.
Constructive comments will come to the drivers and maintenance people after I see for myself how they treat their animals.
Thank you very much, I appreciate you connecting again. I will most certainly be looking at these links and while I am travelling in between fittings today. I enjoy the opportunity to review both sides of the argument.
DISCLAIMER: Now I recognize that there were a Melange of groups there to protest the carriage rides. Each person in my opinion is an individual. You may or may not have been involved with some of the activities that took place. I will walk away from this conversation with positive intentions and thoughts of you, and if ever to meet you in person, would most certainly have tea and a great conversation with some awkward laughter in it and human topics. I dont not brand you good or bad. I know that if you were there protesting, I can assume that your intentions were good and thats the important part. I really appreciate that you are sharing with me. However, everything I have to say from this point forward---- its a general address to the whole mob of people there protesting. it int personal, its just a general observation from someone who couldnt see very well an therefore everyone seemed like one angry blob to me.
Educate dont Hate.
Its really important that when protesting your goal is not to hurt the people you are targeting, even if they are guilty. Unless you can legally murder- you arent going to get rid of them. But publically shaming them, it just makes them feel isolated and frustrated. You have to think of your cause as solution you are providing and the goal of that solution is to rehabilitate everyone. To bring everyone on board. ESPECIALLY the guilty.You want them on your side more than anyone so that they truly understand why they should stop what they are doing.
I had a lot of fun at the protest surprisingly, but one of the models was so hurt by what the group of protesters was saying to her about her looks and what they were saying about her character that she actually left fashion week and went home early to her family in Colorado. As a model, she was simply subcontracted to do her job and none of us were aware that when we stepped into that situation you guys would be there. But yet, the protesters didnt see us as potential friends or potential non-involved. They immediately labeled us as if we were the blond haired Michael Vicks of the world and treated us quite poorly. You call any of these girls ugly or horrible and they will never ever ever listen to a decent piece of information you have to give to them- no matter how true it may be.
If your group is truly convicted in its ways to save lives, you MUST get every person on board you can. You MUST be peace oriented. You MUST be education oriented. You MUST be solution oriented. Or you will isolate and discredit yourselves as a group and therefore discredit the valuable information you have to share.
A protest is not like going to a football game. It is not THIS SIDE vs THAT SIDE. A protest is an council meeting opportunity. For both sides to meet and express their views. There does not need to be a resolution, only the common interest to educate each other and continue on positively.
Now to wrap this up, I have THREE other statements for you and protesters in general just for future- and I say this with integrity and love because I want your intentions of Animal Welfare to be respected and preserved. I want you to succeed in saving and influencing positively as many lives as possible while you excercise your freedom of speech.
FIRST of all, the way that everyone was running out at the horses was unacceptable. As someone who is that classic model grown up on a farm, Ive been raising horses and goats since I could see. Several people were telling me (as a point of protest) that the horses could spook and run into traffic. But... your group was NOT acting in the horses' best interest and it was disheartening because you put the animal, other innocent passerbys, and myself in harms way. Why would you do that if the cause was a really to provide better conditions for the horse? It likely can not understand why people are shouting around it and running out angrily. This is one way I could tell the horse is at LEAST not physically beaten daily because it never spooked. It wasnt afraid to be hit or harrassed by those swarming it, because it likely had never been hit before. It didnt even flinch. It trusted the intentions of its driver- who although had a riding crop never once touched it. So the fact that drivers viciously beat their animals... you might want to check into that one. I was told by a group of three protesters right in the beginning that MY horse specifically was beaten every day and fed pigeon poop. O.O Perhaps my horse was a special case, and Ill be investigating and of course educating myself on both sides of the manner. But if that fact is NOT true you will want to remove it from your protests because it is not only a lie but slanderous and discredits the TRUTHful things you have to say. If your goal is to solve things, you MUST be solving it with honesty... not trashing someone's image. Whenever- and I have several backup for this- anyone said to ignore you and your people for the unkind personal things they said to me not regarding the horses at all- they would say you were crazy. And I would correct them that you are passionate people attempting to save lives exercising your rights to assembly and free speech. I did not go home and write slanderous material about the protesters afterwards.
SECOND of all, I really recommend that you and the protesters use at LEAST RECYCLED paper and RECYCLED materials for their signs. I saw several newly white sheets swathed in markers, glue, glitter, paint etc. All items that are mined from the environment and are a contributor toward deforestation and habitat loss. More animals likely were displaced or killed in the creation of the base of your promotional content then horses you could save in central park. Animal lovers must protect creatures outside of the domesticated realm. All things with beating hearts are capable of feeling pain and suffering- including mosquitos. Every move you make from the clothing you wear to the house you live in to the signs you protest with have a damaging effect on animals you will never see. And unlike horses, they will not be individually swept from their environments, found a place in society, and given new habitat. They will be exterminated. Is death better than a lifetime of servitude? If you believe them to be equal or death to be worse- then please spread the message to your fellow animal rights activists to not only be animals rights oriented but environmentally oriented too so that they can truly maximize their efforts to be the best most loving being possible for all creatures. Unless of course you are ONLY a horse lover and the type of person to say Screw You to a deer, mouse or a cougar and their young.
THIRDly I will tell you that Victor de Souza is simply a designer. Of COURSE he's cash driven, he needs money to live- unless YOU are on a barter system, you are cash driven too. But the important thing is that Victor did not have a horse and carriage display because he is an animal abuser. He doesnt go home and kick kitten at night and put puppies in a blender. Nor does he get off on the mere thought of a horse eating pigeon poop for breakfast. He, like many people, grew up with a romantic idea if what a horse means to society. Cinderella- as mentioned in my blog and during the protest- is a great example of that. Instead of trying to educate him on alternative artistic forms of expression rather than "horse abusive carriage rides", the crowd of people immediately, as they did me, labeled him as "Victor De Souza Animal Abuser". But he simply was moving forward with the education he had--- he checked the stables himself, talked with the carriage riders and did research. His findings may or may not have been conclusive- as you have not had the opportunity to share those links above with him or talk to him one on one. But that show was the opportunity to do so. And you all blew it. If you cant speak with love for the people speak with love for the animals you are trying to save. Speak, dont yell. Empower dont Devour. The knowledge of the designers own knowledge of what he was getting into--- was education itself that every protester should have had. Period. Because you likely made an enemy for life and discredited every word those various groups have to say by isolating him. (As stated above.)
Anyways, thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog once again. I hope you hear my comment as a heartfelt honest perspective and see the gift that is presented that I am able to communicate with you honestly. I am not saying you re a good or bad person. I am not blaming you or commending you for my experience the other night. And I am not going to take one side or another on this matter.
I am going to take my own side. Based on my own perspective. Its neither team. Its knowledge.
Thank you for providing the links so I may further educate myself. I hope to find them as valuable as you did!