Their Mane Is the Thunder and Their Eyes Are the Stars

Abby Zimet

Wild horses and their advocates have won a reprieve after a federal appeals court in New Mexico issued an emergency injunction to halt the re-opening of horse slaughterhouses approved in July. Navajo and other critics of horse roundups - where teens chase wild horses on ATVs for "kill buyers" who pay as little as $20 a head - charge their controversial, newly reinstated approval was based on "fuzzy math" and bogus environmental impact studies by greedy coal companies that claimed horse overpopulation because, in the words of Navajo activist Leland Grass, "The only way to get at those resources is to get rid of the horses."

On horses in the Navajo belief system: "Their mane is the thunder and their eyes are the stars. They possess the same fundamental right to life as we, the five-fingered ones, do."

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