Friday, March 28, 2008

The original green form of transportation

Amish horse and buggy I found this picture on the Google Earth Blog: an Amish horse and buggy on the highway.

I envy the Amish for the ability to travel via horse all the time. I would quite happily give up my car if I could ride Panama everywhere (once he is fully trained, of course). Parking at the grocery store would be a challenge, of course, but it would be a heck of a lot more enjoyable to ride a horse than drive a car.

You have to admit — horses are a nearly perfect form of transportation. As long as they are well fed and cared for, they don't break down, and their only byproduct is fertilizer, rather than a pollutant.

I'm sure many animal rights activists will be all up in arms about this, but I honestly don't think using horses for transportation is mean — it's the way some people treat them that is mean, and that happens regardless of the reasons why people keep them.

Now I do think that using horses for transportation in conditions meant for cars is kind of mean. In heavy traffic in New York City, carriage horses have to breathe exhaust fumes all day — directly out of the tailpipes, too, because "bumper to bumper" means "nose to bumper" for them. Also, I know that walking on pavement all day is extremely bad for horses' hooves.

So let me rephrase that: If I could travel on horse trails everywhere, with no pavement or exhaust fumes, I would quite gladly give up my car to ride Panama everywhere.

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